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List of Top Inspiring Books to Help You Grow

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Books contain powerful, transformative wisdom that can alter the trajectory of your entire life. This goes for health, wealth, relationships, and everything else that matters most.

  1. To keep growing and evolving daily, just read 20 pages of a great book! The ROI is tremendous.
  2. Here are some top inspiring books to help you grow.
  3. Also, there are some tips to get the most value from every page you turn.

Dose of Motivation

Even the most ambitious entrepreneurs know: motivation is fleeting, and you can never seem to conjure it at the right time. By reading a page or two of a motivating book, you get that jolt you need to get started.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is a great book to help you feel more productive and motivated,” said Mary Berry, Founder and CEO of Cosmos Vita. “It incorporates tools to acquire desired results while stressing the importance of caring about what produces said results. Furthermore, it touches on elements of independence and self-mastery, interdependence and working with others, and continuous improvement. This book will help you understand all of the valuable aspects you need to consider while reaching for your goals.” 

Motivation, discipline, good habits – what more do you need to succeed?

Strong Foundations

Experience life’s greatest teacher, but a great book can help you understand things on a deeper level and make important breakthroughs at key moments.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Success from Greg McKeown pares everything down to the essentials,” said Jared Pobre, CEO and Co-Founder of Caldera + Lab. “When it comes to time management, it’s not about getting everything down. It’s about getting the right things done. Being more selective about where we spend our energy enables us to focus on what really matters.”

Learn in real life, but apply the lessons from books as well to maximize success.

Living Legends

When you read a book, you tap into the mind and imagination of some of the world’s greatest thinkers. Who could possibly pass on an opportunity like that, at such a great price?

“Jonathan Franzen is one of the great living authors,” said Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, Executive Chairman of LEGO Brand Group. “His latest book is a nonfiction collection that, among other things, argues for reading and writing essays, which is a nice contrast to quick messages, social media posts, and brief news headlines.”

Franzen is one of many! Pick an author you like and tear through their whole bibliography to really get the full picture.

Habit Analysis

How often do we really analyze our own actions and behaviors? Some books require us to take a long look at our habits and make adjustments if necessary.

“One of the most inspiring books I’ve read is The Power of Habit, Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg,” said Ashley Laffin, Senior Director of Brand Management at Mother Dirt. “It is a great book that can really make you feel more productive and energized about your work.  This book covers various verticals, from sports to major DTC businesses to movements and takes a fascinating look at the science behind habits. It delves into why humans are so habitual and also explains how habits can be broken or changed.”

Everyday we live is composed of habits, healthy or otherwise – take this book seriously!

Lessons in Determination

There won’t always be an abundance of positive feedback when starting a business or pursuing a goal in life, especially in the early stages. Find a book that motivates you and gives you the mindset needed to succeed.

“I enjoyed reading Get a Grip by Gino Wickman and Mike Paton,” said Kiran Gollakota, Co-Founder of Waltham Clinic. “It dove into how to stay determined as a leader and entrepreneur when it gets hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It taught me how to buckle down and continue forward even when it felt like there was no point.”

Not all of us are motivated by the same writing style and subject matter, so find a book that lights that fire for you.

Self-Help Gems

There are thousands of books in the self-help genre, many of which cover the same ground over and over again. Find the diamonds in the rough and keep them on your shelf, because they can be quite powerful.

“Self-help books have become such a saturated market, they are just about a dime a dozen but, in a sea of recycled and upsold entrepreneur content, I managed to find a tremendous amount of wisdom and guidance in Jamie Schmidt’s Supermaker,” said Nik Sharma, CEO of Sharma Brands. “Schmidt provides a great knowledge bank for guidance on business growth, branding, development, different types of marketing styles, scaling, customer engagement and PR. It was a business one stop shop self-help book that I was able to easily apply to my business plan which ended up helping us scale up faster than we anticipated.”

Don’t forget to apply what you’ve learned from self-help books, otherwise, it’s just beach reading.

Understanding New Tech

Why do you think CEOs and industry leaders are always reading new books? That’s how they learn about new trends, emerging technologies, and other things that give them the edge in business.

“I found Architects of Intelligence incredibly interesting and a good explanation of AI – essential for a world moving fast and dealing with moral questions in this area,” said Andrew Penn, CEO and Managing Director at Telstra.

Not only are these subjects fascinating, but they’ll help you win in business as well.

Psychology Insights

The human mind is possibly the most interesting topic of all, and there are countless ways to apply clinical findings to the game of business. Read up on psych to better understand yourself and others.

“Psychologist Carol Dweck challenges the importance of having a growth mindset in her book, Mindset: The Psychology of Success,” said Dr. Robert Applebaum, Owner of Applebaum MD. “She posits that as long as we remain persistent we’ll keep developing. In The Magic of Thinking Big, David J. Schwartz holds that as long as we believe in ourselves, we can conquer any conceivable goal. Both books delve into the power of the mind and the amount of control we actually have over the results in our lives.”

With sharper thinking and a stronger mindset, how can you lose?

Finding Purpose

Many entrepreneurs start their journeys with a strong purpose, but it can become fuzzy over time due to stress, fatigue, and self-doubt. Read books that help rediscover that purpose and stick to the game plan.

“In Simon Sinek’s Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, knowing your purpose is what keeps your business on track towards fulfilling it until you finally do,” said Rym Selmi, Founder of MiiRO. “Without your ‘why’, your business will lose sight of why it exists, and customers will no longer have a reason to buy from you. Psychologist Angela Duckworth argues in her book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Persistence, that maintaining consistency for the long-term will eventually result in you reaching your goals. These books offer great insight into the importance of staying focused on your purpose.”

No book will reveal your purpose to you directly, of course. That’s on you!

Business Classics

You don’t need to be a businessperson to find value from classics in the genre. Subjects like wealth and relationship management are universal, so start reading some old-school favorites.

“There are so many books that have inspired me throughout the years, it’s hard to just name a few,” said Aidan Cole, Co-Founder of TatBrow. “As a business owner, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki was a great read. The book talks about the difference between liabilities and assets, you of course want more assets than liabilities. Also, it talks about the difference between being an employee, self-employed, business owner and investor. Another great book is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. This is a great book for life, it teaches you things like how to have an interest in people so you can develop long lasting relationships!” 

These are the kinds of books that just keep giving and well-deserving of multiple reads. Never let them leave your shelf.

Growth and Grit

Books do a great job of explaining complex concepts, but they also offer illuminating insights on simple ideas for major results. That’s the magic of words.

“According to psychologist Angela Duckworth, the key to success relies on grit,” said Carrie Derocher, CMO of TextSanity. “Her book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Persistence, argues that as long as you remain consistent for a long time, you will eventually reach your goals. In her motivational book, Mindset: The Psychology of Success, Carol S. Dweck focuses on the idea that adopting a growth mindset will drive our efforts in continuing to develop.”

You can find meaning, motivation, and so much more in great books. What are you waiting for?

Remote Work Tips

Some books read more like instruction manuals or blueprints to achieve a certain outcome. This might be a change of pace from what you like to read in your spare time, but the results can be outstanding.

“Newly released Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance by Erica Dhawan explores body language in the digital world,” said Tyler Forte, Founder and CEO of Felix Homes. “Now that many offices have moved into a hybrid environment, effective communication has never been more critical. And with the increase in virtual meetings, learning to translate body behavior will help you better engage with and motivate your employees.”

There’s always value in learning new skills, and books can expedite this process tenfold.

No Limits

If you’re feeling stuck in neutral or just need a jump start in life, it’s time to crack an inspiring book. It just takes a few pages before you gain some essential perspective and maybe even have a small revelation or two.

The Growth Mindset by Joshua Moore and Helen Glasgow goes into how to keep searching for growth,” said Eric Gist, Co-Founder of Awesome OS. “There is always room for growth, and we never stop growing. It showed me how to look for new opportunities and continue to learn in my career.”

Sometimes, the right words can help you break out of a slump and level up at just the right moment.

Inspiring Stories

There’s nothing more inspiring than reading about real people and their monumental feats of innovation and achievement. It’s not only exciting, but it shows that you can do the same.

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers is an inspirational compilation of stories from renowned business podcaster Tim Ferriss,” said Joshua Tatum, Co-Founder of Canvas Cultures. “These stories depict the good, the bad, and the ugly of the lives of billionaires, icons, and legends, providing a realistic map of their road to success. Engaging and inspiring, you’ll want to share these stories with the whole team.”

Learn how they did it, follow in their footsteps, and leave your mark on the world.

Success Despite Uncertainty

Real talk – we all have self-doubt from time to time. In tough times, we can benefit from books that keep us grounded and replenish our confidence. That’s way better than staying glued to cable news!

“Learning how to identify and seize opportunities during times of chaos is the focus of Create the Future + the Innovation Handbook: Tactics for Disruptive Thinking by Jeremy Gutsche,” said Shahzil Amin, Managing Partner at Karlani Capital and Founder of Emagineer and WellBefore. “COVID-19 changed the way we do business. During the pandemic, many companies failed due to a lack of insight and flexibility. Yet others thrived by using disruptive thinking to identify shifts in customer needs and evolve quickly to meet them. This is essential post-pandemic reading for businesses moving forward.”

Don’t be caught off guard by world events. Prepare by reading the right books and adopting an agile mindset.

Relationship Building

Our connections with other people are so vital to a happy and successful life. There are some classic books that help us build and manage relationships more effectively, so don’t miss the chance to read them early on.

“If you want people to like you, then stop criticizing them, Dale Carnegie preaches in his iconic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People,” said Michael Scanlon, CMO and Co-Founder of Roo Skincare. “There is no significant difference between personal relationships and business relationships. When it comes to the art of communication, they both use the same principles. Another inspirational book is David J. Schwartz’, The Magic of Thinking Big, which offers helpful methods for training yourself to think and behave your way to attaining all of your desires.”

Sure, you can watch videos or read quotes, but nothing beats the experience of a real book.

Habits and Routines

We’re all creatures of habit. The question is – what habits are helping you succeed, and which ones are holding you back?

“The best book for leaders to read is “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”” said Jason Wong, CEO of Doe Lashes. “This book dives into creating the best habits for you to be successful in the world and breaks it down into digestible pieces. I highly recommend it to anyone.”

As Socrates said, the unexamined life is not worth living, so start reading and discover more about yourself and how you move through the world.

Helpful Handbook

A book doesn’t need to be a thousand-page text to be effective and useful. Some of our favorite books are simple and easy to read with a clear, universal message.

“Paul Arden’s “It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be: The World’s Best-Selling Book” pocket guide on how to succeed offers quick quips and bits of wisdom you can use in business and your personal life,” said Dr. Zachary Okhah, Founder and Chief Surgeon at PH-1 Miami. “With quirky art, photography, and graphics, it’s chock-full of interestingness. It’s Not How Good You Are covers everything from silly ideas helping you overcome mental blocks to getting fired may be a good thing. It’s a handy book to page through when you need a little inspirational insight.”

Just because a book is long and arduous, doesn’t always mean it’s great! Sometimes you just want to keep it simple.

Real-World Wisdom

When you find a nugget of wisdom in the pages of a great book, it stays with you forever, and nobody can take it away. Plus, the more wisdom you gather, the better equipped you’ll be to handle life’s toughest challenges.

“In How to Win Friends and Influence People, one of the best-selling books of all time, Dale Carnegie suggested we take our eyes off ourselves and show interest in others if we want to be well-liked,” said Haim Medine, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Mark Henry Jewelry. “This advice relates not only to personal relationships, it also helps in cultivating professional relationships. ’If we believe it, we can achieve it’ was the inspirational message David J. Schwartz presented in his influential book, The Magic of Thinking Big. We can have all that desire in our lives simply by creating affirmations that reinforce those beliefs.”

With more than a dozen book recommendations from great business leaders, you’ve got quite a stack to work through. Load up your e-reader or grab some paperbacks – whatever you do, never stop reading!

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About the author


Editor in chief for eTurboNew is Linda Hohnholz. She is based in the eTN HQ in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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