Knowledge is power, and it’s no secret that reading is the single most inventive way humans have learned to expand their access to knowledge and power. As Frederick Douglass once said, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” I certainly agree with this and think that no matter how many new technologies we have access to, we should never take for granted the power of reading.
In my own life, I have read many influential books that have heavily impacted my outlook on life and my understanding of the world around me. Below, I’ve listed the top 10 books that have helped me develop the success I enjoy today. I’m sharing them with you now in the hopes that you will find them as inspiring and impactful as I did.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey is a classic personal development book and one that had a huge impact on me as a young adult. First published in 1989, 7 Habits continues to provide sound wisdom for business owners and other motivated individuals who are dedicated to reaching their goals.
7 Habits is divided into three sections. The first three habits in the first section are designed to help individuals move from dependence to independence so they can fully rely on themselves. The next three habits in the second section are intended to help individuals move from independence to interdependence, which is essential to good leadership and delegation. The final habit in the third section is for continuous improvement and balance between independence and interdependence.
Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People is another classic in the personal development sphere. Even though it was published in 1939, this book continues to have relevance and even came in at number 19 in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential books in 2011.
As a highly popular public speaking teacher, Dale Carnegie was well-equipped to write a book about how to make people like you and effortlessly convince them to see and accept your ways of thinking. The book provides strategies and tips for ambitious leaders to manage relationships with their colleagues, develop lasting friendships, and implement effective leadership strategies.
3. Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not!
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter speaks to the importance of financial literacy. This book covers diverse topics including building through wealth investments, real estate investing, starting and building a business, and other subjects on financial intelligence.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad is told through a series of parables in which one father, the “Rich Dad,” explains how he accumulated vast wealth through savvy investing and entrepreneurship. Meanwhile, the “Poor Dad” works hard his entire life but never reaches financial security due to his lack of financial knowledge. This book had a profound impact on my own personal finance journey and influences the way I approach wealth strategies today.
In Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell covers dozens of real-life success stories to analyze what factors are common to successful people. In the book, Gladwell is a proponent of the 10,000-hour rule, which states that in order to achieve mastery of something, you must dedicate 10,000 hours of practice to the skill or endeavor.
I highly recommend Outliers to anyone who is interested in learning about the factors that make people radically successful at whatever it is they do. As a partial autobiography, Gladwell is able to explain how he and others have made use of their advantages and inheritances by dedicating themselves to opportunities as they arose.
Brendan Burchard, author of High Performance Habits, wrote this book to answer three important questions for himself:
- Why do some individuals and teams succeed more quickly than others and sustain that success over the long term?
- Of those who pull it off, why are some miserable and others consistently happy on their journey?
- What motivates people to reach for higher levels of success in the first place, and what practices help them improve the most?
As one of the world’s leading high-performance coaches, Burchard found the answers in six deliberate habits, including seeking clarity, generating energy, raising necessity, increasing productivity, developing influence, and demonstrating courage. In each chapter, Burchard covers each of the habits in more detail with actionable steps to begin implementing them.
I couldn’t not include the Bible on this list. As a strong Christian, I know that ultimately all of my successes belong to God. Reading the Bible intentionally and often helps me to ground myself in my faith and gives me the peace of mind that it’s okay to take leaps of faith. In fact, for true success and fulfillment of God’s plan for me, those leaps of faith are necessary.
Relationships are key to our successful day-to-day life. Whether it’s relationships at home, relationships with coworkers, or relationships with employees, author Al Ritter discusses the life-changing philosophy of giving 100% to your relationships without expecting anything in return.
Although perhaps counterintuitive at first, Ritter shows how this way of living can result in more meaningful relationships in every facet of life, which ultimately leads to greater productivity, teamwork, and success.
In Can’t Hurt Me, author David Goggins shares his life story and the path he took to push past pain and achieve his full potential. According to Goggins, most of us only tap into 40% of our full potential because of the obstacles we face in life. Through his inspiring story, Goggins shares how he beat the immense odds against him to become one of the top military athletes in the world.
9. Awaken The Giant Within: How To Take Immediate Control Of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical And Financial Destiny!
Awaken the Giant Within was written by legendary speaker and life coach Tony Robbins. As someone who survived child abuse and other adversities in his early life, Robbins has helped thousands of people overcome obesity, drug habits, and financial ruin.
In Awaken the Giant Within, Robbins shares strategies to master yourself in all areas of your life. He promotes the idea that anyone can change their beliefs about themselves and the opportunities presented to them to be more successful, more fulfilled, and more purposeful.
Last but not least, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is based on the principles of living in the moment and using self-reflection to develop a more meaningful relationship with your surroundings and the people you interact with. Instead of becoming overwhelmed by worries about the future, Tolle promotes the idea that the present moment is the only one that matters because it’s the only one you have control over.
This book has helped to ground me, especially during times of stress. I enjoyed the exercises throughout the book that Tolle includes to help his readers put the principles he recommends into practice.
I’m a strong believer in self-education and taking the onus of responsibility for learning about the decisions you have to make. But the truth is, your financial situation is entirely unique and sometimes you need to partner with a professional who can help you make optimal financial decisions.
At Beacon Wealth Management, we understand that your financial circumstances and choices are entirely personal and unique. As such, we are here for you as you evaluate your options and seek answers to your questions. If you’re tired of muddling through important wealth strategy issues on your own, call (304) 626-3900 or email me at [email protected] to get our help!
John Halterman, best-selling author and nationally published blogger has been featured as a financial guest expert on the TV shows of self-help gurus Brian Tracy and Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul. He has appeared on ABC, FOX, BRAVO, NBC, CBS, and A&E. John is the expert host of the weekly WDTV News 5 segment, “Solutions 4 Financial Independence.”
As an authority on wealth management, he has been invited by hundreds of institutions such as universities, federal agencies, professional associations, and large energy and utility corporations to be a guest speaker and educational event host. Event topics include maximizing your retirement, managing down market investment risk, how to reduce your tax burden, and transferring your family wealth in the most tax advantageous way.
John is the founder and owner of Beacon Wealth Management, specializing in helping entrepreneurs, professional practitioners, and retirees overcome the 4 major challenges facing successful families. He is a warm communicator with a passion for helping people transform their financial futures. John understands the multifaceted set of financial worries people face as they become more successful and enter the retirement red zone. He empathizes personally with each client and delivers a collaborative client experience that empowers people to reach their life goals.
With more than two decades of experience, John’s professional credentials include:
- Certified Wealth Strategist (CWS)
- Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®)
- Certified Estate Planner™ (CEP®)
- Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultant℠ (ChFEBC℠)
- Professional Plan Consultant® (PPC®)
- Registered Financial Consultant (RFC)
- Past member of Ed Slott’s Master Elite IRA Study Group
A native of Weston, West Virginia, John served in the United States Air Force prior to becoming a Wealth Advisor. Today, he resides with his family in Bridgeport, West Virginia. He and his wife, Lisa, have been married since 2005 and have three amazing children. A family-loving man, he enjoys giving back to his community, coaching youth sports, landscaping and architectural design, WV Athletics, and is an outdoor and racquetball-playing enthusiast.