“Is there anyone so wise as to learn by the experience of others?”
One of the biggest things that has helped me find success is the fact that I have studied and learned from other very successful people.
No, I have not had a mentor, nor have I had any one-on-one time with any significantly successful people. However, I have learned from some of the most successful people in the world through the thoughts, philosophies, and strategies that they have explained through the books, videos, and content they have created.
And, I honestly believe that if I can learn from these people, then so can anyone.
So, one of the things I like to do is to encourage others to read some of the top business, self-improvement, and personal development books I have read.
In this post I’m going to discuss seven different authors who have played a big role in my life and whose philosophies, messages, and strategies have helped make me a better person and better at building online businesses.
1 – Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins is an incredible individual who has really inspired my life. I’ve picked up a ton of important principles from Robbins, but perhaps the biggest factors that I have taken away from him is that, if you want to go to a new level, you have to raise your standards.
Robbins instructs that merely wanting to change is not enough. He states that we, as humans, will never follow through on what we want. Instead, our minds work to make how we view ourselves a reality, and our minds won’t stop until it happens.
In fact, most everything we do is based on how we view ourselves. So, if we see ourselves as a winner or a loser, as rich or poor, as an athlete or as a lazy slob, that will be our reality.
So, Robbins says to change your standards for your life and see yourself as more than you currently do. He says, “You get your musts, not your shoulds.” Or, in other words, we get what we must have, rather than what we think we should have.
A big part of Tony’s teaching is that in order to raise our standards, we need to have this attitude that “I’m going to find the way, or make the way.” With this kind of mentality, our desire shifts from a should to a must and, as long as our desire stays a must, we will go to new levels.
I can personally attest to this “find a way, or make a way” mentality as I have lived it.
As I’ve mentioned multiple times on various posts on this blog, I committed so completely to my first successful website that I said to myself and others that, “it doesn’t matter if I am a 90-year old man who is still trying to make money off of this site, it will be successful or I will die trying.”
Is it a coincidence that the first time in my life applying that mentality on a large scale paid off? I don’t think so.
My Favorite Tony Robbins Content
2 – Napoleon Hill
As you may know, Napoleon Hill is widely considered to be the father of the modern personal development and self-improvement industry. He authored The Law of Success in the 1920s, which was later condensed into one of the best selling books of all time, Think and Grow Rich.
Hill was tasked by steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie to interview the most successful people of the early 20th century in order to put together a formula for success that the average person could understand and implement.
Some of the biggest takeaways that I picked up from Napoleon Hill and his classic, Think and Grow Rich, are, first and foremost, that your thoughts are things.
To further explain this concept, consider the fact that every great accomplishment—be it a great business, or a top athlete making the game-winning shot—began with one single thought.
For the successful business, that thought may have been the premise behind the business.
For the top athlete who drains the game-winner, that original thought may have simply been the athlete imagining becoming a sports star as a child.
Everything starts with a thought. The only difference between thoughts that become a reality and those that do not, are in the desire, faith, and commitment placed behind those thoughts.
My Favorite Napoleon Hill Content
3 – Joel Osteen
Joel Osteen is the pastor of one of the biggest churches in the world. A lot of more traditional Christians are not on board with Joel’s message because it comes off as more of an inspirational speech than a Bible sermon.
I’m fine with that. In fact, I prefer it. Does that make me a bad Christian? I don’t really know.
But, what I do know, is that “we are what we think about most.” And, by listening and reading the positive message that Joel offers, I believe I am a more positive person who has more Faith in what is to come.
Joel’s message of Faith, Hope, and Inspiration has brought me closer to God than any other message I have heard before.
My Favorite Joel Osteen Content
4 – Brian Tracy
My first experience with Brian Tracy was through listening to one of his audio cassettes called The Pyschology of Success. I’ve also read Brian’s books, No Excuses and Focal Point.
One of the most important lessons that I have picked up from reading and listening to Brian Tracy is that the difference between high achievers and everyone else is that high achievers are starters.
Or, in other words, if high achievers come up with an idea, they get started on it immediately. They just do it. They don’t wait around.
Most people—and I was guilty of this for the first 25 years of my life—sit around and say “someday, I’ll do this,” or, “one day I’ll build that business.” The problem is that someday never comes. High achievers, on the other hand, get right after it.
Another key lesson that I took away from Brian’s books and audio tape was the idea that, in order to become successful, you have to study and emulate other successful people.
It’s hard to find a successful person who won’t attribute some of–or even a majority of—their success to the experts that they learned from and so, Brian instructs that whatever you want to become successful in, you need to study those that are already successful in that area.
My Favorite Brian Tracy Content
5 – Dale Carnegie
Believe it or not, but two of the most successful books on personal development and self-improvement were published roughly within a year of each other. Those two books were How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936) and Think and Grow Rich (1937).
Despite how long ago Dale Carnegie wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People, the information inside of his classic still holds true today.
The book basically acts as a course in human relations and is a gem for anyone in careers or situations where they need to get along with others—which, ultimately, should be everyone.
Some of the most important lessons that I took away from Dale Carnegie’s popular book, were to listen more than I speak, to lavishly praise others’ achievements, to avoid criticizing, and to be friendly at all times, among others.
These all seem like common sense strategies, but the truth is that a lot of people do not practice them. However, these very lessons are integral in dealing with people in such a way that you are able to develop more and better relationships, which ultimately will open up more opportunities for you.
My Favorite Dale Carnegie Content
6 – John Wooden
When I first determined that I needed to make a change in my life, a couple of the first books I picked up and read were written by legendary UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden. I’ve always been a UCLA sports fan and, of course, you can’t be a Bruins fan without knowing who John Wooden is.
He is, arguably, one of the greatest coaches and motivators that has ever lived and he was well ahead of his time in terms of his ability to get the most out of his players.
First and foremost, Wooden preached to be a person of character to his players. He did so through his now very popular success formula, the Pyramid of Success.
Wooden has authored multiple books and all of them touch on the lessons and principles he ingrained in his players throughout his coaching tenure. His books were a big inspiration to me in a time when nothing seemed to be going right, and they helped me focus my attention on what I could change inwardly, rather than what I couldn’t change outwardly.
My Favorite John Wooden Content
7 – Rabbi Daniel Lapin
It’s been awhile since I have read a new author who has totally blown me away. However, when I picked up Thou Shall Propser by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, I knew I had stumbled onto a book that had a truly unique, inspiring, and authoritative message.
In Thou Shall Prosper, Rabbi Daniel Lapin goes into detail on the Jewish philosophy behind business and wealth creation. Lapin talks about how important relationships are to business and that, essentially, business is based on your ability to create and maintain a lot of quality relationships.
He also discusses the importance of giving and how the more you give, the more success and wealth you will gain. And, he goes into the morality of business and explains how business is intricately woven into our lives in such a way, that “life is business, and business is life. Learn one, and you will have also learned the other.”
The book was actually quite a bit more intellectual than most personal development books I’ve read—which I wasn’t really expecting when I picked it up. However, I really enjoyed it as an alternative to the simply-worded books that so-often flood the personal development genre.
My Favorite Rabbi Daniel Lapin Content
Who Are Your Favorite Authors?
While these authors have helped me shape and form the principles that have guided me to success, they are not the only authors you should read on the subjects of business, personal development, self improvement, and success.
In fact, there are a ton of other authors out there who may have messages that resonate better with you. There are also a ton of different authors out there that I have not yet read, that if I had, might have made this list as well.
So, my question to you is, who are your favorite authors on the topic of success and how have they influenced your life? Leave your answers below!
This post is a part of my goal to publish 50 different posts in 100 days. This is post #6 in the series. I’m using The Freedom Journal to track my goal and help me stay focused. To read more about my goal and how I plan to achieve it, click here.