5 Books Successful People Read

Want to think like a millionaire? Then it’s time to read like one; here are the best books.

The people who set the standards for success are often the people we see as living the easiest lives. Carefree, on a yacht, doing nothing and soaking up the sun while making millions of dollars. But what we don’t envision, the reality, is that the worlds most successful people became that way due to the constant quest for knowledge. Knowledge is power is not just some cute instagram quote. Here are the best books recommended by the worlds most successful people.

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

“The difference between someone who is successful or not isn’t usually capabilities, it is the ability to believe in their capabilities. There’s a pervasive myth that successful people are born with an abundance of self-confidence–they just knew early how good they were. In reality, some of the most skilled people in the world start out with significant self-doubts. The difference is that they take the time to learn self-confidence. You can spend your career building skills in your chosen field, but without personal confidence, you won’t give yourself the opportunity to fully express your expertise. I love this book, because it breaks down how to recognize the difference between self-doubt and capabilities, and how we can manage self-sabotaging beliefs–all while infusing some humor into a very serious topic. Plus, who doesn’t want to think of themselves as a badass?”

–Wendy Yale, VP of marketing at data center and cloud security company Illumio, which has raised $267.5 million and is trusted by nine of the largest 15 financial companies in the U.S., as well as three of the top seven SaaS providers

What Wendy was touching on, is absolute fact. We all have doubt, even Spiderman has doubt, but we have to realize that our self doubt and the reality of our own ability can often be different things. Jen Sincero has a blunt way of putting you up against yourself and then showing you how to win. She’s also hilarious. And secretly, we all want to be a badass.

Multipliers by Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown

“Most leaders today are being asked to do more with less, and, for me, this book is a road map of how to do that the right way. After studying 150 leaders over four continents, Wiseman found certain leaders, known as Multipliers, amplify and actually multiply the intelligence of others, getting on average two times more out of their people. The book shares practical suggestions for becoming a Multiplier and also helps self-diagnose the less favorable ‘Accidental Diminisher’ behaviors. This is a game changer in a time when what a leader knows matters far less than how fast they can maximize what other people know.”

–Belinda Oakley, CEO of Chartwells K12, one of America’s largest food-service providers, serving more than 4,000 schools across the United States

Most successful people start off solo, but quickly realize that the path to true success (and to avoid 80 work weeks for the rest of your life), is to not to get a great team, but to get a team and then make them great. It’s like in Minecraft when you successfully transplant two villagers and suddenly you have an entire compound running itself and more wheat than you know what to do with. Finding ways to maximize your team and their knowledge is the fastest way to create success.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

The best book a first-time founder CEO, or really any CEO, can read. It’s a gloves-off account of what it’s really like to take responsibility for people and results. I am yet to read anyone, on any topic, who shares his journey with just brute honesty and authenticity, including some very personal lows. Hiring and firing, facing the board and investors and all manner of gut-wrenching decisions a CEO needs to make. I continue to experience the exact things Ben describes and it helps me to remember that someone else was there and came out the other end.

–Omer Molad, co-founder and CEO of Vervoe, an intelligent hiring platform that uncovers hidden talent through real-world tests, tasks, and tools designed by experts, which has been used by over 4,000 companies in more than 70 countries

The thing about being successful, is that if it were easy, everyone would do it. This book embodies how it feels to learn the hard lessons about the hard things you will encounter while in pursuit of success. Nobody thinks about the CEO after he has to fire his long term employee who just wasn’t pulling their weight. The focus shifts to the employee, but every leader has to make hard decisions every step of the way, and it’s nice to hear it in an authentic and realistic way.

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

fun and a fast read, this book prompts much thought and discussion involving the secrets to success with a series of compelling essays. Gladwell draws on a diverse and interesting set of examples to paint a picture of what it takes to make a person a success story. To me, one of the most important takeaways is that hard work matters much more than raw talent. In the chapter ‘10,000 Hours,’ Gladwell cites a study of music students, which found that the number of hours spent practicing is the key determinant in mastery. But, while successful people must invest the time to master their craft, they can only do that when the circumstances and unique events of their lives allow it. I think that there’s an important lesson for every entrepreneur and high achiever about the value of a lot of hard work and a little luck.

-Jyoti Bansal, serial entrepreneur who is founder and CEO of BIG Labs, a startup studio; co-founder and CEO of Harness, a continuous delivery startup; co-founder of venture capital firm Unusual.vc.; and founder and former CEO of AppDynamics, an application intelligence software company acquired by Cisco for $3.7 billion in 2017

Not often is a book spoken about why almost everyone in business. This is the one. Outliers will teach you how to spot the one off, the magical thing that can set you apart from the pack and send your success skyrocketing. What it will also teach you just what putting in the time means, the Chapter 10, 000 Hours will make your brain hurt, but in a good way.

How to Win Friends and Influence People ­­by Dale Carnegie

must-read. I first read it when I was 18 and felt like I needed to change how I built and maintained relationships, and I’ve reread it several times since then. It holds up a mirror to the reader and forces you to look inward at your own approach to building and fostering relationships. The lessons are practical and immediately applicable and are provided in such a way as to clearly highlight how the advice has been used to great effect. This book has provided me with invaluable advice in winning people over, providing others with feedback and criticism, handling feedback and criticism, and making a good impression on people. It puts the reader in the driver’s seat and immediately makes you feel as if you can succeed in building fruitful relationships. Plus, how could you not love a book in which each chapter ends with a bulleted list of the main points of that chapter?

-Kyle Lelli, general manager of the Tylt, a social polling and opinion platform reaching 50 million people each month, primarily Millennials

Sometimes the biggest hurdle in your journey to be a success is yourself. The lessons in this book are usable from the first read. Not everyone is a social butterfly or an extreme extrovert. But as we learned above, in Multipliers, you need a team and you need a good one. This book will help you to learn who to bring into the fold and how to get them to do what is critical for success.