Napoleon Hill’s masterpiece Think and Grow Rich outlines the 13 steps successful people follow to grow their legacy. Among the steps is to belong to a mastermind group that works with you to help you achieve your goals. Jim Collins also talks about this principle in his book Good to Great, describing the process of selecting the right people for your team before moving forward as a common characteristic of great leaders.
When I was recently in New York, I tried to connect with a variety of networks. I attended several local Toastmaster meetings, I met with an online study group each morning before work, and I researched different writing groups of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Although only one SCBWI group fell within my schedule, I did find one other author/illustrator to meet up with.
It was one of the best things I ever did. I learned so much from her experiences. Best of all was meeting someone so much like me. We had so many things in common. I really enjoyed our time together. We made simple concrete goals to move our projects forward and it was nice to talk about the challenges of completing our goal, the successes and to have someone else sincerely interested in our work.
Here is a great post on how to find the people you need to start your mastermind.
Do you belong to a mastermind? If so how did you begin and where did you find your fellow master minders?
- Hitting Your Stride by Nan Russell is a great book about leveraging your strengths at your job in order to create positive changes and find fulfilling work. By bringing your best self to your organization you are helping everyone succeed. Full of actionable steps that you can take and implement will help you start seeing results immediately.
- Platform Get Noticed in a Noisy World: A Step-by-step Guide For Anyone With Something To Say or Sell by Michael Hyatt. This book is essential for developing your online presence. Start with the Wow factor and then learn how to build an internet audience. Michael is an inspirational leader who shares his knowledge of publishing and management in his podcast This is Your Life, another amazing resource.
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kyosaki is one of my all time favorites. I read this over and over several times a year. The lessons in this book are invaluable to anyone who wants to control their financial bottom line, and learn how cashflow works. Everything from understanding taxes to creating jobs Kyosaki will change how you think about money forever.
- The Live Your Legend Workbook by Scott Dinsmore. I count this because as soon as I downloaded the book and saw the cover I said, I’m already ½way there, as it was a picture of my everyday life. Scott’s email and blog post about when it’s time to quit, cemented the idea as well because for two years, I had been saying, I never want to be my boss. I had read Seth Godin’s The Dip several times and still went back and forth debating, is success just around the corner or is it time to pivot? Forcing myself to find accountability allies was as helpful as creating actionable goals with deadlines and putting them all together in one place.
- The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction To Life by Noah Lukeman. This is essential for any writer. Lukeman’s character sketches will give your work a whole new dimension. This is one you will want to buy and refer to every time you start a chapter book.
- On Writing by Stephen King. I never felt so much like a real author until I read this. I found that I already have a lot of the habits of a successful writer, (except the courage to submit at this time – haha) and so when I am ready, I should be able to create a strong career. His simple challenge to write 2000 words every day and the knowledge that a novel should take roughly 3 months or a season for the first draft made everything so much more palpable. It didn’t seem like some long lost dream, but a project with a deadline and actionable steps to complete.
- You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction–from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between by Lee Gutkind is also full of great action steps, writing exercises, and concrete insights on writing creative non-fiction and the genre as a whole.
- The Martha Rules by Martha Stewart is where I first heard the saying, Write the book you want to read. This motto plays through the back of my head constantly. What do I want to know? What have I learned? What can I share?
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This book was originally going to be titled: The Thirteen Steps to Riches. Personally I prefer that name myself. Napoleon Hill spent 25 years researching hundreds of successful people and created a list of principles that he believed could easily be replicated by anyone.
- The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. This is also essential so just buy it, and maybe a copy or two for some friends. This book has expanded my network more then any other. Not only does it help you find like minded friends on the internet, but it will also give you actionable challenges to meet each day. I have learned so much from completing different tasks he gives from contacting a famous person to tips on how to place a successful bid on Priceline.
- Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen Covey has great strategies to improve your performance and effectiveness in both professional and personal relationships. I found them beneficial as soon as I would implement them especially the chapter on how to form a proactive response which helps you take control of your present and future.
- Fish Philosophy! by Stephen Lunden, Harry Paul, and John Christensen is a great read for any work situation. These entrepreneurs have mastered the philosophy of creating the best attitude no matter where you work and how to motivate anyone. I read this during a leadership class and feel it’s effects each and every day. Learn how to use the four basic principles (choose your attitude, play, be present, and make their day) to create a world class business.
- Refuse to Choose: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the LIfe and Career of Your Dreams by Barbara Sher came to me at the perfect time. Although I am not particularly happy about her “scanner” term she uses to describe someone like me, who has lots of interests but her idea to put it altogether in one scrapbook/journal or as she calls it “Scanner Daybook” is amazing. Having everything in one place has made everything come together for me and help me focus on the overall goals I need to keep in mind in order to move forward. It’s almost impossible to believe I didn’t always have this essential book as part of my life. I’m still trying to come up with a better name then ‘scanner’ though…haha.
If you’re looking for a resource of great business books, look no further then John Lee Dumas’ recommended book list of books the entrepreneurs he interviews suggest. What books have influenced your career and life? I’m always looking for more content to consume.