13 Must-Read Books on Success and Being Successful

Books are special because they have the power to help us change so many aspects of our lives, their pages full of inspiration. Thanks to the stories we read, we know we aren’t alone in our doubts, fears and limitations. That provides us with a level of comfort and peace of mind—and lots of motivation.

Related: 5 Books That Can Change Your Life

We asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council which books they’ve read and reread, because that’s just how much staying power the words have. Here are those 13 books, the ones that can help you find success in your life, too.

1. The 46 Rules of Genius

An Innovator’s Guide to Creativity (Voices That Matter)

By Marty Neumeier

The 46 Rules of Genius inspires me to set a very high bar—above the status quo—for the function and purpose of our business.

Christopher Kelly, Convene

2. The Traveler’s Gift

Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success

By Andy Andrews

My favorite book is The Traveler’s Gift. It helped me establish the right attitude when facing stress and coping with negativity.

Kevin Xu, Mebo International

3. Give and Take

Why Helping Others Drives Our Success

By Adam M. Grant

Give and Take by Wharton professor Adam Grant is a must-read for everyone. The way Grant identifies the three types of people in life—givers, takers and matchers—helps provide an introspective look at one’s own life. It also helps reprioritize the type of people we want to spend time with in work, life or play.

Jeff Slobotski, Router Ventures

4. The Code of the Extraordinary Mind

10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed on Your Own Terms

By Vishen Lakhiani

This book by Vishen Lakhiani of Mindvalley was one of the best books I’ve read on personal development. I’m a total geek for this stuff and was super-impressed by the way he systematically breaks down the actions someone can take to live a life of fulfillment and success.

—Mark Krassner, Expectful

5. How to Have a Good Day

Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life

By Caroline Webb

How to Have a Good Day is an excellent read. The author is the CEO of a consulting firm and a former partner at McKinsey. This book covers her career best practices that she’s learned throughout a 16-year consulting career. It’s full of productive advice on everything from how to have fruitful meetings to how to deal with an annoying co-worker.

Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

6. SPIN Selling

By Neil Rackham

SPIN Selling is a great book for anyone because it teaches you about the psychology of a sale and what motivates people to buy. The actual principles are easy to understand in theory, but practicing them day in and day out is difficult. It is based on the premise that if your customer needs your product then they will buy it. This book teaches you how to get the customer to understand that need.

Jayna Cooke, EVENTup

7. Double Double

How to Double Your Revenue and Profit in 3 Years or Less

By Cameron Herold

Cameron Herold, coach to the world’s top CEOs, wrote Double Double, which is filled with practical tips and wake-up calls galore. I have all my senior managers reading this book, and we are seeing instant results in productivity, as well as an overall shift in how we make key decisions.

Diana Goodwin, AquaMobile

8. The Ultimate Sales Machine

Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies

By Chet Holmes

If you never read another business book, read this one. From advice on being more productive to scaling your sales and hiring great staff, this book is filled with killer strategies for all parts of your business and life. This one is definitely in my top five best books of all time.

Kim Walsh-Phillips, Elite Digital Group

9. Habit Stacking

97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes or Less

By S.J. Scott

This book helped me understand how certain habits can transform your personal and professional life. I’ve already used many of the ideas and believe they’ve contributed to my success this year.

Cynthia Johnson, Ipseity Media

10. The 4-Hour Workweek

Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

By Timothy Ferriss

This is an oldie but goodie. The 4-Hour Workweek is inspirational and its core principles are still applicable. Whether you’re building a “lifestyle business” or a more traditional business, there are valuable takeaways.

Ismael Wrixen, FE International

11. Soros

The Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire

By Michael T. Kaufman

Michael T. Kaufman’s biography of Soros is endlessly fascinating beyond his success as a speculator. From a youth in Nazi-occupied Hungary to U.S. political activism in the 21st century, Kaufman explains the worldview and life experiences that led Soros to where he is today.

Richard Kershaw, WhoIsHostingThis.com

12. The E-Myth Revisited

Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

By Michael E. Gerber

This book is probably one of the best books of all time about setting up a business for success. Its takeaway is about not working in the business but on the business. It’s pretty simple: Set your business up for success from the beginning. People do what you inspect, not what you expect. This book will give you the inside advantage about what it takes to obtain that goal.

Hillary Hobson, Highest Cash Offer

13. How to Be a Power Connector

The 5+50+100 Rule for Turning Your Business Network into Profits

By Judy Robinett

How to Be a Power Connector taught me how to always aim to add value and about what real networking is. Networking isn’t just about asking for help or favors; it’s about building relationships and really trying to add value to your network. Your network is only as good as the value that exists within it.

Daniel Rounds, Daniel Rounds

Related: 25 Books for Success

What books have changed your life?

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Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.


  1. Avatar NABOTH MUGISHA on March 25, 2019 at 3:03 am


  2. Avatar Dr.Muhammad on September 26, 2019 at 7:24 pm


  3. Avatar Sell My Home on November 26, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    great article

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