6 Books to Help Kickstart Your Success

UPDATED: May 22, 2024
PUBLISHED: May 25, 2021

Your Next Big Idea

Improve Your Creativity and Problem-Solving

By Samuel Sanders

Do you ever wonder how some people are just naturally creative?

If you’ve ever been jealous of these folks, Samuel Sanders’ Your Next Big Idea should be your next read. In the book, he takes readers through strategies that boost creativity and offer new ways to look at things focusing on innovation, creativity, problem-solving and ideation. These tools can be helpful beyond just your next big business venture, Sanders advises.

“When you see people come up with great business or life ideas, you may chalk it up to luck or natural creativity,” Sanders writes, “[But] there’s a process to coming up with ideas that are beneficial to yourself and society.” (May; Heard Publishing; $15)

Anxiety at Work

8 Strategies to Help Teams Build Resilience, Handle Uncertainty, and Get Stuff Done

By Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

We all know the feeling: You have so much on your plate and are too afraid to ask for help that you don’t even know where to start. Or you’re sitting in a meeting and have something important to contribute, but you’re too nervous to bring it up.

Work can bring a lot of stress and anxiety to our lives, and often we don’t know how to deal with it. Sometimes we don’t deal with it because we see that others who are stressed are rewarded for overcoming it, write Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton. And sometimes, they say, anxious people are needed.

“Leaders need to understand how important the anxious are to the success of any organization,” Gostick and Elton write. “We find society functions because of the worrywarts in it, not despite them.” (May; Harper Business; $30)

How to Change

The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

By Katy Milkman

You’ve read the books, gone to the seminars, found a good mentor or coach, and yet change still seems hard. If that sounds like you, Katy Milkman’s How to Change will likely be pretty relatable. 

“Why is it that these tools and techniques designed to spur change so often fail? One answer is that change is hard. But a more useful answer is that you haven’t found the right strategy,” Milkman writes. 

Finding success doesn’t occur on a one-size-fits-all path, according to Milkman. You have to find what works for you, and in some cases, an answer tailored to overcoming your challenge or competition.

“We search for solutions that will deliver the quick knockout victory and tend to ignore the specific nature of our adversary,” Milkman writes. “It’s critical to size up your opponent and develop a strategy tailored to overcome the particular challenges you face.” (May; Portfolio; $28)

How to Make Good Things Happen

Know Your Brain, Enhance Your Life

By Marian Rojas Estrapé

Sometimes negative emotions can affect our bodies, Marian Rojas Estapé, M.D., writes. Anxiety or resentment can affect the skin, anger can impact the heart, and nervousness can manifest itself through the stomach, Rojas Estapé explains.

If negative thoughts and feelings can have such detrimental effects, then how can we get our bodies to do the opposite? A psychiatrist, Rojas Estapé breaks down the science of how to find ways to attain happiness and success. Rojas Estapé goes beyond the usual breathing exercises and tackles a number of topics, such as returning to the site of a traumatic event, depression, guilt, health, perfectionism and mindfulness. Whether you find yourself in a rut or you just want to know how to prevent the next one, Rojas Estapé’s advice is invaluable, and backed up by science. (May; Heard Publishing; $15)

We Should All Be Millionaires

A Practical Guide to Earning More, Building Wealth and Gaining Economic Power

By Rachel Rodgers

Women have more coming to them, says Rachel Rodgers, a podcaster with a background in public policy.

“Every woman needs to see at least seven zeros in her bank account,” Rodgers writes. “Every woman needs to know what it feels like to wield economic power. That’s how we make change. That’s how we serve our children. That’s how we serve the world.”

The financial advice in Rodgers’ book is intended for women, but men could benefit from it, too, by understanding how to advocate for women in the workplace.

Maybe you’re happy with what you’re making or maybe you want more than a million dollars a year, either way, consider We Should All Be Millionaires as a guide to greater financial freedom. (May; HarperCollins Leadership; $30)

The Unspoken Rules

Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right

By Gorick Ng

“My mother used to say that getting ahead is all about hard work. My mother was wrong,” Gorick Ng writes. “Hard work is only the price of admission to the game of career building. To survive and thrive in this game, you need something more. You need to know the rules of the game.”

In The Unspoken Rules, Ng writes about what he wishes he knew earlier to get ahead. In all, he offers 20 rules. Ng acknowledges you may not need all of them, and some of them you might already know.

Some of his advice is simple, yet profound—and it works. One of the unspoken rules, for example, is to do as others when in unfamiliar settings. “Mirror the urgency and seriousness of the people you are working with,” he writes. “When in doubt, let others go first. (April; Harvard Business Review Press; $26)

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2021 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Photo by NickBulanovy/Twenty20

Jesus Jimenez is a staff writer for Dallas Morning News. He eats, breathes and sleeps Texas Rangers baseball. He also enjoys running, traveling and buying cool socks.