Sometimes I get asked about what books I recommend for them to read. So I sat down and thought about the ten books that made an important impact on me.  There’s probably a bit of recency bias, but that’s ok.

Here are the ten books that made the biggest positive impact for me, listed in order of impact.

Also, just in case this is interesting to you, here are my ten favorite blogs and podcasts.


1. The 4-Hour Work Week

I read this book right when it came out and it 100% changed the way I thought about work and my career. I wanted ultimate freedom and this book became my guide on how to accomplish that. Thank you, Tim.

2. Rework

I have always admired the software company Basecamp, most notably how they manage their company. Work doesn’t have to be lame or all encompassing and this is the guide on how to do that.

3. The Emyth

I read this on the bus when I was living in Seattle in 2003. It inspired me to only build a business if I had control over it and it didn’t completely consume my life. Work on your business, not in it. IdeaMensch is the outcome, so I am very grateful.

4. This is Marketing

Seth Godin is probably the marketer I admire the most and this book is the best compilation of what I believe to be the most important issues and ideas on how to be great at marketing these days.

5. The War of Art

Steven Pressfield has become a good friend of mine and this is one of my favorite books ever. It’s hard to be a creator. This book has helped me overcome whenever my inner lizard brain tries to stop me from moving forward. Over many breakfasts Steven gave me endless encouragement to do the IdeaMensch road trip.

6. Atomic Habits

If you are struggling with productivity, it’s probably tied to your habits. Read this to build better habits that will help you get shit done.

7. Good To Great

This is probably the best book about how to build successful organizations. The concepts are easy to understand and have served as an important template for how I approach business.

8. Steal Like An Artist

Sometimes the best way to start is by copying other people’s ideas. Read this when you’re stuck creatively.

9. You Can Be Happy No Matter What

I am very happy right now. But I have been unhappy before. This book has always helped me gain perspective when I was struggling to find it in other places.

10. I Will Teach You To Be Rich

While this book didn’t have a huge impact on me personally, I think personal finance is just super important and this is a very good book relevant to young people.


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