Podcast: 14 Books to Help You Level Up in Life & Business

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So in 2018, I read more books within a year than I have during my entire adult life! I actually loved reading as a child and I was always be winning those “accelerated reader” awards and filling up those buttons with stickers to get the free personal pan pizzas from Pizza Hut. It was such a treat! LOL. But as I got older, I started to feel like it wasn’t “cool” to enjoy reading and I sorta stopped. I’d read a book every now and then, but it was basically only for college classes. But once I got out of college, I discovered the world of personal development and started to love reading again!

Now I must admit…a lot of the personal development books that I bought went either partially read or unfinished for a while throughout my 20s, until 2018. I got serious about exploring any books that came across my radar to help me level up. And here’s why…I turned 30 in 2018 and was still super discontent with my work and I hadn’t enjoyed or even came close to using my real potential in any of the jobs I had since graduating from college. I’d spent eight years in jobs I hated and I was faced yet again (after about 3 or 4 years in a row of having to job hunt for reasons out of my control) with need the need to job hunt because I was in an unstable work environment. In that particular job, I had been showing up every day at work giving it 110% and I actually enjoyed it for a while, but after about 8 months or so,l nothing I tried helped and it still ended up going downhill, because the environment was toxic. Everyone who I started working there with eventually left…literally they’re all gone now now, as I’m recording this. We all didn’t even make it a year and a half. But despite the fact that the terrible environment affected everyone, I was still upset and disappointed that this was what my life was like at 30 years old after trying so hard all of my 20s.

But anyway, I just say all that to say, that I started thinking to myself, at that point, that there HAS to be a better way than this! I spent year after year in the same cycle, knowing deep down that I could be living a much happier and fulfilled life, but only taking small steps towards it. I started to think that people who are successful and fulfilled must know something I don’t because this ish right here is NOT it! So I went on a book binge to learn everything I could that successful people know and I’ve been continuously learning ever since!

Reading has expanded my mind to be able to see the possibilities of life and it’s helped me realize that I really, truly have the power to CREATE the life of my dreams instead of staying in “victim” mode, blaming everyone and everything else. Honestly, reading helped give me the courage to really go all in on my business and to stop doubting my capabilities. If it weren’t for stretching my mind and viewing the world differently, I would probably be in another sales job that I hated right now.

So without further ado, here are the books that I loved the most!

  1. Millionaire Success Habits by Dean Graziosi: I LOVE this book. I actually listened to it on audio, but it comes in written form too. I’ve listened to it multiple times. Dean overviews how simple changes in habits and beliefs that you hold about yourself can help you create a life you love! He shares his story of growing up with dyslexia and how he overcame the odds to be a successful millionaire. He also shares relatable stories from others who have done the same, people who literally started with nothing, and totally changed their lives to become financially prosperous and happier. This book gives a good boost when you’re feeling down, like what you want isn’t possible.

  2. Playing Big by Tara Mohr: I enjoyed this book because it helped me to see how, as women, we can sometimes limit ourselves by not playing big enough in life. Tara stresses how we can impact more people and be more fulfilled by being courageous enough to stretch to our full potential, instead of limiting ourselves due to fear or societal norms for women.

  3. Secrets of Six Figure Women by Barbara Stanny: So I actually listened to this one on audio the year before my big “30-year-old crisis” last year. But it’s what inspired me to look for a new job after I’d been in the same job at the same salary for almost 3 years. It helped me get the courage to ask for a raise at that job, and the request was denied, but I’m glad I was courageous enough to make my case and ask. But that’s what really really lit the fire under my butt to apply elsewhere so I could make more money. Even though the job I moved on to didn’t last, I did get some good commissions checks since I was working in sales and I saved more in about 6 months than I would’ve been able to save in all 3 years working in that previous company. This book helps you see that women often don’t ask for enough money when negotiating salaries and when we’re not being paid what we deserve, we either need to speak up or move on to better pay because it can result in thousands of dollars less over our lifetimes, when compared to men.

  4. Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It by Charlamagne: I loved this book because it’s sooo relatable. Charlamange shared his stories of coming from a small, country town and having other ambitions and stumbling his way to the top. I’m also from a small town where not a lot of people do things like what I want to do career-wise and I’ve been through similar job situations. With any job- and business-related stuff, I’ve often felt like I was stumbling my way through it, figuring it out on my own, since no one in my family had any real experience with it. Listening to his book helped me to continue to feel encouraged and not alone in that and he helped me to view negative things happening at jobs as “divine re-directions” to something better, instead of something to be disappointed or upset about.

  5. Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell: Failure is given a bad rep in our culture. But really, failure is often our greatest teacher and everyone experiences it at some point! In this book, John talks about how to really learn from failures and he shares stories of other notable people and their failures and how they ended up successful anyway because they kept going, despite the failures. This one is very encouraging if you’re going through a rough patch.

  6. Expectation Hangover by Christine Hassler: This book was like a THERAPIST! I was so disappointed last year when the job I had started going downhill. I genuinely enjoyed it in the beginning. It was hard work since it was sales with aggressive quotas, but I was able to talk marketing to business owners every day and I enjoyed that, plus the commissions were flowing quite well for a while. And when it all just stopped because of reasons out of my control, I was sooo disappointed and upset. This book helped me to put things into perspective and helped me to start to get over it, instead of holding on to grudges and resentment.

  7. Be a Free Range Human by Marianne Cantwell: This book really put into perspective how easy it is to start an online business! Before reading it, I was ruminating on it in my mind and really over-analyzing it, but this book simplified everything, from marketing tips, to creating a business model, etc. Marianne really talks about how low-risk an online business really is since you’re basically able to work anywhere with no overhead costs. It helped me feel a lot more confident about quitting my job to dive into my biz, even though it was out of the norm for everyone else I knew at the time.

  8. What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey: I loved this book so much. It was so fun to listen to Oprah’s relatable stories on everything from relationships, to friendship, to laughter, to food, and even career! She shares how she makes fun and joy priorities, no matter how busy she gets and she talks about career failures and how she pushed through. It helped me see that I must always make a full life full of joy no matter how busy I get because if “billionaire Oprah” can make time for fun and all that, I certainly can! And it helped me see how important resilience is and how you can still come out on top no matter what happens.

  9. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill: This book helped shift my perspective on money and the power that we truly have to earn what we want. I listened to it on audio and I have the paper copy. I’d always been the type of person who looked at my earning power as if it was outside of my control. But this book showed me that when your mindset is in the right place, you’ll be led to the right ideas, people, places to earn what you want.

  10. The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles: This book changed my perspective on money, too. It talks about similar principles to Think and Grow Rich, but it goes into even more depth about how being grateful helps you bring more abundance into your life and how doing excellent work makes you more valuable because you’re hard to replace. It’s a bit old school, but it has good timeless principles.

  11. The Law of Attraction by Esther Hicks: This book really dives DEEP into the law of attraction! I call Esther my Life Coach in my head all the time! lol. (She’s all over YouTube too, by the way. Just search for ‘Abraham Hicks.’) If you didn’t understand the law of attraction before, you will most certainly understand it after reading this book. I listened to it on audio. It truly breaks down how our feelings create our reality and how if we’re grateful, happy, and feeling good, we continue to attract more good and things work out for us. It sounds super woo-woo, but it’s real! We’re all attracting things to ourselves unconsciously, so this book helps you realize what’s been happening in your life, so you can start to be more intentional about how you feel to attract what you want.

  12. You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero: This book helped give me courage to quit my job, too. LOL. (Me and all these job quitting books!) But anyway…Jen talks about how we can make the money we want to make and how much power we have to do so. She was living in a converted garage (like literally a garage with space for one car) at 40 years old and she’s a millionaire now! If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is! She breaks down a lot of the principles from “Think & Grow Rich” and “The Law of Attraction” into every day language that anyone can understand to help you earn more and live a fulfilling life doing what you love, instead of settling!

  13. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle: I bought this book years ago, but I didn’t really read it all the way through until last year. It really helped me get comfortable with the uncertainty of being a business owner. I love it a lot, but at the same time, it’s unpredictable and to become calmer about the unknown, I’ve really had to learn how to center into the present moment, instead of worrying about “worst case” future scenarios that haven’t even happened (and that probably won’t happen). It’s so calming that I usually read a few pages from this book every morning to start the day with a fresh, clear mind before I pray and meditate.

  14. This is Marketing by Seth Godin: Because every business owner needs to know about marketing, I must share this! It was an easy read. I got through it in about 4 or 5 days. It talks about what’s working in marketing now and what you can do to best market your business and to build an audience. It helped me to think more strategically about my marketing practices and it reassured me that I’m doing pretty good, so far! But if you’re a total beginner at marketing online, it’s wonderful for giving you a foundation to begin with.

That’s it! Those are my faves! As I’m sure you can see, many of these are mindset books and not business books. But in business more than half the battle is in your mind and the perspective you choose to have, as you build the business. When you master your mindset, I truly believe you can achieve anything you want! Let me know if you try any of these.