As the legendary Mark Twain once said, “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot.”
[I would also like to take a second to bring that quote into the twenty-first century by making it more inclusionary, ahem, “They who do not read have no advantage over those who cannot”].
Reading is a free vacation but it is also a very affordable way to get an education from some of the world’s greatest minds; gaining a different perspective on the world around you without having to leave the comfort of your home. Knowledge is the greatest wealth anyone can have in this world—especially when it comes to thought leadership, business and your money. On this front, we asked business mogul Kevin O’Leary to share with us his top five reads for financial success. You too can gain the same insights that have helped O’Leary get to where he is today. In reading his Top 5 most influential books list, it’s evident that Kevin O’Leary has taken this statement to heart in his race to the top of corporate America.
1. How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie
If you’re the introverted type, it’s likely you find networking daunting, tedious and/or exhausting. If you’ve found yourself asking, “Isn’t there a ‘how-to’ book on this?” then this is a must-read for you before next weekend.
Of course, kids nowadays would ask, “Isn’t there an app for that?”
Well, luckily, Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People is available in both paperback and digital download for all who look to grow their networking skills. And, if you’re short on time, this book is conveniently divided into short sections, with a different gem or tidbit to take with you ahead of your next conference or meeting with the board.
As a bonus, there are many transferable skills taught in this book that will help you in your dating life or when breaking the ice with the new softball team. Make your subway rides count; grab a copy and digest it on your commutes.
2. Competitive Advantage, Michael Porter
What did I previously say about getting an affordable education from books? Michael Porter is a Harvard Business School professor! Here’s your chance to learn from the absolute best while skipping the student loans, packaged noodles, and painful hangovers.
In nature, as in business, survival (and eventual evolution) boil down to one thing: competitive advantage. Reading through Competitive Advantage, it was easy to see what O’Leary saw in this book: condensed genius. Pack a copy for a long flight or the cottage; it’s not a quick or light read, but it is essentially a portable MBA primer. No doubt this book should be on the shelf of every executive serious about making a mark in the world. Grab your copy here!
3. The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump
The Donald knows how to close a deal. He’s been closing them since the early ’60s while he was still in college. The first of his books, The Art of the Deal, takes an inside look at Trump’s early days; it reads as both a memoir and business advice guide, detailing how a young Trump worked his way through the dizzying world of New York real estate. The book takes an in-depth look at the inner workings of financing, developing and constructing major residential projects. A must-read for any investor looking for their next venture. Click here to purchase.
4. Secrets of Closing the Sale, Zig Ziglar
O’Leary knows a thing or two about closing deals and making sales. But selling goes far beyond mergers and acquisitions; you need those around you to believe in your ideas and back them, and you must first jump through the hurdles of influencing others; as they say in that old adage, “The best way to kill any idea is to take it to a meeting.” Secrets of Closing the Sale boils selling down into a handful of brilliant, simple ideas. O’Leary’s business profile shows he has taken the teachings of this book to heart and mind…and also to the bank. Your version awaits you.
5. The Psychology of Selling, Brian Tracey
If you’re looking to boost your commissions in any sales field, Brian Tracey’s, The Psychology of Selling, lays out the ideas, methods, strategies, and techniques required for faster and easier sales cycles in a simple, insightful way. Tracey’s methods will teach you to become the sales executive that clients call on Saturdays when they’re short a fourth for tee-time. Great for your network, great for your short game, and even better for your bank account. Up your sales game today
The Bottom Line
When you speak you only recite what you know, but when you read you learn something new on every page. O’Leary’s book list clearly focuses on the art of success and self-improvement.
If even one page in one book alters your future positively, you’ve earned a dividend on your time invested. A book shared is an education given.