I've been fortunate to have achieved a level of personal and professional success, openness and self assuredness that many people admire. As a result I'm often asked for advice or about my influences, sources of inspiration, keys to success, etc. Based on the context of the question, I almost always respond with the title of a book that I've read that inspired me or influenced me in some way. Anything that I have achieved is due in large part to what I've learned from books. I am without a doubt the sum total of the books that I've read and the people that have mentored me along the way.
Since books have played such a major role in my life, I've attempted to put together a list of the top ten most influential books that I've read (so far). Initially I knew that this would be hard to narrow down, but it has proved to be much harder than I ever thought it would be. There are so many that have in some way contributed to who I am that I almost felt like I was doing many an injustice by not mentioning them. Nonetheless here is my list along with a few comments. They are in no particular order.
- Law of Success – Napoleon Hill
- Dynamic People Skills – Dexter Yager
- How to Win Friends And Influence People – Dale Carnegie
- E Myth – Micheal Gerber
- This Business of Music - M. William Krasilovsky
- Classical Cooking The Modern Way - Eugene Pauli
- Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
- The 4 Hour a Work Week – Tim Ferriss
- Body Learning: An Introduction to the Alexander Technique – Micheal Gelb
- The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration for Men and Their Partners - Glickman, Ph.D. Charlie, Emirzian, Aislinn
Law of Success
I first learned of this book as many people do, by reading Think and Grow Rich, also by Napoleon Hill. Think and Grow Rich is a synopsis so to speak of his much larger work, Law of Success. What helped me really absorb this information was a 20 cassette recorded series (yes, I'm that old) of the author giving a lecture on the information. It was eye opening for me.
Dynamic People Skills
In the early 90’s I was fortunate enough to be contacted by a guy that was pretty successful in the Yager organization which was a large distributorship affiliated with the Amway Corporation. Despite some of the negatives that many people associate with network marketing and Amway and Dexter Yager in particular, I have to say that I learned most of the foundational elements of my success during my brief career “in the business”. I encourage everyone to put aside any preconceived notions about Dexter and read this book. It is VERY well done and some of the best information I have ever seen when it comes to building relationships with all types of people.
This book is a must for anyone that believes that they have the entrepreneurial itch to start and operate a business. The concept of working "on" my business and not "in" my business was so significantly eye opening for me that I attribute all of the successes that I have had as an entrepreneur to the teaching from this book.
As a matter of fact, While traveling on business recently I pulled into a restaurant behind a Bentley with "EMYTH" as the license plate. At the bar I approached the driver and he and I ended up having a long discussion about the impact that this book has made on our lives. He and I are still in contact to this day.
How to Win Friends & Influence People
What can I say about this classic other than just read it. Now. Nuf Said...
This Business of Music
Early in my life I seriously thought I would grow up and be a rock star. I had a band, we were cool and we were on our way. I was always the kind of guy that would take matters into his own hands in order to achieve whatever I really wanted. As a result, I stumbled upon this book in the library (remember those?) It really opened my eyes to the fact that this serious business and I was immediately more attracted to the business side of music than the artist side.
Classical Cooking The Modern Way
At age 14 I started working in a restaurant making appetizers. I did this because At the time the original red and black air Jordan's had just come out and my dad wouldn't pay $100 for them so I had to get a job if I wanted them. This job quickly turned into a passion for cooking. The chef at one of the places I worked at gave me this book. I read it cover to cover and that book set the stage for me. Today I still have a passion for cooking and I am a damn good cook if I may say so myself, and this book started it all.
Rich Dad Poor Dad
I had the privilege of being introduced to both Rich Dad Poor Dad and Robert Kiyosaki back before he blew up and became a NYT best selling author. In fact, when I got my hands on Rich Dad Poor Dad, it was still being positioned as a marketing took to help sell his real product, the board game Cash Flow. I credit this book with developing my initial spark of interest in developing my financial IQ. Also, if you have never played Cash Flow, I recommend that you do. Find a group locally via Robert’s website www.richdad.com or at meetup.com.
The Four Hour Work Week
This book was the first book that opened up my mind to the concept of “the new rich” and really what that means. It was an informational, educational and more importantly liberating book for me. I highly recommend that you read this book if you have not already.
While in college I worked part time as a records clerk at a Madison Ave. law firm in NYC. While there I met a woman that immediately caught my eye the very first time I saw her. What caught my attention wasn't her beauty (although she was beautiful) it was the way she moved. She had a grace about her that I had never seen before. I had done some work for the NYC Ballet previously and I thought maybe she was a dancer. I was wrong. She had been a student of the Alexander Technique for quite some time and that's what I was witnessing. If you are not familiar with the Alexander Technique, please read this book.
The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration for Men and Their Partners
For many guys, anything having to do with sex and the male ass is gay or effeminate or something like that. I just want to say this right from the start, I personally think that that notion is nonsense. Enjoying prostate stimulation does not mean that you are gay. It simply means that your physiology as a male human being is functioning normally.
In my early 20’s I met a young gay man that opened up mind to idea of prostate stimulation pleasure. I'm not a shy guy so I asked him about anal sex and how any man could/would find that pleasurable. He told me that the prostate was the “male version of the G spot” and that it produced the most amazing orgasms he had every experienced. That was all it took to get my attention. I like orgasms so if that was a “most amazing orgasm” producer I wanted to see for myself. The problem I had was that I didn't want a dude’s penis in my ass to do it. This book is a blessing if you’re a straight male that also likes orgasms as much as I do. Although this particular book is relatively new to me, the concept is not and this book is the best that I've found on the subject so I’ve included here.
Lastly, after years of enjoying ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE pleasure by including my prostate in my sexual repertoire, I’m happy to report that I’m still straight and I have no desire to suck a dick.
One final thought, as I mentioned earlier, choosing just 10 books was very hard for me so I thought I would include a few additional titles as honorary mention. Here you go:
- The Prince - Niccolò Machiavelli
- Cigars, Whiskey & Winning: Leadership Lessons from General Ulysses S. Grant - Al Kaltman
- The Aladdin Factor - Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
- The Purpose Driven Life – Rick Warren
- Art of War – Sun Tzu
- The Richest Man In Babylon - George S. Clason
- Born to Win - Lewis Timberlake and Marietta Reed
- Emotional Intelligence - Daniel Goleman
- 48 Laws of Power - Robert Greene
- Unlimited Wealth: The Theory and Practice of Economic Alchemy – Paul Zane Pilzer
- The Psychology of Winning - Dr. Denis Waitley