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My 3 Favorite Personal Development Books

I just got this question on social media: what are the top three personal or professional development books that I reread on a regular basis?

And I think it’s a good question because there’s a lot of books that come out.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of good information out there, but just because it’s written in print, that doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea or a good concept.

So I actually don’t read a lot of newer books. The books that I do read are the ones that are time tested. Those are the ones that I think are really important to reread on a regular basis. 

#1: 12 Pillars by Jim Rohn & Chris Widener

I recommend this book on all the different podcasts that I’m on.

Jim Rohn is the thought leader of personal development. He was the guy that Tony Robbins and that entire generation looked up to.

Essentially, Jim Rohn takes all of his teachings and simplifies them in this book. It’s such an easy read, it’s like 100 pages. If you get it, you’ll knock it out in one or two sittings. Have a highlighter with you because you will be highlighting pages nonstop. It is such a good book, such an easy read, with so many profound principles in every page of that book.

12 Pillars is something that I knock out every single year. As you go through experiences in life and different business experiences, the book hits you from a different angle each time. There might be some things you’re working on, whether you’re starting a business or in relationships or with your health. It’s a book that encompasses all things on how to essentially live a good life.

So 12 Pillars. Check that out for sure. That’s my number one.

#2: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

One of my mentors and good friend of mine in business, he went out to a business event at a castle in Scotland probably 20 years ago with a bunch of big business owners. At the dinner that night, they went around the table and they got on the topic of Think and Grow Rich.

They went around the table and everybody said what their net worth was and how many times they had read Think and Grow Rich.

The funny thing was, the more times they had read it, the higher their net worth was. That was true for all 20 business owners that were sitting at that table.

And that has stuck with me since early in my business career. I don’t read Think and Grow Rich every single year. But as I went through that book, I highlighted all the most profound concepts. Then I went through page by page and put those highlights into kind of like my own CliffsNotes version. Now I’ll go back to the summary of that book and reread those concepts on a regular basis, so that way I can save time from having to read a 300-page book.

I can knock out a summary in a matter of 20 to 30 minutes and reflect on one of those things that have transpired in my life or in my business over time, and how I can utilize these broad strokes to build a better business, build a better life moving forward.

So Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is a classic. If you’ve never read it, you’ve got to go out and get it right now.

#3: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This book is all about personal awareness, social awareness, understanding how you fit into conversations, and understanding what’s important to other people if you want influence. 

Influence is probably the most important skill you can learn. If you have influence, then you can raise private money. If you have influence, you can talk to a seller about selling you a property. If you have influence, you can talk to a buyer about buying your business or buying a property from you. If you have influence, you can inspire people to work with you, to work for you, to joint venture with you.

This book is 100 years old. It’ll teach you all about how to build trust, how to create credibility and respect, how to be socially aware, how to be personally aware, how to have a conversation with somebody, how to be likable in any given situation.

BUT because the skills it teaches are not the technical analogies that people are looking for, a lot of people don’t give this book the weight that it deserves. I know that the most successful people I’ve ever met are experts at these intangible soft skills that are taught in How to Win Friends and Influence People

So those are the top three rereads in my life. Those are three books that I think encompass all things, all foundational elements needed to build an amazing life, to build an amazing business, to make sure that all the different pillars that are important to you in life are addressed. 

Whether you’re reading these or other personal/professional development books, make sure that you have a highlighter with you as you go through. Highlight all the ideas that are really impactful for you and make your own book summaries. Go through the book summary every year, and then reread the whole book again every few years.

Who knows, there might be something that didn’t seem important or didn’t seem impactful enough to highlight the first time around, but then you catch it because you’ve had more business experience, more life experience, more wisdom that you’ve been exposed to over time. 

By the way, these books have been so impactful for me that I helped create children’s versions of them. I came up with some of the concepts, but my wife Kate and our good friend Erin Slivka wrote the books and did a phenomenal job of creating an awesome storyline and weaving these philosophies into great learning lessons for kids. They’re all based around a kid named Ford and his three best friends Andrew, Rocky, and Morgan.

Our first book is a children’s version of Think and Grow Rich called Think Big and Go to Baseball Camp. In this book, Ford learns the value of working for what you want and how to be resourceful. We have three other books in the Ford and Friends series: How to Make Friends and Win Class President, The Power of Positivity, and The Richest Kid in the Neighborhood. You can check out all of the books at www.littlelegacylearning.com.

So if there’s a couple of rereads that you would recommend, I’d love to hear about them. Give me a shout on social media @timbratz or on the Legacy Wealth YouTube channel! And be sure to share your favorite books with anybody else who’s on the path of personal development and trying to better themselves.

These three books will set them on that path for sure.

We made a video on this! Watch it on the Legacy Wealth YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pD7jYY3hKLo