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There are so many books on self-improvement, business growth, and entreprenurship, books have almost become disposable.  They have a shelf life on the "New" shelf in the store for a matter of months, and then they're relegated to a single copy lost in a sea of other similar titles.  

While I've enjoyed reading books by Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, and Ken Blanchard, while I love Malcolm Gladwell, Jim Collins, Michael Gerber, and Seth Godin, the books i return to again and again are timeless.  

The titles i list below are books I recommend to participants in my Be Better program as well as to my private consulting clients.  They aren't "how to's."  They're better.  They're mindset changers.  They alter the way you think, in essence, running new software in your brain and some of them were written more than 70 years ago.  Don't think of them as old, think of them as classics upon which many of the newer authors built their releases.

These provide the type of education personal trainers rarely find, the type of education personal trainers need if career longevity and financial freedom are going to manifest.

You won't find these on the current New York Times Best Seller lists, but you'll find dog-eared copies in my personal library that have been read, loaned out, returned, reread, and fully digested.  Pick and choose or order them all.  You can't go wrong.  Please send me your thoughts after you read any one:  Scroll down to view / access the links:


The Alchemist

This is a novel, but its written with such perfect story-telling, the lessons sneak up on you until you shake your head and go "Aha, now I get it."  "It" is everything about your pursuits, your business, your passion, your missteps, and your path to whatever it is that will serve as your personal destiny. 

The Richest Man in Babylon

My Dad's an accountant.  For years he shared financial lessons.  I took courses on business finance, hired experts to teach me, and learned from countless mistakes how to ensure that my business pumps exceed my business drains.  With that said, there has been no greater teacher in the realm of building wealth than George Clason with the simple book of parables.  This will completely change the way you think about building your own personal wealth.


Then We Set His Hair on Fire

In 1982, fresh out of college, I managed to land a job at one of the Top 3 Advertising Agencies, BBD&O on Madison Avenue.  I had the privilege of coming to know and admire Phil Dusenberry, their star copywriter and project manager.  He was different than everyone else I met in that world.  He didn't seem to have an ego.  He was humble, warm, but most of all insightful.  He was fast elevated to being recognized as a genius.  When I worked there the volume and magnitude of ads that were cranked out were insane.  Campbell's Soup, Charmin, Dodge Trucks, and . . . Pepsi.  The Pepsi account was the big one, and during my short stint in that world, they landed the biggest star in the world, Michael Jackson, to endorse the product.  It was a major production, and as they were shooting, Michael's hair caught on fire!  Years later, I came upon this book by my old inspiration, Phil Dusenberry.  He writes about a topic that is very difficult to describe, yet that topic is clearly the strength that underlies his genius.  The book is about insight.  It will give you an entirely new paradigm for thinking about marketing, advertising, and influencing.  Being that this is an area most personal trainers fall short in mastering, this outside-the-box thinking is precisely what you need to understand, not only how to reach your future clients, but how to get them to love you, to praise you, and to tell everyone about you.  I believe the book is out of print, but using the link below, you can access some used booksellers who have copies for next to nothing.


As a Man Thinketh

This one sits on my nighttable and it has for the last 20 years.  At least once a week I pick it up and skim through it.  Written by James Allen, this is an eternal classic that you'll identify as the source of every single empowerment book you've ever read. It's concise, it's powerful, and it will provide you with the most important life lessons in moving toward your personal dreams.  This is "The Secret" in its purest form and without any mystical confusion.  I believe everyone should own this book.  I've given it as gifts over 100 times.  Are you getting a sense I feel strongly about this one?  Good.



While all of the above are books i've cherished for 10 years or more, the two below are books I'd never heard of until very recently.  In a casual conversation with my friend Cathy Marshall, she mentioned a book that helped her develop her career, The Secret Door to Success.  I was surprised to find out, it was written near 80 years ago, but the author, Florence Scovel Shin, had such amazing insight, her message underlies virtually every business, success, and spiritual book you'll ever read.  I was awed by her writing and her insights and immediately upon finishing the book Cathy recommended, I dove right into the second.  Get these two! 

The Secret Door to Success


 The Game of Life 

First Things First

I had to add just one more.  This was a true career shifter for me.  At 35 years old, with a national radio show, speaking appearances in 20 cities, my first published book, and a full client load I hit the point of proverbial burnout.  I went off to a friend's beach condo with a notebook and Steven Covey's First Things First, and it opened my eyes to the differences between those things that were urgent and those that were important.  I came back a different person, ready to take on the world.  This is another one I can honestly say had lifelong impact for me.