I’ve talked before in my blogs about being a lifelong learner. Though I know there are many different ways to learn and some may appeal more to you than others depending on your learning style, I still think reading books is important for anyone who wants to expand their mind or improve their craft.
I’ve heard so many people say they don’t have time to read, and I find this to be a little ridiculous. If you make it a priority, you will make the time. Wake up a half hour earlier in the morning. Shut off the news before bed and read before shutting off the lights. Take a book with you to the office and read while you eat lunch. You see where I’m going with this? You can find the time if you try.
What you read, of course, is just as important as the reading itself. Here are some of my favorite books that will help you in your financial advisory business and help you explore more of the soft sciences that I believe make you a better person and advisor.
Books to Improve Your Craft
Behavioral Investment Counseling by Nick Murray
Author Nick Murray captures the importance of investor behavior and how it impacts an individual’s wealth perfectly. Many advisors have already sought out Murray’s wisdom for a reason: he brings tremendous value to the industry. I consider this a must-read for any advisor who wants to build an entrepreneurial investment business.
Poor Charlie’s Almanack by Charlie Munger
Those in the industry will recognize Charlie Munger as Warren Buffett’s business partner in Berkshire Hathaway and mentor. Munger’s philosophy based on preparation, discipline, patience, and decisiveness will help any advisor, no matter how long they’ve been in the business.
The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy by Chris Bailey
Feel like you’re spinning your wheels or chasing your tail every day you get to the office? This book is for you. Author Chris Bailey put himself through numerous daunting experiments to see what did and did not improve his productivity. If you’re like me, you’ll not only find this book incredibly satisfying to read, but you’ll also pick up some tips that will change the way you work.
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
This book is truly eye-opening. Our society has moved toward a lifestyle and work style that is completely distracted. We check email every 10 minutes, glance at our smart devices whenever it makes a noise, and hardly ever get into the ‘deep work’ groove that produces new ideas and results. After you read this book, you’ll want to shut yourself in a room for eight hours and see what happens.
Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss
Ever wondered how super athletes, Hollywood icons, and Special Ops commanders achieve such high levels of success? Tim Ferriss has the answers. The host of The Tim Ferriss Show, the author has spent the last two years interviewing ultra-successful people and has distilled down what he’s learned in this book. Excellent tips on actionable details you can start using today.
Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman
I talk a lot about EQ or Emotional Intelligence in my advisor course and in my other blogs. This is the book that got that ball rolling. Understanding our clients better helps us to serve them and Daniel Goleman does a great job of providing us with a guide through scientific insights into emotions.
Books to Expand Your Mind and Improve Your Life
Almost all of the books I’m recommending can be used to both further your craft and improve other areas of your life. Here are a few I would put more in the ‘life improving’ category, but they can certainly also help you be a better advisor.
Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are Brene Brown
I know, it sounds a little touchy-feely. But believe me, the books by tough-talking researcher and vulnerability expert Brene Brown will blow you away. So many of us shy away from vulnerability as a way to protect ourselves. What we don’t realize is that disconnecting from emotion in any part of our lives disconnects all the other parts of our life as well. I highly recommend all of Brown’s books as well as this amazing TED talk.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Carol Dweck
If you don’t know whether you have a fixed or growth mindset—and what this means to your life and your business—you need to read this book. This was truly a life changing book for me. Have you ever wondered why you avoid difficult tasks? Do you think that praising your child for natural ability is the right way to parent? Yeah, read this book.
The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday
Most of us have heard the ol’ ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ advice. This book takes that to a whole other level. Holiday helps us not only to deal with life’s challenges but to want life’s challenges. His innovative way of thinking and viewing obstacles will literally change the way you see the world.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Dr. Robert Cialdini
If you want to be more influential in both your business and personal life, this is the book for you. Dr. Robert Cialdini is a professor of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University and he lays out in elaborate detail the six principles that will help you use influence in every area of your life. These are extremely powerful tactics and I urge you to use them only for the greater good!
Of course, there are tons of other amazing books out there, but this should at least get you started in the right direction. When you become a lifelong learner, especially one who sets aside time every day to read, you’ll be amazed at the positive results in your business and in your life.