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GOLD! The absolute BEST book you MUST read!

SeePetey

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For an EXCELLENT book about one of the most underrated but important guys in modern business history, read “The Box” by Marc Levinson.

It’s about, of all things, the invention and evolution of the modern shipping container and how it completely changed the world. You will NOT be disappointed. It sounds dry, but it will get you fired up.

Considering that this is the Fastlane forum, reading a thoroughly enjoyable book like this with an Unscripted mindset will give you a much deeper and more meaningful appreciation than the average reader might have. You’ll see as the 3B’s are overcome, how value was created, the payoff of vision and persistence, and the value of integrity and an unselfish business mindset.

Forget Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Zuckerburg, Jack Ma, etc.

Instead, revel in the tale of Malcom Mclean as he took on a logistical mindset as old as time (how to ship stuff) and beat it into submission seemingly by sheer force of will and persistence, and in the process created value and global change on a scale scarcely, if ever, seen before.
 

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MJ DeMarco

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Bump.

BTW, I bump this thread usually when I get an email saying "I loved your book! What book do I read next?"

No, do not read a book next. DO SOMETHING! And let that SOMETHING lead you to your next book.

And since I check my email sporadically, I cannot bump this thread 5X for the same reason.
 

socaldude

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I tend to avoid business books(except TMF of course ;)). I think the best information is found elsewhere.

And tend to lean towards art, history, psychology and philosophy.

For a few reasons:

1. There a lot of things that went into building successful businesses that others would prefer to be kept secret(and that's ok). So you get skewed and somewhat inaccurate methods and information. Kind of like how Warren Buffett hasn't written a book on investing and how other books on Warren Buffet's method are kinda um...useless.

2. The problem that entrepreneurs solve in society are unique in nature so that requires unique books, the kind that is not found in a business book. e.g. Elon Musk's favorite books have nothing to do with business.

3. What works in one company doesn't work in another and so on. And what works 10 years ago may not work today.

4. The business solutions that have the potential for millions to be made are found nowhere(and guaranteed not found in a business book trust me;)). They are found right in your head. So you kinda have to think independently and stop looking for a silver bullet. Remember we want patents things of that nature, exclusive and ambitious barriers to entry. Most people are not ambitious when it comes to barriers to entry.

Psst...The best books are books that help give you self-awareness to remove barriers to rigorous and critical thinking and that give you a good framework for independent thinking and problem solving.;)
 
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NVious

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There are absolutely books you should read, the problem is if people think there are a few that give them all the knowledge they'll need, realistically the number is more like 50-100.

Also taking action isn't some fix all, the majority of ideas and businesses people own/create ARE bad as 80% of them fail in the first 5 years. They took action and yet they still failed, action without methodical contemplation is just as bad as ongoing contemplation, maybe even worse depending on the cost of the action .

The truth is, that the business market has never been as competitive as it is today and thinking that just pushing yourself to do XYZ is all it takes is an insane delusion.
 

High Sierra

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"A book that will help you solve the problem at hand" is the ultimate UNSCRIPTED answer of course... but I drive quite a bit, so I listen to a lot of audio books. Subjects like "How to Change a Tire" or "How to Format a Webpage" don't work very well in the audio format, obviously.

Fix your thinking / attitude books do pretty well, though (as long as they're the right ones). If you're looking for something along these lines (to fill in gaps between multiple passes through TMF and UNSCRIPTED)... a few decent ones I've run across are: "Unf*ck Yourself", "You are a Badass at Making Money" and... for something a little different... Kevin Hart's "I Can't Make This Up".

I believe these suggestions are compatible with the rest of the thread, because... (1) Audio books, when properly used, should not interfere with progress in your life because you listen to them while you're already doing something else you need to do. (2) Very often, your attitude / thinking / mindset *is* one of the biggest problems at hand.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Bump.
 

Bdenner64

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Now that I've started getting some income I've been also trying to learn how to handle money and make use of it better. I've really been enjoying books like The Richest Man in Babylon and such for this purpose. Using interesting stories to teach simple but powerful concepts like making your money work for you, having a nest egg/emergency fund, learning to live within your means and being very careful with where your money goes.

Another book I've started reading is The One Thing which has been great. I graduate college tomorrow and hence afterwards will really be able to start my fastlane journey. With that being said I've always had trouble prioritizing and keeping myself focused on a single direction. This book addresses those issues very specifically and has been helping to figure out what the hell it is I'm going to focus on.

"If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one" -some Russian dude.
 

Nemolein

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There are plenty of books about entrepreneurship that motive / inspire you to take action but in my opinion that's not enough to do something that could change your life forever. For me, action come from inside of us, books wake us up to take action but if we don't have that desire to take action, books then can't do anything more. The main reason people read books is to get inspired, but again that's not gonna change nothing unless decide to change our mindset and thoughts. Books are a delicious meal, it's up to us to take the meal, we can smell it but can't eat it till take action to stand up from the table, go to meal and eat it. Books are meal that we smell them, but can't "eat" them because we don't do nothing to take them.
 

racyred09

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That's a great reminder. Simple yet profound. I find myself action-faking by listening to audiobooks that get me pumped up, like "Think and Grow Rich" or general business strategy books when I should actually be reading books about the specific things that I need to work on a lot and could apply immediately (like marketing!!). It's sort of like a security blanket and I need to stop. Thanks!
 

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EmergingX

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If the book is skill-related instructions book, like for doing programming, engineering, etc., then the table of contents is all that is really needed to decide what part in the book is worth reading. What part is likely to help in your particular situation to overcome the obstacle or problem you are currently facing (reading the whole book from start to finish is insanely unwise) as it puts you into spending most of your time reading instead of doing and the stuff doesn't really connect up to the experimentation process.

In case the book is more like a story, like this is what I did and that is what happened, then paying attention to what kinds of results the person got in return of taking those actions is very important before considering reading it. Because if those results are not the outcomes that you aspire to, then the stories have maybe some 5% usefulness in comparison to stories that align with your most important purposes, which in comparison, let's say, are vastly and meaningfully more useful. Like 95% of usefulness. That kind of thing.

And we can improve through stories at a deeper level as to the way we operate in our environment. Some call the better ones of such books "transformational". For me one has been Think and Grow Rich, which is sort of a hybrid, as it has also some elements of how-to that I mentioned in the first paragraph. But the value of such books is not some step-by-step guide but to help you to think about how you could change your behavior. So that's the value with those.

For instance, in relation to my own purposes, I recently listened one audio-book by Max Tegmark, Life 3.0, which is about artificial intelligence. And the reason why I welcomed the content of that book into my brain was to influence my mind to think towards that direction. Thinking towards what direction to go with the doing; instead of expecting it to tell me anything about what to do.

Similarly, I have even created one such book, which unintentionally formed into the format of a book, after I was trying to find out about what separates the most successful entrepreneurs from less successful. I have found this book useful at helping me to think about what I need to change about my own behavior, titled The Little Book of Self-Made Billionaires, discoverable at Amazon.

By the way, if the "majority" of your time is spent reading stuff, then no matter what you read, the usefulness to you is near zero, as in comparison to what you could do instead with that time, unless your most important purpose is to do nothing else in life than to read.

And furthermore, in comparison to what you could do instead, the majority of books on the market have little value and reading more of such books won't do any good. If somebody has some average skill of doing something and he writes a book about how he does it, you will receive average perspectives on how to go about doing things. And if somebody has really bad skills, the same thing.

Maybe try asking yourself who is the absolute best on earth doing what you yourself want to do, or if you are after very ambitious purposes then who at least has made the most progress to that direction which you are aiming at.

If that person had written a book about his methods, then that's the book to read and if it has table of contents then see if there's something you can immediately recognize that would help to overcome what you have experienced as obstacle or problem.

If the person has not written a book, then maybe listen that person's interviews, go and talk to those guys, ask questions, show them that this is the most important thing for your to achieve too, making your point that you will potentially be a help at achieving it.

If you have discovered a few of such people, then you only have to read a total of those few books written by those people; or if they don't have books then ask them questions to which you do not have answers to. You literally do not have time to read what someone with average abilities thinks or does. That would be a total waste of your brain's limited resources. The vastly limited human brain that we currently all possess have strict limits both in thinking speeds and how much can be stored in such a brain, for instance, per day, per month, and so forth.
 

Caroline888

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Another excellent thread.
I agree with some of the posts - with the need to read the book to change the mindset.
The Millionaire Fast Lane and Unscripted - were like a detonate. What's now?!.... as they say, true change comes from within.... so I read and re-read... there is intelligence merged within...
 

Siberia

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The best book for me is the right one to answer my current question.

It is the one that best suits mine here and now.
 

msufan

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To add to MJ's point about reading the book about what you need to work on...

When I read negative reviews for various books, sometimes those reviews are legit, but a huge percentage of the time, the person just isn't the intended audience for that book. It's not that the book had no value, it's just that they were simply reading a book that was not well-aligned with the problem they were trying to solve.

I try to consider that question before criticizing someone's work: "Is this book really of no value to anyone, or was I just not the proper audience?"
 

RB96

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That's a great reminder. Simple yet profound. I find myself action-faking by listening to audiobooks that get me pumped up, like "Think and Grow Rich" or general business strategy books when I should actually be reading books about the specific things that I need to work on a lot and could apply immediately (like marketing!!). It's sort of like a security blanket and I need to stop. Thanks!
SO UNBELIEVABLY TRUE @MJ DeMarco !!! i have just found myself getting more Books to add to my book list on Audible and Action Faking

I need to Implement and Act upon the teachings and methods of Books I have already read!

Not be an Insight Junkie

and get myself into

"Analysis Paralysis"

I have been quoting since the start of the Year!!!
 

awsamro

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In one of my last podcast interviews, I was asked "In your opinion, what is a must read book?"

My answer threw the interviewer for a loop because I didn't provide a specific book.

Instead I said: The absolute best book you must read is actually the book that will help you solve the problem that sits in front of your face.

So if you're struggling to be an entrepreneur, that book might be TMF or UNSCRIPTED.
If you're struggling to build a brand, it might be a book on branding.
If you're struggling to grow your social media and its effectiveness, it might be a social media book.
If you're struggling to find VC funding, it might be a book on VC funding.

You see, you should stop reading books for the sake of reading books.

Read books that solve your problems.

If you're on a long distance road trip and you blow a tire, but don't know how to change a tire, what book should you be reading?

How to change a tire?


OR

The Lean Startup?

And the only thing that tells you WHICH books you should be reading?

*** ACTION ***

Because ACTION highlights your challenges and weaknesses. If you don't start the journey and eventually get to that blown tire, you never come across the problem and learn how to change it. (Or learn how to hire someone to change it.)
My problem is that I do not have a fastlane path to focus on. I want to be on a fastlane, I do not care if I love it or not - I'm a hard worker I will put in the grunt work, I do not see a path to follow... What book solves that problem? :)
 

Adelaide

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This is why I haven't finished Unscripted yet. I had to deal with some problems.
Took me ages to finish Unscripted. I started in when I was in a bad spot.. and when I was able to make progress on myself, I finished it. Actually took me about a year I think!
 

Vitaly the Winne

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I've finished both TMF and Unscripted, great books!

Like many members have already said, analysis paralysis plays a big role in why some people either never reach their full potential, or take a very long time to start reaching it.

I've personally already failed at several business models (network marketing, affiliate marketing, and even phone flipping) for one reason or another, and some of these reasons are absolutely my fault. What I've noticed is that each and every idea starts out exciting and interesting, and the more information I get and the more books I read on the subject my mind starts filling up with more and more, at the same time losing steam and the will to continue the project due to analysis paralysis and action faking, too much reading on any subject can take away from actually doing the things that can make a particular idea successful, it's been a tough lesson.

Just like every success story, this is just another chapter of lessons learned until I win. Hopefully my experience helps some people on here see why more information isn't always the right thing to go for.
 

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C.Hamp

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I admit, when I first saw this response, I rolled my eyes. Hard habit from an adolescence surrounded by "do gooder" Christian's with very little follow through.
But then I caught myself and remembered one simple thing....
If someone asked me the MOST valuable thing to strive for, in the blink of an eye the answer would be wisdom. Hands down. No contest.
And that came from my mother who, as I was growing up, made me read 1 chapter from Proverbs every single day. 31 chapters. 31 days in a month. Pretty logical.
I figure I've read that book more than 200 times.
And heres the thing. You dont have to be a Christian to appreciate it. You dont even have to own a bible. (Plenty online.)
But if you do this "one simple trick", you will find it is the greatest repository of wisdom in the world.
A lot of it you wont quite understand on the first several reads. But there will come times, for the rest of your life, where a life circumstance will suddenly stop you and you will realize that THAT was what the specific passage was about. And you will know how to handle it.
 

ChrisV

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I admit, when I first saw this response, I rolled my eyes. Hard habit from an adolescence surrounded by "do gooder" Christian's with very little follow through.
But then I caught myself and remembered one simple thing....
If someone asked me the MOST valuable thing to strive for, in the blink of an eye the answer would be wisdom. Hands down. No contest.
And that came from my mother who, as I was growing up, made me read 1 chapter from Proverbs every single day. 31 chapters. 31 days in a month. Pretty logical.
I figure I've read that book more than 200 times.
And heres the thing. You dont have to be a Christian to appreciate it. You dont even have to own a bible. (Plenty online.)
But if you do this "one simple trick", you will find it is the greatest repository of wisdom in the world.
A lot of it you wont quite understand on the first several reads. But there will come times, for the rest of your life, where a life circumstance will suddenly stop you and you will realize that THAT was what the specific passage was about. And you will know how to handle it.
I'm an atheist, and I still say The Bible.
 

Bertram

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In one of my last podcast interviews, I was asked "In your opinion, what is a must read book?"

My answer threw the interviewer for a loop because I didn't provide a specific book.

Instead I said: The absolute best book you must read is actually the book that will help you solve the problem that sits in front of your face.

So if you're struggling to be an entrepreneur, that book might be TMF or UNSCRIPTED.
If you're struggling to build a brand, it might be a book on branding.
If you're struggling to grow your social media and its effectiveness, it might be a social media book.
If you're struggling to find VC funding, it might be a book on VC funding.

You see, you should stop reading books for the sake of reading books.

Read books that solve your problems.

If you're on a long distance road trip and you blow a tire, but don't know how to change a tire, what book should you be reading?

How to change a tire?


OR

The Lean Startup?

And the only thing that tells you WHICH books you should be reading?

*** ACTION ***

Because ACTION highlights your challenges and weaknesses. If you don't start the journey and eventually get to that blown tire, you never come across the problem and learn how to change it. (Or learn how to hire someone to change it.)
I just came onto the forum for a few minutes while being in away mode for a week to deal with funeral arrangements for my father, and laughed out loud the minute I read this:

How to change a tire?

OR

The Lean Startup?


Very, very funny. I have stacks of beautiful books people have given me to read - and I would like to - but aimless reading isn't gonna happen.


Keep it coming MJ.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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away mode for a week to deal with funeral arrangements for my father,
Sorry to hear the news my friend. My condolences. :somber:
 

C.Hamp

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This thread is a little ironic for me.
After purchasing TMF and Unscripted I noticed I now had a bit of credit to use on Amazon's "Great on Kindle" book list. I didn't need another book. But I'm glad I took a look. At the time Amazon was giving 75% credit back for most of these books. Even if you get the book for free because of accumulated credit you still got 75% of its value back as more credit. Wut?! (It has since dropped to 10% back)
I prioritized a list of books I might find useful in the future. (Consulting threads here.) And, long story short, ended up with 7 more books without paying a dime. Now I have a backup list for when I'm stuck on a plane or what not.
Thanks MJ! Lol.
 

Justice Beaver

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I like books that give me examples of what fails. While it's difficult to learn what to do exactly right, it's easier to learn what not to do, in my opinion.
 

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