4 of My Favorite Books NOT about Selling on amazon

February 16th, 2015

In today’s post I am going to share a few of the books that have really resonated with me and have had an impact on my business.  However, these books are not specifically about selling on amazon.  I believe that reading books written by successful individuals is a great way to learn from the experiences of others, and allows us to apply the principles learned in our own lives.  I have probably read at least 50 books over the past 3 years, and in today’s post I will be sharing 4 that I found particularly valuable.

The first book is The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson.  The tagline for this book is “turning simple disciplines into massive success and happiness.”  One of the major points in this book that resonated with me is that simple daily decisions separate the successful from the unsuccessful.  In addition to this, these simple decisions, are easy to do, but are also easy not to do.  The author makes a case that most people are unwilling to make the simple decisions day in and day out to make them successful, and instead do what is comfortable and do not increase their success.

I have read the physical copy of this book at least twice, and listened to the audio version of this book at least 3 times, within the past 3 years.  It helps to remind me that little decisions made over time can have a huge impact on your life, and helps me to stay motivated.  The Slight Edge is one of my all time favorites and I believe I will continue to listen to the audio version at least once per year.

Second on the list for today is The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss.  The first time I read this book was probably in 2010, and I re-read it in 2013 shortly before quitting my job.  This book has helped to shape my philosophies on time, and has helped me to look at if things I am doing will have a long term benefit or if the benefit is only directly tied to my efforts today.  I am a big believer that “work expands to fill the time allocated,” and some of the ideas from this book have helped me to set more aggressive timelines on getting things done.  In addition, it’s more about maximizing the output per hour invested versus maximizing the hours invested.  My brief experience in the corporate world really helped to solidify these ideas as well due to many of the inefficiencies I saw.

The sections of this book about “mini-vacations” and many of the other things the author does that are not part of a “standard” lifestyle really opened my eyes.  Having a business utilizing fulfillment by amazon fits in quite nicely with this, as you can do the work when you want, and items will continue to sell and ship without much hands on attention needed.  The Four Hour Workweek really opened my eyes, and is a book that I have borrowed to many friends and family members.  It is currently with a friend now, and that’s why it’s not pictured.

The third book on the list for today is Millionaire Fastlane by MJ Demarco.  I bought this book about a year ago and read through it all within about a week.  Despite the title this is far from a get rich quick book, it simply focuses on getting into “the fastlane” for wealth creation. This book really challenges many of the “societal standard” ideas about how to create wealth, retirement, common money advice, among other concepts.  I found myself agreeing with many of the authors points on these issues, and enjoyed the very direct method in which these points are conveyed.

One of the other points that resonated with me was the idea of either “driving a fastlane” or “hitchhiking a fastlane.”  The author states that fastlane drivers maintain control while the hitchhikers do not.   This really stuck out to me particularly when selling products primarily through amazon.  Amazon is really the fastlane driver, and I, to some extent, am merely a hitchhiker.  I am not saying I want to be amazon, as that would come with it’s own set of challenges, but that concept really made me think.  I now am more focused on seeing myself as an online seller who uses amazon as a sales channel and am working on building up other channels, as well as getting into creating my own brands.  The goal is to be as in control of my own fate as possible, and that means continuing to diversify and expand.  Millionaire Fastlane isn’t for the faint of heart, but will likely challenge some of the views and ideas you have.

The fourth and final book that I will be sharing today is The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz.  This book is all about “thinking big” and achieving your dreams and creating the life that you truly want.  One of the consistent ideas throughout the book are that we are very much in control of our thoughts, and that we can shape our thoughts to help us achieve our aspirations.

The book challenges many preconceived notions held by many, and really challenges readers to think about how their thoughts and beliefs affect their results in life.  This book resonated with me as if I don’t reach for goals that may be difficult, it is almost assured that I will not reach them.  However, if I strive for high goals and take the actions needed to make them happen, they are possible.  The Magic of Thinking Big really made me think and has helped me to focus on putting plans in place to create the life I want.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I almost always have a physical book that I am reading.  In addition to that I also subscribe to Audible, and usually listen to one audiobook per month.  I particularly enjoy listening to audiobooks while driving.  Books, such as the ones mentioned in this post, have had a big impact on my life and the way I look at things.  I don’t plan to stop reading similar titles anytime soon.

How about you? What are your favorite books that have had an impact on your life?  What should I add to my reading list? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

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23 responses to “4 of My Favorite Books NOT about Selling on amazon”

  1. Shawn Searcy says:

    Ryan,
    Great Blogpost this week! Every time I read a Blog where people speak about reading Books, I always wonder “will this time be the time where I’m on the same page as the Blogger”

  2. James F. says:

    The Fastlane by MJ is def a good read! I read it back in 2009 when he was still writing it as I was a reg on their forums.. I’ll have to check out the other two books. Thanks for the recs.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi James,

      Are you still active in the forums? I have heard from a couple others recently that there’s a lot of good information there?

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  3. Brent says:

    Hi Ryan,
    All good choices! One that I recommend is called “80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More” by Perry Marshall.

    Brent

  4. Brian Wood says:

    A few of mine are:
    How to win friends and influence people, The One Thing, Zero to One, The Paradox of Choice, The E-Myth Revisited, and Willpower. Great for business and life.

    Ideally, i would like to fully automate selling online as much as Mr. Ferriss to the point where i only have to work about 2-3 hours a week on it sourcing products. How much of his book were you able to implement in your business and is there any of his tips you’ve tried that didn’t work?

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Brian,

      I have only read a couple of those, I will have to check out the others. As for the four hour book, the main takeaway for me was to focus on creating something that runs without my direct involvement daily. So it helped to frame my thought process about the business more than actual specific pieces that I was directly able to implement. A friend of mine is currently borrowing the book, so I can’t flip through to see if there was anything that didn’t work, but nothing comes to mind.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  5. Frank Meadows says:

    Ryan, of those 4 books which do you feel offers the most benefit to a person starting an online selling business ? I’m considering buying the fastlane millionaire book.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Frank,

      These books are more of overall business strategy and mindset books, than specifically about online selling. If I had to pick one that relates most to online sellers it would be the 4 hour work week. It deals with some ideas that play in quite nicely with the FBA program. The Millionaire Fastlane book is really good, but it is more focused on being higher up in the “business hierarchy,” for example, it would be more focused on writing books versus selling books other people write.

      Hope that helps, and let me know if you have further questions.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

      • Frank Meadows says:

        Ryan , thank you for the quick reply . I really like your online selling experiment website . I have found it to be very helpful.

  6. JW says:

    If you loved ‘The Slight Edge’, read the ‘Compound Effect’ by Darren Hardy if you haven’t already. Also, ‘Failing Forward’ by John Maxwell and the ever relevant, ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill. That one is better in audio book form, as its a bit wordy.

    Personal development is very important, and I try to do a little every day. great suggestions!

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hey JW,

      I have read the compound effect, that was a good one as well. I haven’t read Failing Forward, so I will have to check that out as well. Think and Grow Rich is another good one, that one almost made it into this post.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  7. Dawn Martin says:

    Hi Ryan,
    The Four Hour Work Week changed my life. I quit my job a few months after I read that one!
    Now, my complete inability to stay on task (I’m so excited and interested in what I do I just want to do it all at once) I just finished- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I listened to the entire 10 hours of that in one day….very interesting.

    Dawn

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Dawn,

      Very cool, thanks for sharing. I will have to check out The Power of Habit.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  8. James says:

    A great post indeed, Ryan; thanks. Of the four books that you wrote about, I’ve read The Slight Edge and was quite moved by it. In addition to those mentioned in the above comments, Brian Tracy’s “No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline”, Paul J. Meyer’s “I Inherited a Fortune”, and “Think Big: Unleashing Your Potential for Excellence”, by Ben Carson come to mind.

    Kind regards

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Thanks for the suggestions James! I will definitely have to check those out once I finish my current stack of books that I plan to read next.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  9. Mike Bill says:

    Hi Ryan: In order to complete the ideal of having a business that “runs its self” may I recommend ‘Work the System’ by Sam Carpenter. He was able to take his working time of 60 hours a week to less than 3 hours.. simply by having every position documented and easily transferable to a new employee.

    With the ease of hiring Virtual Assistants, this has totally changed my concepts on how to run a business.

    Mike Bill

  10. Mike Bill says:

    BTW, Work the System ebook is free on their website… Mike Bill

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hey Mike,

      Thanks for the comment. This definitely sounds like an interesting book, I will be sure to check it out.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  11. Felipe says:

    1- Grit – Angela Duckworth (Great book on the mindset aspect)
    2- Street Smarts – Norm Brodsky Unlike the title suggests, it has lots of useful information about running a business, some basics on everything, from starting a business to acquiring others.
    3- Will it fly – Pat Flynn – Good book, more like a “how to validate ideas” manual.
    4- Virtual freedom – Chris Ducker – on the subject of hiring virtual assistants
    5- Smarter Faster Better – Charles Duhigg – Same author of the power of habit. This one is a gem, lots of useful information, based on research, that you wouldnt find compiled elsewhere. Must read.

    • ose says:

      Great list, there’s a few on this list that I haven’t read and will have to check out. Thanks for sharing!

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

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