5 books that changed our business

January 5, 2016

What does Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet and Elon Musk have in common?

They all read a lot.

Warren Buffet says that he spends about 80% of his day reading. Mark Zuckerberg reads a new book every week. Elon Musk has said that reading books taught him how to build rockets.

Books can inspire to make the biggest business decisions. This is exactly what has happened at MailerLite. Today I want to talk about the books that had a huge impact on our business.


“Rework” by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried

Rework book

In 2010 co-founders of MailerLite Ignas and Eimantas were participating in startup events all over Europe. And it was devastating. Everyone said that email was dead and no one needed a new email marketing platform. “Rework” motivated us to change the business strategy.

How “Rework” changed us:

Instead of searching for investors, we decided to build a long-term profitable business rather than a start-up project that you sell in a few years. Now we are happy to have more than 190,000 customers who believe in our product.

ignas

Here are a few quotes from “Rework” that inspire us:

Unless you are a fortune-teller, long-term business planning is a fantasy.

Ideas are cheap and plentiful. … The real question is how well you execute.

Grow slow and see what feels right— premature hiring is the death of many companies.

It’s entirely your responsibility to make your dreams come true.

You need a commitment strategy, not an exit strategy.

Use the power of no to get your priorities straight. 

NEVER HIRE ANYONE to do a job until you’ve tried to do it yourself first.

Rockstar environments develop out of trust, autonomy, and responsibility. They’re a result of giving people the privacy, workspace, and tools they deserve.


“4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss

4-hour-workweek-book

You may work hard, but it’s better to work smart. This is what Tim Ferriss preaches in his book.

How “4-Hours Workweek” changed us:

In the beginning you are the one creating and developing product/service. You are marketing, selling and looking after your customers. At some point, you have to start delegate tasks and trust other people.”4-Hours Workweek” teaches how to prioritize tasks and outsource them. For example, we have outsourced SEO and the development of MailerLite app. And we focus on the things that we are strong at.

lovemyjob

Inspirational quotes from “4-Hour Workweek”:

Tomorrow becomes never. No matter how small the task, take the first step now!

It is far more lucrative and fun to leverage your strengths instead of attempting to fix all the chinks in your armor. The choice is between multiplication of results using strengths or incremental improvement fixing weaknesses that will, at best, become mediocre. Focus on better use of your best weapons instead of constant repair.

By working only when you are most effective, life is both more productive and more enjoyable. It’s the perfect example of having your cake and eating it, too.

A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.

The key to not feeling rushed is remembering that lack of time is actually lack of priorities.

Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of laziness—lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.


“In Praise of Slowness” by Carl Honore

In praise of slowness

For the first few years MailerLite was a very small and passionate team that worked 24/7. But our business is not a sprinter, it is a marathon. Everyone needs a break.

How “In Praise of Slowness” changed us:

The book motivated to take vacations and even to travel to places with no Internet connection. At MailerLite we have 10 values that we believe in and every new member signs under them together with a job contract. #8 is Stay in the best shape:

The team needs you in the best shape. Take care of your health. Don’t spend all your time behind the computer.

Meditate, go to the gym, yoga, pool, massage or whatever makes you feel good. The work can wait 2 hours for you coming back full of energy and motivation. Remember, best ideas come when you’re out of the office.

And if you feel sick, respect the team – work from your home. Our business is a marathon, not a sprint. We all need to recharge sometimes. Take vacations, travel, go explore and come back inspired.

This winter all MailerLite’s team worked and lived in Bali in order to change the environment, get out of comfort zone and inspire creativity.

bali

Quotes from “In Praise of Slowness” that inspire us:

Your best ideas, those eureka moments that turn the world upside down, seldom come when you’re juggling emails, rushing to meet the 5 P.M. deadline or straining to make your voice heard in a high-stress meeting. They come when you’re walking the dog, soaking in the bath or swinging in a hammock.

Speed can give you a great feeling of excitement, and there is a place for that in life and in music,” says Kliemt. “But you have to draw the line, and not always use speed. It is stupid to drink a glass of wine quickly. And it is stupid to play Mozart too fast.

Much better to do fewer things and have time to make the most of them.

Doing two things at once seems so clever, so efficient, so modern. And yet what it often means is doing two things not very well.


“Remote” by David Heinemeier Hansson

Remote book

We used to believe that a team is a group of people that work in the same office. “Remote” has changed our opinion and inspired to get out of comfort zone – hire a remote employee. It was a huge eye-opener for us. That enabled to hire the best talents from all over the world.

How “Remote” changed us:

Now MailerLite’s team consists of 26 people that live in 7 different locations. This is how we can provide 24/7 customer support.

How do you communicate? We use Slack for daily communication. 15Five helps us to know how the team members feel. It’s based on a simple idea. Each employee spends 15 minutes a week writing a report that takes their manager no more than 5 minutes to read.

The report includes the questions:

  • What’s going well? Any wins (big or little) this week?
  • What challenges are you facing? Where are you stuck?
  • How are you feeling? What’s the morale you see around you?
  • One suggestion to improve your role, team or organization?

This is how we get to know that someone feels sick, had a break up with a girlfriend or wants  the team to visit an art exhibition. The things that matter the most, but you don’t talk about during the lunch break. Ironically, now we know more about our team members than we used to, while sitting all together in the same office.

screen

Quotes from “Remote” that changed our mind:

You can’t let your employees work from home out of fear they’ll slack off without your supervision, you’re a babysitter, not a manager. Remote work is very likely the least of your problems.

When people talk about getting work done at the office, they usually add a qualifier about getting in early int he morning when it’s quiet or late at night when it’s empty.

Remote work has opened the door to a new era of freedom and luxury. A brave new world beyond the industrial-age belief in The Office.

If you let them, humans have an amazing power to live up to your high expectations of reasonableness and responsibility.

To successfully work with other people, you have to trust each other. A big part of this is trusting people to get their work done wherever they are, without supervision.


“Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh

Delivering happiness book

The book written by CEO of Zappos tells the company’s story and how important customer support is in every business.

How “Delivering Happiness” changed us:

Our main value is to deliver the best possible customer support using best channel for them – email, chat. We are online 24/7 and we speak their language.

Moreover, all our team works at customer support. Once a month everyone works with customer support (yes, this includes CEO, CTO, CMO, developers, designers etc). Having people from other areas in support allows to see the situation in a different angle, offer more different solutions and implement problem-solving faster.

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Inspirational quotes from “Delivering Happiness”:

I made a list of the happiest periods in my life, and I realized that none of them involved money. I realized that building stuff and being creative and inventive made me happy.

We believe that customer service shouldn’t be just a department; it should be the entire company.

Businesses often forget about the culture, and ultimately, they suffer for it because you can’t deliver good service from unhappy employees.

We take most of the money that we could have spent on paid advertising and instead put it
back into the customer experience. Then we let the customers be our marketing.

We must never lose our sense of urgency in making improvements. We must never settle for “good enough,” because good is the enemy of great.

Another common trap that many marketers fall into is focusing too much on trying to figure out how to generate a lot of buzz, when really they should be focused on building engagement and trust. I can tell you that my mom has zero buzz, but when she says something, I listen.

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  • Vaidas

    The E Myth: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It – rather old, but nevertheless worth to read

  • Tuomo

    The book that influenced me the most was either The Everything Store, a great book about Amazon.com or The Wal-Mart Effect. Both companies dealing with similiar problems but with about 50 years between them.

  • anonym

    I do not read books but yet I have a feeling that I already knew what you have quoted from these books.
    Let us be honest with ourselves. It is not those books who changed you or whatever you call it…
    It was you who changed your life, your job, your world… and those books they are just there for you to read others experiences.
    My grandfather spoke 6 languages. He had memorized top 10 holly books of the world! his library had over 10,000 books all read at least 3 times and at the time he left this world he indeed has no money and he told me he could do better if he WANTED to do better.
    See it is not the book to change you… it is you who changes you.
    You do not practice remote offices because it is in the book and all other IT celebs they just need to say something because people ask them questions. Mark is Mark because he is Mark not because he read books.
    I am not telling book are bad or book are good or we must read one new book every week.
    I am just telling it is you who will be you reading book or not reading book!

  • Sanjay Mithal

    Who Moved My Cheese?
    Book by Dr. Spencer Johnson

  • Richard Branson, Basta! il businness deve cambiare

  • Jonas

    Fro me it would be Don Norman’s The design of Everyday Things (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Design-Everyday-Things-revised-expanded/dp/0262525674) It helped me understand how many problems in our lifes arise mainly because of the bad design. Be it the remote control or the road system. Good design helps to make a life a little easier. Highly recommended! Anyone, who still hesitate cna search on youtube for Don Norman on youtube for his inspiring speeches. Good luck! :)

  • “Rework” and “4-Hour Workweek” were the best reads so far when building a small online business. When it comes to building an IT company that can continue to grow without me, these books provided some insights on developing a management team: “Mastering the Complex Sale”, “The Tipping Point”, “Good to Great”.

  • Steve jobs biography
    albert einstein biography
    Every Street Is Paved with Gold
    the ultimate guide for minimalist life
    The Weight of Things: Philosophy and the Good Life

  • Felicity

    The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman. A great summary of the content typically delivered in an MBA but much cheaper than enroling in a course.

  • Rūta

    Richard Branson “Losing My Virginity”
    Robert Kiyosaki “Rich Dad Poor Dad”

  • Sam Walton – Made in America

  • Hi.
    I added them to my list. They seem fantastic ;)
    A book by tine seelig inspired me. It was named: what i wish i knew when i was 20.
    I do recommend everyone to read it :)

  • Osa

    Thank you so much for sharing this post – I Immediately went to find “Rework” and will devour (hehehe) the book as soon as I can. We are rebuilding an organization, and the book that has affected me and the way I’m hoping to run the organization is “A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life” by Parker J. Palmer.

    I’m learning the importance of taking time out, and doing what is meaningful, and treasuring the inner lives of others.

  • Chloe

    What a great post, these are all definitely on my reading list!

    There have been two very influential books in my life time the first being Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
    Book by Malcolm Gladwell. it’s about human behaviour and our ability to judge the importance of situations about people in very short periods of time. My second most influential book is Bounce: the myth of talent and the power of practice by Matthew Syed. This book defeats the idea of natural talent, practice makes perfect and if you want to become and expert at something then it really is about handwork and dedication! I highly recommend both. :-)

  • Contagious: Why Things Catch On Hardcover by Jonah Berger

  • For me : Money Master the Game – very good and it could change your life in 10 years

  • Demelza Carlton

    Launch by Jeff Walker – helped me realise how to leverage email marketing for my business.

    The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman – a great introduction to business principles.

  • One an only
    The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers – Horowitz, Ben

  • Not a business book, but “The Faraway Horses” is a good read. It’s an autobiography of Buck Brannaman who is the world’s foremost horse trainer. Robert Redford character in The Horse Worsewhipper is based on Brannaman. There is a documentary about him called “Buck.”

  • Behrooz

    Thats fun but I love harry potter
    Childhood book effect more than others

  • The book that influenced me in setting up our e-commerce platform the most was Don’t Make me Think by Steve Krug. After reading it and putting ideas to work for the past 2 years, I can say it has done more to improve my abilities as a Web designer than any other book.
    Steve Krug has more then 15 years in-field experience in usability design, I thank and appreciate to come across this book, he is a great usability expert.

  • The Steve Jobs biography written by Walter Isaacson.
    This book is the most inspiring tale about rage and madness, which turned out to be the most inspiring themes that I’ve read about in a long time.

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People written by Stephen Covey

  • Rob

    The book that influenced me was “don’t make me think” written by S. Krug. I learn how to optimize the UI/UX for my business.

  • Karina

    Thanks for an inspiring newsletter and some very useful reading suggestions. The one book that inspired me to work as I do in my business was “Moment of Truth” by Jan Carlzon, former CEO of Scandinavian Airlnes, SAS. First published in 1985 it is still one of the best strategic leadership books I’ve read!

  • Wilfred Reyes

    For me it’s “Rework”, “Don’t Make Me Think” and “Tipping Point”.

  • Geoff

    Great post! Rework is on my “next to read” list.

    A handful of books that were game changers for me were the legendary, the mythical, the heavyweight champion of them all, How To Win Friends & Influence people by none other than Dale Carnegie. Next is the often times profound, sometimes spooky Influence by Robert Cialdini.

    Finally, the tome that is treasured by many, spoken by few, the enormous Awaken The Giant Within, written by none other than…half man, half machine, all enthusiasm, Tony Robbins!

  • This is awesome. At this point, MailerLite is the only company email I take the time to read. Terribly relevant to our business at its current stage.

    For me, one important book was Geek Heresy, which may not be worth the whole read but the premise is we (especially us working in tech startups) believe technology to be the solution to so many of the world’s problems, while in fact it is – and has always been – people that solve problems, and technology is only an amplifier.

  • For me, books have always been an important part of my life. They continue to give me inspiration, motivation and have taught me so many things about the world that I wouldn’t otherwise know. Books are food for my mind and imagination that I need to survive :-) So thank you for sharing your list with us!

    3 books that have particularly affected me include:

    The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz – An easy-to-read and inspiring book that offers simple agreements that have the power to completely change one’s life and thinking for the better. Highly recommended.

    Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini – an essential guide for anyone in marketing or anyone longing to understand more about persuasion and human nature.

    The New Revelations: A Conversation with God by Neale Donald Walsch – a powerful book with a simple conversation between the author and God. Regardless of one’s beliefs, makes for a very thought-provoking dialogue!

    Thanks for letting me share. Wishing you all the best in 2016!

  • Nick

    I liked the book “Selling to the top” by David A. Peoples a lot. It explains (also for non-sales people like me) you go about to sell a product or service.

  • Adriano Shioda

    Rework this book seems to be the best because it seems to say that failure is not the fault but in withdrawal

  • “The Secret”. Not because I believe just thinking about something will bring it into being, but because it has some very powerful messages about self belief, positive thinking and approaching things with the right attitude.

  • The Slight Edge (Jeff Olson) – This is one of my favourites as it highlights the fact that seemingly insignificant good habits or slight improvements can add up to a massive difference over time.

    Ready, Fire, Aim (Michael Masterson) – Fantastic book and more or less my business start up bible.

    PS: Great post and if I was looking for a job I would work for you guys!

  • Germantas Dikcius

    It’s definitely Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t. It gives you super valuable insights, inspiration and kick to reinvent things you do!

  • I’m surprised nobody yet mentioned Essentialism by Greg McKeown. Subtitled “The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less”, it ties together some of the themes that your top reads have also mentioned, particularly the idea of “most effective contribution” and warning against a “straddled strategy”.

    There’s also The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I got most from the first part, about the habits of individuals – but you might also get a lot from part 2 about the habits of groups and companies. Enjoy!

  • “Persuasive Business Proposals” and “The Giants of Sales” by Tom Sant. Great books for all who are related to sales. Books are easy to read, with some really useful practical examples and clear approach.

  • yeah, right now im reading Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh.. its good book for creating culture, community and good customer support

  • Dan

    The book that changed my life – literally! – is “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. I think everyone shoud read it.

  • Upendra

    “7 habits of highly effective people” by stefan kovey and “An autobigraphy of a yogi”, these books have helped change me a lot.

  • The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing provided me with actionable insight which helped me to launch my career as an author.

  • Ana

    I was greatly ifluenced by “the law of attraction” mainly for changing my perspective to a more positive one. Seeing life with a “happy lens” can really make a difference and give you the inner strength to overcome the challenges of starting a business and balancing all other aspects of life. I also love “steal like an artist”, “7 habits of highly effective people” and “it’s not how good you are it’s how good you want to be”. Many of the books that aspectsrtistre mentionned aspectsrtistrerere going on my reading list. :)

  • “The speed of trust!” Stephen M. R. Covey
    How important is relations in team and what it means if I can trust my team for business

  • The Book that influenced me alot to do business at 15 is my brother’s novel actually… He wrote a short novel in which he brought a character who did business at 15 and became the richest person in the world when he was 35. The character (Dilip), started a website of his own at 0 cost at first and then he brought ads, earning him a cent for 10 clicks. Though the start was bad, he ended up in success. It is actually a long one and it is hard to type

  • Vishwas

    The books which had more impact on me are Scion of Ikshavaku and Chanakya’s Chants. SOI taught me about how to respect your family and Laws. On the other hand Chanakya’s chant taught me about political science by taking example of Chanakya and how can we still use the same strategy to rule/influence people with right intentions.

  • Povilas Balzaravičius

    “The Pragmatic Programmer”.
    I’ve quit my job after reading it.
    The fun fact that this book was in the library of my company which I’ve left :-)

    And yes, “Remote” had some influence too.

  • Vilius

    Eat that frog by Brian Tracy – it set the beginning of prioritizing and focusing

  • The Lean Startup : How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

  • The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph By Ryan Holiday! Just read it.

  • Helena

    Cool list! Two books stand out for me as the biggest influencers this year:
    1) ‘On the shortness of life’ by Seneca – pushing me to go for it (for the new career direction I wanted but didn’t act on) and make things happen
    2) Eleanor Roosevelt part 1 by Blanche Wiesen Cook – for giving me ideas on how to increase my confidence and take even more ownership of my life. This book shows ER going from a meek and unhappy politician’s wife with no work of value to a confident and vocal writer influencing her politician husband. This is a must-read for every young woman wanting a career.

  • The book that helped change and influence my business is “Rich Dad Poor Dad”. I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur one day but I wasn’t sure what avenue I should take. This book helped me realize the love that I already had for real estate and it made me want to take the next steps on turning it into a business. I have been incorporated for 4 years now and I wouldn’t change a thing about my business!

  • Tipping Point. Explains how real world epidemics and fads take place, and reverse engineers them for exciting possibilities. Fascinating read.

  • What an inspirational post! Thank you for this list of books. I’m adding them to my must read list! Two of the most influential books for me last year were Todd Henry’s Louder Than Words and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. I also loved Tribes my Seth Godin and am now reading his Purple Cow.

  • Sophie

    so far the book Works Well with Others has been a great read. Great for introvert people like me :)

  • Think and Grow Rich, it shows life is much more than money. The book also shows how to be confident and attract positive things towards you versus acting in desperation.

  • The book that has powerfully impacted my life is, “The DNA of Success” by Jack Zufelt. It is a former New York Times bestseller published several years ago. It is about Core Desires. Jack teaches that if your desires are not a 100 on a scale of 1-100 you will lose interest and not follow through on them. He teaches how to determine if your Core Desires are a 100 or not and how to let go of desires that aren’t. It changed how I look at things in my life and business. Some things are mere interests, which is why we give up on them. Others are Core Desires, which keep us motivated and moving forward towards our dreams. Highly recommend this book.

  • The book that only changed how I did business but also changed me was the Bhagavad Gita. It’s a Hindu scripture which is very helpful whenever you have doubts regarding anything in life.

  • Serge

    Ayn Rand ‘Atlas Shrugged’, gave an understanding of business philosophy and ethics, social attitudes towards business and its actual role in it

  • The book that influenced me the most was either The Everything Store, a great book about Amazon.com or The Wal-Mart Effect. Both companies dealing with similiar problems but with about 50 years between them.

    anonym
    2016-01-05
    I do not read books but yet I have a feeling that I already knew what you have quoted from these books.
    Let us be honest with ourselves. It is not those books who changed you or whatever you call it…
    It was you who changed your life, your job, your world… and those books they are just there for you to read others experiences.
    My grandfather spoke 6 languages. He had memorized top 10 holly books of the world! his library had over 10,000 books all read at least 3 times and at the time he left this world he indeed has no money and he told me he could do better if he WANTED to do better.
    See it is not the book to change you… it is you who changes you.
    You do not practice remote offices because it is in the book and all other IT celebs they just need to say something because people ask them questions. Mark is Mark because he is Mark not because he read books.
    I am not telling book are bad or book are good or we must read one new book every week.
    I am just telling it is you who will be you reading book or not reading book!

  • The Millionaire Fastlane. Everything in that book is the hard truth and non-scammy since the guy wrote his book after he made his millions. I see a lot of people talking about the good life and how to make millions, but they aren’t there yet. They just regurgitate what’s already out there. I appreciate this author’s tips and honesty. Very inspiring and practical business stuff!

  • I am inspired by the book “The Secret”. The day I started reading this book, I have changed my mind set to get things done in the way that I want. Now, I am happy that I have reached almost every goal I set up as of now. Its a book that every one must read at least once in one’s life.

  • My most recent favorite book is “A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling,” by John Taylor Gatto. I like this book because of the paradigm shifts I experience reading an award winning teacher slaughter the schooling mindset. Education is far more than schooling and unless we look at our own constructs with the same critical eye, we may be following paths out of tradition instead of breaking new ground.

  • hi. i will search for these books. i book that i really like is ‘o homem que calculava’, The Man Who Counted, from Malba Tahan! its a brillant vision of a simple man!
    other book that i aprecciated is The Catcher in the Rye (Salinger). best!

  • I read #GirlBoss by Sofia Amoruso. I know alot of people may think this book is overrated, but it resonated with me because Sofia came from a background not typical of a business woman, similar to myself. It makes me feel like I can do anything, regardless of my education or available finances.

  • “80/20 Sales And Marketing” by Perry Marshall… not so much because it was groundbreaking, but because it made me realize that marketing is the single biggest leverage point for my business… and the thing we’ve been neglecting most :) Which led me more or less directly to becoming a MailerLite customer!

  • Ordering three of these books now!! Thanks for the inspiration!! “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” was my most influential book of the year. It’s all about saying no, being hyper-focused and investing in yourself. In a world where there is a new shiny object or distraction around every turn, it has helped me to be more successful, healthy and happy.

  • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. It’s taught me that who I think I’m supposed to be based on environment, upbringing, society, my peers, my friends and family is not who I am. It’s their version of me, their standards that I can never live up to. But they’re not who I answer to. I answer to me and for me to be happy and fulfilled and brave and creative and all I want to be, all I believe I am, I had to let go of all those preconceived notions to take a good hard look at me for me.

  • ProBlogger’s first book! So fantastic about how to develop a blog and stay true to your audience!

  • Great post!
    We share similar taste in books :)

    My top 5:
    * Self-Reliance (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
    * A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (William B. Irvine)
    * Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Susan Cain)
    * Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results (Stephen Guise)
    * The ONE thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results (Gary Keller)

  • One book that helped us a lot was The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. Besides being an interesting read, with some Steve folklore, it provided some insights into preparation, content and pace of presentations. After reading this book, I shared it with the team and we all benefitted from various areas in the book.

  • Thaks a lot for giving a gift and happy new year.
    Think and grow rich by napelion hill
    And compound effect by darren hardy.

  • The one book that really changed my life was the one I wrote which became a best seller in its niche and is now published in 6 languages. I never expected it sell much so 150,000 copies was a surprise. I’m sorry if this sounds boastful, but that’s what happened. Vegetable Growing Month by Month

  • One minute millionaire
    of Robert G. Allen and Mark Victor Hansen

    It’s a most in your suitcase !!!

  • Luke

    For me it would have to be Job. In the Holy Bible. No, I’m not joking! You should check it out! Legit Business!

  • Sheryl

    Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert is currently inspiring me in my business, because of reminding myself to stay, authentic instead of trying to be original. The other important attitude is I should “possess a fierce sense of personal entitlement”, not in the negative connotation type of way, but a sense of being entitled enough to show up, be doing my thing, and giving it a try. You don’t need anyone to give you permission to go after a deep rooted idea in your bones. Breathing is all the permission you need!

    I have a

  • Bottom up Marketing – if you haven’t read it, do. A light bulb moment awaits you! Bottom line – you need to find out what the challenges or problems ACTUALLY are and then find solution for them, not find the solution you WANT it to be and then force it to fit the situation.

  • Todd

    Thanks for the great post ML. I have added them all to my wish list.

    I really enjoyed “extreme trust” by Dr. Don Peppers and Martha Rogers (from the Peppers and Rogers Group). It is an interesting read that has a lot to say and teach about customer service, and the relationship between humans that are built around trust and emotions. Peppers believes that, despite the fact that computers are becoming more and more capable, and being increasingly used in place of humans, they will never be able to express or feel human empathy. This seems simple, but this concept taught us a lot of the importance of dealing with customers on a one to one basis, when we were considering installing computerized self help programs (etc). People don’t want to talk/communicate with a computer who has no sympathy fro their issue/inquiry. So we adopted a customer service philosophy around this. If you have an issue, you will speak to a friendly human, who is inspired to hear out the issue, respond to the emotion, and resolving the situation the exact way the customer stipulates. It works. People start to trust you, which leads to repeat business. Just an experience. Well worth the read.

  • The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard
    This book made me want to take over small countries. If you read only one business book this year, please let it be this one. Author Brendon Bruchard deftly takes away any and every excuse we have for not being accountable to ourselves or others, for not ‘doing’ and for not leading our best life. Part motivation manifesto and how-to manual for succeeding in life and business, this book gives practical advice for how to uplevel your life in practical ways

  • “The Foot Book” by Dr. Seuss changed my life! It was the first book I ever read and paved the path for my future love of reading as well as my love of teaching my students how to read! Never disregard the benefits of reading before bedtime with your sweet child!

  • Nate C

    “The Millionaire Next Door” is the single book that I think changed my life most. It made me move back home (despite having a good paying job) pay off all credit cards, buy a house (& move out of my mom’s house forever), and make budgets and stick to them all in one 12 month span.

    As a close second, “The Fred Factor” is really good read. Reminds you to be a good person.

  • I didn’t like to read books at all. During the years in school and in high school I maybe finished one book. Sad, but it’s true. But everything changed when I got Blake Mycoskie – Start Something That Matters. It was an amazing book! It changed my approach to books. After this, I read maybe 20 books and still think books are the greatest way to learn.

  • Bank

    The Hard Thing About Hard Things :)

  • Nice list of books. Thanks! I’m off to the library now. I was influenced and encouraged by the book “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell, which is about success and why some people are so successful.

  • Here are 5 books that I’d like to share:

    “My 60 Memorable Games”, by GM Bobby Fischer. A treat, where you can see the crystal clear way of thinking of the eleventh World Chess Champion.

    “Champion Psychology: A book for Future Champions”, by GM Igor Smirnov. A guide on how to achieve your goals in life, not only at chess.

    “How the World works”, by Noam Chomsky. How the world is governed and its dominating powers.

    “A Promoted Pawn: My Chess Journey” by GM Igor Smirnov. A summary of the most valuable lessons from 20+years of GM Smirnov’s extensive chess practice.

    “The Great Investors”, by Glen Arnold: A guide to understand the mind-set of the greatest investors of our time.

  • O livro que mudou o meu modo de agir e pensar foi “Como fazer amigos e influenciar pessoas”. Este livro foi a forma que eu precisava para conquistar pessoas e ter mais amigos bons por perto. Como devemos tratar as pessoas, e devemos aprender a escutar-la mais.

  • Who Owns the Future?
    Book by Jaron Lanier

  • 1. Good to Great – Jim Collins
    2. The Practice of Management – Peter Drucker
    3. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
    4. My Life and Work – Henry Ford
    5. Never Give Up! – Donald Trump

  • Who Moved My Cheese?
    By Spencer Johnson

  • If you love to read and be inspired, check out Simon Templeton’s Psi Tek with Over 60 MIND BLOWING Self Improvement, Spirituality, Mind Power and Personal Growth eBooks That Can Change Your Life! [psitek . net]

  • Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

  • The Go- Giver. A little story about a powerful business idea.
    It reminded me that by giving, you can reach far. At the point in my life… I was already begining to doubt all that thing about thinking of others… and started catching up with the flow – started thinking that the only way to reach far – would be – look impressive, work hard, think of yourself and concentrate on getting.

    This book changed my life. First, it made me to calm down and instead of copying everyone else, stick to being yourself. Also, it pushed me after 5 years living in another country, return home to lithuania to publish this book here. So I did. Then I created a company – publishing house in order to bring this book to the country I love :) Published it and here it’s how called and can be found as – Misija: Kitoks karjeristas. Įkvepianti istorija kiekvienam. … so yes.. this book gave me a dream, new big objective and project and reason to do something more, a job and future husband :) Love my life!! :))) though… it did made me risk… Left everything for nothing… or that’s how it seemed like 2.5 years ago.

  • The book that has been most influential in not just my business but my life as well is May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein. Although it is not, necessarily, a business book; it is about mindset and I whole heartedly believe that the #1 asset you have for realizing amazing success is …your mindset. When you think about the popular books that have been spoken about, even here in these comments, the one thing most of these books will talk about is your mindset.
    That is why I love May Cause Miracles. It helped me to align my mind, body and soul with what I wanted to accomplish. My business is still new, but I have made remarkable strides, that have totally amazed me seeing how things can change when you change your mind. After all, I did find Mailerlite and it has made being relateable with my customers so amazingly easy. I love it! I wish each and every one of you a miraculously amazing 2016 xxxooo Aja

  • Niels Schuddeboom

    To me, very influential was Naked Conversations by Robert Scoble. Classic but invaluable in how it shows how one can build a business by telling stories, being transparent. It double-fired my love for stories in business.

  • Gvidas

    Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance.
    The best book I’ve read last year.

  • How Successful People Think and
    The 21 Irrefutable Law of Leadership by John C. Maxwell

  • Okoro Israel

    How to win Customers and Keep them for life by Michael LeBoeuf

  • Why men don’t listen &women can’t read maps by Allan & Barbara Pease
    Incredibly insightful book explaining how men and women are different.
    “The result is a sometimes shocking, always illuminating, and frequently hilarious look at where the battle line is drawn between the sexes, why it was drawn, and how to cross it. ”

    This book saves relationships at work and home,I got when it first published in 1998 my sales record changed completely also lost the frustration of working with a high maintenance lady.
    I am an avid reader with a library of over 500 books this is still my favourite and is open on my desk today

  • Bart

    As a space geek, I have two titles that where very inspirational for me.

    An astronauts Guide to Life on Earth, by he Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, how performed Major Tom written by David Bowie from the international space Station. Chris has the incredible story about how to succeed as a team. He and Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers where training with a very young astronat in the command seat. They where practicing a landing with the Russian Salyute capsule. He and Andre where very focused on the young command being very successful that day. There team succeeded in that day, while the other team failed and had to be rescued by the recovery team.

    Riding rocket by Astronaut Mike Mullane is an other amazing book. Mike writes a very good inside story about the American astronaut culture and doesn’t shy away about the very awkward thing that aren’t political correct, He also discusses how “the Nasa manager culture” lead to the space shuttle disasters. A culture he labels as “Normalization of deviation”

    Both books teach principles that I use in my work and communication with people on a daily bases.

  • ashley

    “The Alchemist ” by Paulo Chelho speaks about finding our “Personal Legend” and how all elements of the universe conspire to assist us along our journey. It has been one of my inspirations (or a reminder rather) to move away from my “9-5” and focus on what I really want and what will really make me feel happy and fulfilled which is my business.

  • ashley

    “The Alchemist ” by Paulo Chelho speaks about finding our “Personal Legend” and how all elements of the universe conspire to assist us along our journey. It has been one of my inspirations (or a reminder rather) to move away from my “9-5” and focus on what I really want and what will really make me feel happy and fulfilled which is my business

  • The book “Blue Ocean Strategy”. It made me rethink the idea of my business. How to make the irrelevant competitors, and think more about customers. “The Lonk Tail” also has some very good ideas, think of diversification and not put all your eggs in one basket only.

  • Thanks to such companies as Mailerlite I am proud of that I am Lithuanian.
    This line is fantastic: “…you have to draw the line, and not always use speed. It is stupid to drink a glass of wine quickly. And it is stupid to play Mozart too fast.” from the book Mailerlite team shared.
    Mailerlite team always has fresh ideas and they always willing to share all the best they know.

  • Janie

    The one minute manager from Ken Blanchard explores different style of Leadership. Short, simple and useful!

  • lukasz kosuniak

    “Ask formula” How to build a business without guessing

  • JD

    My No.1 choice: ‘Fast-track to Fabulous Fulfillment’ by Alan Ackroyd ~ great for general personal, business and financial success; highly readable and extremely inspiring…

  • All these books were pretty boring and recycled info, except Ferriss. You need to read better books like Running Lean or something Influence by Cialdini. Life is short; read better books!

  • Wow, guys you inspire me this morning. I woke up to see your email and jump to read it first thing, which I wouldn’t normally do but really don’t have any regrets of breaking my morning discipline for inspiration. For this reason I love you guys and the services you offer. Honestly I believe you guys are the best in the business of email services. Thank you. I have read 4 hour work week. You just sell me Rework, so I am going to get it and I am going to try to get the others has well. 🙏 and blessing on you guys.

  • Fantastic recommend! I love them all!

  • Salim Shadman Pathan

    Linchpin – Seth Godin.
    One of many lessons: The world does not need another cog in the wheel. The world now needs artists who deliver passion.

    Contagious – Jonah Berger
    Main Lesson for me: Creating contagious content is not random or luck. Its backed by science and can be crafted.

  • I will definitely get the first book – Rework. Also, I will suggest reading Mastery by Robert Green, it’s a masterpiece!

  • Here are the books helped me most

    1- Think and Grow Rich
    2- Success Principles
    3- Maximum Achievement
    4- Unlimited Power
    5- Contagious
    6- Maximize Your Potential
    7- Essentialism
    8- Real Happiness
    9- The Answer
    10- Who says you can’t? you do

    There are many but those are the ones that helped me the most.

  • “Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points That Challenge Every Company” – written by Andy Grove CEO, Intel. The best book about change management and how to overcome a crisis in your industry or company. Actually, the only one book which never gets boring, it’s personal, direct and has many call to actions.

  • Another Great Book I Found Is rich dad poor dad is awesome book to become rich.

  • Great list! I’ve read the 4 Hour Workweek and learned lots from the book. If I had the choice, I’d happily join your team. I was just reading about your company’s culture and it’s something that definitely resonates with me!