Three Classic Books on Wealth and Business Most Millionaires Have Read

June 14, 2011

No one book written at a finite moment in time can ever have all the answers you need in a world that changes are rapidly as the American business landscape does. Having said that, I would like to recommend a few books that nearly all of the most successful people I know have read.

There are literally thousands of books out there on wealth, business and success. Most of them claim to have the magic key or secret to achieving “success” in some form but I have found that knowledge and learning are never finite and that the education process of the most great business people I know across a variety of professions is simply that: a life-long process. No one book written at a finite moment in time can ever have all the answers you need in a world that changes are rapidly as the American business landscape does.

That being said, there are a few books that have withstood the tests of time because they present a foundational understanding of core concepts. Here are three of the books that nearly all of the most successful people I know generally agree have been part of their education and prosperity.
 

“The Richest Man In Babylon” by George Clayson: When I was first presented with this nearly 100-year-old book as a gift I frankly overlooked it. It was too small, too simple, and too “old-timey” in its parable format. It just didn’t fit with my preconceived notions of a business book. When I finally sat down and read it, however, I was stunned at how eloquent and simple its message was and how practical and important the key concepts it presents are in understanding wealth and how to use and control it.

“Think and Grow Rich”/”Three Feet From Gold” by Napoleon Hill and Sharon Lechter, respectively: “Three feet from Gold” is a modern interpretation of Napoleon Hill’s classic, “Think and Grow Rich.” The modern update by Sharon Lechter (of Rich Dad, Poor Dad fame) and her co-author Greg Reid includes specific examples and stories of how to apply Hill’s concepts explained though the allegory of a hypothetical businessperson’s growth and education. I’ve listed this as one book as the concepts are nearly identical, but Lechter’s background as a financial educator and author really helps bring abstract concepts into focus for the modern businessperson.

“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie: This was written in 1937 and still stands up. As mercenary as the title sounds, it’s about concepts like the importance of listening, empathy, and "the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people." You cannot be effective in nearly any profession without the ability to communicate, educate, and express ideas that speak to the concerns of those you are trying to help by doing business with them. Carnegie literally wrote the book on these ideas in modern America.

Please use the comment section to share some of the books that have touched your life in some meaningful way in this area. If you are like most people, this list would probably have looked very different depending on where you were in your life and career and the challenges in your life at the time you wrote it, so be sure to think of books that help you both now and when you were starting your journey to success.

Some of the books will be technical in nature, like books on investing, medical practice management, financial planning, or even, dare I say, asset protection. Others will be more philosophical or spiritual in nature and will be related to our attitudes and habits; all have value and are part of an infinite capacity and to refine and improve our most vital assets (our brains), and the thoughts and actions that come out of them. 

Learn more about Ike Devji and our other contributing bloggers here.