Michael’s Top 5 Business & Personal Development Book Recommendations From 2021!

2021 was a hell of a year here in Australia with my city of Melbourne being locked down for over 262 days. With this much time spent in lockdown I was able to catch up plenty of guitar playing, and plenty of reading, the later a pass time I’d fallen out of the habit of doing.
 
I used to be an avid reader and I consumed finance, personal development and business books like they were going out of fashion. After reading close to 100 books in a 3 year period I wasn’t really getting any new information, just the same key ideas and principles presented with exciting new names by different authors. That, or completely conflicting advice from different experts on the same subject (go figure).
 
At the beginning of 2020 I travelled to the 10X Growthcon and did a private mastermind with Grant Cardone and his business partner Brandon Dawson and was told by the later that it was better to read 10 books 10 times each and know them back to front than it was to read 100 books, so most of my 2020 was spent re-reading the same core books over and over again (that’s a list for a future article). 

Limitless- Jim Kwik

My First recommendation is a book called Limitless by author Jim Kwik.
 
Some Time in August I saw a video by a man called Jim Kwik teaching how to optimise your learning and gain the ability to memorise long lists of items or words. I was intrigued and used the skills in the video to easily memorise a list of 20 random words. It was amazing how it worked. But then the true test, seeing if if worked on my stepson Seth who is notorious for forgetting all of his chores.
 
I made a list of all the chores he had to do, then made up a story about a knight who had to go through a castle to rescue the princess at the top of the tower, and each new room he went into had a different task (in this case chores) that needed to be done… I told the story to my stepson Seth and asked him to repeat it back to me. Amazingly, he was able to repeat the entire story back to me proving that this memory technique was already working. Just under an hour later he came back to me to
report that his chores were finished, and upon inspection, not a single one had been missed, amazing!
 

Needless to say I purchased the book along with a few others I had my eye on for a while, and a few days later a nice big box from amazon arrived with a copy of Jim Kwik’s new book ‘Limitless’. 

Limitless is a terrific book about learning and brain optimisation. It’s full of practical methods you can use straight away along with recommendations for sleep, diet & brain exercises and a crash course on how to speed read and better retain new information in your memory so that you learn better. It also drives home the fact that you should be reading daily and sets out a ‘read 50 books in a year challenge’ at the end along with a recommended reading list drawing from a broad number of topics.
 

Needless to say, reading Limitless has reignited my passion for reading once more and I went on to read a new book every 3-4 days for the next two months. I noticed a remarkable difference in my mood and motivation levels along with the general awesome feeling you get when you know you’re getting better and developing every day! For all these reasons, Limitless is my #1 recommendation for all readers looking for a new book to read.

(plus if you learn how to speed-read then you can read even more books in the same amount of time or less!)

No B.S Time Management For Entrepreneurs

I don’t know how I’ve gone 6 years into my entrepreneurial journey without ever reading a book by Dan S Kennedy but boy do I wish I had read some of his material much, much sooner. I’ve ready eight of his books since October and have another four on the shelf waiting to be read along with every other work he has ever written ready to be purchased on my Amazon wishlist! While I feel like I could make a separate article containing my top 5 Dan S Kennedy books for you I’ve made the tough choice of selecting just one for you! That one book would have to be the No BS Guide to Time Management for Entrepreneurs. 

Dan’s book is full of great advice, and the implementation of only half of what I learned about saved me at least 10 hours per week I’d normally waste on stupid stuff (and believe me I don’t f&$^ around and have already gone to great lengths to optimise my schedule). Its tough advice delivered with enough sarcasm and dry humour to make you burst out laughing at times while simultaneously makes you feel stupid for not thinking of it already. Dan’s brilliance lies in the simplicity of his ideas and blunt delivery of them that really drives the point home and hopefully kicks your ass into gear. Often with business books you get 3-5 good ideas and another 7 chapters of filler content to meet publisher length specifications. In this book you get280+ pages of brilliance that all entrepreneurs and business owners must read.

Expert Secrets - Russel Brunson

I purchased the entire Clickfunnels trilogy at the same time and read them all in less than a week immediately after finishing Limitless! The whole series is great and I would highly recommend reading all three but once again I’m trying to stick to one book per series. Expert Secrets is the most relevant to guitar and music teachers and is less focused on building websites and funnels and more focused on how to establish yourself as an expert, build a framework for your teaching, and how to present yourself to potential clients. 

It has invaluable step by step guides which you can follow to dominate social media and spread your influence both online and offline. I’ve observed several online teaching personalities and social media gurus exhibiting similar behaviours and tactics, and after reading this book I can see where they are getting and believe I’ve found the original recipe they are all following.  I highly recommend if you are teaching guitar you read this book, especially if you are trying to create an online presence. 

The Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg

I read this book for the third time in 2021 and each time I discover something new that I had missed on prior readings, or wasn’t quite ready for at the time of my first reading.

This book provides a great insight into the process of habit formation and has the perfect blend of science, stories and practicality to keep it interesting and make it a fun, yet educational read.

If you’re someone who struggles with motivation and willpower then learning how to make difficult things habits and setting up an environment conducive to

success will be very valuable for you, and this book will provide you with everything that you need. Plus everything you learn can not just be applied to yourself, but to your students too!

Weightlifting Is A Waste of Time - John Jaquish

You might be scratching your head right now wondering why the hell I have a book about weightlifting on my business and entrepreneurial book recommendations list, so let me clear things up. I’m a big believer in the mind-body-spirit balance and that in order to be your best self in business (and all other areas) you need to have your health and fitness down pat, thus optimal business performance can be achieved through fitness.

 

I first heard of Dr John Jaquish while at a Tony Robbins event where a representative from his company Osteostrong was promoting that they were partnering with Tony and setting up bone density gyms all over

there world to help fight off osteoporosis and create the next generation of super-athletes through bone density training. I was very interested at the time but the pandemic hit before I could sus it out.

I first heard of Dr John Jaquish while at a Tony Robbins event where a representative from his company Osteostrong was promoting that they were partnering with Tony and setting up bone density gyms all over there world to help fight off osteoporosis and create the next generation of super-athletes through bone density training. I was very interested at the time but the pandemic hit before I could sus it out.

Fast forward a year and I came across an episode of my favourite podcast (Dropping Bombs with The Real Brad Lea) where he was interviewing this ginormous bodybuilder who was talking about weightlifting being a waste of time and how so many people are going about exercise the wrong way. Of course he was promoting his own exercise bar & routine, supplements and book, but everything he talked about made total sense, and he had the facts and science to prove it. (not to mention he was f*ckin’ massive!)

Long story short, I bought the bar and the book, and proceeded to lose over 20kg of fat in 12 weeks while maintaining my muscle mass all by following the diet and 15m-per-day exercise plan laid out in the book. Not bad at all

While the book is primarily about weightlifting it also covers sleep, nutrition and optimised human performance, something of interest to me. I was able to cancel my gym membership and trade 5 hours at the gym every week for 6x15m workouts at home with no wasted travel time in between. Not only did this cost less than half the price of my gym membership, it gave me back over 3 hours of time per week that I’d spend at the gym. A real solid investment which I’d recommend to any busy entrepreneur who wants good health and a great body but struggles to find the time to work out.

(if you’re interested in the exercise bar and routine check out the X3 Bar here

In Summary

I’m so glad that in 2021 I was able to rediscover my passion for reading, discover some terrific books by some great authors and learn a whole bunch of new ideas and concepts to work into my business and my personal development. Hopefully this list was helpful to you and will provide you with 5 additional great reads for you in 2022.

I will be following this list up with a my guitar book recommendations for all the guitar teachers and students interested in the musical side of things rather than strictly business and development.

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2022! 

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