After I sold Mission Data in 2007, I also sold most of my belongings and drove to Alaska, a state I fell in love with during several vacations many years ago. As a result of that moving process, I sold over 400 books, keeping only the 100 or so “best” books that would fit in my car.
Forced to think about keeping only ~100 books, I learned that my favorite business books are:
- How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling, by Frank Bettger
- Growing a Business, by Paul Hawken
- Selling Your Services, by Robert Bly
As I mentioned throughout this book, the first book by Mr. Bettger helped change my life, and I recommend it highly.
Shore up your weaknesses
Beyond these books, I encourage you to read any book that will help you shore up an area of weakness. For instance, for many years I didn’t know anything about investing in stocks, so I bought several books and then began investing on my own. Everything related to this experience helped me talk to CEO’s and small business owners, as these people also commonly invest in the stock market.
Similarly, I was trained as an engineer, and when I got into the software business I learned that designers think very differently than engineers. I also learned that to be successful, software needs to look as good as it works, so I bought several books related to design — and I’m a better consultant as a result.
The Zen quotes used in this book come primarily from the following books:
- Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, by Shunryu Suzuki
- Dropping Ashes on the Buddha, by Zen Master Seung Sahn
- Only Don’t Know, by Zen Master Seung Sahn
- The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, by Carlos Castaneda
- Zen Training, by Katsuki Sekida
- Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu (translated by Stephen Mitchell)