book summaries

Book Summaries

BOOK SUMMARIES

Reading is a great way of learning new things and discovering new ideas to try. Many of the habits I use to be more productive have come from books. Below is my complete list of business and productivity book summaries – I hope you find them useful, and if you like what you read, I encourage you to grab the full copy of the book.

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The Complete List:




The $100 Startup Book Summary and PDFThe $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau has two key themes: freedom and value. Freedom is what we’re all looking for, and value is the way to achieve it. The concept of having your own startup is the ultimate form of freedom according to Chris Guillebeau. He discusses different lessons on the road to beginning your own startup. With a focus on small ‘micro businesses' this book has plenty of tips and advice for every step of the journey.



the 4-hour work week bookThe 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

The 4-Hour Work Week teaches techniques to increase your time and financial freedom giving you more lifestyle options. By automating a passive income and liberating yourself from unproductive tasks you can live the lifestyle of the ‘new rich’ – one defined by having, doing and being what you want. Even for those people who have no interest in starting their own business, the principles in The 4-Hour Work Week can be applied to almost any situation or environment, you find yourself in. The ideas behind the 80/20 principle, outsourcing, elimination, and liberation will help you develop a much more productive mindset.


the-48-laws-of-power-book-summary-and-pdf-coverThe 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

The 48 Laws of Power examines 48 key steps to understanding how to use and enforce your power. These fundamental “laws” are a combination of actions, thoughts and tactics that you can employ in order to ‘play the power game’. Greene understands and clearly outlines how power can be effective in furthering your business potential..



the-7-habits-of-highly-effective-people-book-summary-pdf-coverThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
 by Steven Covey

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People examines what habits you can adopt to become an more productive person, organization or business.



a-guide-to-the-good-life-bookA Guide to the Good Life
 by William Irvine

A Guide to the Good Life is an eye-opening read about how to live a happier and more meaningful life. The book challenges you to think about living life as an art. The art of living is a skill to be practised (rather than “misliving” and failing to acquire the happiness you want).



anything you want by derek sivers book cover
Anything You Want
 by Derek Sivers

In Anything You Want, author Derek Sivers highlights the main lessons learned while building his business, CD Baby. This quick read is full of actionable and sometimes controversial lessons that go against the norm. Derek challenges conventional business thinking and turns a lot of assumptions on their heads.


built-to-last-pdf Built to Last by Jim Colins

Jim Collins examines a selection of ‘Visionary Companies’. He compares these to other companies and identifies what it takes to run a visionary company. Collins book is well researched, he debunks myths and examines key ideologies. It's an excellent guide to creating a successful business or organization that will prosper over a long period of time.


crush itCrush It by Gary Vaynerchuk

Do you have a hobby you wish you could do all day? An obsession that keeps you up at night? Now is the perfect time to take those passions and make a living doing what you love. Now is the perfect time to cash in on your passion, Gary Vaynerchuk shows you how to use the power of the Internet to turn your real interests into real businesses in his hit book; Crush It.



decisive by chip and dan heath book summary and pdfDecisive by Dan and Chip Heath

Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath takes you through the decision making process and offers advice on how to make better choices in life and worth. A four step process helps to avoid common biases that are most likely affecting the decisions you make today. The strategies and tools in Decisive are useful and easy to implement into your life, and the engaging examples used are enjoyable and relatable.


Deep WorkDeep Work by Cal Newport

Cal Newport’s Deep Work is a fascinating read about the benefits and practical steps you can take to do more deep work. Unlike shallow work, that can give the false impression of productivity, deep work is much more conducive to increased productivity and getting the results you desire.


the-dipThe Dip by Seth Godin

The Dip, by Seth Godin, is a quick and easy little ready that teaches you when to quit on ideas, and when to stick with them. If something is worth doing, there will be a dip and you need to learn how to navigate it successfully if you're going to come out the other side.



eat-that-frog-book-summary-and-pdfEat That Frog by Brian Tracy

Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy is a well written and easy to digest list of 21 tips to help you stop procrastinating and get more work done. This is a great guide for anyone who feels overwhelmed with work and doesn't know where to start. Brian Tracy shares different methods for planning and prioritising, shows you how to identify the most important tasks and tips for keeping focused.



ego is the enemy
Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

Ego is the Enemy is a fantastic read about how on the road to success, we mustn’t let our ego’s become a controlling factor in the way we act and make decisions. The book is a great continuation on from Ryan’s last book, The Obstacle is the Way.



essemtialismEssentialism
 by Greg McKeown

Essentialism by Greg McKeown is a must read for people interested in productivity and getting more done. It’s a real eye-opener which challenges you to think about what’s important and how you’re spending your time. The book guides you through the process of saying “no” to the “trivial many” so you can focus more on the “essential few”.


book-coverExecution by Larry Bossidy

Execution: The discipline of getting things done by Larry Bossidy is a 3-part examination of what it takes for companies to succeed through strategies, processes, leadership and ultimately, execution. It is this which sets successful companies apart from those that fail..



extreme-ownership-coverExtreme Ownership by Jocko Willink

Extreme Ownership is written by Jocko Willink, a SEAL leader who explains how the lessons he learnt in combat are relevant to leaders in any role. The importance of team is emphasised, you are only as good as the men or woman behind you. This book provides fundamental leadership lessons through Willink’s insightful combat experiences and stories. Willink examines a number of leadership concepts that have been proven as effective in both combat and business scenarios.


getting things doneGetting Things Done by David Allen

Getting Things Done is arguably the world’s most well-known book on productivity. The lessons in this book should be considered essential reading for anyone looking to pursue a more productive lifestyle. Normally when I write a book summary I outline the main points from each chapter. However with GTD, the book is jam-packed with information and ideas. In order to make this summary useful, actionable and concise I thought I would summarise the main lesson from the book as a whole instead of each individual chapter.



girlboss-book-summary-pdf#GIRLBOSS
 by Sophia Amoruso

Written by Sophia Amoruso, the successful owner of popular brand Nasty Gal, #GIRLBOSS tells the story of her road to becoming a GIRLBOSS, and aims to teach you how to learn from your own mistakes and from other people’s mistakes. To help you realise when to quit and when to ask for more. To encourage you to ask more questions and when to either follow the rules or re-write them. A guide to becoming a boss from a women’s perspective that is equally relevant in the man’s world.


 

Give and Take by Adam Grant Book Summary and PDFGive and Take: a Revolutionary Approach to Success  by Adam Grant

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant is an interesting perspective on the three different types of people in life; givers, takers and matchers. By identifying and assessing the different characteristics of each, Grant provides an interesting insight onto who is actually more successful in life based on their approach. With real-life examples Grant offers plenty of useful advice on how to navigate situations and get the most out of them while also contributing to others.


good to greatGood to Great by Jim Collins

From the author of “Built to Last”, “Good to Great” outlines a model for turning a good, average or even mediocre company into a great one. The book includes a useful model which brings all the theory together in a meaningful and memorable way. By bringing together disciplined people, using disciplined thought and disciplined action companies can build up and break through the barriers that hold them back from greatness. The author, Jim Collins, and his research team put together a list of “good to great” companies which were compared to the “comparison companies” in order to determine what separates the elite from the rest.



Grit by Angela Duckworth Book Summary and PDFGrit by Angela Duckworth

Grit by Angela Duckworth is a psychological examination of the concept of Grit. A combination of passion and perseverance. She discusses how effort is often ignored, outshone by ‘talent’. When really, what is more important in life is effort. Duckworth shares personal lessons learnt, real life examples and useful tips for raising your own children to be ‘gritty’. This book is a really good in-depth discussion about the psychology of talent, effort and achievement.


growth hacker marketingGrowth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday

The premise of Growth Hacker Marketing is that exponential growth as seen from the likes of Dropbox, Instagram and Facebook is not down to luck and it hasn’t come from traditional forms of marketing. Their rapid growth has been engineered from the beginning and despite being late entrants into their markets, these companies have succeeded using new age marketing techniques.



the-hard-thing-about-hard-things-book-summary-and-pdfThe Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

Entrepreneur Ben Horowitz has written The Hard Thing about Hard Things as a guide to starting and running your own startup. He shares his own journey with many helpful insights on how to be a successful CEO, how to create a company with a vision, how to encourage work culture, how to hire, how to fire and many more interesting tips. A great read for anyone looking for business-hopefuls looking to start their own venture!


how to win friends and influence peopleHow to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Everyone, and I mean everyone can learn something from How to Win Friends & Influence People. The principles in the book are simple, but something a lot of us fail to use or remember. This book will help you to convince people to your way of thinking, avoid arguments and become more liked. If you’re in a leadership or sales type role, I strongly recommend this book. HTWFIP was one of the first best-selling self-help books ever published. Written by Dale Carnegie and first published in 1936, it has sold 15 million copies worldwide.



Inspired by Marty Cagan Book Summary and PDFInspired: How to Create Products People Love by Marty Cagan

Inspired: How to Create Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan is a well written book detailing the process of creating a product, whether that be internet based or physical. Cagan starts from the beginning with the key roles of team members, takes you through the development process and finishes with marketing and selling your product.


I will teach you to be richI Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi

I Will Teach You to be Rich helps you identify where your money is going and gets it working for you so that you can save for the things that will bring you true happiness and lead a rich life. The six-week program identifies how to create a system for optimising your bill payments, savings, and investments so that your money goes to all the right places with less than an hour of maintenance a month. Now who wouldn't want to spend less time managing their bank accounts while at the same time knowing that your money is going to the places it needs to be. Automating your finances like this is incredibly rewarding and will save you heaps of time every month.


Leaders-Eat-Last-CoverLeaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

Leaders Eat Last is a fantastic read all about how leaders can create organizations and cultures that allow workers to go home at the end of the day feeling fulfilled by the work that they do. By creating an environment built on trust, teams will pull together, again and again, to help their tribe not just survive, but the flourish.



Lean In Sheryl Sandberg Book Summary and PDFLean In
 by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In is written by Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. The book is an interesting examination of the current workplace and women's role within it. She identifies a need for women to be in leadership roles and explains the reasons why women both hold themselves back, and are held back. Sandberg includes many examples from her own life, specifically working with Mark Zuckerberg and emphasises the importance of men supporting women in the workplace, and women supporting women. We all need to lean in.


the lean startupThe Lean Startup by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup defines a scientific methodology for running startups and launching new products. This new approach has been adopted around the world within startups and established organisations. Regardless of your role or company size, this is a must-read for entrepreneurs, marketers, developers and business leaders.



the life changing magic of tidying upThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
 by Marie Kondo

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a really interesting read all about being more organised and intentional with what you choose to own and how this can impact your way of thinking and perspectives on life. Tidying up and getting rid of your possessions can seem like a daunting task, but going through the detailed process in this book will help you to surround yourself with things that bring you true joy (instead of clutter, which causes unnecessary stress and headache).


the magic of thinking bigThe Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

The Magic of Thinking Big contains the secrets to getting the most out of your job, your marriage, your family life and so much more. The book illustrates how you don’t need to be incredibly intelligent or unique to have all the success you want; you simply need to think in a way that cultivates success. By thinking big you can motivate yourself to improve your work life, earn more money and get more happiness and fulfilment out of life.


manage your day to dayManage Your Day to Day by 99U

Should you answer that email, or answer your calling? Tune into social media, or tune into your own voice? Respond to other people’s needs or actively set your own agenda? When it comes to creative work, every decision, every day, matters. 99U brings together the insights of 20 creative experts to produce “Manage Your Day to Day”. Learn how to build a rock-solid routine, find focus and sharpen your creative mind.


meditationsMeditations by Marcus Aurelius

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is an eye-opening read about the guiding principles of how to live a happy and fulfilling life. Marcus Aurelius was the emperor of Rome from 161 to 180AD and was the last of the five “good emperors”. Drawing on stoic philosophy, Marcus writes notes to himself on self-improvement and the lessons that have stuck with him.



the-millionaire-next-doorThe Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley

The Millionaire Next Door is a fascinating examination of the common characteristics of the millionaires living among us. Authors Thomas Stanley debunk the myths and will give you a detailed view of what real millionaires look like.




Mindset by Carol Dweck book summary and PDFMindset
 by Carol Dweck

Mindset by Carol Dweck is a psychological examination of two different mindsets; the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. She discusses how these come into play and how they effect our lives. Deck's book goes into detail about how mindsets can be applied to all areas of life from schooling, work, relationships and parenting. At the end of each chapter, Dweck has leading questions and tips on how you can grow your own mindset. A must-read for anyone looking to expand themselves, grow and learn.





minimalism by the minimalists book summary and pdfMinimalism: Live a Meaningful Life
 by The Minimalists

Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life is written by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus – The Minimalists. Their book questions what it means to be happy and explores how life a meaningful live. By identifying and explaining five core values Joshua and Ryan offer useful advice on how you can take steps towards living a life full of happiness, passion and freedom. Their book makes you take a step back and take inventory of your life, it can open your eyes to things you are doing, and things you own that may be getting in the way of your own happiness and freedom.


the miracle morningThe Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

The Miracle Morning is an instructional book all about how to create a morning routine that sets you up for success in every aspect of life. Now practised by thousands of people worldwide, the Miracle Morning is helping transform lives and create greater success for its readers. By using the morning to invest in and develop yourself, you to can live the Miracle Morning and start on your path to success.


the obstacle is the wayThe Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

The Obstacle is the Way is a fantastic and instructive read all about how to overcome any obstacle or challenge and turn it into an advantage. From author Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle is the Way draws on key historical figures and stoic philosophy to communicate its message. No matter what background you come from, your area of expertise or goals for the future, everyone can learn a valuable lesson from this book.



the one thingThe ONE Thing
 by Gary Keller

The ONE Thing is a must-read for anyone interested in productivity and personal improvement. This book clearly defines why productivity is the perfect vehicle for getting what you want and living an extraordinary life. The advice in this book is incredibly practical and the full copy of the book is well worth the read.





The One Minute To Do List Book Summary and PDFThe One Minute To-Do List
 by Michael Linenberger

The One Minute To-Do List is a step by step guide for anyone looking to get more organised and aiming to manage their work load better. An easy to understand system is explained with different approaches. Michael Linenberger also gives options depending on what platform you wish to create your list; pen and paper, computer desktop or your smart phone. A quick, easy to read guide that can help you become a little bit more productive in your day-to-day life.




the-power-of-habit-book-coverThe Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit is a must-read for anyone interested in training themselves to create new habits and rituals. This book clearly defines what a habit is and how we can shape, mould and change them for individuals, organizations and societies.




the power of less bookThe Power of Less
 by Leo Babauta

The Power of Less by Leo Babauta is a guide on how to de-clutter you life and work to create more time for the important things. Leo explains how identifying the essential aspects of your life and eliminating all of the non-essentials can allow you to focus on goals and aspirations that can continue to change your life for the better. We live in a world that is fast-paced and very-full, this book helps show you that slowing down and having less can actually be beneficial.


re-awaken the giant within bookRe-Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins

Re-Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins is an inspiring read about how to live a happier, healthier more fulfilling life. In the book, Robbins discusses how to empower yourself by taking control of your emotions, values and beliefs.


reworkRework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

Rework is a fantastic read for anyone interested in business, leadership and entrepreneurship. It's very quick and easy to read. Each section is very concise; there's no fluff – just quick tips and actionable ideas. This is one of the reasons I love the book so much!


51yyzvo-tol-_sy344_bo1204203200_Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Poor Dad is a really interesting persepective on lessons learnt from a Rich Man and a Poor Man. Including helpful tips on how to translate these lessons into real life and become rich yourself!


screw it lets do itScrew It, Let's Do It by Richard Branson

In Screw It, Let’s Do It author and entrepreneur Richard Branson’s outlines his guidelines for living life, running a business and achieving your goals.


sleep smarterSleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson

Sleep Smarter is a quick and easy read packed with facts, studies and scientific insight all about getting better quality sleep. Shawn takes you through the essential components of a good nights sleep. The book also contains a few surprises about how much impact sleep has on your day to day health. When you improve the quality of your sleep, almost every aspect of your life improves, including, yes… you guessed it, your productivity. By the end of the book, you'll definitely be settling in for a good nights sleep.



Sprint by Jake Knapp Book Summary and PDFSprint by Jake Knapp

Sprint is written by Jake Knapp with help from John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz. These three have all been a big part of Google Ventures. Together, they have put together a guide for “solving big problems and testing new ideas in just five days”. You’ll find useful start-up examples including those from Slack and Blue Bottle Coffee. Knapp, Zeratsky and Kowitz have put together a must-read checklist at the back of the book that will assist anyone on this problem-solving, idea-testing journey.




the start up of you by reid hoffman book summary and pdfThe Start-up of You
 by Reid Hoffman and Ben Panocha

The Start-Up of You is written by Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of Linked In along with entrepreneur Ben Panocha. The book explains why you need to manage your own career as if you were managing a start-up business. Taking advice from start-ups, and the entrepreneurs who run them, is key to accelerating your career in today's ever-changing and overly-competitive world. Well worth a read if you are looking to take control of your future and career path.


start with whyStart With Why by Simon Sinek

There are leaders and there are those who lead. Start With Why is about a naturally occurring pattern, a way of thinking, acting and communicating that gives some leaders the ability to inspire those around them. The more organisations and people who learn to also start with WHY, the more people there will be who wake up feeling fulfilled by the work they do.



The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson Book Summary and PDFThe Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

A guide on how to let go a little bit and enjoy life more. To realise that we will suffer in life, not everything is always great, and this book will show you how to suffer better, more meaningfully and with more compassion. Mark Manson is straight-up with his advice but when you have finished reading it, you will have a new lease of life. Most importantly, Mark Manson will help you pick meaningful values for your life and teach you that you don’t have to try anymore.



Superhuman by habit book summary and pdfSuperhuman by Habit by Tynan

Superhuman by Habit by Tynan is quite literally, a guide to becoming the best version of yourself, one tiny habit at a time. Tyne takes you through the process of building habits, choosing which habits to work on, maintaining, regulating, assessing these habits and staying accountable throughout the journey. Tynan has a useful section where he breaks down popular habits. He analyses the pros and cons; the feelings you will more than likely feel if you are going through the process of building these specific habits. If you are interested in building habits and looking for support and guidance, I recommend you download the book!




Ted Talks by Chris Anderson Book Summary and PDFTED Talks: The Official Ted Guide to Public Speaking
 by Chris Anderson

TED Talks by Chris Anderson is an encouraging and relatable guide on how to give a good talk. Anderson examines the importance of public speaking and the joy it brings to both the speaker and the audience. TED Talks offers ways to plan and deliver a talk and to gain some more confidence in public speaking. Using examples from some inspirational TED talkers such as Jamie Oliver and Bill Clinton, this book is easy to read and full of useful advice, tips and tricks.



think-and-grow-rich-cover2Think and Grow Rich
 by Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich examines the psychological power of thought and the brain in the process of furthering your career for both monetary and personal satisfaction.



thinking-fast-and-slow-image
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking, Fast and Slow analyses two modes of thought; system one and system two. It examines emotional thought versus more logical thought and how this is evident over multiple platforms.




The Third Wave
 by Steve Case

The Third Wave by Steve Case is an insightful look into the future of startups and entrepreneurs in our ever-evolving technological world. Examining experiences from his own life, large global companies and recent stir-ups such as Uber, Case shares plenty of advice for those looking to achieve more and succeed in what he is calling ‘the third wave'.



tools of titans book cover
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

Tools of Titans is a fantastic read and there really is something for everyone in this book. Broken up into three sections; healthy, wealthy and wise, author Tim Ferriss deconstructs the habits, routines and daily rituals of the world’s top performers.


trust me Im lying v2Trust Me I'm Lying by Ryan Holiday

Trust Me I’m Lying is an eye-opening book about how the modern media operates, the economics that drives it and how the system can be manipulated. Author Ryan Holiday details how he himself manipulated the media, by bribing bloggers, writing their stories, pretending to be other people and defacing his own advertisements to get the media writing the stories he wanted.



The Way of the Seal by Mark Divine Book Summary and PDFThe Way of the Seal by Mark Divine

The Way of the Seal by Mark Divine identifies a number of skills that you can build on and develop. These skills align with the Seals way of life and will enable you to think and act like an ‘elite warrior'. These lessons in leadership and life are applicable to business, personal life and any challenges you may face. Mark Divine has a series of exercises and questions that will help you to develop the necessary skills. The Way of the Seal is an enjoyable and educational read for anyone looking to develop their leadership skills.


 

what the most successful people do before breakfastWhat the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam

Productivity researcher Laura Vanderkam has combined her three mini e-books into one comprehensive guide. Through Laura’s research and interviews, ‘What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast’ reveals how to plan your mornings, weekends and work time to achieve greater productivity and happiness. It was after reading Laura's book that I transformed my morning routine which is now one of my favourite times of the day. If you'd like to learn the most common productivity skills among the world's top performers, then this is the book for you.



work-smarter-not-harder-book-summary-and-pdfWork Smarter Not Harder by Timo Kiander

Working Smarter Not Harder by Timo Kinder is a quick read that identifies 18 different ways to improve your working day. Tips range from learning new valuable computer skills to understanding your own working patterns and rhythms. A easy-to-read guide that will help anyone increase their productivity one step at a time!



you-are-a-badass-book-summary-and-pdfYou Are A Badass
 by Jen Sincero

You are a badass by Jen Sincero is an entertaining read with plenty of real-world advice. Her book aims to empower any readers and teach you how to stop doubting yourself and get stuff done. Sincero helps to identifies key problems in everyone's life, she then explains how best to combat these hurdles and live the best life you can. Whether you want to start a business, learn how to make extra money or get another job this book is an excellent guide!


zero to oneZero to One by Peter Thiel

Zero to One by Peter Thiel is a must read for startup entrepreneurs everywhere. The book looks at how companies can engineer radical changes and in doing so, move the human race forward. Author Peter Thiel was the co-founder of PayPal, the first outside investor in Facebook and is now the co-founder and chairman of Palantir Technologies.


I'm always on the lookout for new books to read. If you have any great suggestions, please get in touch!

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