My Top Game-Changing Book Recommendations!

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You all know I have a profound love of all things personal development - to the point where I actually have to reign it in on occasion! And I knew eventually I would want to share an extensive list of my favorite resources with you! So, here you go - organized by subject and in order with my favorite books/audio books at the top of each category, including:

  • Confidence
  • Motivation & Inspiration
  • Productivity & Lifestyle Changes
  • Relationships
  • Spirituality & Mindfulness
  • Health & Fitness
  • Finances


The Power of Vulnerability - Brene Brown (Audio Book)- Literally, you cannot go wrong with anything by this woman! Brene Brown, PhD is a research professor who has studied shame, vulnerability, and worthiness for the last 15 years. Her Ted Talk from 2010 went completely viral (right). So, basically, she's legit! This book is a recording of one of her seminars, and what I love about it is that she simultaneously makes you laugh your ass off, while telling stories and making insights that will make you cry and bring you to your knees. It's incredible! By far one of my most recommended and shared things I've ever been exposed to! I highly encourage anyone and everyone check it out!

Other great books from Brene Brown, PhD:

You are a Badass - Jen Sincero - This book! Agh this book! By far the most-quoted book I have ever read! You may already recognize it from my Motivation Monday video and blog posts. I adore this book! It gets at the crux of what so many of us deal with: "How to stop doubting [our] greatness and starting living an awesome life!" Jen Sincero talks about her struggles, her journey, the lessons she learn - and she does it with such pizzazz and voice that you don't even feel like you're reading! You feel like you're having a conversation with your girlfriends over cocktails about life and all it's struggle! But it's not just a bitch-fest! It's action-oriented and motivation-filled! And I couldn't recommend it (or read it) enough.

Failing Forward - John C. Maxwell - I gave away my copy of this book to a good friend and ever since I had been itching to buy another. John C. Maxwell is a guru in business. But this book demonstrates why "business" doesn't mean just "business people" should read it. We all have a fear of failure - and it can be crippling! But, what I love about this book is that he teaches you that once you change your perspective on failure, that fear goes away! It's as simple and as complicated as that! I highly encourage everyone check it out! If you have any fear of failure - this will help move you through it!

Other great books to check out:

Motivation & Inspiration

Awaken the Giant Within - Anthony Robbins - Tony Robbins is a self-made man and thought leader in the field of personal growth and high-level achievement. He's been in the game with his books and seminars for some 30 odd years, and has worked with people whom would top anyone's list of "most influential" - Oprah, Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, just to name a few. And this book changed my life! It was the very first personal development book I ever read while starting my journey. And, it became the ultimate game-changer book in my life! 

Other great books and programs from Tony Robbins:

Mindset - Carol S. Dweck, PhD - This was one of my most recent personal development finds, and such a holy shit kind of book for me! It's all about - you guessed it - mindset! Dr. Carol Dweck is a Psychology professor who has spent her career teaching and preaching on something that deeply affects and holds back individuals in our culture - a fixed mindset. It's exactly how it sounds. Dr. Dweck illustrates through beautiful and thorough examples how we can nip this fixed mindset-epidemic in the bud by changing our language in how we talk to ourselves, our children, our clients, our employees, our coaches, etc.

The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho - "When you’re on a journey to fulfill your Personal Legend, the whole universe conspires to help you achieve it." If you finish this book without this mantra pulling at your soul, I would question if you've read the book. It's a simple story, some might even say cliche, about a boy who leaves everything he knows behind to pursue a dream. And in the process learns incredible amounts about himself, others, and the world around him. There's a reason why you hear about this book all the time - because it's a profoundly worthy classic! Don't do what I did and wait years before you finally read it! Do it now!

Other great books to check out:

On Career/Purpose:

Productivity & Lifestyle Changes

Getting Things Done - David Allen - We're all about the productivity these day, am I right?! A friend of mine had been raving all the time about the Getting Things Done (GTD) system, that I finally caved and decided I needed to know what all of the fuss is about. And this system is crazy effective. Even if you just apply a couple of the suggestions it's a game-changer! Like the "2 Minute Rule" - if something takes two minutes or less to complete, do it! Don't put it off. Just get it done. Or my other favorite teaching - that our brains are not meant for remembering! So instead of trying to remember that thing you're supposed to do, that gift you wanted to buy, etc. just record it somewhere instead. He's got a filing system, an organizational, and a website chock full of productivity and organizational tips! I highly suggest you check it out if you're in need of organizational help. 

The Compound Effect - Darren Hardy - When any new coach joins my team, they get this book. Why? Because it's simple, profound message can have big impacts on your life if only you apply the knowledge! The idea is this - small actions applied consistently can drastically affect an outcome. Darren Hardy illustrates this so wonderfully and so eloquently that once I finished it, I couldn't not share!

Pivot: The Art and Science of Reinventing your Career & Your Life - Adam Markel - This was one of those books that grabbed me because of the title. I was considering a change in career, and potentially a pretty drastic one. I had no idea how to reconcile all my emotions, my doubts, and my fears! This book really helped me work through those questions and fears that I had.

The Four Hour Work Week - Tim Ferriss - No matter how you slice it, this book is polarizing! And if you're one of those people that hates it, I'm not going to argue with you. But I personally love it. I love it because it is the most thorough description and depiction of all the different ways you can delegate, automate, and create passive income in your life so you can live more and work less! And I don't know about you, but that's definitely an idea that I can get behind. Plus - just love Tim Ferriss!

Other great books to check out:


How to Win Friends & Influence People - Dale Carnegie - Did anybody else get turned off by the title of this book when you first read it? I did. It sounded pompous, and manipulative. I mean a "how to" book on how to influence people? Let me put your fears aside right now - it's not that kind of book! And just like with the Alchemist - there is a reason why this book is considered a classic! Because it is the single best book that I have ever read, and arguably that has ever been published on how to relate to others. It's not really about winning & influencing people - it's about teaching you to understand and develop rapport with people. Building good relationships builds friendships, trust, and seamless sense of support and reciprocation. This book teaches you the little tactics that can have a big impact on your relationships - with peers, with superiors, with friends, with acquaintances, etc.

Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can’t control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.
— Epictetus, "The Art of Living"

Spirituality & Mindfulness

The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, & Effectiveness - Epictetus When a good friend of mine recommended a philosophical book to me, I immediately went into skeptic mode. I thought it would be boring, tedious to read, and be in that style where the writer is seemingly talking in circles about nothing. You know - philosophical texts. It was not what expected - it was better! Not only is it based on the teachings of a slave-turned-stoic philosopher, but the way in which the teachings are taught is incredibly relate-able. The stories and lessons are formulated in short 1-3 page snippets, easily digestible in small time frames and told in a manner in which you can relate. It's still so contemporary, and something any self-help fanatic can get behind!

Other great books to check out:

Health & Fitness

The 4 Hour Body - Tim Ferriss - In the same way that 4 Hour Work Week is a manual for delegation and automation, 4 Hour Body is a manual for Tim Ferriss' methodologies for achieving the body you want. Some may considered his methods unorthodox, but he has the personal experience and the testimonials from enough people that he just might convince you! It's a gargantuan book, coming it at around 500 pages, but the best part is he walks you through what parts to read based on your goals! It's definitely not a cover-to-cover book. It's a pick and choose what you want to learn when you need to learn. This book covers: Fat loss, Muscle Gain, Improving Sex, Perfecting Sleep, Reversing Injuries, Running Faster, to name just some of the its many sections.

The Body Book - Cameron Diaz - If you're new to health & fitness, I won't lie this book is a decent start. It's by no means ground breaking, but if you're looking to learn the basics, this book has you covered. It covers: 

  • Nutrition - from carbs to sugar, why you need more water and why you should be eating fat
  • Fitness with special emphasis on strength and why women shouldn't fear it
  • Mind, ending the book with a little pep talk

Again, if you're new to health & fitness, it's worth the read! But if you're a pro, looking for something to step up your game, this isn't what you're looking for.

The Mental Edge - Kenneth Baum - This was one of those that I didn't know where to put. But bottom line, it's incredible book on the power of the mind in shaping your achievement. It's written from the perspective of sports psychology, but plenty of examples are given in which the reader can see, for example the power of visualization in goal achievement. I definitely left without a profound sense of appreciation for the power of visualization, and the ways in which I could use my mind to more vividly create my dreams to better connect them to my reality. If you're even remotely interested in psychology, it's a very interesting read!


Financially Fearless - Alexa Von Tobel (and/or check out The best thing that this book did is a) teach me an incredibly simple budgeting strategy, and b) introduce me to LearnVest, which has been the most effective tool I've ever found for budget. Check out more info about it here.

Other great books to check out:


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