Recommended Books



The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

by Dave Ramsey
ISBN: 0785289089, Hardcover- $16.49 BUY

Radio talk-show host and bestselling author Ramsey (Financial Peace) is less a financial analyst and more of a preacher, which explains both his popularity and the appeal of this book, which just might gain a wide audience. The bedrock of his system is simple: work hard, pay what you owe and stay out of debt. His main commandment is "Pay cash." He first exhorts the reader to take "baby steps," which are designed to build on each other: first, save $1,000 as an emergency fund; then, pay off all debts from smallest to largest; save a larger three-to-six-month emergency fund; finally, start to save for college and pay off your home mortgage. Ramsey understands the difficulty in putting these steps into action, and therefore packs his book with personal testimonials from everyday people who have used his system and have become debt free, with obvious struggles. The key is what Ramsey calls "Gazelle intensity," which is to live a financial life the way a gazelle saves itself from an attacking cheetah-"outmaneuver the enemy and run for your life." While Ramsey provides some helpful charts and graphs so readers can keep track of their efforts to follow his steps, the strength of this book is that it is a straightforward motivational tool. He provides the brutally direct truth about the hard work it takes to become free of debt, and his directness is a great part of the book's charm.


Rich Dad, Poor Dad

by Robert Kiyosaki
ISBN: 0446677450, Paperback- $10.17 BUY

Personal-finance author and lecturer Robert Kiyosaki developed his unique economic perspective through exposure to a pair of disparate influences: his own highly educated but fiscally unstable father, and the multimillionaire eighth-grade dropout father of his closest friend. The lifelong monetary problems experienced by his "poor dad" (whose weekly paychecks, while respectable, were never quite sufficient to meet family needs) pounded home the counterpoint communicated by his "rich dad" (that "the poor and the middle class work for money," but "the rich have money work for them"). Taking that message to heart, Kiyosaki was able to retire at 47. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, written with consultant and CPA Sharon L. Lechter, lays out his the philosophy behind his relationship with money. Although Kiyosaki can take a frustratingly long time to make his points, his book nonetheless compellingly advocates for the type of "financial literacy" that's never taught in schools. Based on the principle that income-generating assets always provide healthier bottom-line results than even the best of traditional jobs, it explains how those assets might be acquired so that the jobs can eventually be shed.


Cashflow Quadrant: Rich Dad's Guide to Financial Freedom

by Robert Kiyosaki
ISBN: 0446677477, Paperback- $12.21 BUY

The Cashflow Quadrant is the follow-up guide to finding the financial fast track that best works for you. It reveals the strategies necessary for moving beyond just job security to greater financial security by generating wealth from four selective financial quadrants.


The E-Myth Revisited - Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It

by Michael E. Gerber
ISBN: 0887307280, Paperback- $9.60 BUY

Michael Gerber's The E-Myth Revisited should be required reading for anyone thinking about starting a business or for those who have already taken that fateful step. The title refers to the author's belief that entrepreneurs--typically brimming with good but distracting ideas--make poor business people. He establishes an incredibly organized and regimented plan, so that daily details are scripted, freeing the entrepreneur's mind to build the long-term success of the business. You don't need an M.B.A. to understand or follow its directives; Gerber takes time to explain buzzwords and complex theories. Read in a clear and well-paced manner, listening to The-E Myth is like receiving advice from an old friend.


The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom: Practical and Spiritual Steps So You Can Stop Worrying

by Suze Orman
ISBN: 030734584X, Paperback- $10.17 BUY

When Suze Orman was 13 she watched her father dive into the flames of his burning take-out chicken shack in order to rescue his cash register. In that moment Orman learned that money was more important than life itself. And so it became her quest to be rich. But years later, when Orman became a wealthy broker with a huge investment firm, she was profoundly unhappy. What went wrong? She had not yet achieved financial freedom. In her nine-step program, Orman covers the ingredients to financial success--confronting our beliefs and fears, learning the nuts and bolts (and insiders secrets!) of savvy management, and finding the spiritual trust that leads to abundance.


The Millionaire Next Door

by Thomas J. Stanley
ISBN: 0671015206, Paperback- $10.20 BUY

How can you join the ranks of America's wealthy (defined as people whose net worth is over one million dollars)? It's easy, say doctors Stanley and Danko, who have spent the last 20 years interviewing members of this elite club: you just have to follow seven simple rules. The first rule is, always live well below your means. The last rule is, choose your occupation wisely. You'll have to buy the book to find out the other five. It's only fair. The authors' conclusions are commonsensical. But, as they point out, their prescription often flies in the face of what we think wealthy people should do. There are no pop stars or athletes in this book, but plenty of wall-board manufacturers--particularly ones who take cheap, infrequent vacations! Stanley and Danko mercilessly show how wealth takes sacrifice, discipline, and hard work, qualities that are positively discouraged by our high-consumption society. "You aren't what you drive," admonish the authors. Somewhere, Benjamin Franklin is smiling.


How to Win Friends & Influence People

by Dale Carnegie
ISBN: 0671027034, Paperback- $11.29 BUY

This grandfather of all people-skills books was first published in 1937. It was an overnight hit, eventually selling 15 million copies. How to Win Friends and Influence People is just as useful today as it was when it was first published, because Dale Carnegie had an understanding of human nature that will never be outdated. Financial success, Carnegie believed, is due 15 percent to professional knowledge and 85 percent to "the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people." He teaches these skills through underlying principles of dealing with people so that they feel important and appreciated. He also emphasizes fundamental techniques for handling people without making them feel manipulated. Carnegie says you can make someone want to do what you want them to by seeing the situation from the other person's point of view and "arousing in the other person an eager want." You learn how to make people like you, win people over to your way of thinking, and change people without causing offense or arousing resentment. For instance, "let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers," and "talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person." Carnegie illustrates his points with anecdotes of historical figures, leaders of the business world, and everyday folks.


Good to Great - Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't

by Jim Collins
ISBN: 0066620996, Hardcover- $16.50 BUY

Jim Collins asked the question, "Can a good company become a great company and if so, how?" In Good to Great, Collins concludes that it is possible, but finds there are no silver bullets. Collins and his team of researchers began their quest by sorting through a list of 1,435 companies, looking for those that made substantial improvements in their performance over time. They finally settled on 11--including Fannie Mae, Gillette, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo--and discovered common traits that challenged many of the conventional notions of corporate success.

Making the transition from good to great doesn't require a high-profile CEO, the latest technology, innovative change management, or even a fine-tuned business strategy. At the heart of those rare and truly great companies was a corporate culture that rigorously found and promoted disciplined people to think and act in a disciplined manner. Good to Great is one of those books that managers and CEOs will be reading and rereading for years to come.


How to Make Your Business Run Without You!

by Susan M. Carter
ISBN: 0967029104, Paperback- $26.60 BUY

How To Make Your Business Run Without You is a how-to resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs to effectively streamline operations that will pave the way for more business, bigger profits and a business that virtually runs itself. Through step-by-step chapters, Author Susan Carter advances readers from the high-risk potential of 'owning their own jobs' to the freedom and control of 'owning their own businesses.' A must read for any owner or self-employed professional who is eager to move from start-up status to ongoing success.


The Myth of Excellence - Why Great Companies Never Try to Be the Best at Everything

by Fred Crawford, Ryan Mathews
ISBN: 0609608207, Hardcover- $19.25 BUY

Crawford is the managing director of the consumer products, retail, and distribution practice at the Cap Gemini Ernst and Young consultancy. Mathews is a futurist specializing in demographics and lifestyle analysis at FirstMatter, another consulting firm. To research purchasing behavior, they surveyed 5,000 consumers, but the responses they got surprised them and prompted their title's contrary proposition.

They developed a new model of "consumer relevancy." They explain in detail the importance of price, service, quality, access, and experience for the consumer. They then suggest that for companies to be successful they need to dominate on only one of these five factors. On a second of the five they should stand out or differentiate themselves from their competitors; and on the remaining three they need only to be at par with others in their industry. With dozens of examples, Crawford and Mathews demonstrate the validity of their premise.


Extraordinary Guarantees - Achieving Breakthrough Gains in Quality and Customer Satisfaction

by Christopher Hart
ISBN: 0814450644, Paperback- $24.95 BUY

Many leading firms have achieved both these results by offering extraordinary guarantees. You too can boost organizational performance and quality to new levels by following the practical advice offered in the important book, Extraordinary Guarantees. Guarantees were once considered nothing more than a marketing gimmick. But as more and more quality leaders have begun to offer ironclad pledges of total customer satisfaction, the guarantee is now being recognized as an unparalleled tool for gaining a major, often unbeatable, competitive edge-and a host of other benefits.


Competing on Value

by Mack Hanan, Peter Karp (Contributor)
ISBN: 0814450369, Hardcover- $17.47 BUY

Presents a new approach to selling that emphasizes not competing on the basis of the best price, but the highest value--i.e. demonstrating to current and prospective customers that using your products or services will either cut their costs or improve their revenues. This book discusses VALUE. Value is not what you put INTO your products and services, it is what the customer GETS OUT. Three qualifiers of value are how much, how soon, and how sure--these are what the customer needs to know. In summary, this is highly recommended for every company that sells products and/or services.


Practice What You Preach - What Managers Must Do to Create a High-Achievement Culture

by David H. Maister
ISBN: 0743211871, Hardcover- $18.20 BUY

Maister, a professional service consultant, surveyed 6,500 employees at 50 worldwide companies to evaluate the relationship between company financial performance and employee satisfaction and loyalty. He found a direct and dramatic correlation. Here, he offers detailed commentary from CEOs, managers and staffers, and analysis of the survey results. Bosses in all kinds of companies will benefit from his solid advice, which should be required reading for executives and upper level managers.


Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal With Change in Your Work and in Your Life

by Spencer Johnson, Kenneth H. Blanchard
ISBN: 0399144463, Paperback- $12.97 BUY

Change can be a blessing or a curse, depending on your perspective. The message of Who Moved My Cheese? is that all can come to see it as a blessing, if they understand the nature of cheese and the role it plays in their lives. Who Moved My Cheese? is a parable that takes place in a maze. Four beings live in that maze: Sniff and Scurry are mice--nonanalytical and nonjudgmental, they just want cheese and are willing to do whatever it takes to get it. Hem and Haw are "littlepeople," mouse-size humans who have an entirely different relationship with cheese. It's not just sustenance to them; it's their self-image.

Their lives and belief systems are built around the cheese they've found. Most of us reading the story will see the cheese as something related to our livelihoods--our jobs, our career paths, the industries we work in--although it can stand for anything, from health to relationships. The point of the story is that we have to be alert to changes in the cheese, and be prepared to go running off in search of new sources of cheese when the cheese we have runs out.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Restoring the Character Ethic

by Stephen R. Covey
ISBN: 0671708635, Paperback- $11.20 BUY

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change was a groundbreaker when it was first published in 1990, and it continues to be a business bestseller with more than 10 million copies sold. Stephen Covey, an internationally respected leadership authority, realizes that true success encompasses a balance of personal and professional effectiveness, so this book is a manual for performing better in both arenas.


Principle-Centered Leadership

by Stephen R. Covey
ISBN: 0671792806, Paperback- $9.75 BUY

Covey, the author of the New York Times number 1 bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has struck a chord with millions of readers with his insights into human nature and values. Now he tells them how to apply his theories to everyday life, focusing primarily on the world of business.


The Power Principle - Influence With Honor

by Blaine Lee, Stephen R. Covey
ISBN: 0684846160, Paperback- $9.75 BUY

This self-help book reflects Lee's views on various types of power and how to develop principle-centered power in your life, which he defines as power that inspires loyalty and devotion, transcending time and place. Such power is based on trust and respect and survives even after one dies. Lee describes three types of power: coercive, which relies on the premise of control and uses fear as its instrument; utility, which is based on fairness, the exchange of what you can do for me with what I can do for you; and principle-centered, which is based on what you can do with others. The author tells us that his purpose in writing this book is to encourage us in our work with people, and he recommends that we choose principle-centered power as the primary way to influence others in our key relationships. Such power requires us to grow, to challenge our assumptions, and often to change our whole orientation in life.


The Richest Man in Babylon

by George S. Clason
ISBN: 0451205367, Paperback- $6.99 BUY

I often give this book out as a gift whenever a person younger than me asks for my advice on money. I always present this book to them saying "if you read it and do as it says, it will work magic." It really contains excellent, time tested advice, and would make a good gift for someone in their early 20s who is on their own for the first time, and struggling.

The book is a series of parables about money written in the 1920s by George Clason. They were written as individual essays of a few thousand words, but the theme throughout them is consistent -- save 10% of your money, give 10% away, use 10% to reduce your debt load, and live on the remaining 70%.

The stories in the book are entertaining; they are reminiscent of some of the parables in the Bible, such as the Prodigal Son or the story of the Workers in the Vineyard. I think this is intentional on the part of the author; certainly readers in the 1920s had an appreciation for "old fashioned stories with a moral" that people today seem to have lost. I enjoy the book greatly, though, and any thoughtful person who reads the book should find it interesting, especially if they are trying to get their finances in order.


The E-Myth Manager - Why Management Doesn't Work-And What to Do About It

by Michael E. Gerber
ISBN: 0887309593, Paperback- $11.02 BUY

More than ten years after his first bestselling book, The E-Myth, changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of small business owners, Michael Gerber - entrepreneur, author, and speaker extraordinaire fires the next salvo in his highly successful E-Myth Revolution. Drawing on lessons learned from working with more than 15,000 small, medium-sized, and very large organizations, Gerber has discovered the truth behind why management doesn't workand what to do about it.

Unearthing the arbitrary origins of commonly held doctrines such as the omniscience of leader (Emperor) and the most widely embraced myth of all. The E-Myth Manager offers a fresh, provocative alternative to management as we know it. It explores why every manager must take charge of his own life, reconcile his own personal vision with that of the organization, and develop an entrepreneurial mind-set to achieve true success.


Think and Grow Rich

by Napoleon Hill
ISBN: 0449214923, Paperback- $7.19 BUY

Is it true that by simply changing your thoughts you can completely change what you have in life? How could it be that simple? It is, but first you have to believe.

Most people want to see something happen, then believe in it. To be successful you have to do the opposite. Believe in it first, then you will see it. That's is one of the key messages in this book written almost 70 years ago.... It reads like it was written yesterday.

The title says it all. "Think and Grow Rich", but it is NOT just a book about making money. I am certain many people from all walks of life could benefit from this work, regardless of their opinion of money and riches. The message is clear: You may have whatever you want in life... if you can discover the secret within its pages.

I first read this book when I was a teenager. I am not sure it made much of an impression on me. I picked it up recently and I can't believe how much it has changed. Of course, that's nonsense. The book is the same, only my mind is now ready to see what the secret is...

Get this book and see if you can unlock the Secret to finding 'riches' for yourself.


Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? Inside IBM's Historic Turnaround

by Louis V. Gerstner
ISBN: 0060523794, Hardcover- $17.61 BUY

Gerstner quarterbacked one of history's most dramatic corporate turnarounds. For those who follow business stories like football games, his tale of the rise, fall and rise of IBM might be the ultimate slow-motion replay. The book's opening section snappily reports Gerstner's decisions in his first 18 months on the job-the critical "sprint" that moved IBM away from the brink of destruction. The following sections describe the marathon fight to make IBM once again "a company that mattered."

One of Gerstner's first tasks was to redirect the company's attention to the outside world, where a marketplace was quickly changing and customers felt largely ignored. He succeeded mightily. Upon his retirement this year, IBM was undeniably "a company that mattered." Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? is a well-rendered self-portrait of a CEO who made spectacular change on the strength of personal leadership.


Execution - The Discipline of Getting Things Done

by Larry Bossidy, Ram Charan, Charles Burck (Contributor)
ISBN: 0609610570, Hardcover- $17.33 BUY

Disciplines like strategy, leadership development, and innovation are the sexier aspects of being at the helm of a successful business; actually getting things done never seems quite as glamorous. But as Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan demonstrate in Execution, the ultimate difference between a company and its competitor is, in fact, the ability to execute.

Execution is "the missing link between aspirations and results," and as such, making it happen is the business leader's most important job.


First, Break All the Rules - What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently

by Marcus Buckingham, Curt Coffman
ISBN: 0684852861, Hardcover- $18.90 BUY

Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman expose the fallacies of standard management thinking in First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently. In seven chapters, the two consultants for the Gallup Organization debunk some dearly held notions about management, such as "treat people as you like to be treated"; "people are capable of almost anything"; and "a manager's role is diminishing in today's economy." "Great managers are revolutionaries," the authors write. "This book will take you inside the minds of these managers to explain why they have toppled conventional wisdom and reveal the new truths they have forged in its place."


A New Brand World - Eight Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the Twenty-First Century

by Scott Bedbury, Stephen Fenichell (Contributor)
ISBN: 0670030767, Hardcover- $17.47 BUY

Bedbury, who headed advertising and marketing divisions for Nike and Starbucks during their phenomenal growth, coaches on establishing a memorable brand. Observing consumers overwhelmed by countless choices, he argues that now's the time to build a brand that evokes trust from its customers.

"Unless your brand stands for something, it stands for nothing," he declares, as he explains methods for companies big and small to articulate their essence and ethos to core customers, potential customers and employees. Bedbury elaborates his belief that "the brand is the sum total of everything a company does" with lively anecdotes from the experiences of Harley-Davidson, Microsoft and others. He calls for advertising and marketing that will inspire rather than merely inform (ie: "Just Do It").


Inside The Magic Kingdom - 7 Keys to Disney's Success

by Thomas K. Connellan
ISBN: 1885167237, Hardcover- $13.00 BUY

Look in Mickey's Briefcase . . . Now, an outsider takes you inside the incredible Disney service culture and presents simple, powerful concepts in a fun, memorable way that just may change the way you conduct business. Based on hours of interviews and discussions with present and former Disney employees, Inside the Magic Kingdom discloses the secrets behind Disneys success . . . and explains why, of its more than 30 million guests each year, over two-thirds are repeat customers.

This upbeat, easy-to-read book illustrates clear, solid principles with examples that are well-known to Disney insiders but virtually unknown to outsiders until now. Outlines the seven keys to Disney's success. Now the principles that drive the culture and phenomenal success of Disney are disclosed in this fun, easy-to-read book. You will learn many insider secrets that will spell success if implemented in any business.


McDonald's - Behind the Arches

by John F. Love
ISBN: 0553347594, Paperback- $11.05 BUY

McDonald's: it is the world's premier entrepreneurial success story, a company whose growth worldwide continues to be astonishing. In tough financial times, McDonald's proved that ingenuity, trial and error, and gut instinct were the keys to building a service business the entire world has come to admire. In the years since McDonald's: Behind The Arches was first published, McDonald's has been a trendsetter in advertising, focusing on different ethnic groups as well as the physically disabled.

McDonald's created McJobs, a program that employs both mentally challenged adults and senior citizens. And because its franchisees have their fingers on the pulse of the marketplace, McDonald's has evolved successfully with the health food revolution, launching dozens of new products and moving toward environmentally-safe packaging and recyclable goods. Inspiring, informative, and filled with behind the scenes stories, this remarkable saga offers an irresistible look inside a great American business success.


The Legacy Journey: A Radical View of Biblical Wealth and Generosity

by Dave Ramsey
ISBN: 1937077713, Hardcover- $16.99 BUY

What does the Bible really say about money? About wealth? How much does God expect you to give to others? How does wealth affect your friendships, marriage, and children? How much is “enough”?

There’s a lot of bad information in our culture today about wealth—and the wealthy. Worse, there’s a growing backlash in America against our most successful neighbors, but why? To many, wealth is seen as the natural result of hard work and wise money management. To others, wealth is viewed as the ultimate, inexcusable sin. This has left a lot of godly men and women honestly confused about what to do with the resources God’s put in their hands. God’s ways of handling money caused them to build wealth, but then they’re left feeling guilty about it. Is this what God had in mind?




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