Formal education will make you a living; self education will make you a fortune. If I read a book that only costs me $20 and I get one good idea, I've just gotten one of the greatest bargains of all time. In this article, I'm going to share with you 7 Must-Read Personal Development Books that has helped me to live an abundant life in every area. They are recommended by many of the achievers and influencers around the world as some of the best personal development books of all time.

I've broken these books down into different categories because I think that when it comes to your self-development it's important to consider which area are you working on: your thinking, your habits, or your finances?


The first category is your thoughts. Thinking affects everything else. If you change your thinking, you could change your life. So, it's definitely worth to start changing your mindset and foundational belief before you move to any other areas.

1. Think and Grow Rich

The first book I would recommend is Think and Grow Rich.

This is really considered probably the self development classic of all time.

If you go to any conferences and you listen to any of those speakers of the modern day, you'll really see that a lot of the concepts and the foundational things that they're teaching about personal development are also found in this book

I would recommend the original classic.

There's new versions that have been supposedly updated but it actually takes a lot of content out. So look for the original classic. You can actually get this book for free (link at the bottom of the article).

I believe it's you know it went through its copyright date so you can grab that PDF of the original classic and read it digitally.

If you want to start changing your mindset, there's a couple others in this category:

  • The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz
  • How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell
  • Thinking for Change by John Maxwell

Think and Grow Rich is definitely my number one personal development book.

push yourself out of your comfort zone. Be successful by taking weekly actions

Transform Your Habits

Secondly, after working on your thinking, it's important to transform your habits

2. The Compound Effect

I love The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. It talks about how as your habits change and as you stack good practices, whether it habits in eating, whether your habits and fitness, whether your habits in business and as you stack those different things they have a compound effect on your life.

I found the book to be very transformational. The every day actions that you take can affect your income, your life, your success, and your relationships.

I wrote about how the successful people have a habit of keeping daily morning rituals - be it meditation, keeping fit or keeping a Gratitude journal.

Habits would be an area that I would recommend you to seek and develop.

Financial Freedom

Thirdly, I think it's important to deal with money.

3. Rich Dad, Poor Dad

The classic Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a must read.

I read this years ago and I found that it has transformed my thinking to what they would call getting out of the rat race by just barely making it and having kind of a month-to-month mentality to moving into business thinking and investment thinking.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad is definitely foundational in helping me transition from an employee in a company into a full time entrepreneur.

By getting a new perspective of money, it revolutionized how my wife and I approached our finances. So this is definitely a must read book!

Develop People Skills

Whether you're going to be independent, or in your job, or even in your family and relationships, there's no way you could succeed without developing people skills, communication skills and how to relate to people.

4. How to Win Friends and Influence People

The number fourth book would be How to Win Friends and Influence People.

This is definitely and probably one of the greatest self-development books of all times.

So check out How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Nurture Leadership Skills

For the fifth category, I would say leadership would be something that is important to develop.

Some people don't think that leadership is a personal development.

To be honest, every single one of us needs to grow our leadership as we develop ourselves. We'll need to lead ourselves first even if we don't see ourselves as leaders.

We should take the lead in our day-to-day job even if it means leading through influence.

I think growing as a leader is definitely an important step to make on your journey of self-development.

5. 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

Leadership has been a critical skill in my career and I think that probably one of the greatest books in that space is 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell, one of my favorite authors.

It's such a foundational book that I found as I read it at different times in my life, I get a whole other dimension of understanding. So it's absolutely critical to read it.

Become Indispensable

At some point or another, as we develop our leadership and people skills, we need to think about how we can become indispensable in our organization.

6. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

The sixth category in my must-read book would be Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin. This book is all for your professional life.

It talks about how we need to become somebody that makes things happen. Be a person who can think outside the box.

If layoffs were to come in your company and people were being let go, become the person that they wouldn't let go because of the value that you produce for the company.

This book is definitely good to build yourself up and to make yourself indispensable.

Monetize Your Passion

Now is the time to cash in on your passion.

7. Crush It!

For my seventh book recommendation, it would definitely be Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk.

This book has a profound effect on me. It helped in my transition from a day job to my dream job.

You can do that too.

You'll learn how you can turn your creativity into a career and how you can actually monetize your message and passion into a sustainable income for you.

This book has really been instrumental on my entrepreneurship journey.

Final Thoughts

All of these books helped me to build up my personal skills, my leadership and have guided me through every stage of my entrepreneur life – kind of like a roadmap/cheatsheet of transitioning into a full-time online entrepreneur.

They are all motivational and teaches me to fully pursue my dreams.

Recap all books with links:

What is your favorite or what do you think the best personal development and self-development books?

Write the key learning points in a journal now.