8 Inspiring Books to Read If You Want to Be Successful
Are you looking for something inspirational to help you achieve your goals? Try these exceptional reads about successful people in business and tech.
Updated 12 Feb 2019
A good dose of inspiration is vital to stay motivated to achieve your goals, without which you are bound to lose your purpose and sense of direction. A great way to get inspired is by reading the success stories of extraordinary world leaders.
So, if you’re feeling rather underwhelmed lately, it’s time to pick up one of these inspiring books, which tell the stories of some of the world’s top leaders.
#1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
The founder of Apple Inc, Steve Jobs, was known as the father of modern technology and was definitely one of the world’s greatest visionaries. Although he dropped out of college, he worked hard to make his ideas come to life and was eventually worth an estimated USD10.2 billion at his time of death!
This self-titled book by the author of the bestselling biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein was written based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs and includes input from more than 100 people who knew Jobs for at least two years.
The book dives into Jobs’ world and is filled with lessons from the tech pioneer about innovation, personality, leadership and life values. This book is definitely a must-read for all of you who aspire to make the impossible possible!
#2. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
If you haven’t already heard, Elon Musk is a business entrepreneur famously known as the co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, a company dedicated to developing electric vehicles for the mass market. He’s also the mastermind behind SpaceX, a company which develops and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft with the aim of enabling people to live on other planets. How cool!
So it comes as no surprise that as of February 2019, he has already accumulated a net worth of around USD21.3 billion.
Published in 2015, this book is essentially a biography of Elon Musk that reveals everything from his childhood days to his entrepreneurial journey and how he started Zip2, Paypal, SpaceX, Tesla and SolarCity. So if you’ve always dreamt of being a futuristic tech developer, you should absolutely grab this book for a fun read!
#3. Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Facebook's Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg by Ekaterina Walter
If you live and breathe in the technological age of the 21st century, this man — Zuckerberg — needs no introduction. He’s the reason why we’re constantly engrossed in our phones, scrolling through social media all day! In fact, according to a study back in 2016, Malaysians spend an average of 187 minutes (more than 3 hours) a day surfing Facebook.
So, if you’re curious about the genius who at age 19, revolutionised how millions of people interact and consume information globally, this is an excellent read for you. On top of that, not only will you learn more about Zuckerberg but you'll also be taught the 5 P’s of success — passion, purpose, people, product and partnerships, that helped drive the success of Facebook.
Who knows, you could be the next inventor of a new social media trend!
#4. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
It is said that behind every man’s success, there is a woman. While this saying may just be a light-hearted joke, Sheryl Sandberg certainly gives this statement credibility.
Just in case you’re wondering, Sheryl Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and she was the person behind its profitable success after deciding to position it as an advertising platform for small businesses. In 2012, she was the first woman to be Facebook’s board of director and she is currently ranked #11 in Forbes Power Women as well as #12 on Forbes list of America’s Self-Made Women 2018.
Worth over USD1 billion today, Sandberg, who’s also a prominent figure advocating for women’s empowerment, talks about the lack of women within the government and leadership positions in business as well as the steps in which women can undertake to achieve their career goals. Hence, this book is a must-read for all the girls out there with big dreams to be successful in whatever they want to do.
#5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey
Is the sloth your spirit animal? Do you like to procrastinate? If you are one of those people who often slack off and feels unmotivated by your workload, perhaps this is the book for you!
This self-help book — which has sold more than 25 million copies in 40 languages — was first published in 1989 and is deemed one of the most inspiring and effective books ever written. In this book, Covey talks about the 7 main habits people should cultivate — be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think win-win, seek first to understand then to be understood, synergise! and sharpen the saw.
According to Amazon, the book has “transformed the lives of presidents and CEOs, educators and parents”, and is suited for people of all ages who wish to improve their way of life.
#6. Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built by Duncan Clark
Did you know that the founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, was once poor and used to give tourists tours to practise his English? He eventually became an English teacher after graduation but when he tried to venture into something else, he was rejected by 30 different companies! Yet, he never gave up. Thanks to his perseverance, he has founded one of the world’s largest e-commerce businesses.
Jack Ma is indeed one of the leading examples of a man with a humble beginning who has made it big thanks to hard work. In this book, readers will be engrossed with insightful accounts of how a former teacher never let his failures stop him from developing a company successful enough to compete with Walmart and Amazon.
If you’re fascinated by start-ups and would love to dive into the entrepreneurship realm, this book will surely inspire you to reach for the moon!
#7. Women in Tech: Take Your Career to the Next Level with Practical Advice and Inspiring Stories by Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack
Who run(s) the world? Girls!
It’s time to banish the social construct that women aren’t capable enough to be in the tech industry or hold managerial positions in tech companies.
This book is written by tech entrepreneur Tarah Wheeler and features several other success stories of women in tech to help women who are considering getting into the industry or those who are already in it and want to bring their career to the next level. Here, Wheeler shares her knowledge and experience as a successful woman in the tech world and discusses important information such as the secrets to negotiate your salary, writing the best tech resumes, acing tech job interviews and how to start your own company.
This inspirational and engaging book also contains puzzles and codes for girls who are interested in coding.
#8. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Are you struggling to make friends and connections? Or do you find it tough to convince people to listen to you? If so, then let this timeless 1936 bestseller by Dale Carnegie guide you to becoming the most persuasive individual!
“You can go after the job you want — and get it!”
“You can take the job you have — and improve it!”
“You can take any situation — and make it work for you!”
This book is jam-packed with fundamental advice on handling people, making people like you, winning people to your way of thinking and changing people without causing resentment. With over 15 million copies sold, this book teaches you to achieve your goals by maximising your potential and is known to have helped countless leaders, such as Warren Buffet himself, to climb the ladder of success.
Now that you’re aware of these exceptional books which have helped thousands of people achieve their dreams, it’s time to read them and be inspired. Who knows, you could be next to make magic happen!