My top ten books of all time

I read a lot. Probably a book a week, which I usually start at 5.45am in the morning when my brain is at its freshest.

Many of the books I read are about sales, marketing, business, investing and becoming the best person I can be.

With the Christmas break around the corner, I have listed my top ten reads of all time, not in any particular order. These are the books I keep coming back to read again and again.

Deep Work – Cal Newport. This book is all about managing our mind to become productive and create great work. It is ideal for the entrepreneur or larger corporate warrior that wants to create better work and productivity.

The lessons that School Forgot – Steve Sammartino. Steve explains in very simple terms how we need to be constantly learning and getting better. Lots of great tips for people wanting to move into the world of an entrepreneur. In fact, you will learn we are already all entrepreneurs.

On Fire – John O’Leary. An inspiring true story about a nine-year-old boy that started a fire accidently in his house and suffered life threatening burns. John is pretty much given no chance to survive, but through willpower and small steps to continually improve he makes it through. I read this book when I was undergoing my own medical treatment in Greece last year ( and it made me more upbeat and positive on a human’s capabilities during tough times.

Choose Yourself – James Altucher. A very candid and honest book from James who writes about the learnings from his many business and personal successes and failures over the years. Also, pretty humorous for example where James refers to himself as a nerd with a one in a million chance of dating a woman.

Perennial Seller – Ryan Holiday. A great book about creating products that sell forever. It has some great examples including Zildjian cymbals, founded in Constantinople in 1623 and Cire Trudon the high-end candle company that has been around since the seventeenth century, both of which are still going strong today. I used many of the principles in the book to create my TRANSFORM Sales Process but hadn’t read it when I wrote Banking 2020.

Sold Out – James Rickards. A great read about the dislocation of supply chains and dismantling of global commerce that we are all living through as geopolitics increase. Highly recommended for anyone working in Supply Chain or Trade Finance.

Four Steps to the Epiphany – Steve Blank. A great book about developing products that people actually want to buy. It breaks down the process from initial market research to creating products that delight customers. Recommended for any start-up venture or small business entrepreneur.

Stolen Focus. Johann Hari. A hard-hitting book about how most of us are not focusing anymore. The book also explains how being continually stuck reading our smartphone or tablet is really bad for us and our sleep. The book also details how a stolen focus is thwarting the development of our kid’s development and ability to negotiate. A must read for any parent of young kids wanting them to develop a better focus and future.

Adventure Capitalist – Jim Rogers. This book is a few years old now but I love it because it combines my passion for travelling and investing. Jim explains how you will learn more about a country from speaking to the madam of a brothel or a black marketeer than from meeting a foreign minister. He also highlights how crossing a countries border is the litmus test on a country’s opportunity and efficiency.

The anatomy of the swipe – Ahmed Siddiqui. A great book about the world of payments and how the day-to-day transactions we make are managed. Ahmed one of the early employees at Marqueta (a payments company), explains how money gets from a to b and highlights how improved customer experience can win more customers and disrupt established business models.

I’d love to know what your top reads are and why? Drop me a note with your suggestions.