1,001 Paid Books that You Must Read to Succeed (at Just About Anything!) (Books #1 to #10) — Part #1

iStock_000020178137_SmallWords are powerful. If laced together brilliantly, they can accomplish just about anything. Not only can a simple unfounded comment break someone down to their most vulnerable state, but, in a business sense, words can embody influential leadership and even persuade the most resistant buyer to see the true value in a product or service. In my entrepreneurial journey, the words I read quickly became the impetus for great knowledge expansion and growth.

Rather than allow them to waste away, I truly believed I could apply them holistically to the development and maturation of Tactical CashFlow. Nearly 3 years since originally publishing this post on my first blog, Tactical CashFlow, my unfortunate closure of that blog due to some serious priorities taking precedence, led this writing to be destined to proverbial obscurity since then. With incredible potential to be an insanely valuable treat to readers, past success of this single blog post alone indicates that readers really loved watching me continually add installments to it, over time….much like I have been doing with this blog post series’ sister blog post series: “1,000 Free eBooks that You Must Read to Succeed (at Just About Anything!) (Books #1 to #10) — Part #1.

barnesNestled quietly in the corner of a Starbuck’s cafe, in my local Barnes and Noble Bookstore, it wasn’t uncommon to find me diligently consuming as many books as possible. The books I had chosen stacked high enough where my entire amateur structure could have easily succumbed to the overly ‘wobbly’ nature of the small, circular, table I sat at. While some books I consumed free of charge, like those Barnes and Noble buyers whose overconsumption of lattes easily offset the dollar value lost from those unpurchased books in their business model, I did purchase a great deal of books that I considered to be the best-of-the-best. While I conducted a substantial amount of research, writing, and experimentation that formed my weekly endeavors leading up to the justification for my Tactical CashFlow launch, I vowed that I would integrate and synthesize many of these book’s principles into future writing in this blog. As explained above, and here, WarriorNurse is now the proud owner of this piece of writing!


Succeeding online (or in life, in general) isn’t just a matter of doing one thing well, however.

I quickly realized that true success required much more than slapping a plethora of Google Adsense ads onto a page and crossing your fingers in hope that it might earn. The internet has evolved in so many ways, and successful people have realized the importance of truly understanding people. All the search engine optimization and web design skills in the world won’t make you successful if you are unable to view humans as holistically dynamic creatures in a complex and evolving world.

Following in the footsteps of my comprehensive list of free eBooks that are readily available for you to download, the value of paid books should not be discounted, either.

The recommended books in this pillar article cover topics that include, but are not limited to:

  • Freelance Writing
  • Goal Setting
  • Website/Blog Design
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Social Media Promotion
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Lifestyle Design
  • Building Relationships
  • General Business Strategy & Tactics
  • Motivation
  • Time Management
  • Web Analytic and Metric Interpretation
  • etc.

These aren’t books that you will read once, only to relegate them to a card board box. While we may not necessarily agree on every book, the intent of this article is to present, to you, books that have timeless messages and philosophies. Seeking this end, the books chosen will be those that have had a profound impact on my life, and, for some, are as applicable 1,000 years ago, as they are today.

Without further adieu…

(In the comments’ section of this blog post, I would be honored if you would share what books you have read, that you would recommend I ADD to this list. Thank you! ~ Howie)

  • art of war cover#1) The Art of War (U \ X \ O) — written by Sun Tzu (U \ X \ O) — Although one can find a wealth of adoptions of this book, to include a variety of cover art variations from one book to the next, Sun Tzu’s approach to warfare has realized tremendous application beyond just war. From business, to the sports arena, such time-tested principles regarding deception, maneuver, surprise, sustainability, innovation, and a wealth of others, have actually been synthesized into the development of Tactical CashFlow A Warrior and A Nurse. While this list of recommended books isn’t meant to go in order from my subjective interpretation of “most valuable” to “least valuable”, this book should certainly be one of the top considerations for your own book library. Want a bit more of a taste of the applications of this book before you purchase? I challenge you to cordone off some time and watch this outstanding 9-Part History Channel YouTube video presentation suitably called “The Art of War”.

Read MORE about Sun Tzu HERE (U \ X \ O)!

Four-Hour-Work-Week-Expanded-and-Updated1#2) The 4-Hour Workweek (U \ X \ O) — written by Timothy Ferriss (U \ X \ O) – Adorning the resource lists of many influential bloggers online, this book wasn’t just a “book”. It was more like a “movement” that embodied the apex of thought leadership as it embraced a new and emerging trend called lifestyle design. Practical tips and case studies run rampant through this book but, interestingly enough, its teachings embraced a new kind of rich that could be established by gradually outsourcing your life and pursuing your passions. With an inviting cover illustration, my first encounter with this book came in an airport store, enroute to our honeymoon in Jamaica. As an avid reader herself, my wife and I gave a cold shoulder to all those who would criticize the mere thought of taking a book along to a honeymoon that ‘should be’ filled with anything but reading. We found time for snorkling and dolphins, regardless.

[Buy Now: AMZN / BKS / BGP / OSTK]

Read MORE about Timothy Ferriss HERE (U \ X \ O)!

  • #3) newcommunityrulesThe New Community Rules (U \ X \ O) — written by Tamar Weinberg (U \ X \ O) – The social web presents with infinite possibilities for marketing products and services. Jam packed full of my own yellow highlighting and hand-written notes appearing over top words, as well as in that white space in the side margins, my own copy of this book looks similar to a college textbook that has been deconstructed relentlessly by an ‘A+ seeking’ college student with ultra OCD. Effective communication and relationship building can certainly manifest as a direct result of applying some of this author’s time-tested strategies and tactics.

[Buy Now: AMZN / BKS / BGP / OSTK]

Read MORE about Tamar Weinberg HERE (U \ X \ O)!

deliveringhappiness#4) Delivering Happiness (U \ X \ O) — written by Tony Hsieh (U \ X \ O) — No matter how “old” this book becomes, the story of the company Zappos should forever remain on the radar of both emerging businesses and firmly established businesses alike. By fostering a sense of culture and purpose, revolving around customer service, Zappos is a true case study of what can happen when you continually put your customers first. Towards the tail end of this book, the author speaks of a Zappos’ employee, who realized tremendous help and support after the tragic death of her husband, when she called the only people that made sense to her to call: her employer, Zappos. This book is filled with stories such as this, that detail a highly successful company that still managed to foster a welcoming culture around simply “delivering happiness”. Be forwarned prior to purchase: While most of the reviews of this book are extremely positive, others grill Tony Hseih for failing to adhere to strict English standards in his prose (an intentional slap in the face to his teachers, as mentioned by one reviewer) and not giving adequate attention to more substantial business lessons.

[Buy Now: AMZN / BKS / BGP / OSTK]

Read MORE about Tony Hsieh HERE (U \ X \ O)!

  • #5) trust-agentsTrust Agents (U \ X \ O) — written by Chris Brogan (U \ X \ O) and Julien Smith (U \ X \ O) – In this book, two veteran social media experts, Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, detail just how the social web can be effectively leveraged to “build influence, improve reputation, and earn trust”. Ultimately, when these things are obtained, profits will naturally ensue. They speak of trust as being the “new currency”: superseding even the almighty dollar. This book will provide you with some solid, actionable, tools and strategies that you can begin applying today to help develop your own influence and reputation online. While the authors do admit that establishing trust online can be a difficult task, the benefits of obtaining this trust can be much greater than any paid PR service can give you.

[Buy Now: AMZN / BKS / BGP / OSTK]

Read MORE about Chris Brogan HERE (U \ X \ O)!

Read MORE about Julien Smith HERE (U \ X \ O)!

searchenginevisibility#6) Search Engine Visibility (U \ X \ O) — written by Shari Thurow (U \ X \ O) – Online, topics such as search engine optimization (SEO) have been dissected to death by both amateurs and professionals alike. Oftentimes, it can be very difficult to distinguish from who to truly believe, especially when search engines are so dynamic that what a professional SEO expert may tell you as truth one month may simply change weeks or months down the road. Even still, with this book, you will learn search engine friendly design solutions, as well as, ways to increase your website’s popularity. I highly recommend this book because of the sound advice that it gives. As expected there are both good and bad reviews of this book on Amazon. Being my first real exposure to SEO, I do believe that this book provides good information for someone who is just beginning with SEO. For more advanced SEO professionals, as some reviews depict, you may find that this book contains a bit of ‘fluff’ and information you might already be familiar with.

[Buy Now: AMZN / BKS / BGP / OSTK]

Read MORE about Shari Thurow HERE (U \ X \ O)!

  • secrets-of-a-freelance-writer-book#7) Secrets of a Freelance Writer (U \ X \ O)— written by Robert W. Bly (U \ X \ O) — Jam packed with practical tips and advice strait from a highly successful copywriter and freelance writer, I would definitely highly recommend this book to any freelance writer. From new to veteran writer, Bob Bly walks you through every step you need to take in order to “make $100,000+ a year or more”, as this book’s sub-heading mentions. Even with many five star ratings that far outweigh this book’s lower ratings, I really don’t feel like many of the Amazon reviews presented (even the 5 star ones) do this book’s wealth of substantial content any justice. A plethora of generic comments, although good, don’t really manage to delve into topics he covers, such as how to effectively set your own fees and find viable freelance writing markets.

[Buy Now: AMZN / BKS / BGP / OSTK]

Read MORE about Robert W. Bly HERE (U \ X \ O)!

socialmediabible#8) The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools, & Strategies for Business Success (U \ X \ O) – written by Lon Safko (U \ X \ O) and David K. Brake – Despite the wealth of information that this book contains, accompanied by its sheer size of over 700+ pages, I really feel bad for this book’s authors. I’ll explain. With the ultimate goal to create an authority resource for social media, social media itself inherently changes and evolves with time. As a result, while this book is a tremendous resource, it is nearly impossible to ensure complete accuracy as this evolution continually occurs. If purchased, I encourage you to accept the fact that there may simply be a small amount of inaccuracies, occurring naturally over time, interspersed throughout a wealth of great information. Currently on it’s second edition of publishing, this book, in my opinion, will be destined for even more editions and revisions in the future.

[Buy Now: AMZN / BKS / BGP / OSTK]

Read MORE about Lon Safko HERE (U \ X \ O)!

  • influence#9) Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (U \ X \ O) — written by Robert B. Cialdini (U \ X \ O) — With more Amazon reviews than any other book recommendation featured on this blog post, thusfar, this book is an absolute masterpiece. A firm believer in the science of persuasion, Dr. Cialdini has organized and presented this book around six principles of ethical persuasian: reciprocity, scarcity, liking, authority, social proof, and commitment/consistency. Assuming a highly educated, and well-researched, approach to this book, Dr. Cialdini’s writing style still manages to be incredibly engaging to a reader. Throughout this book, he mentions that, while humans don’t always act predictably, there are many identifiable patterns and trends in human behavior and how they are triggered by certain stimuli. I highly recommend this book.

[Buy Now: AMZN / BKS / BGP / OSTK]

Read MORE about Robert B. Cialdini HERE (U \ X \ O)!

the-millionaire-fastlane#10) The Millionaire Fa$tlane (U \ X \ O) — written by MJ DeMarco (U \ X \ O) – This is the first book recommendation on this blog post, so far, that presents with a pure slate of all 5-star rating reviews on Amazon (at the time of this writing). Whether all 49 were received from close friends and family members, or they are all truly genuine reviews, I do not know. I do know, however, that I thoroughly enjoyed this book (and I’m not a close friend or family member of the author, either). MJ Demarco, former founder of limos.com, advocates an entirely new approach to wealth generation than what many have been conditioned to expect. As mentioned by an early Amazon reviewer, all the lessons wev’e learned throughout our lives are challenged within this book. I encourage you to read the free sample preview of this book on Amazon. You won’t regret it.

UPDATE (December 2013): Since originally writing and publishing this article, this book has garnered over 450 reviews on Amazon. While a majority of the reviews are “5 stars”, there are certainly some very interesting opinions and comments that are embedded within both the low ranked reviews, as well as, their accompanying review responses. For some 1-star reviews, dialogue between reviewers (defending their review) and other commenters (defending this book) goes on for page after page. A thorough reading of the broad opinions and comments in those reviews would have you believe that this book is both simultaneously the best AND the worst book ever. Some argue that this book is an ingenious masterpiece that was crafted by a man who had “walked the walk” by creating his own multi-million dollar business, while others believe that it is void of any kind of substance and useful/practical information. Those reviewers go on to imply that The Millionaire Fastlane is a work of arrogance that seems to take relentless pot-shots at the “working class”, all while the author capitalizes on people’s innate desire to become rich and generate wealth for themselves.

Personally, though, I liked this book. I liked this book alot.

As with any book listed within this article, or any subsequent article installment of this series, I highly encourage you to read through reviews thoroughly and make the best informed buying decision you can. The great thing about books, however, is that investing in a book isn’t necessarily on the same level as, say, investing thousands into a mentor or a penny stock. Do the best research you can, and buy (or don’t buy) accordingly.

[Buy Now: AMZN / BKS / BGP / OSTK]

Read MORE about MJ DeMarco HERE (U \ X \ O)!


  1. […] this notion seems to run along a similar line as what the 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris–a paid book mentioned here–initially proposed when it was published way back in 2007. While the sheer numbers involved […]



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