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Best Non-Real Estate Books for Real Estate Investors

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Recently, in our Facebook Group, “Rental Portfolio Wealth Builders,” we posed a question: “What non-real estate books are you currently reading (or listening to), to expand your mind as an entrepreneur?” In this post, we recap all the answers our group members gave us! Time to get reading!

Affiliate Disclaimer: Please note that we participate in the Amazon Associates affiliate program, meaning that if you click through the link and end up buying something, we may get paid some sort of an affiliate commission or fee–at no extra cost to you.

Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield

Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work

The follow-up to his bestseller The War of Art, Turning Pro navigates the passage from the amateur life to a professional practice. “You don’t need to take a course or buy a product. All you have to do is change your mind.” –Steven Pressfield TURNING PRO IS FREE, BUT IT’S NOT EASY. When we turn pro, we give up a life that we may have become extremely comfortable with. We give up a self that we have come to identify with and to call our own. TURNING PRO IS FREE, BUT IT DEMANDS SACRIFICE. The passage from amateur to professional is often achieved via an interior odyssey whose trials are survived only at great cost, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. We pass through a membrane when we turn pro. It’s messy and it’s scary. We tread in blood when we turn pro. WHAT WE GET WHEN WE TURN PRO. What we get when we turn pro is we find our power. We find our will and our voice and we find our self-respect. We become who we always were but had, until then, been afraid to embrace and live out.

Buy Turning Pro on Amazon

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WATCH THE EMMY-NOMINATED NETFLIX ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER• ONE OF ESSENCE’S 50 MOST IMPACTFUL BLACK BOOKS OF THE PAST 50 YEARS

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

Buy Becoming on Amazon

Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success by Napoleon Hill

Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success

“Napoleon Hill was one of America’s great, influential thinkers who continues to have an enormous impact today.” —Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine

Bestselling author Napoleon Hill reveals the seven principles of good that allow us to triumph over obstacles . . . and find success.

Using his legendary ability to get to the root of human potential, Napoleon Hill digs deep to reveal how fear, procrastination, anger, and jealousy prevent us from realizing our personal goals. This long-suppressed parable, once considered too controversial to publish, was written by Hill in 1938 following the publication of his classic bestseller, Think and Grow Rich. Annotated and edited for a contemporary audience by Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Three Feet from Gold coauthor Sharon Lechter, this book–now available in paper–is profound, powerful, resonant, and rich with insight.

Buy Outwitting the Devil on Amazon Pro

Willpower Doesn’t Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success by Benjamin Hardy

Willpower Doesn’t Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success

We rely on willpower to create change in our lives…but what if we’re thinking about it all wrong? In Willpower Doesn’t Work, Benjamin Hardy explains that willpower is nothing more than a dangerous fad-one that is bound to lead to failure. Instead of “white-knuckling” your way to change, you need to instead alter yoursurroundings to support your goals. This book shows you how.

The world around us is fast-paced, confusing, and full of distractions. It’s easy to lose focus on what you want to achieve, and your willpower won’t last long if your environment is in conflict with your goals–eventually, the environment will win out. Willpower Doesn’t Workis the needed guided for today’s over-stimulating and addicting environment. Willpower Doesn’t Work will specifically teach you:

  • How to make the biggest decisions of your life–and why those decisions must be made in specific settings
  • How to create a daily “sacred” environment to live your life with intention, and not get sucked into the cultural addictions
  • How to invest big in yourself to upgrade your environment and mindset
  • How to put “forcing functions” in your life–so your default behaviors are precisely what you want them to be
  • How to quickly put yourself in proximity to the most successful people in the world–and how to adapt their knowledge and skills to yourself even quicker
  • How to create an environment where endless creativity and boundless productivity is the norm

Benjamin Hardy will show you that nurture is far more powerful than your nature, and teach you how to create and control your environment so your environment will not create and control you.

Buy Willpower Doesn’t Work on Amazon

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

YOU ARE A BADASS IS THE SELF-HELP BOOK FOR PEOPLE WHO DESPERATELY WANT TO IMPROVE THEIR LIVES BUT DON’T WANT TO GET BUSTED DOING IT.

In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bitesized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, Create a life you totally love. And create it NOW, Make some damn money already. The kind you’ve never made before.

By the end of You Are a Badass, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.

Buy You Are A Badass on Amazon

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • This instant classic explores how we can change our lives by changing our habits.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Wall Street Journal • Financial Times

In The Power of Habit, award-winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to the sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

Buy The Power of Habit on Amazon

The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success by Darren Hardy

The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success

Do you want success?More success than you have now?And even more success than you ever imagined possible?That is what this book is about. Achieving it.No gimmicks. No hyperbole. Finally, just the truth on what it takes to earn successAs the central curator of the success media industry for over 25 years, author Darren Hardy has heard it all, seen it all, and tried most of it. This book reveals the core principles that drive success. The Compound Effect contains the essence of what every superachiever needs to know, practice, and master to obtain extraordinary success. Inside you will find strategies on:

  • How to win–every time! The No. 1 strategy to achieve any goal and triumph over any competitor, even if they’re smarter, more talented or more experienced.
  • Eradicating your bad habits (some you might be unaware of!) that are derailing your progress.
  • Painlessly installing the few key disciplines required for major breakthroughs.
  • The real, lasting keys to motivation–how to get yourself to do things you don’t feel like doing.
  • Capturing the elusive, awesome force of momentum. Catch this, and you’ll be unstoppable.
  • The acceleration secrets of superachievers. Do they have an unfair advantage? Yes, they do, and now you can too!

If you’re serious about living an extraordinary life, use the power of The Compound Effect to create the success you desire. Begin your journey today!

Buy The Compound Effect on Amazon

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

The Prophet

“The Prophet” is a book of prose poetry written by Kahlil Gibran. It was originally published in 1923 and has been translated into over 100 different languages, making it one of the most translated books in history. This edition by Cricket House Books does not include Gibran’s illustrations in order for the reader to focus exclusively on the sublime text.

Buy The Prophet on Amazon

Leadership is an Art by Max De Pree

Leadership Is an Art

In what has become a bible for the business world, the successful former CEO of Herman Miller, Inc., explores how executives and managers can learn the leadership skills that build a better, more profitable organization.

Leadership Is an Art has long been a must-read not only within the business community but also in professions ranging from academia to medical practices, to the political arena. First published in 1989, the book has sold more than 800,000 copies in hardcover and paperback. This revised edition brings Max De Pree’s timeless words and practical philosophy to a new generation of readers.

De Pree looks at leadership as a kind of stewardship, stressing the importance of building relationships, initiating ideas, and creating a lasting value system within an organization. Rather than focusing on the “hows” of corporate life, he explains the “whys.” He shows that the first responsibility of a leader is to define reality and the last is to say thank you. Along the way, the artful leader must:

• Stimulate effectiveness by enabling others to reach both their personal potential and their institutional potential

• Take a role in developing, expressing, and defending civility and values

• Nurture new leaders and ensure the continuation of the corporate culture

Leadership Is an Art offers a proven design for achieving success by developing the generous spirit within all of us. Now more than ever, it provides the insights and guidelines leaders in every field need.

Buy Leadership is an Art on Amazon

Running Man: A Memoir of Ultra-Endurance by Charlie Engle

Running Man: A Memoir of Ultra-Endurance

Charlie Engle’s “fascinating account of the high and low points of his life as an ultramarathon runner…is uplifting and inspirational” (Publishers Weekly) as he describes his globe-spanning races, his record-breaking run across the Sahara Desert, and how running helped him overcome drug addiction—and an unjust stint in federal prison.

After a decade-long addiction to crack cocaine and alcohol, Charlie Engle hit bottom with a near-fatal six-day binge that ended in a hail of bullets. As Engle got sober, he turned to running, which became his lifeline, his pastime, and his salvation. He began with marathons, and when marathons weren’t far enough, he began to take on ultramarathons, races that went for thirty-five, fifty, and sometimes hundreds of miles, traveling to some of the most unforgiving places on earth to race. The Matt Damon-produced documentary, Running the Sahara, followed Engle as he lead a team on a harrowing, record breaking 4,500-mile run across the Sahara Desert, which helped raise millions of dollars for charity.

Charlie’s growing notoriety led to an investigation and a subsequent unjust conviction for mortgage fraud for which he spent sixteen months in federal prison in Beckley, West Virginia. While in jail, Engle pounded the small prison track, running endlessly in circles. Soon his fellow inmates were joining him, struggling to keep their spirits up in dehumanizing circumstances.

In Running Man, Charlie Engle tells the surprising, funny, and emotional story of his life, detailing his setbacks and struggles—from coping with addiction to serving time in prison—and how he blazed a path to freedom by putting one foot in front of the other. “A fast-paced, well-written account of a man who accepts pain, pushes beyond imagined limits, and ultimately finds redemption and peace” (Booklist), this is a raw and triumphant account about finding the threshold of human endurance, and transcending it.

Buy Running Man on Amazon

Emotional Agility by Susan David

Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life

#1 Wall Street Journal Best Seller
USA Today Best Seller
Amazon Best Book of the Year
TED Talk sensation – over 3 million views!

The counterintuitive approach to achieving your true potential, heralded by the Harvard Business Review as a groundbreaking idea of the year.


The path to personal and professional fulfillment is rarely straight. Ask anyone who has achieved his or her biggest goals or whose relationships thrive and you’ll hear stories of many unexpected detours along the way. What separates those who master these challenges and those who get derailed? The answer is agility—emotional agility.

Emotional agility is a revolutionary, science-based approach that allows us to navigate life’s twists and turns with self-acceptance, clear-sightedness, and an open mind. Renowned psychologist Susan David developed this concept after studying emotions, happiness, and achievement for more than twenty years. She found that no matter how intelligent or creative people are, or what type of personality they have, it is how they navigate their inner world—their thoughts, feelings, and self-talk—that ultimately determines how successful they will become.

The way we respond to these internal experiences drives our actions, careers, relationships, happiness, health—everything that matters in our lives. As humans, we are all prone to common hooks—things like self-doubt, shame, sadness, fear, or anger—that can too easily steer us in the wrong direction. Emotionally agile people are not immune to stresses and setbacks. The key difference is that they know how to adapt, aligning their actions with their values and making small but powerful changes that lead to a lifetime of growth. Emotional agility is not about ignoring difficult emotions and thoughts; it’s about holding them loosely, facing them courageously and compassionately, and then moving past them to bring the best of yourself forward.

Drawing on her deep research, decades of international consulting, and her own experience overcoming adversity after losing her father at a young age, David shows how anyone can thrive in an uncertain world by becoming more emotionally agile. To guide us, she shares four key concepts that allow us to acknowledge uncomfortable experiences while simultaneously detaching from them, thereby allowing us to embrace our core values and adjust our actions so they can move us where we truly want to go.

Written with authority, wit, and empathy, Emotional Agility serves as a road map for real behavioral change—a new way of acting that will help you reach your full potential, whoever you are and whatever you face.

Buy Emotional Agility on Amazon

Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths that are Destroying Your Prosperity by Garrett B. Gunderson

Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths That Are Destroying Your Prosperity

NEW YORK TIMES AND WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER

Our culture is riddled with destructive myths about money and prosperity that are severely limiting the power, creativity, and financial potential of individuals. In Killing Sacred Cows, Garrett B. Gunderson boldly exposes ingrained fallacies and misguided traditions in the world of personal finance. He presents a revolutionary perspective that can create unprecedented opportunity and wealth for thoughtful, mission-driven individuals.

Our financial lives are intimately connected to our societal contributions, and we must be financially free in order to achieve our fullest potential. Sadly, however, most people are held captive in their financial lives by misinformation, propaganda, and limited knowledge. Through well-reasoned arguments, unflinching logic, and revelatory insight, Gunderson defeats common clichés and faulty retirement planning advice to plainly demonstrate the following and much more:

  • 401(k)s and the stock market are the most risky investments for most people and the gambling mindset they induce creates disastrous consequences.
  • Conventional retirement planning advice, products, strategies, and techniques expose you to significant danger of being unable to retire, or of running out of money prematurely if you do.
  • Building net worth is a recipe for creating a life of fear and poverty and how to escape that common trap.
  • Debt may not be what you think it is and why that matters to your prosperity.
  • ‘High risk equals high returns’ is destructive dogma and how reducing risk can increase your returns.

Killing Sacred Cows is a must-read for brave individuals willing to question common assumptions and teachings, overcome the herd mentality, break through financial myths, and live a purposeful, passionate, and prosperous life.

Buy Killing Sacred Cows on Amazon

Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender by Dr. David Hawkins

Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender

Letting Go describes a simple and effective means by which to let go of the obstacles to Enlightenment and become free of negativity.

During the many decades of the author’s clinical psychiatric practice, the primary aim was to seek the most effective ways to relieve human suffering in all of its many forms.

The inner mechanism of surrender was found to be of great practical benefit and is described in this book. Dr Hawkins’s previous books focused on advanced states of awareness and Enlightenment. Over the years, thousands of students had asked for a practical technique by which to remove the inner blocks to happiness, love, joy, success, health and, ultimately, Enlightenment. This book provides a mechanism for letting go of those blocks. The mechanism of surrender that Dr Hawkins describes can be done in the midst of everyday life. The book is equally useful for all dimensions of human life: physical health, creativity, financial success, emotional healing, vocational fulfillment, relationships, sexuality and spiritual growth.

It is an invaluable resource for all professionals who work in the areas of mental health, psychology, medicine, self-help, addiction recovery and spiritual development.

Buy Letting Go on Amazon

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

In this instantand tenacious New York Times bestseller, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight “offers a rare and revealing look at the notoriously media-shy man behind the swoosh” (Booklist, starred review), illuminating his company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.

Bill Gates named Shoe Dog one of his five favorite books of 2016 and called it “an amazing tale, a refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like. It’s a messy, perilous, and chaotic journey, riddled with mistakes, endless struggles, and sacrifice. Phil Knight opens up in ways few CEOs are willing to do.”

Fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed fifty dollars from his father and launched a company with one simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost running shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his car in 1963, Knight grossed eight thousand dollars that first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In this age of start-ups, Knight’s Nike is the gold standard, and its swoosh is one of the few icons instantly recognized in every corner of the world.

But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always been a mystery. In Shoe Dog, he tells his story at last. At twenty-four, Knight decides that rather than work for a big corporation, he will create something all his own, new, dynamic, different. He details the many risks he encountered, the crushing setbacks, the ruthless competitors and hostile bankers—as well as his many thrilling triumphs. Above all, he recalls the relationships that formed the heart and soul of Nike, with his former track coach, the irascible and charismatic Bill Bowerman, and with his first employees, a ragtag group of misfits and savants who quickly became a band of swoosh-crazed brothers.

Together, harnessing the electrifying power of a bold vision and a shared belief in the transformative power of sports, they created a brand—and a culture—that changed everything.

Buy Shoe Dog on Amazon

The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene

The Laws of Human Nature

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power comes the definitive new book on decoding the behavior of the people around you

Robert Greene is a master guide for millions of readers, distilling ancient wisdom and philosophy into essential texts for seekers of power, understanding and mastery. Now he turns to the most important subject of all – understanding people’s drives and motivations, even when they are unconscious of them themselves.

We are social animals. Our very lives depend on our relationships with people. Knowing why people do what they do is the most important tool we can possess, without which our other talents can only take us so far. Drawing from the ideas and examples of Pericles, Queen Elizabeth I, Martin Luther King Jr, and many others, Greene teaches us how to detach ourselves from our own emotions and master self-control, how to develop the empathy that leads to insight, how to look behind people’s masks, and how to resist conformity to develop your singular sense of purpose. Whether at work, in relationships, or in shaping the world around you, The Laws of Human Nature offers brilliant tactics for success, self-improvement, and self-defense.

Buy Laws of Human Nature on Amazon

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