My friends used to laugh at me when I said, “You can learn anything from a book.  Anything”.

Especially my friend Mike, he roasted me continuously!  But I truly believed it!  I read a book when I was 21 that changed everything and set me on a new path forever!

Alan Donegan reading intently one of the books that changed his life.

Alan reading intently on his Kindle
The purpose of this post is to share with you the books that have had the biggest impact on my life, helped my business and changed the way I think so they can help you as well.  Most of my mentors I have never met but I have read and lived their words.   A book can truly change your life forever if you read it, do the exercises, and live it.

What would Tim do?

My wife and I discuss the books we read together and then ask each other the question, “What would (the author) do in our situation?” We feel like we know them on a first-name basis after reading their books so we are constantly asking “What would Tim do?” “What would Tony do?”

My suggestion for you is to soak up some of these books or go back to the books that had the biggest impact on your life and ask, “What would (the author) do in my situation?”  It is amazing the ideas and answers I have got out of this approach.

Maybe create a book club with a few friends and do this together.  A book is as only as good as what you do differently afterward.

How to get a free book

The title of the article might have drawn you in?  Now I have to deliver you a free book!  Audible (which is owned by Amazon) at the moment are offering a free trial membership.  You can sign up for free and then get 1 free book and 30 days free!  The book is yours to keep no matter what.

Audible hopes that you don’t cancel your account before the 30 days are up and then you become a member and pay £7.99 a month for your next book.  But you can sign up, get a free book, and then cancel before the 30 days are up.

Set a reminder to cancel!

Set a reminder in your calendar for several days before the 30 days are up so that you can cancel without being charged if you don’t want to continue the membership.

The books that changed my life

I was 21 years old, my parents were getting divorced, I worked in the family business and eventually quit because I couldn’t be in that toxic environment. Our family home was under threat of repossesion and I didn’t know what to do.

I went to my girlfriend at the time and asked her to come to Brazil with me.  I had always wanted to play football on the beach, see Copacabana, Christo and more.  I knew she didn’t have money so I offered to pay for everything.

She told me she didn’t love me and wanted to break up with me.

I was at one of my lowest points in life ever and my co-worker Matt changed the course of my life.  He handed me a book on the way to Brazil and said “Read this, it helped me.”

He changed my life.  He changed the course of my entire future with that one action.  I hope that I can do that for you with these recommendations and help you to continue on your path to wherever you are going……

Here are the list of books that changed my life.

    • Tony Robbins – Notes from a Friend

This is the first self-development book I ever read.  It is tiny!  This is the book that Matt above handed me on the way to Brazil.

Concepts such as there is no failure, I learned from this book.  It is a fairly entry-level, easy self-help book but I still get a lot out of it every time I read it.

Tim Ferriss – The Four-Hour Work Week

This book blew my mind when I read it.  It was like the scene from the Matrix were you are offered the red and the blue pill by Morpheus and life will never be the same afterwards.

I chose the blue pill and dived in and my life was never the same again.  Whilst I never quite managed to build the muse as he describes it I have used the concepts, theories and ideas to help me build successful businesses for years.  This one really did have a huge impact on me and I would HIGHLY recommend it.

Jen Sincero – You Are a Badass

Working on your mindset and beliefs is just as important as working on the business tactics and strategies of success
​This is a book that both my wife and I loved!  Some of Tony Robbins’ bigger books are hard to get through but this book does a brilliant job of boiling down a lot of the key concepts in self-development and making them approachable, modern, and real.  I REALLY enjoyed this book and it helped me to understand a lot of principles at a deeper level.

Gary Vaynerchuk – Crushing It

I watched one of Gary’s videos in the early days and it inspired me to buy his book (Crush It) and I was blown away by the simple plan it laid out.  He talked about how to use social media to build a business and make an income and we have been using those tips in our business ever since.

Gary has since re-written the book because social media changes so quickly and his new version is also excellent.   This book has helped me build businesses, fill events, get clients and more, and I love it.

Gary’s energy on video is infectious and the book gives him a opportunity to expand on his strategies.  If you use social to build your business, or don’t understand it, then read this book!

Tim Ferriss – The Four-Hour Body

​This was Tim’s second book and it had a massive impact on my life and physical shape.  I still haven’t read the whole book: Tim says to treat it like a buffet and dip in and out for the sections you need.

I lost 6 stone in weight, got fit, and I still follow the diet he recommends, 7 years later.  Tim helped me in so many ways and I can’t thank him enough.

Between the books and his excellent podcast Tim has had a HUGE impact on my life and direction. If weight loss is something you want to achieve then this book can help you with that!

Robert Kiyosaki – Rich Dad, Poor Dad

I was recommended this book by my friend Doug at Toastmasters.  I think he might have even lent me his copy (I am not sure if I still have it, Doug, sorry!)

Robert Kiyosaki lays out some of the basic concepts of investing and life that I still follow today.  His definition of an asset and a liability literally changed our lives and we lived in a 2 bed flat in Basingstoke for 9 years because of him!

JL Collins – The Simple Path to Wealth

​I read this book because we were going to an event where JL Collins was presenting.  The event was called  Chautauqua and I felt like I should do my homework before I met him.  I downloaded the book and the simple message blew me away.  JL laid out a really simple path of how to get from where you are to being financially independent and wealthy.  This book and meeting JL Collins changed my entire way of investing and has been a big part of my journey to financial independence, which I hit last year.

Stephen Covey – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

​This one is truly a classic self-development book.  Whilst I can’t remember all 7 habits this has had a MASSIVE impact on my wife and me.  After reading the book we decided to go deeper and we bought the workbook, went through the exercises, and spend 6 months working together to really understand and integrate the principles into our lives.

Garr Reynolds – Presentation Zen

I watched  Garr Reynolds’ YouTube video of him giving a Google talk, which blew me away.  That hour-long talk taught me more about PowerPoint than I ever wanted to know! It also inspired me to buy his book, which is a beautiful visual book that helps you understand some of the fundamentals of presenting and how to create slides that have impact. 

I â€‹love presenting and learning about the skills of communication. This book taught me a huge amount and was part of the foundation for my training companies.

Chip & Dan Heath – The Power of Moments

This was given to me by good friend Matt (different one from the one that gave me Notes from a Friend).  I took it on my holiday to Thailand and started reading.  I got into it so quickly and I remember being sat on a beach in Thailand having revelation after revelation from this book.  The concept that powerful moments are crafted, not stumbled upon, really made me think and has impacted how I run events, my company, and my personal life!
I loved this book and think there are practical things you can do whether you run your own business or work for someone else. Thought provoking and inspiring. ​

James Clear – Atomic Habits

I was recommended James Clear’s blog by the same guy that recommended the Four-Hour Body and Mr Money Mustache to me.  His recommendations have always been incredible.  Sign up to get his newsletter, it is excellent.

​If you want to achieve anything in life, this is the book to start with!  Building habits, changing beliefs and identity and so much more.

James is an excellent writer and I would highly recommend this book and taking action on the principles he talks about.  They are the same principles I have used to build my businesses and life over the years.

Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung – Quit Like a Millionnaire

This year Katie and I have left the UK and gone nomadic and it is mainly these two authors fault!  We met Kristy and Bryce whilst running the UK Chautauqua and they have had an incredible impact on our lives.  Our opinions on following your passion differ but the book is excellent and clearly lays out investing, saving and freeing yourself to live the life of your dreams!
Kristy and Bryce have had a hugely positive impact on Katie’s and my life and I highly recommend their book and ideas!

What are you going to do about it?

A book on its own can’t change your life.  It is an inanimate object.  It is what you do with it that is going to change your world.  Pick a book, sign up for a free Audible account, get one for free or download it from Amazon and read it.

But remember, reading it isn’t even enough.  I have met so many people that have read the books but don’t actually live or do what is recommended in them.  You have to read the book, learn the content, work on the principles, develop the daily habits they recommend, and implement with a ferocious energy!

The book isn’t going to change your life.  You are.  The only person that can do this is you.  Take the ideas and concepts that these authors have put into their books and implement them.

I am always looking for new book recommendations, so if there is a book you think I should read then I would LOVE to hear from you.  Please leave your recommendations in the comments below.

Happy reading and enjoy the inspiration!

Love, Alan

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