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18 min read

13 Great 'Take Action' Books Every Real Estate Investor Needs

Wed, Jan 2, 2019

MotivationalBooks_Entrepreneur_RealEstateReadingWhether You Read Books or Listen to Audio Books, You NEED to Add These Books to Your List!

Every year I try to put together a list of books that I enjoyed reading the previous year. If you have read my lists in the past, you know that I often list books that I read over and over again because they are that impactful!

This year, I wanted to share the books that had really impacted my thought processes and even inspired me to take action.  As usual, not all of these are real estate books nor are they all investing books.  I strongly believe that in order to succeed, you have to surround yourself with the right people, the right resources, and the right attitude and these books are a great place to get started! If you're wanting to become a more successful investor and entrepreneur, I hope you check these titles out - each book image is linked to Amazon for easy shopping! 

Rest assured though, we do not have a sales account with Amazon so we are not sharing links where we make money.  These are just for easy access for you!


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life By Mark Manson
In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. Mark Manson says, lays out a case for that being a long, unhappy road.  In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

I absolutely loved this book! The title made me laugh, but as a man in his mid-40's, this book hit home. I needed to stop caring so much about appearances and start focusing on simply being honest. I promise, it is not as raunchy as the title lays out, but you are going to read or hear a few curse words. In the end though, the reminders to stay true to yourself rather than bend for everyone else are well placed.


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

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.

Again, I was surprised when I read this book and realized how little, daily actions were actually hurting my accountability, my performance and my outlook. This is a really good book for those who want to understand the difference between to-do lists and habits!


Glass_House:_The_1%_Economy_Brian_AlexanderGlass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town By Brian Alexander

In 1947, Forbes magazine declared Lancaster, Ohio the epitome of the all-American town. Today it is damaged, discouraged, and fighting for its future. In Glass House, journalist Brian Alexander uses the story of one town to show how seeds sown 35 years ago have sprouted to give us Trumpism, inequality, and an eroding national cohesion.

This one has nothing to do with performance or real estate investing in general, but I learned a ton about viewing history to avoid making the same mistakes. This book is a fascinating look at a town that was once called the Ideal American City and today stands as a bleak reminder of how a slow erosion of fundamentals can change the course of history.


Fooled_by_Randomness_Nassim_Nicholas_Taleb Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets By Nassim Nicholas Taleb 

Fooled by Randomness is the word-of-mouth sensation that will change the way you think about business and the world. Nassim Nicholas Taleb–veteran trader, renowned risk expert, polymathic scholar, erudite raconteur, and New York Times bestselling author of The Black Swan–has written a modern classic that turns on its head what we believe about luck and skill.

Awesome book and so appropriate for today's real estate investor. Randomness is happening all around us in the real estate world - especially as it relates to passive real estate investing.  Understanding the roles that skill, experience and forward-thinking decision-making play in the success of a passive investment portfolio will help investors ask better questions on the front end and help to look past the random success created by luck.


The_Plant_Paradox_Steven_R _Gundry_M.D. The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain By Dr. Steven R Gundry M.D

Most of us have heard of gluten—a protein found in wheat that causes widespread inflammation in the body. Americans spend billions of dollars on gluten-free diets in an effort to protect their health. But what if we’ve been missing the root of the problem? In The Plant Paradox, renowned cardiologist Dr. Steven Gundry reveals that gluten is just one variety of a common, and highly toxic, plant-based protein called lectin. Lectins are found not only in grains like wheat but also in the “gluten-free” foods most of us commonly regard as healthy, including many fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and conventional dairy products. These proteins, which are found in the seeds, grains, skins, rinds, and leaves of plants, are designed by nature to protect them from predators (including humans). Once ingested, they incite a kind of chemical warfare in our bodies, causing inflammatory reactions that can lead to weight gain and serious health conditions.

OK, so you knew I was going to throw in a health book, right!  I loved meeting Dr. Gundry in New York City in 2017 and read his book in 2018.  It was like going back to school!  Forget the self-help and fad diet books and simply read this book to understand how nature intended for us to eat in the first place.


The_World_Is_Flat_Thomas_FriedmanThe World Is Flat : A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century By Thomas Friedman

When scholars write the history of the world twenty years from now, and they come to the chapter Y2K to March 2004 , what will they say was the most crucial development? The attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 and the Iraq war? Or the convergence of technology and events that allowed India, China, and so many other countries to become part of the global supply chain for services and manufacturing, creating an explosion of wealth in the middle classes of the world’s two biggest nations, giving them a huge new stake in the success of globalization? And with this flattening’ of the globe, which requires us to run faster in order to stay in one place, has the world got too small and too fast for human beings and their political systems to adjust in a stable manner?

In this brilliant new book, the award-winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman demystifies the brave new world for readers, allowing them to make sense of the often bewildering global scene unfolding before their eyes. With his inimitable ability to translate complex foreign policy and economic issues, Friedman explains how the flattening of the world happened at the dawn of the 21st century; what it means to countries, companies, communities and individuals; and how governments and societies can, and must, adapt.


Where’s_Your_WOW?_Robyn_Spizman_Rick_Frishman Where’s Your WOW?: 16 Ways to Make Your Competitors Wish They Were You! By Robyn Spizman & Rick Frishman 

Are you a CEO, manager, or entrepreneur? A consultant, author, or speaker? Or a doctor, lawyer, idea person, or inventor? Whoever you are, and whatever you do, you have a unique WOW factor--that special element only you can deliver to your business that will satisfy and delight your customers and clients. And whether you already have a dream career whose potential you want to maximize, or are just starting to make your way in your profession, you need to target that seed of success that will put you on the map and make you a household name.

This word, WOW, helped put Memphis Invest on the map.  This book is an excellent read if you want to provide exceptional experiences for your clients.

Be_the_Best_at_What_Matters_Most_Joe_CallowayBe the Best at What Matters Most: The Only Strategy You will Ever Need By Joe Calloway

Be the Best at What Matters Most is about the one essential strategy for business leaders, entrepreneurs, owners, managers and those who want to be one. Simplify, focus, and win by outperforming all your competition on those things that create real value for the customer. This is about substance, not flash, and the ultimate “wow” factors of high quality performance, consistency and relentless improvement.

Crushing_It!:_How_Great_Entrepreneurs_Build_Their_Business_Gary_VaynerchukCrushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too
By Gary Vaynerchuk
Four-time New York Times bestselling author Gary Vaynerchuk offers new lessons and inspiration drawn from the experiences of dozens of influencers and entrepreneurs who rejected the predictable corporate path in favor of pursuing their dreams by building thriving businesses and extraordinary personal brands.

In this lively, practical, and inspiring book, Gary dissects every current major social media platform so that anyone, from a plumber to a professional ice skater, will know exactly how to amplify his or her personal brand on each. He offers both theoretical and tactical advice on how to become the biggest thing on old standbys like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat; podcast platforms like Spotify, Soundcloud, iHeartRadio, and iTunes; and other emerging platforms such as For those with more experience, Crushing It! illuminates some little-known nuances and provides innovative tips and clever tweaks proven to enhance more common tried-and-true strategies.

I loved reading this book for one huge reason - I could relate. I loved the stories of real people effecting real change in their lives. The Rich Roll story is always fascinating to me and reading it from Gary was even better. Get this book!


Charity_Water_Thirst_A_Story_of_Redemption_Scott_HarrisonThirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World By Scott Harrison

At 28 years old, Scott Harrison had it all. A top nightclub promoter in New York City, his life was an endless cycle of drugs, booze, models—repeat. But 10 years in, desperately unhappy and morally bankrupt, he asked himself, "What would the exact opposite of my life look like?" Walking away from everything, Harrison spent the next 16 months on a hospital ship in West Africa and discovered his true calling. In 2006, with no money and less than no experience, Harrison founded charity: water. Today, his organization has raised over $300 million to bring clean drinking water to more than 8.2 million people around the globe.

This company, its' mission and its' team are very close to my heart.  This is one book that very well may change your perspective on your investing and create a new 'WHY" for the need to succeed.

Discipline_Equals_Freedom_Field_Manual_Jocko_WillinkDiscipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual By Jocko Willink 

Jocko Willink's methods for success were born in the SEAL Teams, where he spent most of his adult life, enlisting after high school and rising through the ranks to become the commander of the most highly decorated special operations unit of the war in Iraq. In Discipline Equals Freedom, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Extreme Ownership describes how he lives that mantra: the mental and physical disciplines he imposes on himself in order to achieve freedom in all aspects of life. Many books offer advice on how to overcome obstacles and reach your goals―but that advice often misses the most critical ingredient: discipline. Without discipline, there will be no real progress. Discipline Equals Freedom covers it all, including strategies and tactics for conquering weakness, procrastination, and fear, and specific physical training presented in workouts for beginner, intermediate, and advanced athletes, and even the best sleep habits and food intake recommended to optimize performance.


Good_to_Great_Why_Some_Companies_Make_the_Leap_Jim_Collins Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t By Jim Collins

The Challenge
Build to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning.
But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, and even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

The Study
For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good too great?

The Standards
Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world’s greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.

The Comparisons
The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?
Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness - why some companies make the leap and others don’t.


Living_with_the_Monks_Jesse_ItzlerLiving with the Monks: What Turning Off My Phone Taught Me about Happiness, Gratitude, and Focus By Jesse Itzler

Equal parts memoir and road map to living a less stressful and more vibrant life, bestselling author Jesse Itzler offers an illuminating, entertaining, and unexpected trip for anyone looking to feel calmer and more controlled in our crazy, hectic world.

Jesse is one of the all-time favorite people that I have had the pleasure to meet and get to know a bit. I have learned so many lessons from him and this book is PACKED with lessons that we could all use in our daily lives. None of us is getting any younger and unfortunately, we only have so much time in each day. Live it not only to the fullest, but in the best way possible! This book and the lessons Jesse shares can definitely help you do both!

Related Article: 13 Books on Real Estate Investing & The Entrepreneurial Mindset

Again, this list is never exhaustive and I try to mix things up a bit with real estate, health and entrepreneurship books on the list. I finished over 20 books this year and re-read some old classics that I like to pick up every year. The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo and Make It Big by Frank McKinney are two that I feel like I put on every list every year.

So, I tried to dig a little deeper this year and go beyond the usuals.  I hope you pick up one or two of these titles or even all 13 and enjoy!

What Are Your Favorite Real Estate Investing & Business Books? Let us know in the comments!

Interested in learning more about passive real estate investment?


Chris Clothier
Written by Chris Clothier

Entrepreneur, writer, speaker, ultra-endurance athlete, husband & father of five beautiful children. Chris puts these natural talents on display every day. As a partner at Memphis Invest, Chris addresses small and large audiences of real estate investors and business professionals nationwide several times each year. Chris is also an active writer, weekly publishing real estate, leadership, and endurance training articles.