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Ogechi: 7 Books That Will Change Your Life & the Way You Think Forever

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As a human being and then an entrepreneur, you must be an acquirer of knowledge. You’re not allowed to have a hate relationship with reading. You can’t even afford it. Books often contain the world’s best kept secrets and the world’s most successful people indulge frequently in this mental workout.

You should read to save yourself time; these days, information is the currency of time. More often than not, successful people will put their experiences in a book. For instance, if a 50 year old CEO writes a book, you will spend one or two days learning what it took him (or her) approximately 20-25 years of his working life to learn for a small fee. Would you rather pay in time and a higher price ultimately to learn the same thing?

One characteristic of a cell is that it forms from existing cells. Ideas are the same; they form from other ideas and reading has a way of igniting new ones. So, if you’re looking for something to read this season, here are some recommendations. It is a mix of entrepreneurship, personal finance and personal development.

Think and Grow Rich
I first heard this Malcolm X’s speech from the intro in MI’s Superhuman off his illegal music 2 album (one of the greatest albums ever). Malcom X says, “…… as long as you can be convinced you never did anything, you can never do anything”. You see, every defeat or victory you encounter will come from your mind. That’s why the most important war you have to win is the war of the mind. This book focuses fear, procrastination, decision making and many other issues that prevent people from reaching their potential. Let me tell you a little about my own fear and how it almost crippled me. Before I started writing on this platform, I was afraid no one would be interested or engage in my posts because I don’t write about relationships; you know, tips and tricks on how to catch a man or keep one. So, I stalled. One day, I told myself even if only one person is interested and engage, then, my work is done. Apparently, my fears were baseless.Warning: This is an old book so the language is little olden days like but you will get the message. There’s also a part that encourages talking to imaginary friends actually, more like making them your advisors and having meetings with them-regularly. Great read!

Blue Ocean Strategy
I will never stop talking about this book because it had a profound effect on me. In a previous post (here), I mentioned that you need to know the how of your business which should explain the difference between you and your competition, well, this book captures just that. The book states that there are red oceans; existing markets filled with competition and then blue oceans markets with little to no competition. There is no need to bother with the competition. Instead, focus on breaking barriers using the 6 stages of the buyer experience cycle by testing new markets because that is the only way you will be truly successful. Overall, it encourages entrepreneurs to seek ways of doing things differently.

The Lean Startup
I was confused and needed direction on how to start my business. This book showed me the way. The focus is on advising entrepreneurs to create a MVP (Minimum Viable Product). You want to build small to; minimize your loss in time, resources and money. Create the core of your product (version 1.0) and expand as you go along. This way you can learn and track what works and what doesn’t easily and quickly since you’re on a small scale. The book also encourages testing your product as you build (it seems obvious but you’d surprised) using the Kanban diagram of work. Warning: It is a little difficult to read and some parts might be boring because the author has a technical background. Read this one gradually.

The Richest Man In Babylon
I read this book a long time ago. If you’re still having problems with your finances, this will help you greatly with its nuggets of wisdom. Its also an old book, so the language is old as well. It is written in a parable like manner. There’s a short story in there titled 7 Cures for a Lean Purse; 1) start thy purse to fattening. 2) Control thy expenditure 3) Make thy gold multiply 4) Guard thy treasure from loss 5) Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment 6) Insure a future income 7) Increase thy ability to earn. Follow it and expect great results.

The Millionaire Next Door
Also a personal finance book, the authors did a 20 year study on millionaires and also rounded up millionaires (worth one to ten million) for personal interviews to ask them how they live, what they do and how they acquired their wealth. Most of them had parents who didn’t help them either. Some of their advice was to Live well below your means. Spend your time, energy and money efficiently in ways that build wealth. Believe that financial independence is more important than social status. Warning: Some of the research done is outdated. But, it is still a great read.

Made To Stick
This one is special. It’s about creating ideas that stick. Stick meaning ideas that are understood, remembered and have a lasting impact. Ideas that stick have six critical elements: Simplicity, Unexpectedness, Concreteness, Credibility, Emotions, and Stories. Business managers seem to believe that, once they’ve clocked through a PowerPoint presentation showcasing their conclusions, they’ve successfully communicated their ideas,” Heath (one of the authors) writes. “What they’ve done is share data” Sticky ideas shock, move and convince us. This book is an easy read and one you won’t forget.

Freakconomics
I remember reading it with adrenaline running through my veins as it did when I read Sidney Sheldon’s Nothing Last Forever way back. The book is more about social economics and explains why certain things are the way they are. It will teach you to question everything and seek answers because there’s a lot more than what you see on the surface. I respect the authors because writing this book required a lot of research (data, statistics and analysis) on their part yet, they were able to present their findings in an entertaining style. They also confirmed two things I had always believed but had no proof of. With chapter titles like “Why Drug Dealers Still Live With Their Mothers, What do School Teachers and Sumo Wrestlers Have in Common, Why Do Prostitutes Earn More Than an Architects, this book will blow your mind……literally.

What books have you read that changed your life or way of thinking? If you’ve read anyone of these, which is it? What are you reading right now? I need some recommendations myself.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Igor Mojzes

Ogechi is the founder of OneSavvyDollar.com OneSavvyDollar exists to make your personal financial life dramatically simpler, more convenient, less intimidating, more fun and fashionable by teaching personal finance in a fun, engaging and empowering way. On her blog, she writes about entrepreneurship, career, education and interesting money news. Connect with her on facebook: @onesavvydollar or Instagram: @onesavvydollar

54 Comments

  1. becky

    July 8, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Where can I get the books to buy?

    • Le moi

      July 8, 2015 at 10:27 am

      In the market, bookshops, amazon…

    • natu

      July 8, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Amazon

    • Bayowilson

      July 8, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      Lots of Celebrities make money without reading books. Some of them even have the time. No be by finance books. If you like, read 40 books per hour; if your head no go bring money, e no go bring shishi.

    • Tumi

      August 18, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      Ogechi, well done. Good job

    • O

      July 8, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      Under the bridge in Ikeja and Yaba. Bought a lot of book there in the late ’90’s and early 2000’s. I like used books….maybe I’m a cheapskate 😉

  2. Dr. N

    July 8, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Read some of them. Def looking out for freakonomics. Cheers

  3. whocares

    July 8, 2015 at 10:23 am

    These books are mostly about finances etc. Freakconomics and Think and Grow I will definitely be looking out for them. Usually I avoid self help books or books that attempt to help me think but I think its time I diversify. Now my lists of books (I’m afraid I can never pass up an opportunity to talk about some of my favourite books ) : The little prince, The Alchemist, The Book Thief, To Kill a Mockingbird, The World According to Garp, Eats, Shoots and Leaves, Fermat’s Last Theorem. They wont change your life at all but they are fantastic. The last two is just to include something educational. Never let it be said that I do not try to brush up your English skills whilst teaching you a bit about theoretical mathematics. Ooh “Like water for Chocolate” is also another lovely book.

    • Love books too, so I understand

      July 8, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Hahahahaha…My name says it all….You’re forgiven… 🙂

    • Rahama

      July 8, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      Don’t read self help books too. Last one I read was rich dad poor dad and I must confess it just said stuff I already knew. The Alchemist? Now that’s a powerful book. I love the Kiterunner and A thousand Splendid Suns too.

    • Mohammad

      July 8, 2015 at 5:49 pm

      @whocares, those book you mention WILL in fact change lives. A huuuuuuuuuuge amount of learning is buried in fiction and other non self-help writing: guidance on how to live, and they provide avenues to broaden one’s mind. This can never be overstated.

  4. zadera

    July 8, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Thanks for the recommendations.

    • Ogechi OneSavvyDollar

      July 9, 2015 at 2:18 am

      You’re welcome, Zadera

  5. sanni

    July 8, 2015 at 10:41 am

    7 habits of highly effective people by stephen covey and winning by jack welch.

  6. Love books too, so I understand

    July 8, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Hahahahaha…My name says it all….You’re forgiven… 🙂

  7. Kharis Acheampong

    July 8, 2015 at 11:02 am

    A book I will highly recommend is The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach. Its a book that is so practical and a very easy read. You will be done in an hour but will come away with practical tips you can implement straight away to help your finances. One of the myths he debunks is that you don’t need to be disciplined or be good at budgeting to be on top of your finances. WE have all tried budgeting and discipline and it didn’t work. Rather he shows you how you can keep most of the money you are currently earning by being intentional about your finances. It’s so commonsense that you will wonder why you did not do this earlier. I learnt how to reduce the number of years of paying of my mortgage and saving on serious interest in a matter of minutes. I called my bank to implement it straight away. They were not too happy that I had found this out but I had smiles all the way through the phone call.

  8. MissDodo

    July 8, 2015 at 11:17 am

    For me, “The Science of Getting Rich” changed my life and is still changing it …

  9. Oluwalorami

    July 8, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Hmm. Ogechi, in Think and Grow Rich, “There’s also a part that encourages talking to imaginary friends actually, more like making them your advisors and having meetings with them-regularly.”

    That part should have a disclaimer e.g. PROCEED WITH CAUTION or IF YOU ARE NOT A MEDICAL OR SPIRITUAL PROFESSIONAL I.E. PSYCHIATRY OR DELIVERANCE MINISTER, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.

    The cure should not become the problem, please.

    Just saying. 🙂

    Great list, though. Thank you.

    • Ogechi OneSavvyDollar

      July 9, 2015 at 2:23 am

      Hahaha! Oluwalorami, we all already practice talking to ourselves (or am I speaking for just me?). We can just take it a step further by speaking to imaginary people’. Flees!

  10. Mimi

    July 8, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Seven habits of highly effective people . Good read

    • Jollof

      July 8, 2015 at 4:36 pm

      Mimi! Is that you? I’ve come across that book time and time again, and it’s clear that I have a habit of procrastinating – not so much a habit of highly effective people 🙂

  11. ACE

    July 8, 2015 at 11:48 am

    I read books but mostly crime or religious books, I think I need to go book shopping again.

  12. TK

    July 8, 2015 at 11:58 am

    The lean start up and think rich grow rich I have read. To 12 read

    12books for 12months
    How to win friends and influence people.
    The psychology of selling.
    Who moved my cheese?
    4-hr work week
    The lean start up
    Choose yourself
    Rework
    To sell is human.
    Girl boss
    Zero to One
    Think like a freak
    The founder’ dilemmas
    Start with why
    The psychology of persuasion
    Venture Deals.

    • Ogechi OneSavvyDollar

      July 9, 2015 at 2:25 am

      Thank you for the recommendation, TK. I will search for the ones I haven’t read from your list and pick them up at the library.

  13. been there

    July 8, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    ‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg should definitely be in here. It is a must read for any female in business. Even for men, it gives perspective.

    • Ogechi OneSavvyDollar

      July 9, 2015 at 2:26 am

      I heard her book was a great read too. *makes a mental note to get it*. Thank you for your recommendation

  14. Larmie

    July 8, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    The richest man in Babylon is definitely one to read!

  15. Bode Thomas

    July 8, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Ogechi, you can’t have a Man working on the street without a head, I laud your article but let me have the books you recommend with their authors as it will make it easier for me to shop for them. I celebrate you!

    • Ogechi OneSavvyDollar

      July 9, 2015 at 2:36 am

      Bode Thomas , *gasps* how dare me.
      Think and Grow Rich-Napoleon Hill
      Blue Ocean Strategy- W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
      The Lean Startup -Eric Reis
      The Richest Man in Babylon- George S. Clason
      The Millionaire Next Door- Thomas J. Stanley
      Made To Stick- Dan Heath and Chip Heath
      Freakconomics-Steven J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt
      Happy reading! 🙂

  16. goddessofvictory

    July 8, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Hey guys this book has changed my life and is still changing it. it is called the Bible 🙂

    • Ogechi OneSavvyDollar

      July 9, 2015 at 3:23 am

      Haha! Of course it is, proverbs is the business!

  17. Ibinabo

    July 8, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Blue Ocean Strategy is worthwhile!

    • Ogechi OneSavvyDollar

      July 9, 2015 at 3:25 am

      Indeed it is. One of my greatest discoveries.

  18. red

    July 8, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    i’d like to read the richest man in babylon

    • Ogechi OneSavvyDollar

      July 9, 2015 at 2:42 am

      Hi red, this is a pdf version. I hope the link works for you. Enjoy!
      thepdi.com/Richest%20Man%20in%20Babylon.pdf.

    • red

      July 9, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      @Ogechi…thanks a lot. thanks a lot.

    • red

      July 9, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      i downloaded….yippee!!! happy reading to me

    • Ibinabo

      July 10, 2015 at 9:19 am

      Thanks for the link.. ‘just downloaded it too. : )

  19. Laura

    July 8, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    i agree, reading is life. Love it, Who moved my cheese is my fav. Also loved reading, why you act the way you do….helps you cope with any and everybody. Right now am reading the 22 immutable laws of branding for Brand Managers, and its good thus far….

    • Ogechi OneSavvyDollar

      July 9, 2015 at 3:20 am

      Hi Laura, of all the books recommended, I started with the one you’re reading. Maybe it’s the title that got me. In pg. 36, it says,
      “Another important aspect of brand building is having a better name. All factors being equal, the brand with the better name will come out on top”.
      It validates 2 posts I wrote without ever reading this book.. I have always believed that entrepreneurs should be very deliberate when choosing their business names; it makes everything else ‘easier’ and once chosen, protected immediately. I’m loving this book too 🙂

  20. looters

    July 8, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    How To Win Friends And Influence People, Outliers: The Story of Success, The Confidence Code.

    • O

      July 8, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      Ooooooh, In a week, I’ll start reading “How to Win Friends and Influence People”; just need to finish “The Mckinzie Way” first.

  21. Tolu

    July 8, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Alawiye apa keji

  22. Rahama

    July 8, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Guess nobody reads fiction here ?…… I can see comments naming mostly self help books, nothing wrong with them but a real reader diversifies. The joy of reading for me is the escape it gives me from my normal life, the way the plot is written and developed, the way the author describes people and situations….. Books are alive.

    • whocares

      July 8, 2015 at 4:36 pm

      Let’s be friends!!! IAs a kid, I was the one kid sitting in the corner laughing uproariously to myself whilst everyone played. I still do it. I get so carried away reading i burst out laughing in public, and then I look around me; not in embarrassment, but because I am trying to share what I just read. At this point, whoever is sitting next to me is staring pointedly in space or at their shoe. lol. I read everything. I hate maths, but I love reading about it. I will read that Jehovah’s witness magazine (Alive? I love it) the Big issue, fiction books, I hate non-fiction as they are mostly sad and gritty. Let me rephrase. I wont read gritty books. Even though I have been known to burst into tears whilst reading. I sit there, nose dripping as I turn the pages. To read is to live. The places I have been to from the comfort of my bed are uncountable.

    • O

      July 8, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      The author did ask for what books changed ones way of thinking. Specially for you though, the last fictional novel I read was “The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives”, I really enjoyed it.

    • Ogechi OneSavvyDollar

      July 9, 2015 at 2:38 am

      Rahama, I used to read fiction. But i’m in a different zone these days. But yeah, books are definitely alive!

  23. MsTilii

    July 8, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Most folks do no read any more
    and i admit i am one of them, as an 8 yr old back home, i use to read nancy drew and famous 5 like crazy that one i use to read like one book per day, then as a 12 year old i got into reading at least 3 to 4 books per week (who remembers pacesetters – i have a list of all of them on my blog) .

    Those were the pacesetters days and all the great African writers, then i graduated to the Sidney sheldons and what not (oh girl let me tell you i use to read those sidney sheldon books in 2 days so in a week i read like 4),

    But since i moved to US, i have never had time to read much, especially since internet came along, i hardly ever read at all, I am always reading blogs or articles but never a real book. Although i read “some” christian books – but the novels and stuff i dont know why i cant get myself to read them as i use to back in the day back home . I mean i go to Barnes and Noble and i dont even walk over to the novel section as i would have as a 12 yr old who loved books. Chimamanda got be back into my african writers again but i get distracted by tv, internet etc so much instead of taking a week to read an excellent book like hers, i am dilly dally till like a 2 week or 3 weeks before i complete it. INTERNET AND TV HAS CAUSED A LOT OF DISTRACTION IN OUR LIVES.

    My older sister was an introvert who stayed in her room 24/7 even during long summer vacation from secondary school (and you know back home we got like 3 solid months of vacation< ) she stayed in her room (well OUR room) all day , doing what? READING MILLLS AND BOONS AND ALL THOSE ROMANTIC HARLEQUIN BULLSHYT 🙂 – i wonder where those books are these days.

    I want to get back to reading again.

  24. Nkoyo

    July 8, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Thanks for the recommendations, it would have been awesome if authors were listed as as well.

    • Ogechi OneSavvyDollar

      July 9, 2015 at 2:36 am

      Hi Nkoyo
      Think and Grow Rich-Napoleon Hill
      Blue Ocean Strategy- W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
      The Lean Startup -Eric Reis
      The Richest Man in Babylon- George S. Clason
      The Millionaire Next Door- Thomas J. Stanley
      Made To Stick- Dan Heath and Chip Heath
      Freakconomics-Steven J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt
      Happy reading 🙂

  25. Easy n Gentle

    July 9, 2015 at 10:21 am

    of course his is not an exhaustive list. here goes: Books that changed my perspective forever: 48laws of Power. I also liked the Art of Seduction, both by Robert Greene. Why you act the way you do and Opposite attaches by Tim La Haye. Talent is not enough by John Maxwell. Love language and things I wish I knew before I got married by Gary Chapman. Success though a positive mental attitude by Napoleon Hill has/had the most influence on who I am today though. Then non self-help, I read everything else I can find from novels, which are perfect get-always into worlds I might never experience to BN, where you get so much perspective from divergent views. Best ever fiction would be the ones authored by Dan Brown

    • Easy n Gentle

      July 9, 2015 at 10:24 am

      Most influential, how could I forget Born without a silver spoon and Camara Laye’s The African child. and there was this semi-fictitious political recount of Nigeria’s political history that I read. I don’t know the title because the cover was turn. Read all three before I was a teenager

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      July 10, 2015 at 9:29 am

      Sometimes I think I know who you are. But then again, No.

  26. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    July 10, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Currently the following “books” are my ish:

    The Holy Bible (King James Version)
    Start – Up Nation
    Pilgrims Progress
    Art of War
    Our Ice-berg is Melting
    Comment Section on BN
    Globalization and its Discontent.
    Getting past No
    Flashes of Thoughts.

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