The Number 1 Success Book…even the billionaires think so.
As I do more keynotes for companies, I sometimes end with a Q&A (only because I’m asked). Inevitably, someone asks what types of things do I read and/or what’s a “success book” that I recommend.
First and foremost, I feel that I’ve been very blessed to be able to do what I do. When God put me on this earth, He clearly gave me a wide open path towards the entertainment field. I perform around the country, then I speak in a microphone from home and my voice is heard on commercials around the world. It still makes no sense to me, but I’m not going to argue with it.
So back to what I read. When someone asks a direct question about what success book would I recommend, I only give one answer and I’ve only ever given one answer…How to Win Friends and Influence People. You may have heard of it…you may have never heard of it. But if you’ve never read it, I strongly recommend you to keep reading this article.
How did the book start?
The book was originally published in 1936 by Dale Carnegie. It all started because Carnegie wanted to teach a class on how to deal with people. He went on a search for books on the subject that would be used a textbook for the class. As it turns out, after lots of research, he discovered that no book on the subject had ever been written. He was shocked that no book existed on such an important topic, so he wrote one himself…in stages. It started out as a little notecard, then grew to a bigger card, then a small pamphlet, then eventually turned itself into a book. The additions that were added over the years were stories provided by those who took the class describing what happened when they put the principles into action.
Dale Carnegie died in 1955, but as his class has continued to be taught literally all over the world, stories have been added to the book over time. It has grown into a 250 page book that sold over 250,000 copies in 2012 alone. That’s not a typo. A success book written in the 1930s is now selling a quarter of a million copies a year!
(As a side note, I wonder what Dale Carnegie would think to know that people are reading about his book…on a screen…from their phone.)
Why is it selling so many copies?
A good start would be to note that Dale Carnegie’s class is still going strong all over the world, with admission to the multisession course costing thousands of dollars per person. Top corporations around the world actually require their executives, managers, and leaders to take this course. But if that isn’t enough, many of the most successful people in the world have put this book at the top of their recommended reading list, with some only listing this book.
Warren Buffet, whose net worth at the time of my writing this is a modest $115 billion has only one diploma hanging in his office…..the diploma he received from Dale Carnegie’s course, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Now, if one of the richest people in the world can think so highly of that information, who am I to dispute it.
So what exactly do I recommend?
I actually give a simple set of instructions for this book.
1. Read the book and listen to the audiobook one time each…every year…for the rest of your life.
That’s it. And most people won’t do it. In fact, I probably just lost you. But if you’re still reading, do this and apply the information, and your chances of seeing a dramatic shift in what happens around you is pretty much guaranteed. When I give this book as a recommendation, I literally call it a “life cheat code.” I tell high schoolers that this book will be worth more than all of their college textbooks put together. For myself alone, it has completely turned around business deals, instantly diffused arguments, and caused multibillion dollar companies to break protocol on one-sided, corporate policies just to help me.
When you see the how the information in this book can change your life, it might not be so surprising why at 16 million copies sold, and never leaving the Amazon best seller list, it is considered to be the number 1 success book of all time.
Sources for you:
– The best version of the audiobook I’ve found is read by Andrew MacMillan. He genuinely sounds interested in what he’s reading and doesn’t sound like like an AI voice.
– The book can be picked up in pretty much any book store and online. There is a new book called How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age. That’s a great book to have as well, but I don’t look at that as an update to the original. To me, it comes across more as a supplemental book.