Every once in a while, you read a book that changes you - inspiring your career, clarifying your goals, challenging your thinking. The right book can give you the courage to start your business, the reality check that you're not yet ready or the quiet affirmation that you're not alone in your fears or ambitions. It can set you on your path to success.
We asked our expert contributors to name the one book that most influenced and inspired their careers. Their responses ran the gamut from fiction to history to business to self-help books.
Here's a sampling of 15 of our experts on the books that most inspired them and why.
Jason Womack: 'Atlas Shrugged' by Ayn Rand
"To start a business, you just need to define a problem. But to wake up every day, no matter what, and DO that business, you need a reason. Ms. Rand taught me that focusing on a purpose is the best way to make a difference to my world." - Jason Womack
Jim Joseph: 'Ogilvy on Advertising' by David Ogilvy
"I read [this book] when I was in college, studying marketing. It helped me to cement that this was the field for me and that at the end of the day, it's all about creativity. Although at the time it refered to advertising, it's actually applicable to all parts of the marketing mix. Ogilvy gives rules, but then breaks them. I love it!" - Jim Joseph
Mark J. Kohler: 'Richest Man in Babylon' by George Clason
"This was one of the first business books I read and it taught me that ‘saving’ money is equally as important as ‘making’ money. I’m now requiring my teenage children to read the book and report back to me on how it impacted them." - Mark Kohler
Mark Sanborn: 'The Leadership Challenge' by James Kouzes and Barry Posner
by James Kouzes and Barry Posner (Jossey-Bass, 2012)
"This book was seminal for me early in my business career. It brought structure and insight to the at-the-time mysterious subject of leadership, and it addressed matters of both the head and heart." - Mark Sanborn
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