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The Art of Work (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2015)

Today, unlike any previous time in history, we have options about the work we do and the role it plays in our lives. But it is precisely here that so many of us get stuck. With so many choices, we struggle to figure out what we really want or where to start once we do. In The Art of Work, Jeff Goins provides a clear framework for discerning our calling, developing our mastery, and maximizing our impact. This is the plan we’ve been waiting for—from a guide we can trust.

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The ONE Thing (Austin, TX: Bard Press, 2013)

Ever feel overwhelmed by having too much to do? In The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, Gary Keller chairman of the board and cofounder of Keller Williams Realty, Inc., and New York Times bestselling author, starts off by dispelling five lies people believe about productivity. He then explains how to focus on the one that that if done, makes everything else easier or unnecessary.

The MacSparky Markdown Field Guide

Markdown (David Sparks, 2013)

One of the biggest problems writers face is distraction. It is especially frustrating when the very tools designed to help you become a distraction. That’s why I am now writing everything in a simple text editor, using a method called markdown. It enables me to remove the clutter of technology and just write. If you want to markdown, I recommend The MacSparky Markdown Field Guide by David Sparks and Eddie Smith. I read the whole thing in one sitting.

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The Ultimate Sales Machine (New York City: Portfolio Trade, 2006)

This is by far the best business book I have ever read. I know that is a big claim, but I found the book enormously compelling. It is full of real-world examples, brilliant strategies, and proven tactics. And make no mistake: this book is not just about sales. It is about life and an approach to running a business that is different than anything I have ever read. I can see why Tony Robbins partnered with him. (Sadly, Chet died of leukemia in 2012.)

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The Power of a Positive No (New York, NY: Bantam, 2007)

If you are ever going to create the margin you need to focus on the things that matter most, you have to learn to say no. This is difficult, especially for recovering people pleasers like me. Fortunately, Dr. Ury make it easier by reframing the whole exercise as something positive—both for you and for the person making the request. If you struggle with saying no, this book will provide the motivation you need to say no more often.

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The 4-Hour Workweek (New York, NY: Harmony, 2009)

This is one of the best books on productivity and lifestyle design available. I have read it through at least three times. I got something new each time. I especially enjoyed Ferriss’s framework: Eliminate first. What you can’t eliminate, automate. What you can’t automate, delegate. What you can’t delegate, do yourself. This is the easiest way to free up margin for yourself. Ferriss is also a very entertaining writer.

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You Are the Message (New York, NY: Crown Business, 1989)

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The War of Art (New York, NY: Black Irish Entertainment, 2012)

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Essentialism (New York, NY: Crown Business, 2014)

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Focus (New York, NY: HarperBusiness, 2005)

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Switch (New York, NY: Crown Business, 2010)

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