Looking for a GREAT book to end the summer and LAUNCH you into the fall?

As the summer ends and it's time to get more focused on business once again, here are a few of my favourites to get my "head in the game".  If you have any suggestions, I am ALWAYS looking for great reads!  If you would like to peruse my library, you may do so at www.rickslibrary.com.

(that's favorite for my American friends)

(Excluding "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent" and "SHIFT" that should be on the top of every Realtor's Top Book List!)

"The Traveler's Gift" by Andy Andrews:

Certainly one of the most influential books of my adult life. The story of Michael Ponder, a man who feels that he's lost everything and takes a trip through time and space to find out just how much he truly has. On his journey, he is given the gifts of 7 decisions that affect our choices on how we define our lives. Note: Also available as "The Young Traveler's Gift", which is written from the perspective of a teenager.

"The Noticer" by Andy Andrews:

What can I say other than - he did it again? Andy's newest book, "The Noticer" is a great and very meaningful read. The central character, "Jones", serves up life lessons in such a way that they immediately impact how you want to live your life moving forward. I couldn't put it down and carried it in the car, reading it at every chance I could. I was even tempted at stop lights! Good thing it's another short read or nothing would have gotten accomplished in the meantime! (This, along with "The Traveler's Gift", I had to get in audio format. While I don't often read or listen to many books again and again, these are 2 exceptions.)

"Monday Morning Mentoring" by David Cottrell:

What Mitch Albon's classic "Tuesdays with Morrie" is to the important lessons in life, "Monday Morning Mentoring" is to leadership and management. Step by step, priceless lessons on how to grow and succeed as a leader are built upon. This book is outstanding in some of the ways that different concepts are put into easily understood stories and examples with exercises that anyone can do and benefit from. Like "Tuesdays..." it is told in a narrative that grows each week as the main character meets his mentor. It jumped right up near the top of my list! Quite an achievement for a book I just happened upon as I strolled the book aisle at Costco!

"Failing Forward"
by John C. Maxwell

Other than from my Mom and Dad, I have learned more from John Maxwell than from any other person in my life so far. It was listening to John Maxwell speak at the Keller Williams Family Reunion in 2004 that ignited my passion for reading again. "Failing Forward" was the first of many of his books that have moved me forward on my personal journey. In fact, easily half of this Top 10 List could be made of of John Maxwell's works, such as - "Talent is Never Enough", "Winning with People", "The 21 Laws of Leadership" and "Today Matters". I have joined John Maxwell's Maximum Impact Club and receive audio lessons from John on a monthly basis. Check out his website at www.MaximumImpact.com and know that any time spent listening to or reading anything by John Maxwell is time very well spent.

"Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl

As a young Jewish Psychiatrist, Viktor Frankl lived through the most horrible psychological experience known to mankind - the Nazi Death camps at Auschwitz, Theresienstadt and Turkheim - and lived, not only to tell the world of his experience and revelations, but to develop an entire field of study related to what he observed and learned in those evil real-life laboratories. Frankl was uniquely qualified to observe and disseminate what really mattered - the difference between life and death for those that had any choice, in the brutal, daily struggle to survive. What it really was that gave one person hope to carry on, where another gave in to the despair and perished. This is not a read for the faint of heart, but an essential classic in each person's search for meaning and a witness and tribute to those that were murdered.

"The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey

A true classic for the past 15 years. Stephen Covey guides us with the principles of fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity as he brings focus to the habits that breed true success. More than one of these 7 habits are included in the Keller Williams "WI4C2TS" belief system. If you've read the book, you know which ones and if you haven't read it yet, well .... Also by Stephen Covey that are well worth the read are, "First Things First" and The 8th Habit". Note: His son, Shawn Covey has written "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" and his other son, Stephen M. R. Covey, recently wrote the next book on my Top 10 List!

"The Speed of Trust" by Stephen M. R. Covey

This is a GREAT book that takes a completely new perspective to the most basic component of all relationships - Trust. Stephen Jr. looks at trust from many aspects including the real price of trust (or the lack thereof) in terms of dollars and time. He gives great insight into defining trust and what makes or breaks it, how to build it and how to repair it when it's broken. This is a fantastic book that I have read and then went out and bought the audiobook so that I can hear it again and again in my travels. Frankly, I found Stephen Jr. to be more enjoyable to read than his Dad!

"The E Myth Revisited" by Michael Gerber

This is an absolute MUST read book for anyone who is even remotely thinking about starting their own business (which includes becoming a Realtor.) Michael tells the story of a friend who enjoyed making the best pies in town who made the fatal mistake of listening to everyone who said she should open a Bake Shop. I have been thanked by several people for insisting that they read this book before they embarked on owning their businesses. After reading this book, your eyes will be open to many of the problems that often develop in every "business-for-self" endeavor and greatly enhance your chances for success. Michael Gerber has written many other books including, "The E Myth Mastery", which I am currently is the process of reading now!"


Comment balloon 3 commentsRick Sergison • August 24 2011 10:57AM


John Maxwell was the turning point for me.  Read Stephen Covey and especially liked the Speed of Trust, David Cottrell...so that leaves me with ....checking out Andy Andrews!  Thanks Rick .. always looking for new authors.  Hope all is well.

Posted by Barb Van Stensel over 9 years ago

Hi Rick,

Great list! I've read the last four on your list and they're amongst my favourites too.....I'll have to check out the others you've mentioned.

Have you read any of Paulo Coelho's books? I think you'd really enjoy them.


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 9 years ago

Barb - Actually hearing John Maxwell live at Family Reunion or MegaCamp several years ago was the turning point for me also.  One thing he mentioned that strangely leads into Jo-Anne's comment was that he paid his childern and now his grandchildren to read!  I did that to my daughter several years ago and had her read "The Traveler's Gift" and "Failing Forward" one summer.  When she was done and we discussed each book, I handed her $200 spending money (which I really would have given her anyway, but don't tell her that).  I drove her to Buffalo the next morning and threw her on a plane to NYC to join her brother (who was dancing in NYC) and my wife.  The connection?  When she came back from NYC, she handed me "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho and said"Here Dad!  I picked this up in NYC and read it.  I thought you might like it!"  (and she didn't ask for another hunderd bucks!!)

Jo-Anne - read my comment to Barb (above)  ; )

Great to hear from both of you again!

Posted by Rick Sergison, Durham Region Real Estate Blog (EXP Realty of Canada Inc., Brokerage) over 9 years ago

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