READ THIS If You Want More For Your Life

By: Dan Kennedy on: December 20th, 2012 17 Comments

This time of year, where I am, it’s a good time to catch up on some reading…

Inside, by the fireplace, while outside, cold winds wail and snow swirls.

I have a relatively large library with thousands of books. Here are some of the books in my permanent and/or current reference libraries that I consider among the most valuable and valued. I believe working your way through this list will transform your life in ways you cannot even imagine. Note this is only a partial list of the books that I highly recommend reading, owning and using.  (NOT in any order of preference.)


  • How To Write A Good Advertisement by Schwab
  • How to Make (At Least) $1 Million In Mail-Order by Joffee
  • Greatest Sales Letters Ever Written by Dartnell
  • True Believer by Hoffer


  • Be My Guest by Conrad Hilton
  • What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School by McCormack
  • Secrets of Millionaires by Sterne

Business and Professional Success

  • The Success System That Never Fails by Stone
  • Winning Through Intimidation by Ringer
  • Psycho-Cybernetics by Maltz
  • Think and Grow Rich by Hill

Anything and everything by Jim Rohn. Anything and everything by Foster Hibbard. Anything and everything by Earl Nightingale.

One more that if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll note I recommend often, is What a Way to Make a Living—The Lyman Wood Story. This is for everybody, everyone who would call themselves a direct-response marketer. Rich lessons, but more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

Having just spent time at Info-Summit with legendary copywriter John Carlton, direct-response radio wizard and the brain that built, Fred Catona, author of Fascinate!, Sally Hogshead, and other rich direct marketing pros, an observation is fresh: these people are distinguished by their voracious reading, by their exchanging and scribbling down recommendations of things to read, by their “on alert” curiosity.

Theirs are very inquiring minds that want to know.

While there, I also joined a little dinner party of multi-millionaire venture capitalists and serial start-up backers. The two richest were the two most curious, the two least interested in b.s.’ing, most interested in discovering something they did not know from the new, odd fruit plunked onto their table—me.

“Have you read…?”“You should read…” are very common exchanges among the uber-successful.

Rarely do I conduct a consulting day that I don’t get, from the client, a worthy recommendation of something to read, scribble a note, hand it off to my assistant, and get a book sent from Amazon.

Occasionally, people drop out of the No B.S. Marketing Newsletter, with the excuses that “it’s all too much to read” or “I don’t have time to read it”. Really successful people laugh when they hear this. It is as inane as saying you have no time to eat or breathe. Too busy to sustain life.

Earnest acquisition of electric knowledge is the “secret” of the successful. Not having time for it is a choice of the poor.

If you ask a successful or rich person at 5:00 P.M. what he knows that he didn’t know at 7 A.M., he usually has an interesting answer.

If you ask a poor person the same question, he almost never has an answer. He’s been busy, though, that you can count on.

NOTE: Speaking of books, I’ve just released No B.S. Guide to Marketing to Leading Edge Boomers & Seniors. This is a manual about getting money from those who have it and are, given reason and their interests met, very willing to spend it—on just about everything, and more of it, at higher than average prices than any other consumers.

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    Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

    17 Responses

    1. Tiago de Melo says:

      Thank you Dan for sharing your favorite books!

    2. Tsufit says:

      Great list, Dan.
      I inhale books and have ready many based on you mentioning them,
      King of Madison Avenue, True Believer, Atlas Shrugged.

      Now on the lookout for Hefner’s Little Black Book & the Lyman Wood book.
      And of course, all your books, hard to pick a favorite, but your No B.S. Marketing to the Affluent is one everyone should read.

      Keep ’em coming, Dan.


    3. Gill says:

      More great advice from Dan. I will check out those books.

    4. Dan!

      Thanks so much for this list. Will definitely be adding a bunch of these to my collection.

      Check out Andy Maslen’s “Write to Sell” and “Write Copy Make Money”.

      Keep being awesome!


    5. Mary J says:

      Thanks Dan, I have your new book and will curl up with it on this cold and snowy day.

    6. DrGeorge says:

      Great advice… thanks! After re-reading, I printed out 3 copies: one for each of my children.

    7. Kevin Dahlberg says:

      Over the last few months I’ve made it my goal to consume as much information as possible. That not only includes reading from books but learning from my environment and others around me as well. It’s reassuring to know that I am in good company.

      Nice to see Psycho-Cynernetics on your list. That was the first self help book that I read. It’s what started my journey down the rabbit hole.

    8. Jorge says:

      Thanks! I will start reading The Foster Hibbard Millionaire Seminar

    9. Quentin Pain says:

      Loved this Dan. Most of the books you mention are new to me. I am just working through John Caples stuff, which I find fascinating. Thanks very much for sharing.

    10. David Hunter says:

      I’m ordering a copy of What a Way to Make a Living—The Lyman Wood Story!! Sounds very interesting.

    11. Edwin Soler says:

      Thanks for the list, I love to read books. Reading two right now.

    12. […] Read This is You Want More for Your Life […]

    13. […] Get them in the habit of reading.  In his blog post READ THIS If You Want More For Your Life, Dan Kennedy discusses books to transform your life and how a common exchange among the uber-successful is to discuss what they are reading. He says, “Earnest acquisition of electric knowledge is the “secret” of the successful. Not having time for it is a choice of the poor” (if you missed this article you can read it here.) […]

    14. Paul Julian says:

      Thanks Dan for the recommendations. I just updated my Amazon wish list and my wife is cringing.

    15. David Hunter says:

      For some reason, this is my favorite post. I keep coming back and re-reading it. I didn’t know who Jim Rohn was until this post, and now I can’t put his books down. Twelve Pillars is my favorite book!!

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