Michael Gerber, David Schwartz and Tim Ferriss
by Arjen Koopman
One great book I recently read is "The E-Myth Revisited" by Michael Gerber.
It's a broader than personal development as such, but it's an important aspect. His book is about small business owners - why most fail (most small businesses in the United States close within 1 to 5 years) and what lessons to draw from that.
In essence, Gerber says that most small businesses are started by people who want to escape their boss by becoming self-employed. But what they do is, prolong their job in the form of a small business. One day they find out they hate their new positions since they now have to work twice as hard for the worst boss possible - themselves.
Gerber's solution? Go read the book and find out! Gerber is not just someone with a nice theory - he's a long time small business coach and his book got several prestigious business awards.
I also liked "The magic of thinking big" by David Schwartz. It's a classic, it was written half a century ago. With 'thinking big', Schwartz in essence means stepping over your own little concerns and interests (centered around yourself), and trying to work in a way that serves other peoples' interests. Your world will be bigger, you'll get respect from people and this brings you a lot in the end as well.
If I have to list a third, it would be Tim Ferriss' "The 4 Hour Work Week". He shows how you can work much more productively and free up lots of your time through automation and outsourcing, so you can focus on what really excites you in life. It's a quite practical book. To his credit he advises strongly to find some kind of higher goal in life, some way of serving others, once you've eliminated 9-5.