Five Books That Changed My Life by Jon Edwards

I read a ton of books.  I mean a ton.  There are close to two-thousand books in my house and I can’t imagine how many have passed through my fingers even before I had my house.

Of all the books, some were great, some were not-so-great, and others were…well…let’s just say I’d have been better off without them.  They all have, what I call, the “gem” theory.  That is that in each of those books there was one idea, one gem, that made a difference in my life.  Were they all worth it?  You bet.

As Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”

School rarely teaches you anything about what these five books offer, yet these are the ideas and skill you need to navigate this ever-changing world effectively.

With that in mind, here are my top five:

1. For Organizing Your Ideas, Projects, and Life: Getting Things Done by David Allen. 

Lots of people talk a great game when it comes organizing your ideas, your projects, and your life.  This book is the bible when it comes to all of that.  I don’t think anyone else in the world has spent so much time thinking about their stuff as much as David Allen.  This is a must read.

2. For Organizing Your Home and Your Stuff: Organize And Create Discipline by Justin Klosky. 

When it comes to organizing your home, it sure is handy if you have a little obsessive compulsive disorder.  So why not get the book about organizing from the guy who HAS obsessive compulsive disorder.  This book is excellent and gives you all the tips and tricks you need to organize your “stuff.”  I interviewed Justin for my soon to be released podcast at

3. For Negotiating With Others: How To Argue and Win Every Time by Gerry Spence:

Negotiating (and getting your way) is one of the best skills you can learn in your life. Whether you’re trying to buy a new car (or a used one) or you’re just trying to get people to believe in your ideas, you need to understand and develop the skill of negotiating.

4. For Understanding Success And What Comes First: The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor:

For most of us, we assume that once we have more money, a boyfriend or girlfriend, better friends, or a good job, we will finally be happy.  It’s not true.  And in this book you’ll hear all the facts about how you need to be happy BEFORE you become successful or get what you want.  In fact, it’s the thing that makes it all happy.  You’ll be successful after you become happy.  Great read.

5. For a Better Outlook On Life: Abundance by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler:

If you get stuck watching the news (which you shouldn’t) you’re probably going to get pretty depressed about the world and about life in general.  This book is one of the most profound looks at what is coming down the pipeline of life.  Technology is going to change our world faster than ever before and we need to be ready, willing, and able to change faster than ever before.  After you read Abundance, go and read Bold.  And then read Kotler’s other book, Tomorrowland.

Bonus Books and Ideas

Being “sold” to is a competitive event.  Every day we are bombarded with marketing messages designed to sell us something.  That something could be a car, some food, where to go to dinner, who to sue, and what new drug to take for that condition that you didn’t even know you had.

Understanding how and why marketing works then is vital to our survival in the future.  Think of it like defeating a terrorist organization.  You might not necessarily want to be a terrorist but it sure is helpful to understand how they operate so you’re not one of them.

Dan Kennedy is one of the world’s greatest marketers and he has written a TON of books around the topics of marketing and sales.  I have read every single one of them.

I recommend to you, whether you have a product or an idea that you want to sell to the world one day, or you just want to protect yourself from getting sold a product or an idea that isn’t good for you; read all of Dan’s books and you will have a Masters degree in marketing that will serve you for the rest of your life.

 About the Author:  Jon Edwards is an Olympian, a business owner, a blogger, a husband, and a dad to two beautiful kids. He’s an entrepreneur, a retailer, a real estate investor and a professional speaker.  He’s been in ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Details Magazine, CBS and NBC.  He’s most proud of being a teacher and a mentor to young, aspiring athletes and non-athletes alike.