10 Books by Self-Made Billionaires That Are Still Relevant Today

Billionaires have life lessons that we all can learn from. These self-made billionaires have a lot to teach us about life and building wealth.

Copy Of Billionaire Books

Since it is unlikely that you will ever meet these billionaires in person for a coffee or dinner, it is convenient that they have written books with their wisdom and advice.

1. Made in America by Sam Walton

From running a dime store in Bentonville, Arkansas to owning one of the largest businesses in the world, Sam Walton knows what it takes to start and grow a business. In this autobiography, Walton shares how he built Walmart using a candid, straight-from-the-shoulder style. The book is filled with anecdotes about navigating Main Street and Wall Street.

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2. The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose by Oprah Winfrey

Most people spend their entire life trying to figure out their purpose and many never find it. In her latest book, Oprah Winfrey tries to help people find their life’s purpose sooner by guiding readers to discover the “deepest vision of yourself.” The book is divided into 10 chapters that guide readers to a specific milestone in their journey. In each chapter, she also shares the key lessons and stories that helped shape her life.

3. Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

A classic written by investor and entrepreneur Ray Dalio, Principles offers hundreds of practical lessons to help organizations and individuals make better decisions. The frameworks outlined in this book can be applied to many decisions in life.

4. Shoe Dog: A Memoir By the Creator of Nike By Phil Knight

Named one of Bill Gates’ favorite books in 2016, Shoe Dog offers an in-depth view on how Phil Knight built his shoe empire. Starting with $50 borrowed from his dad, Knight grew the company to the behemoth it is today with its world-recognized “swoosh” logo. Learn how Knight navigated numerous twists and turns as he built his business from the ground up.

5. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Published in 2013, Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In” instantly became a huge cultural phenomenon, prompting workplace discussions about women and ambition in the workplace.

Inspiring and thoroughly researched, the Facebook COO provides guidance on how to balance career success with personal contentment as well as how men may still grow in their careers by supporting women both at work and at home.

6. Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson

Richard Branson, known for Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic, and many other “Virgin” branded companies, wrote this autobiography to show how he gained success doing things his way instead of trying to follow others. He talks about the life events that shaped who he is and how he runs his business.

7. Business @ the Speed of Thought by Bill Gates

Bill Gates sets out to explain how companies and individuals can succeed in the rapidly changing technology world. While written over two decades ago, the lessons taught in this book are still highly relevant in today’s tech world.

8. My Life and Work by Henry Ford

While the title of this book leads the reader to believe this is an autobiography, Ford instead intended this book to be a manual of business lessons and philosophy. Ford describes how he introduced the assembly line, reduced working hours, a minimum wage, the five-day work week, etc. at the beginning of the previous century, all of which have had lasting impacts on modern-day workplaces. He even discusses manufacturing processes such as “Just-in-Time” manufacturing which was adopted by influential companies including Toyota and is a staple of the modern-day manufacturing world.

9. The Gospel of Wealth by Andrew Carnegie

While Andrew Carnegie was never technically a billionaire in his day, his net worth would have eclipsed $300 billion in today’s dollars factoring in inflation. Hence, he is worthy of any billionaires list. His seminal work, The Gospel of Wealth, discusses how wealthy individuals should not hoard their wealth, but instead provide moderately for their families and use the remaining fortunes to promote the “general good.”

10. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, Palantir Technologies, and Founders Fund, has a track record of founding and funding ground-breaking businesses (such as Facebook).

The book challenges readers to ask questions that will lead them to uncover value in unexpected places and how to bring businesses from nothing (0) to something (1). It’s a new way of thinking about innovation which is why this book has been required reading at startups.

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