For years I refused to listen to audio books. I had been an avid Kindle user and believed it was the only real way to truly consume books.
But as the years passed and I was working and traveling for my previous role at Facebook, I found myself with less and less time to just sit down and read. I was getting to bed late and it was easier to spend time on my phone than with my Kindle.
The biggest thing I’ve done over the years to be successful at my side hustles and being an entrepreneur is investing in more knowledge. Things are changing constantly and I find it useful to get my information from the best. I’m not alone, as one of my favorite rappers, Chamillionaire agrees.
Audio books have become the way I consume information now. With long commutes, downtime in the house, or just other people talking that I want to drown out, audio books are the solution. I use Audible because they have everything. There is also something nice about hearing the actual author explain their work.
These books are all ones I’ve finished since deciding to take my side hustles full-time and become an Entrepreneur. Everything I’ve listened to hasn’t been a hit, but they are my favorite audio books to help you build wealth for anyone like me.
Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
By: Timothy Ferris
This book may have had the biggest impact on my current life out of anything I’ve read. I’m also a big Tim Ferris fan and his holistic approach to lifestyle design. At the time of listening to this book, I was living in Spain, didn’t work a normal 9 to 5, and the ‘New Rich’ had a nice tone to it.
Tim covers a lot, but some of the key things that stuck with me were:
Go and Live Abroad
I can’t say it’s for everyone, but it was a great adventure and time to refocus for me. I was learning Spanish and seeing Europe in a way I never thought I would.
Automate and Move On In Your Business
He talks a lot about ways to operate your company more efficiently and with less of your actual time. I’ve worked, and am still working, on getting Wealth Noir to operate smoothly without my direct intervention.
Design a Company For the Life You Want
I now run a location-independent company, travel a lot and get to spend time with my toddler. I’m trying to make smart choices about the life I want to live, not just the money I have.
There is a lot to love about this book. However, The 4-Hour Workweek title sells it short, as it’s really about lifestyle design and has many different things you can take from it and integrate into your own life.
Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future
By: Chris Guillebeau
The $100 Startup is the book I really needed when starting my first company and website back in 2007, but it’s still been a blessing to rediscover now.
At its core, it’s about starting a side hustle or full-time business based on your skills and what you love to do. There are a lot of practical and inspiring examples of people creating lucrative companies based on their passions.
If you know how much a side hustle can help bring in extra money to save and invest, but are stuck on which route to go and how to get started, this book is for you.
The book provides an overall framework for thinking through your startup and starting with little upfront investment (aka $100). Additionally, the real-life examples help you to think through the correct path for yourself as you see yourself in the stories.
3. Small Giants
Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big
By: Bo Burlingham
When you think of startups and being an entrepreneur, big companies and tech startups with outside investment come to mind. This was especially true for me after spending half a decade in Silicon Valley at tech companies and startups. Every company had to go big, raise a few million in VC dollars, and sprint towards being worth $1 billion.
Bo Burlingham discovered that there is another path. There is a way to create a highly successful and profitable company without chasing Google and Facebook.
Small Giants are companies which are profitable and mimic the ethos of the owners and founders instead of growing for the sake of growing.
How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
By: Eric Ries
The Lean Startup is one of the exalted books among all startups and would-be founders. If you’ve ever heard of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Eric Reis helped coin the term.
This startup bible will take you through an intelligent and popular process for operating your new company. It’s a method focused on quickly finding product-market fit and how that is the key to being successful.
At its core, you start with your users. Your goal is to understand their needs and meet them with your product.
Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
By: Brad Stone
Amazon is an amazing beast of a company. I think companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple get more press and attention, but Amazon is literally reshaping commerce globally.
While listening to this story won’t help you understand the difference between an LLC and a C-Corp, it’s great to understand the scale, intensity and effort which goes into creating such success and that much wealth.
I love learning about the inner workings and founding stories of my favorite companies. While watching The Social Network is entertaining, reading the actual book Accidental Billionaires doesn’t give Mark Zuckerberg a fake girlfriend for effect. It can actually teach you something about how the company actually was founded.
For me, these top audio books to help you build wealth add realness to the romanticized stories of founding a company. They give me perspective on what I’m building and setting levels and goals which make sense for me.
Have a recommendation that we missed? Leave us a comment and don’t forget to join the Wealth Noir Community.
Damien is a Personal Finance Nerd and former Facebook Product Manager who started Wealth Noir to help others find wealth. He actively invests in stocks, robo advisors, and cryptocurrency … but loves real estate investing. He holds an MBA from MIT and a Comp Sci & Econ degrees from Unv. of MD. He’s a proud dad, which is his biggest accomplishment.