5 Books to Read For Professional & Personal Growth - Coach Mark Carroll

5 Books I Recommend You Read

Feb 24, 2022
Mark Carroll

Hey everyone! 

Welcome to a slightly different weekly “LEARN” blog! As much as I love talking about all things training and nutrition, I am also an absolute lover of reading books! I read a lot! I also put this out on social media and share books I am currently reading almost daily. Since this is the LEARN platform, I thought I would do something slightly different and share some books I enjoyed. 

Most of you who follow me will also know I am an avid investor. It’s a passion of mine, which stemmed from my love of reading books. I find it really cool these days because I get SO MANY questions each day about book suggestions. However, it’s tough to reply to all my DMs answering the same questions 20x a day when running a few businesses. 

This is why this week’s LEARN instalment is centred around five books I recommend. Three of them are around personal finance/investing, and the other two books focus on getting as much out of yourself and dealing with life’s obstacles. 

Now, before I get into the books, please know that what I like, or what has been helpful for me does not mean you will enjoy it or find it useful for your current situation. These are books that have helped ME! All I can do is advise what’s worked for me. So please, do not see this as life advice and definitely do not see this as financial advice. I am just a personal trainer who loves to read, hoping to inspire a few of you out there to use books as a bit of an escape. Just as I have.

With that said, here are 5 book recommendations:

1 – THE 10X RULE – By Grant Cardone

Grant Cardone is an American real estate mogul. He started from very little and built a sales/real estate empire. Now, this book is not actually on property or sales. Instead, this book is about challenging yourself to be your best! Asking yourself to honestly look at how hard you are working. Are you working nearly as hard on your goals as you think? Are you doing everything imaginable to take charge and level up your life?

This sounds kind of wooza… but in all seriousness, this book was life-changing for me. It makes you want to run through a wall and challenge yourself. Not accept cruising through life but going out there and demanding your goals are met. Fun fact, I read this in Miami in 2019. I remember reading this where Grant talked of multiplying your income by 10 within a year. I thought, yeah, yeah – this is stupid. Well, guess what, I did! And it wasn’t from trying to focus on money. Instead, I challenged myself to push through and really leave no stone unturned in the quest to get better. The 10x Rule is about making yourself better in every way. I strongly recommend reading for those who are in a bit of a funk in their life and need to get back focused on crushing their goals, whatever they are. 

2 – RICH DAD, POOR DAD – By Robert Kiyosaki 

Put simply, this book turned my life around financially. Why? Because it taught me a whole new perspective on how to view money. It taught me the difference between an asset and a liability. It taught me how to understand that the money that goes into your bank is not nearly as important as what actually stays in your bank account. It taught me about tax. It taught me about the mindset of looking at financial wealth. Put simply, it taught me all the things you look back on and think, “why did no one teach me this in school?”

This book is about financial education. It’s not a get rich quick book. Instead, it teaches people like me to understand finances and make intelligent long term decisions to look after yourself and your family long term. 

This is time and time again the first book I suggest reading to anyone who wants to learn more about personal finances. 

3 – THE ARMCHAIR GUIDE TO PROPERTY INVESTING – By Ben Kingsley and Bryce Holdaway 

This book is for the Aussie property investor – sorry to my international audience! But property investing is really quite different from country to country. So as an Australian, I naturally learn about property investing in Aus. 

This book is excellent as it teaches everyday Aussies how to set up retirement by living off their rental returns from property. The cool thing with property is that it goes up in value over time. So, naturally, people living in your properties pay rent. The rent pays off the mortgage you owe the bank when you invest in property, and over time, when the mortgage is fully paid, you can have that property rental income all to yourself forever. Passive income at its finest!

This is my goal personally in the distant future. This is why I love and see the massive value in property. This book is good, practical and straightforward advice from two Australian property experts for any Aussie looking to understand property as their retirement vehicle. Great book!

4 – THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR – By Thomas Stanley 

Since the last book was about Aussie investing, let’s do a book with the tagline of “the surprising secrets of America’s Wealth.” This book has been around for a while now, but it’s still compelling. 

NEWS FLASH! Lots of the people who look wealthy in life are not! 

Likewise, many people who wear basic clothes, drive ordinary cars, and have average houses are wealthy behind closed doors. 

These days, so many people dress and buy things to impress others. First, they want to look rich. They want to look successful. So what shows off perceived wealth better than fancy, trendy things? However, most of these are bought through credit cards. People are living at record levels of debt. People go broke trying to impress others. While a considerable percentage of America’s millionaires you wouldn’t pick on the street by looking at them. True wealth is not displayed with a Rolex or a fancy car, but in assets, bank accounts etc.

This book is compelling as it helps change your perception of financial success and what is also essential. For example, do you want to spend your working years buying cool expensive things on debt and retire with nothing and be forced to work till 80? Or, do you want to be a little more frugal? Not throw money away on the latest things. Invest your money into intelligent investments and not live off high-interest credit cards? When you are young, making smart money decisions allows you long-term financial freedom when you are older. This book is excellent in showing people, myself included, that the people who often look the wealthiest are broke. The people who look the furthest thing from rich are often the ones who can do anything they want in the world because they didn’t live to impress others. Great book for young people out there. Taught me a lot. 

5 – THE OBSTACLE IS THE WAY – By Ryan Holiday 

The final book I read almost 5 years ago during a lengthy and beyond stressful court battle I was in. I was unable to work. I remember going to the beach each day and reading this book like it was yesterday, as I had nothing else in the world to do. 

This book is powerful. It shares stories of stoicism around life obstacles. Some of the most famous humans of all time used their obstacles not to crumble but to show them the way forward.

I, like most people, really struggle when things feel all but lost. When you have worked on a plan for years, and it crumbles, you think all is lost. Through that feeling of painful, agonising defeat and failure, the obstacle can force you into a new direction which so often turns into something far better. 

If I didn’t go through that court battle, if I didn’t lose all my money and all my friends at the time, I would never have built my current business. I would never have created my Coach Mark Carroll Instagram, and I would never have met my partner, Lauren. Instead, through agonising stress, it took me on a path 100 times better than I ever could imagine. 

When faced with failure, the key is sometimes recognising doors close to one path, but that also means many new doors open up to ways you would never have considered when you were initially too fixated on that one direction. 

The Obstacle Is the Way is a book I would put in my top 3 life-changing books to read. We all have goals that we failed at. This book helps you learn from the best minds of all time and how they encountered what seemed like a dead-end and found a new path that took their lives and legend to new levels. 

Read this book! 

Well, guys, that’s it from me. 

These books have impacted me and created a positive environment in my mind to seek out continued betterment of myself in many different ways. So I genuinely hope you use these books to start your reading journey or this blog simply inspires you to pick up the first book you have read in years. 

Reading has changed my life; I genuinely hope this LEARN blog can potentially spark something for you all.



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