If you read all of these, you will not come out the same person you came in (in a good way).
Here is the best list on the web of all the books written by billionaires.
I have looked all over the Internet for a list, and I’ve yet to find a list that comes close to what I’ve compiled here. That’s because no one seems to be as plugged into the billionaire universe and the books out there as me. Nor have many people set out to read most or any of these books.
Richard Branson made a good point in his book that news and internet estimates of net worth are usually wildly off in both directions. I tried my best to make this list as accurate as possible by emphasizing more credible sources (Forbes over some content factory). I put more weight on the two net worth sources I trust: Forbes Net Worth Billionaire List and Fortune.
It gets a little dicey since some people can surpass the billionaire level and then fall off later on. For example, Tyler Perry recently crossed the threshold. But he could easily fall off in a year depending on his spending patterns or business events. I’m setting the rule that I’m putting them on the main list if at some point in their life, they hit the mark.
If I had any doubt if people were billionaires, I put their books in a separate list in a section at the bottom.
If you know of a book by a billionaire not on this list, leave a comment. I will keep updating this page.
If you go through any of the following links to buy a book, I will get a commission at no extra cost to you. It really helps support the life of this site and hosting fees.
All Books Written By Billionaires:
- My Life and Work by Henry Ford (founder of Ford Motors)
- Today and Tomorrow by Henry Ford
- The International Jew by Henry Ford
- Edison As I Know Him by Henry Ford
- Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio (net worth of $17 Billion according to Forbes)
- Big Debt Crises by Ray Dalio
- Made in America by Sam Walton (founder of Walmart)
- Business @ the Speed of Thought by Bill Gates
- The Road Ahead by Bill Gates
- Am I Being Too Subtle?: Straight Talk From a Business Rebel by Sam Zell
- Random Reminiscences of Men and Events by John D. Rockefeller
- John D. Rockefeller: The Autobiography of an Oil Titan and Philanthropist by John D. Rockefeller
- Quotations by John D. Rockefeller
- Attack and Win in Business by John D. Rockefeller
- The Colorado Industrial Plan by John D. Rockefeller
- John D. Rockefeller on Making Money: Advice and Words of Wisdom on Building and Sharing Wealth by John D. Rockefeller
- Dear Father, Dear Son: Correspondence of John D. Rockefeller and Jr. by John D. Rockefeller
- Built, Not Born: A Self-Made Billionaire’s No-Nonsense Guide for Entrepreneurs by Tom Golisano (net worth $5 billion+)
- Zero To One by Peter Thiel (tech investor)
- Lean In For Graduates by Sheryl Sandberg (female billionaire, one of the first employees at Google and Facebook)
- Lean In: Work, Women and The Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
- Lean In for Grads by Sheryl Sandberg
- Love, Pain and Money: The Making of a Billionaire by John Caudwell
- The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking by Eli Broad (net worth of $7.3 Billion)
- Jimmy: An Autobiography by Jim Pattison (net worth of $6.9 Billion)
- Birth: When the Spiritual and the Material Come Together by Shari Arison (female billionaire)
- Activate Your Goodness: Transforming the World Through Doing Good by Shari Arison
- The Doing Good Model: Activate Your Goodness in Business by Shari Arison
- The Link: How Doing Good Connects Us to Ourselves, Each Other…and Everything! by Shari Arison
- From Red Tape To Red Carpet And Then Some by Gina Rinehart
- Shoe Dog: A Memoir by Phil Knight (founder of Nike)
- The Wanda Way: The Managerial Philosophy and Values of One of China’s Largest Companies by Jianlin Wang (net worth of $25 Billion)
- Start Small Finish Big: Fifteen Key Lessons to Start – and Run – Your Own Successful Business by Fred Deluca (founder of Subway, $3 Billion)
- Always Fresh by Ronald Joyce (founder of Tim Horton, a doughnut chain, net worth of $1.39 Billion according to Forbes)
- Simply Rich by Rich Devos (founder of Amway)
- Ten Powerful Phrases for Positive People by Rich DeVos
- Believe! by Rich DeVos
- Compassionate Capitalism by Rich DeVos (this may be confusing since another billionaire wrote a book of the same name)
- Hope From My Heart by Rich DeVos
- The Essays of Warren Buffett
- The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership by Richard Branson
- Screw It Let’s Do It: Lessons In Life, Like A Virgin by Richard Branson
- Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
- Screw Business As Usual by Richard Branson
- Business Stripped Bare by Richard Branson | Book Summary
- Reach for the Skies by Richard Branson
- Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School by Richard Branson
- Finding My Virginity by Richard Branson
- What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey – My Book Summary Of This Book
- The Snowball (biography of Warren Buffett)
- Leading By Design: The Ikea Story by Ingvar Kamprad (Net Worth of $33 Billion according to Forbes)
- The Gospel of Wealth by Andrew Carnegie
- Eat More Chikin by S. Truett Cathy (the founder of Chick-Fil-A, Net Worth of $6.2 Billion according to Forbes.)
- Wealth: Is It Worth It? by S. Truett Cathy
- How did you do it, Truett? by S. Truett Cathy
- It’s Better to Build Boys than Mend Men by S. Truett Cathy
- It’s Easier to Succeed Than to Fail by S. Truett Cathy
- Measure What Matters by John Doerr
- The Generosity Factor: Discover the Joy of Giving Your Time, Talent, and Treasure by Ken Blanchard (author of One Minute Manager) and S. Truett Cathy (this is a mini-parable explaining the benefits of generosity.)
- Netscape Time: The Making of the Billion-Dollar Start-Up That Took On Microsoft by Jim Clark (a.k.a. James H. Clark – net worth $1.3 billion, founder of three billion dollar tech companies)
- Built from Scratch by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank (Home Depot)
- How to Lead: Wisdom from the World’s Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers by David M. Rubenstein
- The American Story: Conversations with Master Historians by David M. Rubenstein
- Winners Never Cheat by Jon Huntsman
- Barefoot to Billionaire: Reflections on a Life’s Work and a Promise to Cure Cancer by Jon Huntsman Sr. (Net Worth of $1 Billion according to Forbes, after giving away $1.2 billion)
- Ralph Lauren by Ralph Lauren
- The Gospel of Wealth by Andrew Carnegie
- Driven from Within by Michael Jordan
- For the Love of the Game: My Story by Michael Jordan
- I Can’t Accept Not Trying: Michael Jordan on the Pursuit of Excellence by Michael Jordan
- I’m Back!: More Rare Air by Michael Jordan
- The Entrepreneur: 25 Golden Rules for the Global Business Manager by William Heinecke (net worth of $1.7 Billion according for Forbes)
- The Entrepreneur: Twenty-One Golden Rules for the Global Business Manager by William Heinecke (it seems to be an older version of the same book)
- How To Win At The Sport of Business by Mark Cuban
- Onward by Howard Schultz (Starbucks)
- Steering Clear by Peter George Peterson (COE of Lehman Brothers, 1.6 Billion net worth)
- Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built A Company One Cup At a Time by Howard Schultz
- Bloomberg by Michael Bloomberg (Made his money from Bloomberg terminals)
- The Business of Happiness by Ted Leonsis
- Bailout Riches!: How Everyday Investors Can Make a Fortune Buying Bad Loans for Pennies on the Dollar by Bill Bartmann
- Pizza Tiger by Thomas Monaghan (founder of Domino’s)
- How To Be Rich by J. Paul Getty (Fortune named him the richest living American in 1957.)
- How to be a Successful Executive by J. Paul Getty
- As I See It: The Autobiography of J. Paul Getty
- My Life and Fortunes, the Autobiography of One of the World’s Wealthiest Men by J. Paul Getty (apparently he wrote two autobiographies?)
- The Joys of Collecting by J. Paul Getty (this is more about his priceless art collecting hobby)
- Ernest and Julio: Our Story
- Shut Up and Listen!: Hard Business Truths that Will Help You Succeed by Tilman Fertitta
- Charles Schwab’s Guide To Financial Independence by Charles R. Schwab (net worth of $5.3 Billion)
- You’re Fifty, Now What? by Charles Schwab
- How to be Your Own Stockbroker by Charles Schwab
- Reinventing the Market by Charles Schwab
- Margin of Safety by Seth Klarman (investor)
- Dream No Little Dreams by Clayton L. Mathile
- The Essays of Warren Buffett by Lawrence Cunningham (a curation of Warren’s shareholder letters)
- Poor Charlie’s Almanack by Charlie Munger (Warren Buffett’s partner)
- Call Me Ted by Ted Turner (media business)
- The First Billion Is The Hardest by T. Boone Pickens
- Boone by T. Boone Pickens
- Fooling Some of the People All of the Time by David Einhorn (investor)
- Soros on Soros by George Soros (probably the densest and most difficult of them all. This guy was born with a genius mind for macro-economists far beyond my comprehension.)
- Direct from Dell by Michael Dell
- The Startup of You by Reid Hoffman
- The Science of Success by Charles G. Koch (net worth of $42 billion. #7 richest man in the world according to Forbes.
- Good Profit: How Creating Value for Others Built One of the World’s Most Successful Companies by Charles G. Koch
- Better India: A Better World by Narayana Murthy
- Compassionate Capitalism: How Corporations Can Make Doing Good an Integral Part of Doing Well (2004) by Marc Benioff (net worth $3.9 Billion+)
- The Business of Changing the World: Twenty Great Leaders on Strategic Corporate Philanthropy (2006) by Marc Benioff
- Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry by Marc Benioff
- Trailblazer: The Power of Business as the Greatest Platform for Change by Marc Benioff
- Habit of Labor: Lessons from a Life of Struggle and Success by Stef Wertheimer
- Man at a Machine by Stef Wertheimer
- What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence by Stephen A. Schwarzman
- Red Zone: Cars, Cows, and Coaches by Red McCombs
- Big Red: Memoirs of a Texas Entrepreneur and Philanthropist by Red McCombs
- The Education of an American Dreamer: How a Son of Greek Immigrants Learned His Way from a Nebraska Diner to Washington, Wall Street, and Beyond by Peter G. Peterson
- Finding America’s Voice: A Strategy for Reinvigorating U.S. Public Diplomacy (2010) by Peter G. Peterson
- Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It (2005) by Peter G. Peterson
- Gray Dawn: How the Coming Age Wave Will Transform America–and the World (2000) by Peter G. Peterson
- Will America Grow up Before it Grows Old: How the Coming Social Security Crisis Threatens You, Your Family and Your Country (1996) by Peter G. Peterson
- Facing Up: How to Rescue the Economy From Crushing Debt & Restore the American Dream (1993) by Peter G. Peterson
- Sharing the Wealth by Alex Spanos
- I Love Capitalism!: An American Story by Ken Langone ($3.4 Billion according to Forbes)
- How to Smell a Rat: The Five Signs of Financial Fraud by Ken Fisher
- The Only Three Questions That Count: Investing by Knowing What Others Don’t by Ken Fisher (I highly disagree with many points in this book; I prefer Warren Buffett’s style and Ken’s father’s book Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits)
- The Little Book of Market Myths: How to Profit by Avoiding the Investing Mistakes Everyone Else Makes by Ken Fisher
- Plan Your Prosperity: The Only Retirement Guide You’ll Ever Need, Starting Now–Whether You’re 22, 52 or 82 by Ken Fisher
- Debunkery: Learn It, Do It, and Profit from It — Seeing Through Wall Street’s Money-Killing Myths by Ken Fisher
- Markets Never Forget (But People Do): How Your Memory Is Costing You Money—and Why This Time Isn’t Different by Ken Fisher
- The Ten Roads to Riches: The Ways the Wealthy Got There (And How You Can Too!) by Ken Fisher
- Beat the Crowd: How You Can Out-Invest the Herd by Thinking Differently by Ken Fisher
- Battle for Investment Survival by Ken Fisher
- 100 Minds That Made the Market by Ken Fisher
- How Google Works and The New Digital Age by Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Alphabet (formerly Google), 138th richest man in the world. (What I find interesting about him is that he doesn’t consider himself an entrepreneur. He considers himself a manager that helped Larry and Sergie create their dream of Google. You don’t have to be a CEO or founder guys!)
- Get Smarter: Life and Business Lessons by Seymour Schulich (Net worth of $1.5 billion according to Wikipedia)
- Grinding it Out by Ray Kroc (founder of McDonald’s)
- PAPA: The Story of Papa John’s Pizza by John H. Schnatter (Net worth of $1 billion according to Forbes)
- The Art Of the Deal by Donald J. Trump
- Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich-And Why Most Don’t by Donald Trump & Robert Kiyosaki
- Think Like A Champion by Donald Trump
- Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again Donald Trump
- The America We Deserve by Donald Trump
- Trump: The Way to the Top: The Best Business Advice I Ever Received by Donald Trump
- Trump 101: The Way to Success by Donald Trump (2006)
- Trump University Wealth Building 101: Your First 90 Days on the Path to Prosperity by Donald Trump (2007)
- Trump Never Give Up: How I Turned My Biggest Challenges Into Success by Donald Trump (2007)
- Think BIG and Kick Ass in Business and Life by Donald Trump (2007)
- Why We Want You to Be Rich: Two Men, One Message by Donald Trump & Robert Kiyosaki
- Customers Come First: From One Small Shop to a Worldwide Network of Stores by Masatoshi Ito
- The Heart Of Doing Business: Memoirs Of An Entrepreneur by Masatoshi Ito
- Am I Being Too Subtle?: The Adventures of a Business Maverick by Sam Zell (Net worth of $5 Billion according to Forbes)
- Lui Che-woo: Creating Value: The Journey of a Self-Made Billionaire: The Authorized Biography by Lui Che woo by Lui Che-woo (Net worth of $15 Billion according to Forbes)
- Against All Odds: An Autobiography by James Dyson (Net worth of $4.3 Billion according to Forbes)
- A History of Great Inventions by James Dyson
- Design by James Dyson
- Whatever the Odds The Incredible Story Behind DLF by Kushal Pal Singh (also known as K.P. Singh, Net worth of $5.3 Billion according to Forbes)
- Lim Goh Tong: My Life Story (Net worth of 4.2 billions dollar according to Forbes when he died, richest Malaysian at the time)
- Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by Yvon Chouinard (Net worth of $1 Billion according to Forbes, founder of Patagonia, more of his books are in the Honorable Mention section)
- The Responsible Company: What We’ve Learned From Patagonia’s First 40 Years by Yvon Chouinard
- Billions to Bust and Back: How I Made, Lost and Rebuilt a Fortune by Thor Bjorgolfsson
- Run Your Business, Don’t Let It Run You: Learning and Living Professional Management by Clay Mathile
- In for a Penny: A Business Adventure by Peter Hargreaves (founder of Subway, Net worth of $2.9 Billion)
- Powerhouse Principles: The Ultimate Blueprint for Real Estate Success in an Ever-Changing Market by Jorge Perez ($2.8 Billion)
- Threshold Resistance: The Extraordinary Career of a Luxury Retailing Pioneer by Alfred Taubman ($3.1 Billion)
- A Passion to Win by Sumner Redstone (chairman of Viacom, Net worth of $5.4 Billion according to Forbes) – Read My Book Summary
- Making It Big by Binod Chaudhary (from Nepal, net worth of $1.32 Billion according to Forbes)
- Mochtar Riady: My Life Story (from Indonesia, the founder of Lippo Group; net worth of $1.83 Billion according to Forbes)
- Everything is Possible: Life and Business Lessons from a Self-Made Billionaire and the Founder of Slim-Fast by S. Daniel Abraham (net worth of $2.1 Billion according to Forbes)
- Peace is Possible: Conversations with Arab and Israeli Leaders from 1988 to the Present by S. Daniel Abraham
- The Z Factor: My Journey as the Wrong Man at the Right Time by Subhash Chandra (net worth of $4.4 Billion according to Forbes)
- A Passion to Build: a Memoir of David M. Consunji (net worth of $3.5 Billion)
- Dave Says Well Done!: The Common Guy’s Guide to Everyday Success by Rex David “Dave” Thomas (founder of Wendy’s)
- My Life & the Principles for Success by H. Ross Perot (net worth of $4.1 Billion)
- Ross Perot: My Life by H. Ross Perot
- A Business Handbook: Advice I Gave My Son by H. Ross Perot
- United We Stand: How We Can Take Back Our Country by H. Ross Perot
- Not for Sale At Any Price: How We Can Save America for Our Children by H. Ross Perot
- Save Your Job, Save Our Country by H. Ross Perot
- The Dollar Crisis by H. Ross Perot
- Intensive Care by H. Ross Perot
- Ross Perot Speaks Out: Straight Talking Answers to Today’s Tough Questions by H. Ross Perot
- Simple Fly Fishing: Techniques for Tenkara and Rod and Reel by Yvon Chouinard
- 180° South: Conquerors of the Useless by Yvon Chouinard
- Climbing Ice by Yvon Chouinard
- Out Where the West Begins: Profiles, Visions, and Strategies of Early Western Business Leaders by Philip Anschutz
- Out Where the West Begins, Volume 2: Creating and Civilizing the American West by Philip Anschutz
- Oil of Russia: Past, Present & Future by Vagit Alekperov
- Vertically Integrated Oil Companies of Russia: Formation Methodology and Realization by Vagit Alekperov
- The New Normal: Great Opportunities in a Time of Great Risk by Roger McNamee (tech investor)
- Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe by Roger McNamee
- Scale: Seven Proven Principles to Grow Your Business and Get Your Life Back by Jeff Hoffman (founder of Priceline.com)
- Anticipating Change: Secrets Behind the SAP Empire by Hasso Plattner
- In-Memory Data Management: Technology and Applications by Hasso Plattner
- Design Thinking Research: Building Innovators by Hasso Plattner
- Higher Is Waiting by Tyler Perry
- Don’t Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings by Tyler Perry
- What You See Is What You Get by Alan Sugar
Billionaires That Lost It All
When I see people rise up quickly to become millionaires in the lime-light but do so in flamboyant, excessive ways, I wonder … but will they stay millionaires? Lately, there have been a lot of young people who have done just that through social media, like Rice Gum or Tai Lopez. While 99% of the world has bought into the idea that they’re gods, history proves differently. I believe time will tell. If you give anyone a couple decades, you’ll find out who stood the test of the time.
The same applies to billionaires. There have been a few who have reached this point and fallen back down. Therefore, I haven’t deemed the books written by the billionaires who fall into this category worthy to be placed into the main list. Their overall strategy failed them, so we shouldn’t take their advice point blank. Nonetheless, we can still learn from their failures so we don’t make the same ones.
That’s why I prefer the advice of Warren Buffet. He’s a billionaire who has consistently stayed rich for over six decades, but preaches the values and qualities of being a good person and living a life beyond money. His whole motto revolves around sacrificing any extra money that can be made if it means a potential loss of reputation or potential catastrophic loss of money.
O X Da Questão by Eike Batista: This book is written in Portuguese. In 2012, he was the richest person in Brazil with a net worth of $30 Billion. Due to risky investments, he loss all of his money and plunged to a negative billion dollar net worth. Many of his cars, including a white Lamborghini Aventador were seized.
Billionaires That Lost Everything And Got It Back
Losing your billion is tough. One billionaire, Adolf Merckle, even killed himself because of this. But it takes mental fortitude to not give up and continue. Two billionaires come to mind who have done this:
Donald Trump is the one billionaire who supposedly claims he plunged into multiple millions into debt, but managed to pick himself back up and make it back. He details the story in his books and points to a moment when he remarked that a homeless man on the street was worth millions more than him. Rather than giving up, he persevered and even ended up becoming President of the United States.
Another book that documents this is Billions to Bust and Back: How I Made, Lost and Rebuilt a Fortune by Thor Bjorgolfsson.
Sam Wyly’s books are also included here:
- 1,000 Dollars and an Idea: Entrepreneur To Billionaire
- Texas Got It Right!
- The Immigrant Spirit: How Newcomers Enrich America
- Immigrants Enrich Us
- The Wyly Family: Coming to America
Sam was once a billionaire but is now bankrupt.
Books About Billionaires But Not Written By Billionaires
This list includes books that were:
- recommended by billionaires.
- written by people directly related to billionaires.
- written by someone else about billionaires, but not by the actual billionaire.
This list is nowhere near exhaustive because there are so many more of these. I may end up writing another article for those. Keep in mind that for some famous billionaires, like Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, or Jack Ma, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of books written about them. I will not list them all here because most aren’t worth your time. Anyone can write these and slap their name on them and most have horrible ratings because of this. If you just search their name on Amazon, you’ll find them yourself.
- Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
- DREAM BIG: How the Brazilian Trio behind 3G Capital – Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Telles and Beto Sicupira – acquired Anheuser-Busch, Burger King and Heinz by Cristiane Correa
- The Billionaire Who Wasn’t: How Chuck Feeney Secretly Made and Gave Away a Fortune (not written by Chuck himself. It’s a biography)
- Getting There by Zoe Gillian Segal
- Invent and Wander (a book about Jeff Bezos)
- Carlos Slim: The Richest Man in the World/The Authorized Biography by Jose Martinez
- How I Did It: Lessons From The Front Lines of Business (Pulls from multiple columns of the Harvard Business Review and features multiple billionaires including Kevin Plank and Eric Schmidt)
- Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life by Lisa Chaney – This one is written about a female founder of a multi-billion dollar fashion company, Chanel. It is put here because it is questionable whether or not she actually hit a billion dollar net worth during her lifetime and it wasn’t written by her. Having said that, she did create an incredible company. The book seems to be more about her personal life than business success though.
- Showing Up For Life: Thoughts on the Gifts of a Lifetime by Bill Gates Sr. (father of Bill Gates)
- Elon Musk’s biography
- Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor (not by Charlie, but quoting a lot of his best stuff)
- Laws of Success by Napoleon Hill (studied 200+ of the richest people in the world in-person for 20+ years, including Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, and more)
- Awaken the Millionaire Within You: Lessons from Carlos Wizard Martins by Carlos Wizard Martins (Net worth of $1 billion in 2014 on Forbes but he sold his company for $700 million and isn’t a billionaire anymore).
- Forrest Mars, Jr. (27th richest man in the world, owner of a candy company, net worth $11+ billion) recommends these books according to Fortune (click the link).
- The Everything Store by Brad Stone (It’s about Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com)
- A Passion For Success by Kazuo Inamori (Net worth of $900 million according to Forbes)
- John L. Gokongwei Jr.: The Path Of Entrepreneurship by Marites A. Khanser (Net worth of $6.2 Billion)
- The Martha Rules: 10 Essentials for Achieving Success As You Start, Build, or Manage a Business by Martha Stewart (She may have hit a billionaire at some point. Now, it seems she’s dipped below that, especially after giving away to charity.)
- Steve Jobs
These books were recommended by the billionaire Forrest Mars (9+ billion net worth) :
- General and Industrial Management by Henri Fayol
- Elementsof Administration by Lyndall F. Urwick
- The Principles of Organization by James D. Mooney
“Forrest has the best management system I’ve ever come across. It permits decentralization and encourages initiative–but keeps firm control at the top.” -former Mars Executive, according to Fortune article.
Avoid These Books by Billionaires
Let’s be honest. One of the key reasons we read these is to earn more money. Therefore, there are quite a few books by billionaires that I didn’t feel fit to include in the main list because their topic is far off from any advice on earning money. They will go in this list:
- Simple Fly Fishing: Techniques for Tenkara and Rod and Reel by Yvon Chouinard
- 180° South: Conquerors of the Useless by Yvon Chouinard
- Climbing Ice by Yvon Chouinard
- Peace is Possible: Conversations with Arab and Israeli Leaders from 1988 to the Present by S. Daniel Abraham
- Peter G. Peterson’s books on politics
- H. Ross Perot’s books on politics
So far, I’ve read quite a few of them and gained some incredible insights. I love doing this because a lot of millionaire advice is contradictory.
I love doing this because a lot of millionaire advice is contradictory. One of the reasons behind this is that millionaires surprisingly are sometimes still struggling to figure things out and sometimes have naive interpretations on how they did it.
I loved these for many reasons. Some of them included that they were conversational, easy to understand, and had advice applicable to life as well as business. Here they are in no particular order:
- Made in America by Sam Walton
- What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey
- Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
- The Essays of Warren Buffett
- The Virgin Way by Richard Branson (or any book by Branson, really)
- The Startup of You by Reid Hoffman
- Principles by Ray Dalio
- How to be a Billionaire by Martin Fridson
My Least Favorites
- The Science of Success by Charles Koch because it was short and filled with corporate lingo. I still got a lot out of it though.
- Business @ The Speed of Thought by Bill Gates because it was too dry and focused on specific business organization tactics with a touch of strategy. Plus, you can tell Bill isn’t the best writer. Note: Bill is one of my favorite people, but I think I should still be honest here.
- The Only Three Questions That Count by Ken Fischer (or any of his books). Probably my least favorite. Few people will understand the book unless they’re into money management and fund investing. But the real reason I disliked it was that most of the advice given I didn’t agree with, wasn’t logical, had holes, and went against the entire Buffett philosophy of investing. I have a feeling he made his money by getting tons of investors to give him money and taking a hefty management fee. I liked what he says in his books about giving back and charity.
People That Fell Short of the Billion Dollar Mark But Still Made A Lot
- High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove ($400 million net worth in 2008. Likely, an inflated number)
- Life as I Have Known It Has Been Finger Lickin’ Good by Harland Sanders (While people would love to believe that Colonel Sanders started when he was old and became a billionaire starting KFC, he didn’t make the mark by his death.)
- Decisions by Jim Treliving (estimated net worth of 700 million)
- Mary Kay Way by Mary Kay Ash (her company has now made her son a billionaire but it isn’t verifiable that she made the mark during her lifetime)
- Miracles Happen by Mary Kay Ash
- Mary Kay: You Can Have It All: Lifetime Wisdom from America’s Foremost Woman Entrepreneur by Mary Kay Ash
- Mary Kay on People Management by Mary Kay Ash
- Only the Paranoid Survive by Andrew Grove (former CEO of Intel)
- Father, Son & Co.: My Life at IBM and Beyond by Thomas Watson Junior (he made $346,590 in 1955, which is around $3.1 million inflation-adjusted)
- How To Get Rich by Felix Dennis (his net worth was estimated around $100 million; not a billionaire but worth a mention)
Books By People Who Can’t Be Verified as Billionaires
- A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM by Thomas J. Watson Jr. (This man was in charge of managing billions for IBM as his job but that doesn’t mean he earned billions.)
- Relentless by Ted Rogers
- Billionaire: Secrets to Success by Bill Bartmann (note: he was only a billionaire temporarily)
- Bouncing Back: The Life of Bill Bartmann
- 9 Steps to Achieve Any Goal by Bill Bartmann
- 21 Secrets to Success and Happiness by John Templeton (one of the best investors in history)
- Golden Nuggets by John Templeton
- Templeton Plan by John Templeton
- Dark Genius of Wall Street: The Misunderstood Life of Jay Gould, King of the Robber Barons
Books Written By Billionaires In Languages Other Than English
- Chairul Tanjung Si Anak Singkong by Tjahja Gunawan Diredja (net worth of $4.9 Billion according to Forbes) – written in Indonesian.
- One win, nine losses by Tadashi Yanai [Japanese], $19 Billion Net Worth
- Throw Away Your Success in a Day by Tadashi Yanai [Japanese]
- Notes of a Manager by Tadashi Yanai [Japanese]
There’s too many to mention. I’m better off doing an article focusing on billionaire patterns I’ve learned.
One common thing is to prepare and hold your ground for lawsuits. A lot of these people had to battle in the court. It just ends up happening at some point when you get to that size and a lot of people want to sue you for money.
Be prepared to trust your gut and fight back if you believe you were right. Martha Stewart and Richard Branson’s stories stand out in particular. Remember: bad stuff happens and that’s okay.
Did I miss any books by billionaires? Please let me know in the comments because I’d love to add them to the list and read their books.
Get a beautiful checklist of these billionaire productivity hacks for free.
Also please add the book
Built, Not Born: A Self-Made Billionaire’s No-Nonsense Guide for Entrepreneurs
Good suggestion. Plain, simple industry he made his money, but that works sometimes
Also please add billionaire John Caudwell’s
Love, Pain & Money: The Making of a Billionaire
Invent and Wander, about Jeff Bezos
Please add “Invent and wander” which is a book of collected writings by world’s richest man Jeff Bezos.
Please add “Shut up and Listen!” Book by billionaire Tilman Fertitta, thanks.
Would Jay Gould qualify for the “ Books About Billionaires But Not Written By Billionaires”? Haven’t done extensive research, just a quick google search, and there’s varying estimates but adjusted for inflation he is a billionaire. One of the lesser known Robber Barons.
Yeah, it’s hard to estimate with inflation, but I’ll include him. He seems credible.
alan sugar- what you see is what you get. british billionaire worth 1-2b£
I can not find any information to verify Roger McNamee is a billionaire. How do you come up with that?
At the time, there was more info on the web about his status, but not a lot. It seems like since, it’s been taken down. I am debating taking him off or keeping him on. I can be swayed if there was clear evidence he is not
Please also add “The ONE THING” by Gary Keller.
He’s not a verified billionaire by any means. Last I heard he’s a millionaire
Hey Will, thanks for creating this list! It is super helpful.
Great list! You also need to add “ Scale: Seven Proven Principles to Grow Your Business and Get Your Life Back” by Jeff Hoffman who is the Billionaire founder of Priceline website!
This was a tough call since just because he founded it doesn’t guarantee he had enough ownership percent when he exited (which couldve been early on) to become a billionaire. My research doesn’t show much evidence against or for, but enough to add him to the list for now.
Thanks for your effort, we do appreciate that
Could you please sort them off by business such as real estate, stock market etc.. ?
I’d consider that if there’s enough demand – a lot of work for just one person
Book by stephen schwarzman
Thanks for the tip! Will add
Alekperov, Vagit. Russian Oil: A Top Manager’s View
SOURCE: Oil of Russia: Past, Present & Future > Other Works by Vagit Alekperov > Alekperov, Vagit. Russian Oil: A Top Manager’s View[Neft Rossii: vzglyad top-menedzhera]. Moscow, 2001.
Thanks, I’ll add
Hasso Plattner books
Vertically Integrated Oil Companies of Russia: Formation Methodology and Realization by Vagit Alekperov
measure what matters by John Doerr, from KPCB
I can’t believe I missd that one! Thanks!
.Oil of Russia: Past, Present & Future Hardcover
.One win nine losses November
.Throw Away Your Success in a Day
Both books are in Japanese , as far as i know.
Out Where the West Begins by Philip Anschutz
John H. Schnatter is not a billionaire any more
Thanks for the info! I’m debating keeping him on since he was at one point.
Trailblazer by Marc Benioff
Added. Thank you!!
T. Boone Pickens is not a billionaire
I’m debating keeping him on since he was at one point.
Run Your Business, Don’t Let It Run You: Learning and Living Professional Management by Clay Mathile
Thomas Monaghan is not a billionaire.
How sure are you? Are you basing it off those celebritynetworth websites? What if those are made up numbers from anonymous people
.Michael Jordan books
.barefoot to billionaire by Jon M Huntsman
Thank you! I added Michael’s books. Jon’s is already there
Big debt crises by Ray Dalio
Oh, yeah. Thanks, I’ll add it.
Thanks for the work you’ve put into this Will. Though you bash Tai Lopez I truly believe his mantra of, if you want to learn anything, go straight to the top. As far as reading goes, no book on business written by some shmuck is going to be as good as going directly to the SOURCE and hearing billionaires talk about how they succeeded in their own words.
You’ve given me a lifelong reading list, thanks!!!
Glad you found value
“I Love Capitalism” ~ by Ken Langone. A must-have on this list!
Thanks so much for alerting me! I’ll add it
my favorite book ” The Heart Of Doing Business”
Interesting. Thanks for telling me. Why this book?
Dream Big by Jorge Lemann – Warren buffett’s partner in buying Heinz, Buger King, Tim Hortons and others.
Thanks very much, I’ll add it
Love it. Thank you so much!
What would help (if you somewhere find the time in between reading all these books), is if you add a link to the page where people can buy them (Use your mind and make it a referral link!). That way people can order them easily.
Great list by the way!
A book to add to the list: Jack ma – Alibaba (Founder Alibaba)
Yes, I’m aware of this and I will add them soon.
There is a link for the first book on the list already, which takes you to the Amazon page. If you search and/or buy any books from that URL, I get a commission at no extra cost to you. I’m aware of affiliate links but was wary. But this is a sign that you (and maybe other readers) don’t feel bad when they see an affiliate link.
I definately don’t since I still got to pay the same price, and I have an easy way to thank you for creating the list!
Thanks, Angelo. I will keep that in mind.
“Principles” by Ray Dalio
Will, maybe you should publish the Chinese book list that I send to you. It may benefit someone
Can you send that list again? I must have lost the list you sent in a comment.
Here are book of other billionaires
1)Gokongwei’s biography, John L. Gokongwei Jr.: The Path of Entrepreneurship by Gokongwei net worth $6.2 billion
2)A passion to build: a memioir of David M. Consunji by David M. Consunji net worth 3.5 $billion
3)Awaken the millionaire within you: Lessons from Carlos Wizard Martins by Carlos Wizard Martins (net worth $1 billion in 2014, he is not on Forbes list any more because he sell his company for $900 million). This book is one of the best book I have ever read
here is the book written by billionaires but haven’t translate to English, I wish somebody will translate them or I will hire people to translate them when i get richer
Chairul Tanjung Si Anak Singkong by Chairul Tanjung (net worth 4.8 billion)
Here are even more amazing books, sorry today it seem like I update to many book
Dream No Little Dreams by Clayton L. Mathile (he worth 3.8 billion dollar https://www.forbes.com/profile/clayton-mathile/?list=rtb)
Whatever the Odds The Incredible Story Behind DLF by Kushal Pal Singh (he worth 5.3 billion dollar https://www.forbes.com/profile/kushal-pal-singh/?list=rtb)
Lim Goh Tong: My life story (he was worth 4.2 billions dollar when he died in 2007, he was richest Malaysian at that time)
Thanks for the Forbes links. They help me verify and it’s the most credible source, though not always completely accurate.
I suggest using Amazon’s author feature as well. You can click into the author name and see if they wrote any other books.
here are one of the amazing book I read also. It is written by Eike Batista. (In 2012 he is the richest person in Brazil and he is worth 30 billion dollar. Up to now due to risky investment in oil businesses he loss all of his money and stay in debt by a billion dollar. However his book definitely still worth a read about how he made it from nothing to 30 billions dollar). It is written in Portuguese but Google Translate do very good job when it come to translate from Portuguese to English .This is the link to download that book http://lelivros.love/book/download-o-x-da-questao-eike-batista-em-epub-mobi-e-pdf/
After download a book you can convert it in to doc and use google translate to read it
Can you read Chinese or Do you want me to share books that are written by Chinese billionaires which are written in Chinese?. Some of these books have been Translated to English but most haven’t. If you like it, I will share those books with the link that you can verify their net worth. Some of these books are the best book I have ever read in my life. Good day, Will. See you soon
I can’t read but please let me know about them.
some new book up date
Am I Being Too Subtle?: The Adventures of a Business Maverick by Sam Zell (net worth 4 billion)
Lui Che-woo: Creating Value: The Journey of a Self-Made Billionaire: The Authorized Biography by Lui Che woo (net worth 15 billion)
PAPA: The Story of Papa John’s Pizza by John H. Schnatter (net worth 1 billion)
You are the MAN, Dong. I got all your comments. I will have to read these. I’ll vet these and add those I can verify to the list. How do you find these? You’re amazing.
Thank you, Will. So happy that you have the same passion with me. I really love to read book written by billionaire like you do. You are the one who very kind to share those book to people, Your list is probably the best list on the Internet.And there are many more book that I haven’t see in your list. Here are some more (If they are not billionaire right now, they are at list was a billionaire when I found them on Internet)
The Entrepreneur: 25 Golden Rules for the Global Business Manager by William Heinecke (net worth 1.8 billiona, according to Forbes 2017 link: https://www.forbes.com/profile/william-heinecke/?list=rtb)
Here are even more books written by billionaire recently
Billions to Bust and Back: How I Made, Lost and Rebuilt a Fortune by Thor Bjorgolfsson (Thor Bjorgolfsson net worth 1 billion last year, can not find him on Forbes list right now)
In for a Penny: A Business Adventure by Peter Hargreaves net worth 2.9 billion https://www.forbes.com/profile/peter-hargreaves/?list=rtb
Threshold Resistance: The Extraordinary Career of a Luxury Retailing Pioneer by alfred taubman (He was worth 3.5 $billion when he die in 2015)
Powerhouse Principles: The Ultimate Blueprint for Real Estate Success in an Ever-Changing Market by Jorge Perez (net worth $2.8billion https://www.forbes.com/profile/jorge-perez/?list=rtb)
Start Small Finish Big: Fifteen Key Lessons to Start – and Run – Your Own Successful Business by Fred Deluca founder of Subway (he was aslo worth 3.5 $billion when he die in 2015)
There are still many more book and I will gradually update it on your blog, Will. Thank you again for your kindness to sharing this list
Thank YOU. I was planning on going straight down the entire list of billionaires and see if they had written books comprehensively but never got around to it yet. Thanks for doing some of the work for me.
Yes, I plan on reading all of them. It is ridiculous how no one has thought to do this before. You will come out so much better after reading these.
here are some more
against all odds by Jame Dyson (net worth 4 $billion)
let my people go surfing by Yvon Chouinard (net worth 1 $billion)
Everything is possible by S. Daniel Abraham (net worth 1 $billion)
Here are some of the new book:
The Z factor written by Subhash Chandra (Net worth: 4 $billion)
Creating Value: The Journey of a Self-Made Billionaire written by Lui che woo (Net worth 15 $billion)
Am I being too subtle written by Sam Zell (net worth: 4 $billion)
The King of Shaves Story: How I Built a Great Business in Tough Times by Will King
I would like to suggest:
Making It Big by Binod Chaudhary (He is a billionaire from Nepal)
Mochtar Riady: My Life Story (One of top business magnate from Indonesia, the founder of Lippo Group)
The Mary Kay Way: Timeless Principles from America’s Greatest Woman Entrepreneur
Thanks for these suggestions, GW. I will have to vet them thoroughly before it’s confirmed they’re billionaires. Howd you find out about these?
buddy you should also have mentioned books written by henry ford
You’re right. Thanks for mentioning it. Added.
you miss the book A Passion to Win by Sumner Redstone 5.3 Billion Forbes
You are the man, Dong! I will add that and definitely have to read that.
You can add “Get Smarter” by Seymour Schulich to the list (1.75b net worth).
Also “A Passion For Success” by Kazuo Inamori to the honorable mentions section (900m net worth).
Thanks so much Robert! Added. How did you find these? This is amazing!
Do you have a blog/ youtube? notes. Which have you read?
This is my blog. My youtube is youtube.com/willyoulaugh
I’ve read about 15 or so of these so far. I have filmed a few videos and podcasts on what I learned from them.
thank you a lot .i am going to try to read some of these books and i hope they will help me to improve my understanding about personal development and business development as well as risk taking.
Thanks for reading and good luck Arsene!