If you’re HUNGRY for improvement, this will help you.

Us film composers – we love focusing on improving our skills in music. That’s great, because the most successful people are usually ones hungry for knowledge.

Successful people are the ones that learn as much as they can – questioning everything, striving for answers, and continuously re-evaluating their paths.

Thing is…

Musical knowledge isn’t the only thing that helps us build a lasting money-making career. It’s also about business and connecting with people. TRULY connecting.

Each of these books helped me:

– Deeply connect with my collaborators (especially people in this group)
– Increase the value I was offering them
– AND, help me make more money

Below, I’m giving you the broadest – but VERY important – points from each of these books.

The main theme across all business-oriented advice is to not focus on yourself, but your client.

1. Outliers: The Story of Success

LINK: https://goo.gl/cGWqYd

Outliers is a fascinating exploration of psychology and culture, and why those play a huge part in success. It taught me that life experience and applying smart techniques is more important than talent.

After reading this book, my understanding of success was redefined, and seemingly huge goals become totally attainable.

This book also explores the famed and easy to remember 10,000 hour rule; the idea that you can become an expert at whatever you do by the time you reach 10,000+ hours of intentional practice.

I love this book so much, I named my studio after it.

2. Steve Jobs: A Biography

LINK: https://goo.gl/rNGNNT

I took a lot from the mindset Steve Jobs had about making quality products. This Jobs-approved biography is a fun and dramatic exploration of the way Apple became the purveyor of the most influential products in the world.

There’s a lot of gold in the way he inspired positive growth, cleanly minimal products, and the love for innovation.

3. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming The Unseen Forces That Stand In The Way Of True Inspiration

LINK: https://goo.gl/n54P1E

This one explores the journey of Ed Catmull, President of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation Studios. He wrote this book to teach others his findings on great management style and company culture.

The coolest thing I got out of this was their idea of the “Braintrust” – a group of trusted people that give candid constructive criticism. They “(a) make you think smarter and (b) put lots of solutions on the table in a short amount of time.”

Catmull offers a lot of clarity for those interested in learning more about managing a successful group of creators.

4. Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success

LINK: https://goo.gl/Qtt4qz

This totally changed my mindset around. Before, I was careful about sharing my strategies with others. After reading this, there’s nothing I want to do more than help anyone I can.

That’s the powerful confidence-boosting takeaway Give and Take offers. And yeah, I have noticed that helping others drives success.

It’s worth a read if you want to know more about empowering yourself and the people around you.

5. How to Win Friends and Influence People

LINK: https://goo.gl/Sxv7PA

One of the best books out there for people skills. It dives right into the way people think and interact. You’ll learn the best ways to smoothly maneuver our people-filled world in effective ways.

6. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

LINK: https://goo.gl/jeSxuQ

The author of this book is a psychologist who took on odd jobs that depend on persuading others (door-to-door sales, car sales, telemarketer, etc.) and wrote a book about it.

In it are techniques these professional persuaders use to get what they want. It shows us what makes people do the things they do (like buy something we don’t need), and how you can use that in a fair and healthy way (while also learning to recognize when someone is using these techniques against you).

7. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference

LINK: https://goo.gl/AAqWW2

This book explores ideas, trends, and social behavior. The topics in this book indirectly helped me realize what the next trends were in film music and other industries of interest. Anything that keeps us looking towards the future is worth studying.

8. The Business Wealth Builders: Accelerating Business Growth, Maximizing Profits, and Creating Wealth

LINK: https://goo.gl/J5kft7

The contents are in the title. A helpful book on building and scaling up a money-making business. It’s especially insightful on what strategies are going to make you money, and which might not.

Here’s a great point from the chapter on strategy:

“If your company is growing purely by organic customer demand, you are not growing fast enough. Your company will grow faster and more profitably if your culture is based on proactively offering your customers ideas on how they can be more successful. That’s the essence of strategic growth.”

I like it because it shows an obvious connection between your success and the people you serve.

9. The New One Minute Manager

LINK: https://goo.gl/srTHRb

The techniques in this book opened my eyes to effective teamwork. It taught me how to interact with new hires so they’re working at top efficiency. And from there, trusting them to independently achieve their goals without excessive or unnecessary communication. But it also encourages everyone to actively ask questions if something is unclear. Essentially, it offers a well-rounded management technique that every single team member can use.

To quote Walter Isaacson’s aforementioned Steve Jobs bio:

“A properly run company can spawn innovation far more than any single creative individual.”