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Useful Books

Work Ethic

Atomic Habits by James Clear

This is the best book on habits I have ever read. James Clear has a knack for simplifying psychological drivers of behavior change so well using a combination of science and anecdotal evidence.

Grit by Angela Duckworth

I recommend this book for anyone going into direct sales or looking to take standup comedy seriously. When it comes to doing hard things well, Angela Duckworth provides a fantastic framework for achieving success in grueling fields of study. A great read for anyone looking to accomplish something that is hard and takes decades to get good at.

Sales

The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

For enterprise sales (my industry of sales), this is the best book in terms of a framework of how to pitch and sell a product. The authors bake many principles of persuasive psychology into the basic premise that in the competitive and innovative world of business we are in today, you have to lead with unique and creative insights that solve customer problems in a different way. A must read for enterprise sales pros.

The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane

This is the most practical book I have ever read on acquiring skills for being charismatic. The book is research-backed tricks and advice for becoming a more effective communicator.

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

The classic that has withstood the test of time. Dale Carnegie is a great writer and while a lot of the advice here may seem obvious, most people I know don’t do the basics when it comes to communicating with people. A must-read for salespeople.

Standup

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Creating art is a battle day in and day out. This book is short and poetic. It covers the plight of the artist so well, and gives you inspiration and tools to get your ass out of bed to start creating consistently.

Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Helitzer

A great crash course in joke writing. This book helped me write my first 5 minutes of standup material. Jokes are somewhat formulaic, and applying the principles that Mel Helitzer has created in this book will give you enough tools to create your own material. Also a great read for comics who want to chisel their current material as well.

How to Talk Dirty and Influence People by Lenny Bruce

A beautifully written autobiography from one of comedy’s most influential standups. Lenny Bruce used to get thrown in jail for what he said on stage. Talk about the courage to speak one’s mind.

A great read for anyone who wants to understand the history of standup comedy and what people like Lenny Bruce went through to give us the freedom of speech we have today.