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12 Book Recommendations For the Next 6 Months
Money Management

12 Book Recommendations For the Next 6 Months

How far along are you on your 2022 financial goals list? The year just passed the halfway mark making it the ideal time to carry out a self assessment.

Read Also: How to Give Yourself a Mid-Year Financial Check-Up

Perfection is not the goal, but rather progress and an intentional drive towards realising the set goals. 

Financial literacy is a non-negotiable if one is to make any kind of sustainable growth. Now, as the word ‘literacy’ itself says, some actual reading has to take place for this to be realised.

What to Do

Whatever the goal is; be it starting your own business, buying/building your home or just improving your financial health in general, equipping yourself with relevant knowledge should be right up there on your to-do list for the second half of 2022.

In six months, you could earn yourself the equivalent of an MBA just by reading the 12 books whose main themes will be detailed later on.

Twelve may sound like a big number but all it would take would be 30-minutes of your day, each day, dedicated to this specific task and you’d be done by Christmas!

The list was curated by Ben Meer, an MBA holder from Cornell University. Meer is the founder of System Sunday - a blog that teaches people how to use tech-enabled and data-driven systems to accelerate personal growth.

It’s Cheaper

On Meer’s part, his MBA cost him a whooping $150,000 (approx Ksh17.7 million). Closer home, a similar program will cost anywhere between half a million to a million or more depending on the campus and the courses taken.

The self-teaching MBA approach may not come with a capping gown and a graduation ceremony, but it’s not all about having a framed-up certificate on your wall. What you actually learn and are able to implement in your day to day affairs is critical.

This lends the ‘12 books approach’ some credibility as it pushes you to invest in yourself, for your own growth.

Here are the 12 books that are highly recommended for anyone looking to earn a ‘street MBA’ , and improve their personal finance at the same time are detailed below.

12 Books in 6 Months = The Cheapest MBA

1. Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters

Thiel shares the lessons he learned from founding and selling PayPal, investing in Facebook and becoming a billionaire in the process.

Described as a radical thinker, Thiel teaches you the way he thinks, how he approaches business, and what you can do to build your startup’s own future.

What can you learn from this book?

  • The big mistake CV optimizers make
  • What strategy a startup can use to actually become a monopoly
  • How focus will make your business profitable, if you’re willing to put in the years
  • Why the people are what matters most in a startup, and which three things you should pay the most attention to when assembling your team.
  • What can lead your startup to fail, even if you have the most innovative product in the world.

2. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries 

Eric Ries is an American entrepreneur, blogger, and accomplished author. In this book, he offers both entrepreneurs and anyone looking to become one, a semi-scientific, real-world approach to building a business by using validation, finding a profitable business model and creating a growth engine.

These are the kinds of metrics you should look at, because they make or break your business.

Some of the key lessons in this book include;

  • Build minimum viable products
  • When in doubt, simplify
  • Win by getting feedback and learning fast

3. Financial Intelligence by Karen Berman, Joe Knight, John Case

This book was written because Joe and Karen could not find a book they felt good about recommending to their Fortune 500 training clients. 

Based on training tens of thousands of managers and employees at many leading organisations, the book provides readers with a deep understanding of:

  • The basics of financial measurement
  • The art of finance
  • The mechanics of analysis
  • Cash and profit
  • Financial literacy and transparency

4. I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

Sethi has been described as one of the major personal finance gurus of the 21st century.

His book starts with a necessary reminder to start accepting you’re the one in the cockpit, when it comes to your money.

He details how one can save money on autopilot while allowing yourself to spend guilt-free on the things you enjoy.

For example, he explains these three key lessons in detail;

  1. You’re the only one responsible for your financial problems.
  2. Know how much money you have coming in and then automatically direct it where you want it to end up.
  3. Start investing today, even if it’s just $1 (Ksh117).

5. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout

In this book, two of the world’s most renowned marketing consultants captured a collection of best practices for the ultimate success of the modern marketer.

Reading this book will help you focus on the really important issues, like the following: to choose the best decisions, to better invest your budget and to avoid mistakes, waste of time and money.

It presents the basic and constant rules which determine the success and the failure of companies or products/services in the retail market.

Described as an absolute marketing classic, it outlines 22 rules by which companies function, and, depending on how much you adhere to them, will determine the success or failure of your products and ultimately, your company.

6. The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

Eliyahu teaches you the fundamentals of running and improving a system through an engrossing fictional story about a manager who has 90 days to turnaround his plant.

You can put into practice an effective and efficient process of continuous improvement by reading this book. His approach can be used in both daily life and business.

Eliyahu could have completely altered the field of cost accounting with just one book.

He approaches the world of production with a practical mindset, and ties every action to the sole objective of making money.

For example, he explains the three metrics that will tell you if the business is doing well: net profit, return on investment, and cash flow. All three should be increasing all the time.

7. Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows

The main point of this book is that everything we see, do, and experience in this world is made up of systems. While we can't fully understand them, predict how they'll behave, or control them, we can study their behavior and the patterns they exhibit.

This will allow us to assist them in functioning better and more efficiently, allowing us to identify when a broken system requires changes and repairs.

The book basically looks at the composition of systems, their surprising and often counterintuitive behaviors, and the myriad ways we can interact with them to shape them to our benefit.

8. Steal the Show by Michael Port

Port - a professional actor, shares a practical guide designed to help performers scared of the limelight to settle their nerves and up their game.

He teaches you how to succeed in the spotlight moments of your life and career, such as job interviews, sales pitches, and presentations.

Port explains that you must use the Actor's Toolkit, which includes preparing a performer's mindset, power principles, and delivery strategies before entering one of these high-pressure environments.

Adopting these three techniques used by professional actors will teach you how to steal the show in all of your important professional and personal events.

9. Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

Voss - a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI, shares powerful negotiation techniques. 

He shows you exactly how to get what you want and come out on top in any negotiation using simple negotiation tactics.

The author shares many exciting stories in this book about times when he assisted in the safe release of a hostage. More importantly, he imparts numerous universal lessons in negotiation.

This means it doesn't matter if you're an FBI negotiator or just trying to get a better job or settle a family dispute. Human communication principles remain constant.

10. How to Be a Power Connector by Judy Robinett

This book offers a hands-on introduction to networking in the modern business world.

Robinett has based her methods on solid research proving that social groups begin to break up when they become larger than 150 people, and that 50 members is the optimal size for group communication.

As such, she has developed what she calls the 5+50+100 method:

Contact your Top 5 connections daily, Your Key 50 weekly, and Your Vital 100 monthly.

11. Teams of Teams by General Stanley A. McChrystal

General McChrystal was the commander of the US Joint Special Operations Task Force activated to address the growing threat of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

In this book, he presents a new way of thinking and leading that allows organisations to adapt and innovate nimbly in a complex world.

He further shows how the challenges they faced in Iraq can be relevant to countless businesses, nonprofits, and organisations today.

It has been described as a manual for leaders looking to make their teams more adaptable, agile, and unified in the midst of change.

12. The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson

The book teaches people how to build wealth and achieve long-term happiness by working on a few essential skills, all while discovering the secrets of living a good life.

Naval advises his readers on how to accumulate wealth and, more importantly, how to use it wisely.

The author delves into the secrets of a prosperous life, both financially and spiritually, with a strong emphasis on the end goal of living a good life, having freedom, and helping those around you.

Anyone who wants to advance in their career without losing sight of their true persona, who wants to find a balance between their work and what matters to them in their personal life should read this book.


So, there you have it. A direct path towards your 6-month MBA, and the best part is that most of these books are actually available online for free.

All you need to do, as mentioned earlier, is to set aside 30 minutes each day and start working on yourself. Financial literacy is the key to everything when it comes to money.

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Eddy Mwanza is Creative Consultant living and working in Nairobi, Kenya. His areas of focus are Content Creation, Creative Writing, Research and Photography. When he is not writing in his favorite coffee shop, Eddy spends most of his time reading, cooking, and traveling. He is also a sports fanatic. Connect with Eddy on LinkedIn.

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