The Top 13 Books to Grow Your Business, Make More Money, and Enhance Your Life that I Find Myself Recommending All the Time

Many open books lying flat before a blue background with various formulas and letters.

I read a lot. I always have.

If a book doesn’t pull me in within the first 50 pages or so, I generally stop reading it.

Life is too short to finish things just so you can say you finished them. (Tweet it!)


The books I’m sharing with you today, though, are the kind of books that made my mind, heart, soul, and, in some cases, bank account expand. Most of them had me entranced within the first few pages. I refer back to them all the time.

I find myself telling people to read these books constantly. So, I thought I’d tell you, too.

They’re all non-fiction, which I tend to gravitate toward more than fiction. (Though I’ve been on a serious Outlander series bender since March. I’m on book six and still loving it!)

Here are the top 13 books that I find myself recommending all the time:

General Life Enhancement

  1. The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks: This book totally shifted the way I think about how my life works, how my psyche works, and how the world works. It helps so much when we feel like we’re stuck or have repetitive patterns that we can’t seem to break.
  1. You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay: I read this book for the first time when I was 14 years old and I’ve come back to it many times. This book puts us back in the driver’s seat of our lives and reminds us how to solve “problems” when they arrive from the inside out. There’s also a film version of this book with lots of Hay House authors that I highly recommend.
  1. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott: This is one of my all time favorite books, and it happens to be about writing. Great if you want to become a better writer. Great if you simply want a great read. You’ll laugh so hard you’ll pee your pants, and you’ll get profound wisdom that will help you on your journey, writing or otherwise.
  1. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown: Somehow the angels orchestrated that this book showed up on my doorstep about 4 months before our wedding last year. (I hadn’t ordered it, nor had I heard of it.) I read it cover to cover within a week or two. I’ve always had trouble prioritizing, and this book helped me laser in on what really matters at a time when overwhelm felt imminent.


  1. The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful and Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms by Danielle LaPorte: I read this book and did the exercises as my morning practice during a month in my life when I needed some extra divine TLC. It was just what the doctor ordered. If you feel like you need some permission to be your brave, badass self, read this book. Practical, hilarious, loving, and generally amazing.[su_spacer size=”20″]
  2. The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk: I think this is the best book I’ve read on social media and its ability to transform the world for good. It’s practical and philosophical. If you have a business and you’re using social media to grow it (which you kind of have to be if you have a business), then this is a must-read.[su_spacer size=”20″]
  3. The Education of Millionaires: Everything You Won’t Learn in College about How to Be Successful by Michael Ellsberg: I love how this book challenges everything we’ve been taught about the importance of higher education for creating success in life. I found Ellsberg’s findings validating and so practical. Read this one yourself and give it to every young adult you know.[su_spacer size=”20″]
  4. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink: I’ve long known that learning to sell is critical for success in any endeavor (personal or professional.) That’s one of the reasons why I started a network marketing business in college. The research that Dan Pink brings to the conversation around modern selling elevates the conversation far beyond any sales book I’ve read in the past. If you’ve ever doubted your ability to sell, or questioned why you even need to master sales as a skill, you have to read this.


  1. Overcoming Underearning: A Five-Step Plan to a Richer Life by Barbara Stanny: This book was essential in my journey of getting it together financially. It’s the first book I recommend if anyone is struggling and ready to stop struggling.[su_spacer size=”20″]
  2. Sacred Success: A Course in Financial Miracles by Barbara Stanny: Once you get it together with your money and you’re no longer struggling, read this and take the advice to heart. This book gave me permission to slow down and create the spaciousness in my life that is allowing us to prepare for our baby to arrive with ease and sanity.[su_spacer size=”20″]
  3. Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money that the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert Kiyosaki: I read this book when I was 16 years old, and it changed the course of my life. If you want financial freedom, read this pronto. It’s an essential.[su_spacer size=”20″]
  4. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill: I read this book in high school and was amazed by how relevant it is, even though it was written in the early 1900s. If you want to understand the energetics of money better and why just working harder isn’t always the best solution for making more money, read this.[su_spacer size=”20″]
  5. The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity by Catherine Ponder: This book was part of my early money education and it was crucial for understanding how money works on the spiritual level. Chock full of compelling stories, affirmations, and wisdom for the ages, this would be required reading if I decided to teach Abundance 101.

Over to You:

Which book(s) do you find yourself referring back to and recommending all the time? I’d love to know your favorites, so tell me what they are in the comments below!

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Tweet it out: The top 13 books for growing your biz, making more $ + enhancing your life per @katenorthrup:



  • Amy Ouellette

    Playing Big! I love that book by Tara Sophia Mohr. It was a great partner/follow up for me, for The Big Leap, which is in your list. I’ve read about half the books on your list and am looking forward to reading more from it! Thank you!

  • Pamela Slim’s “Body of Work” helps me see the bigger picture in what I do – and reminds to step back and look for it from time to time. I read through it every so often or refer to it’s core concepts when I’m uncertain about how a piece of work fits into the big picture.

  • Thank you Kate for your insider tipps! I recommended it to my author-to-be members in the Book Academy. I support them to get their message into their book to enrich their products and services. And finally to become the expert in their fields. Such recommendations are so great! Many thanks again LOVE Patricia

  • These are great! Now I have a lot of new additions to my Kindle wishlist (it’s already a mile long haha)!

    I also like “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch. It’s a quick and easy read, but he really puts things into great perspective – what matters? what doesn’t? how can you let go of things that don’t matter sooner so you have more time in your short life to worry about the things that do?

  • Honestly, I recommend YOUR book all the time!! I’d also add The Desire Map to this list – absolutely transformative.

  • The Artist’s Way is the top book that changed my life for the better. There are others, but this is the one I read (and took workshops based on) over and over.

  • Love this list of books, I’ve ready a few of them in the money section. Rich Dad Poor Dad was amazing. Can’t wait to ready The Fire Starter Sessions next! I also read Get Rich, Lucky Bitch recently by Denise Duffield-Thomas and highly recommend it for releasing money blocks! And of course, I loved your book too, Money: A love story was fantastic!

  • Kate,

    Besides yours (which I loved and I still carry my little cards around in my wallet – yay) I would have to add I Heart Me – The Science of Self-Love by David R. Hamilton – I loved that book!

    Since there are no coincidences in life, I am thrilled with you mentioning a couple of excellent marketing books! I literally just sold my first novel and in the 18 months between now and its publication, I need to learn everything I can about marketing – so THANK YOU!!!!!

  • Stephanie

    Thank you so much Kate for these books. I am determined to get my financial house in order, my conscious living greatly depends on my mind/thinking shift! Take care and be blessed!!


  • Daughter of Fortune by Isabelle Allende
    The World According to Garp by John Irving

  • Barbara

    Thank you dearest Kate , for putting TWO of my books on your list. I’m so honored! Love you to pieces!

  • Jen

    Thanks for the list! Loving what is by Byron Katie, is my current favorite book. And outrageous openness. Oh, and anything by Brene Brown.

  • Daring Greatly, by Brené Brown
    Conscious Loving, byG. and K. Hendricks
    Emotional Energy Factor, by Mira Kirshenbaum
    Is he Mr. Right, by Mira Kirshenbaum
    The power of fullengagement, by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
    The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brené Brown

  • marianne

    Hi Kate,
    thank you for the books, great to have a new list. My all time favourite is called, Impersonal life, written bij…anonymous.
    I read a chapter every day. It is my way to an insired live.
    Do you know it?

    love to hear from you,
    greetings and blessings from Holland.


  • Thank you for sharing your favorites! I love to read and have only read the book by Hill. I will look up these today. I will share some of my favorites later today. Have a blessed day full of His favor and love while sharing your life with others!!! Diana

  • Wait a minute, why isn’t Money, A Love Story on this list? It should be! Love you, thanks for all you do!

  • I have read most of the books you recommend here Kate (Essentialism is next on my “to-be-read-list”). I am also an avid read and rarely read fiction, but these are 2 books I have read very recently. They are: i) The Slight Edge (Jeff Olsen). I saw lots of recommendations for this book but for some reason always put off reading it. God!!! Do I wish I hadn’t. A really fabulous book that you can start implementing in any area of your life and ii) Success Made Simple (a look at why 96% of Amish businesses survive even through recessions). Again I heard this recommended by Michael Hyatt some time ago and decided I had to read it, and so pleased I did.
    That’s it Kate.Hope your “nesting” is going well xx

  • Great list! I’m a huge book lover too. I actually have a few of these and just picked up Napoleon Hill’s classic last week.

    Off the top of my head, I would recommend:

    1. Playing Big by Tara Mohr (wish I would have read this in my 20s!)
    2. Anything by Brene Brown
    3. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (I know EVERYBODY is talking about this book right now, but it truly did change my life! There’s a reason it’s so popular and why everyone is so obsessed…)
    4. Get Rich Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield Thomas. (practical + woo and she’s hilarious!)
    5. Money, a Love Story (who wrote that one? Hmmm…oh wait, that was YOU Kate Northrup!)

    Thank you for your list! I’m going to pick up Sacred Success again right now and browse the highlights. :)

    Jess xo

  • I love this list! You’ve included some of my favorite, like The Big Leap, and some I keep thinking of reading but I haven’t yet.

    I’d suggest The Attachment Pregnancy. It’s one of the best books out there about pregnancy.

  • Great list! Several I haven’t read and will add to my must read list.

    I find myself referring people to The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It [Michael E. Gerber] – it really explains how just because you are great at your trade (dentist, designer, coach, etc.) doesn’t mean you will be great at running a business. These two things are separate.

    I also love Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson. It is a great start before you are ready book, and not slaving over details that you don’t know if the beginning of a business. When they launched they had no idea how they would invoice clients. They figured once they got their first one they would have 30 days to figure it out. I love that, it can be applied to so many entrepreneurs that fret these details that are not yet important. It’s another I love to refer.

    Thanks for sharing your list! :)

  • I’m with you, Kate. I love Danielle LaPorte’s Firestarter Sessions. I have a pile of them in my office because I inevitably end up recommending the book to clients, and it’s easier to just give them one so they can get started on it right away!

    I also recommend a book you might have heard of called Money, A Love Story by a certain Kate Northrup. I tell people it is a deceptively simple book that packs a big wallop and transforms the subject of money from the taboo subject we all feel shame about to something enjoyable and even fun to dance with.

    My all-time favorite book is Wishcraft by Barbara Sher. It’s an oldie but goodie. It was the first book that made me realize that I can create the kind of work and the kind of life I want. Of course the hard part is figuring out what you want, but that’s also the fun part!

  • Geri

    Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd

  • Hi, Kate
    First, congrats on the wee one that is coming your way!
    Second, you are an amazing writer; I love your way with words. (As a former English teacher, it is rewarding to see that!)
    PS: I am now officially a licensed esthetician in both Maine and NH–so I am moving along. Thanks for your support with Usana.

  • These are wonderful, Kate! (You neglected yours! Money, A Love Story – totally awesome!)

    Right now I’m reading Quitter by Jon Acuff. Holy perspective shift!
    I can’t say enough great things about it. It is perfect for anyone who is trying to grow a business but feels stuck in a 9-5 job.

    I LOVE The Big Leap and Heal Your Life, too! xo

  • Traci

    In the money category, a mind altering book for me was Money Is Love by Barbara Wilder. It helped me clear up negative associations around wealth

  • Dave Ramsey – Entreleadership is a MUST for any small business owner or someone who is considering opening a business. It is chock full of great nuggets of wisdom and just plain smart know how. It really opened my eyes to where my current employer is lacking and how to step up my photography business.

  • Kelly

    I loved your book, of course, and also Karen McCall’s Financial Recovery. I thought On My Own Two Feet was a good $ book as well. Goofy, fun reads for financial recovery for me were Save Karyn and In the Red. I also liked the Overcoming Underearning. Although religious, I thought Enough got a good message across as well. I also like reading Bari Tessler Linden’s Art of Money materials and joined her group as well. Such good stuff out there!!! I am listening to Kari Samuels Archangel Michael series about abundance too.

    I do want to read/research the food & money issues and have Geneen Roth of my list for that!

  • Jennifer

    Thank you, Kate! Love you.

    One I recommend is ‘Go Givers Sell More’ by Bob Burg.

  • Lori Trew

    Money and the Law of Attraction by Jerry and Esther Hicks

    Ask and It Is Given by Jerry and Esther Hicks

  • Jessica

    The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey was a great one on the importance of relationships in building a great business, marriage and/or family. I have not read your book, but perhaps I will now!

  • Rosie

    Anything by Steve Chandler – deceptively simple but pack a punch

  • So funny 1.06 am post -Jen Loudens current top fave reads -then yours -30 mins later Kate. ☺ Love all of them – and game changers for women’s lives and creatives that never leave my bedside table are Ann Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift From the Sea -Classic on relationships-simplicity and creativity (Top pick forever)- The Artist’s – Way and other Julia Cameron works – Women Who Run with the Wolves -Clarissa Pinkoka Estes – Desire Map DLP and Money a Love Story☺. Spiritual Meditation -FB Meyer -Our Daily Walk and Pema Chodron series -God is a Sea -David Walker on the Mystics.

  • Ummm, this is gonna sound like a total suck-up but I actually always recommend your Mums book: Womens Bodies, Womens Wisdom.

    It has been life-changing for me ;)

  • Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less changed my life. I learned how to say, “No” from this book. It was also one of the more entertaining non-fiction books I’ve ever read.

  • Claudia

    The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz. I just like the way it is written and the message it gives! AWESOME

  • ma. cecilia

    Oh… so regretful. I should have bought that RICH DAD, POOR DAD. When I was in the bookstore last month. :-)
    I read that Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Very nice book. This time I am reading Ten Clowns Don’t Make a Circus by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman. Very nice too.

  • The last 2 I’ve read that changed my life (and my kids lives!) … “The Tapping Solution” and “The Whole Brain Child”…can’t day enough about them both…they are game changers!

  • “Fierce Medicine” by Ana Forrest changed my life!

  • Kirsten

    My mom gifted me with your mom’s book ‘Women’s Bodies Women’s Wisdom’ and it really opened my eyes! I recommend it a lot. Also The Desire Map by Danielle la Porte. Have you heard of The Continuum Concept by Jean Leidloff? It will open your mind even more about giving yourself ‘permission’ to trust your instincts when it comes to parenting. I don’t have kids yet but it cracked my heart right open! Oh, and I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson – such a good book!

  • Thank you Kate, I just adore you!
    I love Deepak Chopra’s “The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success” it is so simple and a book I can revisit again and again. Also Marianne Williamson’s ” A Return to Love” was a game changer for me, for crystallising the key concepts in “A Course in Miracles” and for making me feel at home.
    Thank you for your excellent contributions xx

  • The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson! So good for building a business, but can use this technique in ever aspect of your life you want improve!

  • Amarilis

    Thank you Kate! Youre so awesome Love your list! RICH DAD, POOR DAD is one of many of my favorite books I have read that a few times.Some other great book as well, is”what color is your parachute”,”7 habits of highly effective people”! Great game changers and self help books! Enjoy

  • Hey Kate,
    I am a massive fan, possible online stalker of yours :)
    I love this article, great recommendations and a few new ones for me to check out!
    Sile xxx

  • Marian O' Donovan

    I’m a book worm over the years I have read many books,mostly I recommend is which I love is women’s bodies women’s wisdom by Christiane Northrup
    you can heal your life Louise Hay I do believe we do heal ourselves. I have!!!
    Think and Grow rich by Napoleon Hill read it a few times.l
    Loving what is by Byron Katie love it. As humans we tend to be over in other people’s business. Rather dealing with or own stuff.
    Power of intention Dr Wayne w. Dyer
    The 7 spiritual laws of success, it is so simple
    The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach again very simple to read.
    Money and the law of Attraction by J&E Hicks great book
    The secret love it
    E-Myth Revisited by EGerter again easy to follow. I have read many more
    Next one I have just started money a love story by Kate Northrup will comment later once I’m finished . Thank you M xx

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