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Young woman reading a book by the lake

Top business picks to add to your summer read/watch/listen list

Looking for some great podcasts, books and TED Talks to enjoy during your vacation—and beyond? We’ve got you covered.

Young woman reading a book by the lakeNo matter where your summer may take you, this mix of books, TED Talks and podcasts will keep you entertained (Getty Images/swissmediavision)

The pandemic may have upended many people’s travel plans this summer, but that doesn’t mean you need to shortchange yourself on your R&R. In fact, there is always a world of new ideas you can discover without ever moving beyond the comfort of your easy chair.   

That’s why we’ve put together a mix of business books, podcasts and TED Talks that are sure to refresh your mind and entertain you, no matter where your summer may take you. 


Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast: Stories From the Stage on Disruption, Transformation and the Accelerating Future
by Jim Carroll 

“Every day, you have the opportunity to live up to your full potential,” says Jim Carroll. And, in this book, the FCPA and futurist shows how to do just that. By heading up each chapter with an inspirational life lesson, Carroll is able to distill the wisdom he has gained both on and off stage over his 25-year career as a keynote speaker. 

Direct and down-to-earth, this uniquely formatted book provides a fresh perspective on how to negotiate a world in flux. And, in so doing, it should prove to be an enlightening read for anyone who wants to view the future in a positive—yet realistic—light.

The Power of a Positive No: Save the Deal, Save the Relationship—and Still Say No 
by William Ury (available in French)

For toddlers, saying no is almost a way of life. Later on, though, many of us have trouble articulating that simple but powerful word. 

This book offers concrete advice and practical examples for overcoming the “no” hurdle in virtually any situation. Based on William Ury’s celebrated Harvard University course, it shows you how to assert and defend your key interests; how to make your “no” firm and strong; how to resist the other side’s aggression and manipulation; and how to do all this without alienating and angering people.

By learning Ury’s three-step process, you’ll learn how to say yes to what counts—your own needs, values and priorities. 

Cashflow Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom 
by Robert Kiyosaki (available in French)

In Rich Dad, Poor Dad, the best-selling personal finance book that sold 40 million copies, Robert Kiyosaki explained that most people never get ahead because they spend their lives working for money rather than learning how to make money work for them. 

Here, in the second book in the series, Kiyosaki builds on the ideas from the first book to set out a plan for financial freedom. Aimed at those want to take control of their financial future, it explains the rules of money that the rich use to build and grow their wealth. 

As one reviewer said, “It changes the way you think about money and opens your eyes to possibilities.” 


The Happy Secret to Better Work
by Shawn Achor

Most people would likely say their work affects their happiness. But what if it’s actually the other way around? In this popular talk, Achor contends that our mindset directly affects our work. 

“If you can raise somebody’s level of positivity in the present, then their brain experiences what we now call a happiness advantage,” says Achor, a psychologist. “Your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise. In fact, what we’ve found is that every single business outcome improves.”

Humorous yet insightful, Achor’s talk urges leaders to change the lenses through which they see the world. In so doing, they can make the happiness advantage work, both for themselves and their companies. 

How to Spot a Liar
by Pamela Meyer

Ever had the sneaking feeling that what you were being told was not absolutely true? You were probably right. In this talk, Liespotting author Pamela Meyer explains that we’re facing an epidemic of dishonesty, where on any given day, we’re lied to from 10 to 200 times. 

Here, Meyer offers techniques for spotting the markers of deception, such as qualifying language (“to tell you the truth ...”) and uncharacteristic body language, such as too much eye contact or a fake smile. Armed with these tools, you should be well on your way to stopping the next fibber you encounter in mid-speech.

How to Live Before You Die 
by Steve Jobs

Jobs had anything but a standard business background: he never graduated from the university and dropped out of Reed College after just six months. Yet he ended up co-founding one of the most iconic businesses of the 21st century. 

In this famous Stanford University commencement speech, Jobs looks at some of the unique factors that shaped his life and urges the audience to follow their dreams and take a leap of faith. As he puts it, “Death is the destination that we all share, no one has ever escaped it (…). Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”


Mastering Money: That Side Hustle Life (Season 2, episode 5) 
by CPA Canada

For many, the side hustle has become a way to supplement income. In this episode, which is the most popular pick in CPA Canada’s Mastering Money podcast series, well known YouTube product reviewer Peter Waitzman explains how he turned his love for starting businesses into a money-making side gig. 

The Tim Ferriss Show
by Tim Ferriss

After achieving acclaim with The 4-Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss has become a leading business author and an advocate for working smarter and taking a creative approach to problems.

In this show, which has been ranked as the No. 1 business podcast with more than 100 million downloads, Ferriss talks to “world-class performers” such as Malcolm Gladwell and Jamie Foxx. Working with this eclectic mix of personalities, he digs deep to extract actionable advice from morning routines, exercise habits and time-management tricks. 

Noteworthy episodes include Drew Houston—The Billionaire Founder of Dropbox and Susan Cain—How to Overcome Fear and Embrace Creativity

Build Your Network 
by Travis Chappell

Chappell is on a mission to “help a million people cultivate genuine relationships the right way.” A true believer in “who you know is more important than what you know,” he has made his podcast stand out by delving into ways you can build and grow your professional network. 

Guests include Quest Nutrition co-founder Tom Bilyeu, real estate investor Grant Cardone and entrepreneur Ed Mylett. As Mylett says, “Travis is the type of guy to MAX OUT everything he does. Highly recommend following him and working with him.” 

Start Today 
by Chris Cavallini

Looking to reach the next level, both in your business and the rest of your life? Then this podcast might be just what you need. In every episode, Chris Cavallini, an entrepreneur, philanthropist, United States Navy Veteran and social media influencer, takes you on a journey of personal development, mental toughness and self-mastery by teaching the mindset and practical action steps you need to move beyond where you stand today. 

Notable episodes include How to stay sane when it feels like the world has gone crazy and Sacrifice: The prequel to success


Find more food for thought—and actionable tips—in our other reading lists as well as our intriguing financial blogs, books, podcasts. And learn about key issues, trends and tips as they relate to financial education with our podcast, Mastering Money: The Educator’s Edition

Meanwhile, if you want to know how to talk money with your partner, Love & Money: Financial Conversations to Have Before You Get Married, is sure to fit the bill. And if you like music, you’ll enjoy our list of “songs and numbers.”