The best books to transform your business and your life!

Why am I passionate about this?

For nearly 40 years, I have studied and written about blending the business world and the spiritual side of life together. By spiritual, I mean everything to do with our purpose and why we exist. I refer to this as being ALIVE @ WORK ®. We spend countless hours at work doing a j-o-b, when what we want most is knowing that we are making a difference in our lives and the lives of others. The key is taking 100% responsibility for our lives, knowing we have the power to change them in an instant. You will find this thread woven through all of my books and those I recommend.


I wrote...

Extraordinary Results for Life: Discover Your Path to Be UN-ordinary

By Joe Contrera,

Book cover of Extraordinary Results for Life: Discover Your Path to Be UN-ordinary

What is my book about?

This is a book about change, both in business and in life. A lot of folks say they want to change, but few of them ever do. Instead, they seek what is ordinary, common, known, and comfortable, the antithesis of what it means to be extraordinary.

Living an extraordinary life starts when you look inside of yourself and realize you are 100% responsible for the results you are creating in your life. More importantly, you hold the power to change…all of it! If you are willing to look inward and lean in so far that you can never go back, this book was written just for you!

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Think and Grow Rich

Joe Contrera Why did I love this book?

Although this book was written 86 years ago, the ideas in it are timeless. Much of what was written back then is still relevant today, and I guess that is what makes this book a classic.

This is a story as well as a road map for finding success in business and in life. It doesn’t focus only on financial success but ties into the importance of finding a definiteness of purpose. Lastly, you cannot overlook the author's deep level of commitment to his purpose and his willingness to do whatever it took to accomplish it! 

By Napoleon Hill,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Think and Grow Rich as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is one of the bestselling motivational books of all-time. Inspired by a suggestion from industrialist Andrew Carnegie, Hill explains the philosophy that helped the wealthiest and most accomplished members of society succeed.


Book cover of The Courage to Be Disliked

Joe Contrera Why did I love this book?

In the vein of many business books written in the novel format, this book follows a conversation between an older philosopher and a young man. The teacher helps the younger man realize how to break free from the chains that keep him stuck in his old thought patterns.

It introduces concepts rooted in Adlerian Psychology that are incredible eye-openers and introduces them in a story-like format instead of a hard-to-digest clinical manner. At the core of this book is helping its readers understand the power within each of us to create a path to real happiness and real success. A book everyone, especially the younger generations, should read!   

By Ichiro Kishimi, Fumitake Koga,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Courage to Be Disliked as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Japanese phenomenon that teaches us the simple yet profound lessons required to liberate our real selves and find lasting happiness.

The Courage to be Disliked shows you how to unlock the power within yourself to become your best and truest self, change your future and find lasting happiness. Using the theories of Alfred Adler, one of the three giants of 19th century psychology alongside Freud and Jung, the authors explain how we are all free to determine our own future free of the shackles of past experiences, doubts and the expectations of others. It's a philosophy that's profoundly liberating,…


Book cover of The Homeboy Way: A Radical Approach to Business and Life

Joe Contrera Why did I love this book?

This is a very recent addition to my list. It will take you on an incredible journey with a man (the author) from a career with multi-billion-dollar businesses (Aramark) to being the CEO of Homeboy Industries, the most successful gang rehabilitation program in the world.

It is his journey from one world to the next as he shares the need for us to radically change the way we do business in this country. In my opinion, “The Great Resignation” and “Quiet Quitting” are just symptoms of why we need to desperately change. You may ask yourself, “What do gangs and business have in common? Read this book and find out!  

By Thomas Vozzo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Homeboy Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Leading with heart, authenticity and purpose, Thomas Vozzo provides a clear path to a new bottom line—including 55 rules to break—bringing the Homeboy Way to life as the perfect anecdote to the massive tidal currents of social injustice and inequities.

By every traditional measurement of success, Vozzo was a clear winner. In his world of billion-dollar revenues and million-dollar profits, he knew exactly what shareholders wanted and how to get it for them.

Then, through a series of fateful events, Vozzo landed as CEO of Homeboy Industries, the most successful gang intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the country, founded…


Book cover of Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity

Joe Contrera Why did I love this book?

A very well-written book by a reporter from the New York Times (also the author of The Power of Habit). The author's style of writing, which is then blended with stories of people and organizations, kept me glued as if I was reading a news story.

It is one of the best books written on productivity I have ever read! There is such a broad range of people and stories, but all wrapped up into eight key concepts about focus and productivity. This book can help you understand why some folks (organizations) are so much more productive than others.

By Charles Duhigg,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Smarter Faster Better as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In his international bestseller The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize-winner Charles Duhigg explained why we do what we do. Now he applies the same relentless curiosity and masterful analysis to the question: how can each of us achieve more?

Drawing on the very latest findings in neuroscience, psychology and behavioural economics, he demonstrates the eight simple principles that govern productivity. He demonstrates how the most dynamic and effective people - from CEOs to film-makers to software entrepreneurs - deploy them. And he shows how you can, too.

'Charles has some wonderful advice for increasing productivity . . . the tips…


Book cover of Power vs. Force

Joe Contrera Why did I love this book?

This book was a game-changer in helping to understand how quantum physics interacts with human behavior. It is a dense book with a great amount of research and science. That said, the point of the book is to explain, in an easily understandable way, how the practice of applied kinesiology can help guide us through life’s journey to discover simple truths.

I was introduced to this book back in 2009, and it started me on an incredible journey toward a better understanding of how the world works. It was instrumental in helping me to develop a Leadership Model in my 3rd book.  

By David R. Hawkins,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Power vs. Force as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This classic text explores how we as individuals can move towards our ultimate potential through understanding human behaviour and enhancing our level of consciousness.

Building on the accumulated wisdom of applied kinesiology (diagnostic muscle-testing to determine the causes of allergies and ailments) and behavioural kinesiology (muscle-testing to determine emotional responses to stimuli), David R. Hawkins MD, PhD has taken muscle-testing to the next level, in an effort to determine what makes people and systems strong, healthy, effective and spiritually sound.

Power vs. Force has become a spiritual classic and massively influential across the world. Now, Dr Hawkins reflects on his…


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The Cowboy's Lost Family

By Roxanne Snopek,

Book cover of The Cowboy's Lost Family

Roxanne Snopek

New book alert!

What is my book about?

He’s looking for the one thing she’s done with: family.

Brade Oliver arrives in Grand, Montana, looking for blood—and answers. Genetic tests reveal that his biological family may reside in the small, western town, and he’s on a mission to finally discover the one thing his adoptive family couldn’t give him: the truth.

Kendall McKinley craves a normal life, free of the demands, drama, and constraints of her dysfunctional family. Despite being focused on building her career and working on a restoration project, Kendall can’t help herself from noticing a handsome stranger the first night he arrives. But when Brade…

The Cowboy's Lost Family

By Roxanne Snopek,

What is this book about?

He’s looking for the one thing she’s done with: family.

Brade Oliver arrives in Grand, Montana, looking for blood—and answers. Genetic tests reveal that his biological family may reside in the small, western town, and he’s on a mission to finally discover the one thing his adoptive family couldn’t give him: the truth.

Kendall McKinley craves a normal life, free of the demands, drama, and constraints of her dysfunctional family. Despite being focused on building her career and working on a restoration project, Kendall can’t help herself from noticing a handsome stranger the first night he arrives. But when Brade…


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