IFH 262: Top Ten Books That Will Change Your Life!

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On today’s episode, I go over my top ten books that ROCKED my world! I get asked all the time what are a few books I could recommend. So I decided to just put a list together of these books. The books on the list have transformed me into the person I am today.

They have opened my mind, showed me new ideas, changed the way I thought about life and most importantly shook the foundations of my existence. Enjoy and may you find value in this list, my friends. Now get to reading!

Alex Ferrari 0:30
Now guys, I get asked a lot by the tribe, what are some books that I have loved to read? And what are some books that changed my life? And as a question I always ask my guests of what books either change their life or career and I decided to do this week's episode on my top 10 most inspirational books that kind of just changed my life when I read them. So I wanted to go through those top 10. And hopefully they they will find a way in your library and hopefully they can change your lives as well. So let's get started. Number 10 of course is Rebel Without a crew or how a 23 year old filmmaker with $7,000 became a Hollywood player by Robert Rodriguez. This book I read when I was in college, and for those of you who have not heard of this book, or read this book, it was released in 96. And it changed, just changed everything once I read it. I had already been following Roberts work with El Mariachi and that mythical story of how he made a $7,000 action movie, and got a Hollywood deal and so on. And this book was just an inside look at the entire story of how he got it, how he got the journey, how he made the journey, how he got the movie made, how he sold his body to science, everything and then all the way through all the craziness that he went through in Hollywood being flown around and doing all that kind of cool stuff. So it really just opened up my eyes to what was possible and gave me a tremendous amount of inspiration. And that I could do something like that as well, one day. So if you have not read that book, please definitely check it out Rebel Without a crew. Number nine, the obstacle is the way by Ryan Holliday, who's also the author of the ego is the enemy. Now the obstacle in the way, is somewhat of a cult classic at this point. And I when I read it, it kind of blew me away about how he takes the trials and tribulations of life and makes them into triumphs and makes them into successes. And the book draws its inspiration from stoicism, which is an ancient Greek philosophy about enduring pain and adversity with resilience. stoics really kind of focus on what they can control and let go of everything else. And they turn all new obstacles into opportunities to get better, stronger and even tougher. I just love the philosophy I love. I really got into stoicism a bunch after reading this book and kind of went down what Marcus Aurelius said and wrote over 2000 years ago, another favorite author of mine, Tim Ferriss, is a stoic. And he he kind of introduced me into this world of stoicism. And it's pretty amazing. It really does help you get through a lot of things that are difficult in life. And sometimes we see obstacles in front of us as obstacles. But if you change your mentality, and you turn it into something that helps you that helps you turn it into a triumph, and you can move within and if you look at it as an opportunity to get better, to get stronger. It changes your life and as Marcus Aurelius said, near 2000 years ago, what stands in your way, becomes the way. And if you'd like this book, then I would definitely read. Ego is the enemy by Ryan Holiday as well. Another great, great book number eight, the Thank You Economy by the amazing Gary Vander Chuck. Now I've mentioned Gary on the show before Gary is big, big inspiration to me of what he's done with his, with his life with his career with his work. And the books that he writes really have helped millions and millions of people around the world. And the Thank You Economy was the second book I read from him, the first book is a little further down on this list. But this this book, and if I haven't, if you guys don't know anything about Gary, I'll just give you a quick update about his inspirational story. He was basically running a small local wine shop in New York, or New Jersey or New York, that has families, families wine shop, and they did very well. But you know, they wanted to take everything up a notch. So what he started to do is to shoot a show every week about wine every week, he would do crazy shows about wine, and this is before YouTube, this is before any of that stuff. And by the time YouTube came around, and and all these other platforms came around, he already had like, three 400 episodes, because he just kept grinding. He just kept hustling. And he is the definition of hustle without question. And because of all that hustle, I think it was the Conan O'Brien show that called him up and said, hey, you're a wine expert, can you come on the show, and that changed his life. But if he hadn't done three or 400 episodes with nobody watching, really, the audience had not grown at all, that he wouldn't have had that opportunity. And that's the that's the definition of what you need to do as a filmmaker and as a person is just to continue to hustle and keep going no matter what, it doesn't matter if no one's looking, you keep working, you keep doing it, someone will pay attention to you, eventually, opportunity will happen to you. Now in this book, The Thank You Economy, Gary kind of breaks down how the world has changed online, how before, it was all about marketing money, and the millions and millions of dollars of marketing money. But because of the internet, the consumer has gotten their voice back. And it is a very big voice. And they have powerful opinions that they use through social media and other things, to get the word out on movies on products. And before where companies just didn't, didn't really care too much. Because they you know, if they made a mistake, or something went wrong, or the movie sucked, no big deal. But now with like rotten tomatoes, and all these other things, if you don't put out good product, you will get called out without question. People will leave reviews, people will talk online, and that stuff stays forever. So he really talks about how you can grow your business through customer service, how he does all that. And now though, just generally how the world has changed. And this book has a bit to do with filmmaking, but it just really gives you a better understanding of the world we're living in online, which is a big part of what I do on a daily basis. So again, these books are books that really touched me and inspired me of what I'm doing. But there's a lot of great gems in this book for you as well. So definitely check it out. Number seven, the art of learning by Josh waitzkin. Now, Josh, you guys may or may not know who Josh is. Josh is the subject of the movie searching for Bobby Fischer, which was a movie about chess, he was a chess prodigy. And that movie, if you guys not have seen the search searching for Bobby Fischer, you need to go watch it right now. Not only because of Conrad Hall's amazing cinematography, but also just amazing movie, just wonderful, wonderful movie to watch. I absolutely love that movie. I could watch it any time, one of my favorite films of all time. And Josh was a top world class chess master. And he tells his remarkable story of personal achievement, and shares the principles of Learning and Performance that propelled him to the top not just once, but twice. So not only is Josh, a national chess champion, which he was by the age of nine, but he also took on tai chi h1, which is a martial art and eventually became a world champion at that as well. His ability to learn and grow so quickly in in every aspect of his life. This book was amazing. He really, really explained Lane's his process, and it's just extremely well thought out on how he puts it all together. And, and, and he, by the way, when he was doing chess, at a certain point, he just walked away. He was a chess champion and walked away to try Tai Chi. And then because he's just felt, this is the route I want to go to. And it's fascinating what he's been able to do. The book is littered with amazing stories of how he used to go to Washington Square Park in New York, and hustle chess, to becoming that international chess champion, as well as just dealing with fighters in Taiwan for the push ends World Championships, and how he had to go against amazing odds and amazing obstacles to get what he wanted. He wanted to get so definitely inspirational and definitely very practical. So definitely check out the art of learning by Josh waitzkin. Number six, the prophet by Kahlil Gibran. This is a masterpiece, and one of the most beloved classics of all time. And when I read it for the first time, it blew my mind out of the water. It was written in 1923. And as a collection of poetic essays about philosophical and spiritual musings by Gabe Ron and the 28 chapters cover a bunch of different topics from marriage to children, giving, eating, drinking work, joy, sorrow, housing, clothes, buying and selling Crime and Punishment laws freedom, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, death, I mean, it covers so so much stuff. And it is honestly a short book, it's a it's not a long book, you'll be able to read it probably in a couple hours. But I promise you, if you've never read this book, it will change your perspective on life after you read it, so definitely check it out. Now, we'll be right back to the show in just a minute, but we got to pay some bills. So I'd like to thank today's sponsor, black box black box is a new platform and community that is all about financial freedom for filmmakers like you. If you join black box, you will be transformed from being a worker to being a maker of your own content. And you'll be making steady passive income from the global market. Black Box currently allows you to upload your stock footage once, get it to many global agencies and then allows you to share that passive income stream with your collaborators whether you want to submit old footage that's been sitting around in your hard drives or create brand new content black box is for you. It's really quite revolutionary with black box filmmakers can concentrate on making great content, while black box takes care of all the business BS. Just visit WWW dot black box dot global to find out more. And now back to the show. Number five, crush it why now is the time to cash in on your passion by Gary Vander Chuck. This is the first Gary book I read. And when I went out and started to learn about online businesses and marketing and and building up those kind of things, when I was going to start launch indie film, hustle, crush it was the second book I read the first book is a little farther down on this list. But crush it is remarkable. It really shows you how you can take your hobby, your passion, and make money with it and turn it into a living that you love to do. And it is just awesome. It tells you the entire story of Gary going through his The wineshop Story said earlier how he was able to build up his empire. And by the end of the book, you will learn how to harness the power of the internet and make your entrepreneurial dreams come true. It is a step by step book. And there's an ultimate drivers manual for the modern world in business. And it was written in 2009. But yet so so still amazing and still very, very useful in today's world and he just released the sequel to it, crushing it, which is another book I would definitely suggest you read Gary's really, really pretty remarkable and what he does, he has a no nonsense straight in your face kind of style, which I love because that's the kind of style I have as well. And, and I just I just love what he does. And the other book I would recommend you pick up is Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, which will tell you how to use social media marketing, and how to just take that and harness that for what you're trying to do in your world as filmmakers as screenwriters, as your own personal brands on how to get out there and use the power of Twitter, Facebook and so on and he really breaks down what to do. How to do it. Number four, the alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Now we're getting into just my favorite books ever, because I love the alchemist. If you have not read the alchemist, it is, is just an amazing, amazing story about following your dreams, and combining magic and mysticism and wisdom in this kind of book about self discovery. It is sold millions of copies around the world and has changed so so many lives. And it's a simple story about Santiago, a shepherd boy who yearns to leave his little Shepherd world and travel and search for worldly treasure. his quest leads him to riches far different, and far more satisfying than he could have ever imagined. His journey teaches us not only about the essential wisdom of listening to our heart, but recognizing the opportunity, and learn to read the omens, the things that are thrown on our life's path, and most importantly, to follow our dreams. And after you read this book, if you do not get up off your ass, and start figuring out a way to follow your dream, you are dead inside. No, I'm joking. But you really should read this book. It is life altering. And I read this book called 20 odd years ago, and it was mind blowing to me. And it really helped me out on my path to where I am today. So definitely check out the alchemist. Number three, the War of Art breaking through the blocks, and when your inner creative battles by Steven pressfield. I just recently discovered this book when I reached out to Steven to be on the show, and he couldn't be on the show. But he did send boxes and boxes of books. So I could give away to the tribe. And I did give all those books, I gave a ton of books away. But when I read the War of Art, which is the reason I reached out to him in the first place, it absolutely transformed my life. Steven pressfield talks about resistance. And that, that fear we have when we're trying to do anything in our lives, whether it's if you're a guy to go talk to a pretty girl, or if you're trying to write a screenplay, if you're trying to make a movie, if you're trying to make a YouTube video. If you're trying to do anything in life, you're afraid. And that resistance is what stops you from going it's that rationalization that little voice in your head that tells you, hey, you're not good enough, hey, you're never gonna make it, hey, she probably doesn't even like you, you you don't have a shot. That little voice that stops us from doing everything that we want to do. And this book really breaks down that so so amazingly well. He talks about a story with Henry Fonda, the great Oscar winning actor who right before a stage play in his like 60s or 70s. Right before he goes on, he throws up. And he's like, yeah, I'm afraid I'm scared. But I'm gonna do it anyway. And that's what the essence of the entire book is about. Understand that, everybody. And I mean, everybody on this planet, no matter how cocky no matter how, what kind of bravado that they put out that they're perfect that everything's fine, and they're not afraid of anything. That is all b s, everybody on the planet is afraid. It's afraid of something, no matter who you are. Some people are better at hiding it than others. But we're all afraid. And professionals and the people who get to where they want to go, are the people who understand they're afraid and go forward. And they figure out how to keep moving. And don't let that fear stop you. He discusses the amateur and the professional how the amateur goes to write whenever they feel like it and the professional shows up every day at that time, and does his his or her job. No matter what you just keep writing. It might not be good, but you keep writing. And that's what happens. Because at the end of that, if you are that professional, you are able to break through the resistance in your own mind, then you're able to move forward, you're able to get that project done. Because while you're sitting around thinking about writing a screenplay, the the amateurs sitting around thinking about it. The professionals already written a draft and is working on a rewrite. And by the time you're still thinking about your your screenplay, or your movie, someone else has already made a movie. They went out and grabbed the camera and just went out and shot a movie and did it no matter what. So as a creative as anyone listening to this who's an artist in one way, shape, or form you need to read this book, this book will change your life. And his other books, which I completely recommend you read his turning pro, do the work, the artists journey, the waking up hero's journey and your lifelong dreams. And nobody wants to read your shite. Which is another great book, his books are all amazing. They all come from a writer's point of view. And it's wonderful. So I would definitely check out as many books by Steven pressfield as possible. And if you don't know who Steven is, he's also the writer of the movie The Legend of Bagger Vance, which started Will Smith and was directed by Robert Redford. And that's kind of a blew him up. But all these other books are excellent. So please, please check them out. Number two, the four hour workweek escape the nine to five live anywhere and join the new rich by Tim Ferriss. Now, not only did this book change my life, it is actually one of the most life changing books I've ever read. Because after I read it, I opened up in the film hustle. It was the book that planted the seed, that I could run an online business, that that was a feasible option of what I could do. And I can go out and help people by doing it. And it is a textbook on how to create passive income, how to create multiple revenue streams to come into your life, how to build an online business, how to build a business that doesn't need you there to be able to make money. And it is basically given me the freedom that I have today. And I owe Tim, so so so much for writing this book. And I'm not the only one. If you go on Amazon, he's got over 5000 customer reviews, and it's a massive bestseller. And it has changed millions of people's lives around the world. And the book really just just shift throws a dagger right into the heart of the old concept of working nine to five somewhere in a job collecting a pension if you're lucky nowadays, retiring at 65 or 70. And more not more likely nowadays, you have to even go 75 or later, because you just can't afford to live on retirement. And it's just insane with this world is unpredictable world that we have of you know, jobs coming in and out. And that's why I've always been on on my own. I've rarely ever took a job. I've only had a couple of jobs in my life that were staff. And I did not do well. Let's just put it that way. In the book, he goes step by step on how he went from a job paying and $40,000 a year working 80 hours a week, to making 40,000 per month working four hours a week, he discusses outsourcing your life overseas to virtual assistants, how to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist, and just tons of practical tips of what to do how to do it. And it is it is a monumental book. It's one of those books that again, blew my life up in a very, very good way. So please, if you guys are even interested, I know as filmmakers you're like Alex, why am I going to read a book like that I want to start an online business. You know what guys, you really want to think about how you can build your filmmaking world into an online business, whether it is creating multiple revenue streams off your projects, if it's creating a production company, creating different products, the concepts that are in this book will relate to every part of your life. And the key is to try to build something that works on its own. And it is one of those books that shows you how to do it. indie film hustle has been nothing but a blessing to me. And that's why I love it so much. Not only because of that, but because I'm able to help you guys, the tribe on a weekly basis and continue to create products, be able to create content that helps you guys on your path, and that is more valuable than the amount of money that I can get. My main focus has never been about money because money comes it will come if you do good work. And that's what I'm trying to do with indie film hustle. And this book was the catalyst for that. And the other books I would definitely recommend are tools of the Titans and tribe of mentors, which he kind of breaks down. interviews he has is that he is probably one of the biggest podcast ever called the Tim Ferriss show where he interviews top world performers like the biggest world performers of all Time and, and like celebrities and people who just really are amazingly up there and what they do. And he basically breaks down all the tips and tricks that he's learned from them over the course of the years. And now before we get to our number one book, I'm going to throw a couple of little bonus books out there that you should definitely read, as filmmakers, as as human beings, definitely books that you should pick up How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, which is an amazing book about money, and how to become wealthy and rich, and not think about that nine to five kind of stuff that he was talking about earlier. And of course, thinking Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, which is a just powerhouse of a book was written decades ago. But everything he said in that book, still ring true to this day, I would definitely check that book out as well. And my number one book of all time, that really has changed my entire world is Autobiography of a Yogi by paramahansa Yogananda. Now, you might think that's a weird book to put on a list about filmmaking. But it is a book that has changed my world in ways that I cannot even express to you on this podcast. It has been selected as one of the 100 best spiritual books of the 20th century, and has been translated into over 30 languages around the world. It has very well known fans, let's just put it this way, The Beatles went to go visit paramahansa. And afterwards, they created Sergeant Pepper's that Sergeant Pepper album, and paramhansa actually made the cover of that album if you check it out. And if that wasn't enough, at Steve Jobs, his funeral, the only book that was left on his iPhone, or iPad was Autobiography of a Yogi and he handed out copies to everybody who attended his funeral. That's how important that book was to the legendary Steve Jobs. paramahansa was a yogi from India, and he is responsible for bringing meditation and yoga to the west. Yes, he's, that's that's who this is. He brought over the concept of meditation in the 20s. And when nobody was talking about meditation, nobody was talking about yoga. Nowadays, everyone thinks about it doesn't even think twice about it. Because everyone is meditating. Everyone is doing yoga. It is just part of our culture now, but it was paramahansa, who brought it over? from the west, and from the east, excuse me, to the west. And, and he went on to change millions upon hundreds of millions of people's lives through not only this book, but through his teachings and what he did. And this is not a religious book, this is not about religion, if you're Christian, if you're Muslim, if you're Jewish, doesn't matter. This is just amazing book about life. It was the first book ever written by a yogi telling people what Yogi's really do and how it's like what it's like to be a yogi. And it just opens up so many doors. In my mind, when I read it, it it's sung to me in a way that nothing has ever sung to me before. I read this, this book 25 to 30 years ago, when I was very young, and I really didn't, I wasn't ready for it yet. And then I reread it a while ago, and it's really song even hit me even harder. And I really, really just changed who I am. And a lot of people ask me, Alex, how are you able to do all the things you do? You put out so much content, you have a family, you're making movies, you're doing all these things? And you're basically doing a lot of this by yourself? How are you able to do it? And my quote, my answer to you guys is one of the big things I do is I meditate. And I know might be a little Fufu for a lot of you listening, but I meditate a lot, sometimes two to four hours a day, because there's all 24 hours in a day, and there's a lot of stuff you can do. So I meditate a lot and that gives me the ability to do a lot of the work that I'm able to do. And if you guys have not tried it, definitely check it out because it has changed my world in a way that I can't express I really can't. So this book is that book for me that changed my life. It rocked my world. And if you're interested, definitely check Check out the audiobook version of it, which is amazingly read by Sir Ben Kingsley. And his voice is amazing. So it's a great book. It's about, I don't even know how many hours but 889 hour audio book on abridged, and it's worth every second I don't want to ever to stop. And there are other books by paramahansa Yogananda, if you read this book, you might want to go deeper down his rabbit hole, which I have, in many ways is an amazing documentary about his life called awake, which is available, I think, on Gaia television, but you can also rent it on iTunes on Amazon in both places as well. Great, great, great documentary. I'm trying to get those guys on the guys who made that documentary on the show. So we'll see what happens. But, but that's the book guy. So that's my list. And I hope this list helps you guys in one way, shape, or form it I hope one or many of these books, help you on your journey, and help you make your movies, follow your dreams, and do what you need to do while you're here on this earth. So thank you for listening. I hope it was a value to you guys. And I will have links to all of these books at the show notes at indiefilmhustle.com262. And if you want to get free copies of all of these books in audio form, then just go to free film book calm, but I will also have links for that in the show notes, where you can just get all these books, at least one of these books for free by just signing up to audible.com. And they will allow you to download whatever book you want. I would suggest Autobiography of a Yogi. But as your first book, but it all depends on what you're looking for. But I'll have all that stuff in the show notes, guys. Thank you as always for listening. It has been a busy week I pull out three full blown episodes this week and more stuffs coming. And thank you again so much for all the well wishes about rain dance and ego and desire getting into rain dance. So we're very, very excited and more news on that coming soon. Thanks again guys. And as always keep that also going keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.

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