21 Must Read Books For Fitness Professionals

May 27, 2023

Immersing yourself in the world of business is perhaps the most powerful tool you have to build your own business. Reading, watching and listening to experts creates an ‘osmosis’ effect, that can drastically improve your chances of building a highly successful business. Here are the 21 books that have had the most profound effect on me, and my business.

Switch (Chip and Dan Heath): The key takeaway from Switch is that change is hard, but it’s not impossible. The authors present a framework for making change easier by focusing on three areas: directing the rider (our rational side), motivating the elephant (our emotional side), and shaping the path (our environment). By tackling all three aspects, change becomes more achievable and sustainable.

Company of One (Paul Jarvis): The key takeaway from Company of One is that bigger isn’t always better. The author argues that growth for the sake of growth can be a trap and that it’s important to consider alternative paths for success. Instead of constantly expanding, the author suggests that entrepreneurs and business owners focus on creating a sustainable and fulfilling lifestyle business that allows them to work on their own terms.

The Infinite Game (Simon Sinek): The key takeaway from The Infinite Game is that business is not a finite game with clear winners and losers. Instead, it’s an infinite game with no clear endpoint or rules. The author argues that companies that focus on playing the infinite game, by prioritizing long-term success over short-term gains and by embracing a just cause, are the ones that will ultimately succeed.

Upstream (Dan Heath): The key takeaway from Upstream is that prevention is better than cure. The author argues that we often spend too much time and resources dealing with the downstream effects of problems rather than addressing the root causes upstream. By shifting our focus upstream, we can prevent problems from happening in the first place and save ourselves time, money, and effort in the long run.

This is Marketing (Seth Godin): The key takeaway from This is Marketing is that marketing is not about tricking people into buying things they don’t need. Instead, it’s about creating products and services that solve real problems for people and building relationships with them over time. By focusing on empathy, generosity, and connection, marketers can create lasting value for both their customers and their businesses.

Happy Money (Elizabeth Dunn): The key takeaway from Happy Money is that money can buy happiness, but only if we spend it wisely. The authors present five key principles for using money in ways that promote happiness: buy experiences, make it a treat, buy time, pay now and consume later, and invest in others. By following these principles, we can use money to create more meaningful and satisfying lives.

Influence (Robert Cialdini): The key takeaway from Influence is that there are six universal principles of influence that can be used to persuade people to say yes. These principles are reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity. By understanding and using these principles ethically, we can become more effective communicators and achieve greater success in our personal and professional lives.

Master’s of Scale (Reid Hoffman): The key takeaway from Masters of Scale is that successful businesses scale not by simply growing bigger, but by growing smarter. The author interviews successful entrepreneurs and business leaders to uncover the strategies they used to scale their businesses, including focusing on a niche, pivoting when necessary, and leveraging networks.

Think Again (Adam Grant): The key takeaway from Think Again is that the ability to change our minds is a superpower. The author argues that in a rapidly changing world, it’s important to challenge our assumptions and be willing to update our beliefs in light of new evidence. By cultivating intellectual humility, curiosity, and open-mindedness, we can become more effective learners, leaders, and collaborators.

Principles (Ray Dalio): The key takeaway from Principles is that success comes from embracing a radical transparency and meritocracy culture. The author argues that by being honest and open with each other, we can build stronger relationships and create more effective teams. By using a data-driven approach to decision making and continually learning from our mistakes and successes, we can improve ourselves and our organizations.

How I Built This (Guy Raz): The key takeaway from How I Built This is that successful entrepreneurs are not born, they are made. The author interviews successful founders and business leaders to uncover the challenges they faced and the strategies they used to build their companies. By understanding the commonalities between their journeys, we can learn valuable lessons and apply them to our own entrepreneurial endeavors.

Super Thinking (Gabriel Weinberg and Lauren McCann): The key takeaway from Super Thinking is that we can improve our decision-making skills by adopting a more structured and analytical approach. The authors present a variety of mental models and tools that can be used to break down complex problems, generate creative solutions, and make more informed choices.

Deep Work (Cal Newport): The key takeaway from Deep Work is that in a world full of distractions, our ability to focus deeply is becoming increasingly rare and valuable. The author argues that by minimizing distractions, setting clear goals, and developing a regular practice of deep work, we can achieve more meaningful and satisfying results in our work and our lives.

The Power of Moments (Chip and Dan Heath): The key takeaway from The Power of Moments is that by creating memorable and meaningful experiences, we can have a profound impact on others and ourselves. The authors present a framework for designing moments that are defining, elevating, insightful, or transcendent, and provide examples of how individuals and organizations have used these principles to create lasting positive change.

Range (David Epstein): The key takeaway from Range is that success in complex and unpredictable environments requires a diverse set of skills and experiences. The author argues that by exposing ourselves to a variety of fields, learning to think broadly and deeply, and embracing the value of trial and error, we can become more adaptable, creative, and successful in our careers and lives.

The Culture Code (Daniel Coyle): The key takeaway from The Culture Code is that strong organizational culture is built through a combination of psychological safety, vulnerability, and high standards. The author presents a variety of case studies and insights from successful teams to demonstrate how leaders can create a culture of excellence by building trust, fostering communication, and encouraging continuous learning and improvement.

The E Myth Revisited (Michael E Gerber): The key takeaway from The E Myth Revisited is that successful businesses are built on systems and processes, not just the skills and passion of their owners. The author argues that by developing clear roles and responsibilities, standardizing operations, and adopting a franchise-like approach, small business owners can create more efficient and sustainable enterprises that can grow beyond their individual efforts.

Essentialism (Greg McKeown): The key takeaway from Essentialism is that by focusing on the few things that really matter, we can achieve more with less effort and stress. The author presents a philosophy and set of principles for decluttering our lives, eliminating distractions, and prioritizing our time and energy on what is most important.

Ideaflow (Jeremy Utley): The key takeaway from Ideaflow is that creativity and innovation can be fostered through deliberate and structured approaches. The author presents a variety of techniques and tools for generating, refining, and implementing new ideas, and emphasizes the importance of collaboration, experimentation, and continuous learning.

Imaginable (Jane McGonigal): The key takeaway from Imaginable is that by tapping into our innate capacity for imagination and play, we can cultivate greater creativity, resilience, and joy in our lives. The author presents a variety of strategies and exercises for harnessing our imaginations, developing new skills and perspectives, and overcoming challenges with a sense of playfulness and curiosity.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You (Cal Newport): The key takeaway from So Good They Can’t Ignore You is that passion is not enough to build a successful and fulfilling career. The author argues that by developing rare and valuable skills, building career capital, and focusing on what we can offer the world, we can create a sense of purpose and satisfaction in our work. Rather than following our passions, we should aim to become so good that we can’t be ignored by the world.

Dan Williams

Dan Williams


Dan Williams is the Director of Range of Motion and leads a team of Exercise Physiologists, Sports Scientists, Physiotherapists and Coaches. He has a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Health Science) and a Postgraduate Bachelor of Exercise Rehabilitation Science from The University of Western Australia, with minors in Biomechanics and Sport Psychology.

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