Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Meditations is great for keeping perspective and building mental fortitude. A timeless classic.
The Art of Deception by Nicholas Capaldi & Miles Smit
The Art of Deception is not as evil as the title sounds. The book is all about developing critical thinking skills—an urgently needed ability in today's day and age. The focus is less on manipulating others and more on knowing when someone is trying to manipulate you.
Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker
Managing Oneself changed my life. Peter teaches a valuable system of introspection that I use to stay sharp. There's some great information that will help you find your strengths and maximize them.
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
The Four Hour Work Week is not about working four hours a week. Anyone who tells you otherwise is being a dick, or just hasn't read it. The book is about being efficient. That's basically Tim's whole deal—how to get the most results with minimum effort. Spoiler alert: Sometimes the minimum effort is actually quite a bit of work!
Break Into The Scene by Seth Hanes
If I were to recommend one book other than my own for a musician fresh out of the conservatory, it would be this one. If you're smart, get both! A particular strength is Seth teaches cold calling in the language of musicians that works and won't make you feel like a used car salesman.
Zero to One by Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel is a controversial figure, but he's also brilliant. Peter makes a strong case for innovation over globalization. He'd rather see people make new, better things, rather than take something that works and just do it again in a new place. Zero to One might not answer some of your questions, but it will make you ask new, more ambitious questions.
Iconoclast by Gregory Berns
What conditions are necessary for someone to blaze their own trail instead of following the herd? Gregory Berns is a neuroscientist that examines this question from the perspective of our biology as humans. He hits a broad range of topics: the kinds of situations you need to be in, the kinds of people you need to be around, even what drugs may be useful. A practical book with many applications to musicians.
Launch by Jeff Walker
When I was researching how to launch my own products, Jeff Walker's book Launch kept coming up. This book explains multiple strategies you can use to market a product and why the launch period is so critical.
Blogs and Podcasts
My book is a little light on financial advice because I'm a musician at the end of the day. I don't know the ins and outs of the finance world like a true expert would. Sam at Financial Samurai is a true expert from the financial world. He's also a very rational, measured writer who does a good job cutting through mythology around money.
I have been on the Contrabass Conversations podcast (my episode is here). Why? Because it is the biggest double bass blog on the internet. It is run by a guy named Jason Heath and he's interviewed everybody. You'd be hard pressed to find a well known bassist who hasn't been on here. And if they have not, I'm sure Jason is trying to get them to do an episode.
James writes practical, hands on psychology for everybody. If you want to live a more effective life, there are many ideas here for things you can change. My one criticism is James gives SO many options that it's easy to be overwhelmed and not know where to start.
Mark also writes a lot of practical psychology and has a special talent for explaining really dense, obtuse subjects in an easy to digest way. Some of the articles are locked behind a paywall which is a bummer, but he publishes many free articles that are very good. Great advice for digging deep and figuring out what you really what.