Learning doesn?t stop once you?ve earned a master?s degree, have letters behind your name, or get a fresh stack of business cards with Executive Vice President on them.? You should strive to be a sponge and learn everything you can, all the time, from all walks of life and experiences.? If you aren?t continually learning, you will fall behind and eventually be passed over and replaced by young kids fresh out of college that will work twice as hard, for half the pay, with knowledge you don?t have or don?t want to learn.? Staying current may take you out of your comfort zone or break your routine, but it is invaluable.

A surefire way to stay on top of things and continue to learn is to read.? All the time.? And I mean ALL THE TIME, like when you are waiting for your coffee to finish brewing, when you have to eat alone (not encouraged), when you are on the metro sitting next to the dude that polishes his shoes with his tongue.? A lack of time is no excuse.? Everyone has time.? It?s a matter of making it a priority, and you should want to making reading a priority if you want to learn.

So go get yourself a Kindle or iPad, or just download the free Kindle reader app to your smartphone, PC, or Mac if you are broke, and start reading.? I?ve put together a list of seven business-related books that I highly recommend.

Rework, by Jason Fried and the guys from 37signals.? Quick read, 2 to 3 nights, tops.? It?s a book about how to start and run a business their way, which flies in the face of most textbooks.

Why Startups Fail, and How Yours Can Succeed, by David Feinleib.? A great read on how to go about starting a business, including what to avoid and what to focus on.

The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries.? This book is all about building the minimal business or minimal viable product, testing it, and learning from it.? If you are thinking of building a software business, this is a MUST READ.

Different, Escaping the Competitive Herd, by Youngme Moon.? One of my all-time favorite books about doing something different, truly different, and not following the crowd.? Here?s a short video about the book:

Anything You Want, by Derek Sivers.? I saw Derek at the 2011 Business of Software conference in Boston.? This book is the story of how he built a company, ran it for a decade, sold it, and donated all of that money to charity.

Never Eat Alone, by Keith Ferrazi.? This book is about establishing and nurturing relationships, which Keith believes to be the linchpin to success.? The network you create (and nurture) is your path to success.

Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson.? Steve Jobs was my idol.? Enough said.

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