The best books (and more good stuff) of 2018

Hey there, dream maker, goal crusher, life impactor…

Changing the world can require “all we’ve got” a lot of the time… and sometimes/all of the time, you need a little fuel to keep going.

I recharge with books, podcasts, and movies that inspire, motivate, and enlighten my journey… and these are some of my favorites.

Share one of your favorites in the blog and you can win. Between now and New Year’s Day, I’ll give away TEN $25 Amazon Gift Cards randomly to commenters.


The links below are to Audible. If you don’t have Audible yet, click here and you’ll get two free audible books.

Play Bigger

  • How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets
  • By: Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead, Kevin Maney

I got this suggestion from Russell Brunson as a book he was reading to “open his mind” to what’s possible. This is a guy who built a $100-million-dollar company in less than three years. The authors dive deep into what makes companies super successful and go beyond just “great.” Worth listening to during your planning stages of the year.

The New Psycho-Cybernetics

  • A Mind Technology for Living Your Life Without Limits
  • By: Maxwell Maltz, Dan Kennedy
  • Narrated by: Maxwell Maltz, Dan Kennedy
  • Series: Nightingale-Conant: Mind-Tech

Before attending a one-day workshop with my early mentor Dan Kennedy this year, he suggested we re-read this book. I’m glad I did. It not only walks you through re-training your brain to accomplish great feats, but is the most masterful persuasive story telling I’ve ever heard. (Dan reads this one too… love when the author reads their own works.) Great stuff here.

Deep & Wide

  • Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend
  • By: Andy Stanley

This book is a must for not just anyone involved in church, but if you put on events of any kind. Andy Stanley is the founder of Northpoint Church that has grown to tens of thousands and just keeps going. Serving on the leadership team in NJ, we studied under Andy Stanley and now that I live in Georgia, we attend his church… and it is the real deal. The way they ensure new people feel welcome and not overwhelmed is not an accident… it is brilliant. Amazing book.


  • Design Your Business to Run Itself
  • By: Mike Michalowicz

Another great book by one of my favorite authors. “Clockwork” dives deep into time management and getting your life back if you find yourself stretched too thin. Nuggets of wisdom on how to let go, get more done, and grow your business all at the same time. Michalowicz is one of my favorite narrators on audible because he adds little nuggets throughout that don’t appear in the print book.

The Game

  • Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists
  • By: Neil Strauss

Warning… this book is crude, vulgar, and explicit. It is, however, an incredible book on marketing as it tells the story of how information marketing took off in the pick-up artist world and gives insights into how to use these same tactics for good instead of evil. If you aren’t easily offended, it’s a must read/listen while kid-free.

Girl, Wash Your Face

  • Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be
  • By: Rachel Hollis

Breakthrough Best Seller that started a movement and ensured a sell-out of her events and planner. It’s an engaging and entertaining self-help book for those who aren’t big self-help people. I enjoyed it so much I got my small group to do a study on it. Check this one out for the lessons, the story telling, and marketing mastery.

Building a StoryBrand

  • Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen
  • By: Donald Miller

I had this book for a while but dove back in recently as we were working on our messaging for Powerful Professionals and the Kim Walsh Phillips brand. So much goodness here about making more messaging effective for your target market and not focused on you. If you haven’t done this one yet, I would make it a priority to dive in.

Awaken the Giant Within

  • By: Anthony Robbins
  • Narrated by: Anthony Robbins
  • Length: 1 hr and 31 mins

Less than two hours long, this book is a quick boost of motivation and mindset while showcasing how you can use an audio book as a gateway to your other programs. Worth the listen.

Other Media

Here are a few podcasts and movies that inspired me this year…

Marketing Secrets with Russell Brunson. His episodes are usually only 10-15 minutes long but they always pack a big punch of marketing goodness. My recent favorite was a series he did on coaching one of his members live on the call – “My Conversation with the Friendly Giant.” (Part One is from November 21.)

I loved this show even before Andrew Warner became one of my good friends. Incredible stories from amazing entrepreneurs.

Regardless of whether or not you have a pound to lose, Corrine Crabtree is incredible for quick bursts of effective mindset shifts. (I’m not alone as she has over 1300 review on iTunes.) She does curse a lot so if that bothers you, she isn’t for you. But if you can get past that… check this out.

A little shameless promotion… We’ve got two podcasts you should check out.

Morning Coffee Marketer

Morning Coffee Marketer gives you a jolt of more leads and sales hacks to jumpstart your day. Join the direct response digital marketing super-star team of Kelly LeMay, Mike Stodola, and me when we are at our best – fueled up with caffeine.

Facebook Sales Strategies.

Discover how to optimize your Facebook marketing and produce more web traffic, leads, and sales by turning Facebook users into customers who buy now!


A few of my favorites for business, motivation, and inspiration…

The Greatest Showman

Loosely based on PT Barnum, an inspiring story of overcoming the naysayers, haters, and people you weren’t created to serve. Loved the music, dance, and costumes too.


Took some of my senior staff to see this a few years ago and embarrassingly cried ugly tears in the theater. They were good tears and so worth it. If you are a dreamer and working hard to make those dreams come true, this is sooooo good.

Tony Robbins, I Am Not Your Guru

This is deep and impactful… but warning you really, really, really have to watch the whole thing in one sitting. If you stop halfway it will leave you in the wrong spot. Motivational and inspiring, not just as a viewer but to see how many people we can serve.






About the author

47 Responses
  1. One of my all time inspirational movies is Shawshank Redemption. Here is a guy that is sentenced to life in prison in horrible conditions. He has every reason to give up but instead he inspires others. Throughout his life in prison, he turns negatives into positives. I find inspiration in Andy!

  2. Jennifer Zamora

    From this list I loved Girl, wash your face. Very relatable. Loved the movies Greatast Showman ( love belting along with the soundtrack). Need to watch Joy and will probably get the new Psycho Cybernetics next.

  3. Sherry

    Though I’m not a fast-food eater, I really enjoyed the movie The Founder. I’m planning on reading the book as well. Right now I’m reading 7 Habits For Highly Effective People. It’s one I haven’t ready before, but I wish I had sooner!

    1. Kim Walsh Phillips

      So many like that, Sherry. The Founder was a great movie.

  4. Here are some of my favorites:

    Fascinate by Sally Hogshead
    Sell it Be Sold by Grant Cardone
    Stop Saying Your Fine by Mel Robbins

    1. Kim Walsh Phillips

      Thanks for your list, Shannah. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

  5. one of the best reads this year has been Go Giver – the entire series is amazing – Bob Burg and John David Mann really involve you to take action – great read for book club, biz circles, Christian Youth in Sport, masterminds – just a great read and discussion book.

    loving Dave Asprey’s The Bullet Proof Executive podcast – he stretches the boundaries across the board

    thanks for your list

  6. Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning is impactful and makes you think. Perfect read for making New Year’s resolutions or setting goals.

  7. Carol

    The old Psycho Cybernetics is an all time favorite.

    Thank you for sharing this list, can’t wait to dive into many of these!!

  8. I found “Resilient – How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness” by Rick Hanson, Ph.D. a great read.

  9. Dwight

    Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ is one of the best books ever written. Great for business leaders of any age, rank, or company size. Message as relevant today as when written 60+ years ago. A must read.

  10. Richard

    Traction by Gino Wickman. I never understood until then why, when my business crept over $1 million in sales we hit a wall. We implemented the tactics in the book, my sanity came back (sadly my hair didn’t), and we started growing again.

    1. Kim Walsh Phillips

      LOL! Sometimes you just need a little inspiration.

  11. I went back and re read Creating Money by Sanaya Roman. I first read it back in my 20s and I credit it with helping me re program my mindset from working my way out of a childhood of poverty to earning my first million dollars. I rebranded my business this past year and decided it was time to revisit the material again as the person I am today, 20 something years later. Same book, different me. So good for the soul <3

    1. Kim Walsh Phillips

      Like a great cup of coffee, I think. Awesome to look at it from a different perspective.

  12. “Let’s pretend this never happened “. Hilarious book, sad in parts but definitely right up my gallows humor alley, and a great perspective on embarrassing situations and how to look back on them fondly.

    1. Kim Walsh Phillips

      The essay with the chicken – I’ve never laughed so hard.

    1. Kim Walsh Phillips

      Thanks for reading, Gregory! Love this suggestion.

  13. Tami Santini

    Great suggestions, thanks for sharing!
    I read the Bible for success strategies, but also just finished Declutter your way to success by Terri Savelle Foy and have been reading Dale Carnegie’s how to win friends and influence people And how to stop worrying and start living

    1. Kim Walsh Phillips

      So happy to have you with us, Tami. Happy Holidays and great recs!

  14. I really love listening to “The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Eker and the movie “The Perfect Human Diet.”

    1. Kim Walsh Phillips

      I’m a big audiobook listener myself, Celynda. Thanks for reading.

  15. Susan

    One of my all-time favorite books is Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning. It brought a life changing shift in my identity.

    1. Kim Walsh Phillips

      That’s a new one to me, Susan. Thanks for the rec!

  16. I have the old Psycho Cybernetics because my stepson recommended it. Very good book. Sounds like the new one is one to listen to (since it’s only on audible at the moment)! 😀

    1. Kim Walsh Phillips

      Head of the Marketing Podcast Anonymous Support Group right here 😉

  17. Building a Story Brand is an awesome read. I am going to re-read it before the end of the year and pick up play bigger.

  18. Mike Michalowitz’s “Clockwork’s” a GREAT book! He’ll be on Self Talk Radio Show Jan 6th talking about his book, funny stories & what’s next. David Newman’s “Do It Marketing” is a must-read, along with his podcast, “The Speaker’s Podcast.” I can’t wait to check out your podcast, Kim – thank you!

    1. Kim Walsh Phillips

      Thank YOU for following. I’m a marketing podcast junkie as well.

  19. Thank you! I can’t wait to check a few of these out. My book list keeps growing. Also, so cool to hear that you live in Atlanta too. I’ll look out to see if you have any local events.

    1. Kim Walsh Phillips

      I just started offering boutique events at my home. Would love to have you attend!

  20. How did I not know you have a podcast?! Subscribed, done! Thanks for offering such great insights! And I too love Greatest Showman!

    1. Kim Walsh Phillips

      The movie’s great. So thrilled to have you as a listener, Alex!

  21. Ioana Badoi

    I love “Soul Over Matter: Ancient and Modern Wisdom and Practical Techniques to Create Unlimited Abundance” by Dr. & Master Zhi Gang Sha and Adam Markel. Absolutely life-changing!

  22. Thanks for this post. I read tons of books, and yet I haven’t read any of these, lol. Clock Work is one that is on my list for this year so I super glad you mentioned it because I was wondering about it. In addition I am now adding Play Bigger, Deep and Wide, and Building a Story Brand to my list for this year. I just finished one book and am almost done with a second book…”This is Marketing” by Seth Godin and “The 12 Week Year” by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington. I’ve read 100’s of business books and these are two of the best I have read so I wanted to give those a mention…and of course I love Dan Kennedy’s stuff too! Thanks Kim, we appreciate who you are and what you are doing to help us all in business. -Jon Kapity, Zion, IL

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