Can You Read These Five Books This Summer Without Having an Epiphany?

The Praxis team has a challenge for you: read five books this summer! These books have been influential for us in how we’ve approached building the Praxis program and our own careers. They’ll challenge the way you view your job, your education, and your goals – and they may just change what you’re doing about them.

1. The Education of Millionaires

What skills and mindsets really matter when it comes to success in life and career? What do the most successful people learn, and how do they learn it? Michael Ellsburg searches for the constants among dozens of individual stories.

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Here’s what Praxis participant Evan Le has to say about the book:

“EoM serves as a great step towards learning how to adopt the entrepreneurial mindset over the all-too-common employee mindset. Ellsberg’s framework was really easy to understand and gave me a good direction to the skills I needed to succeed in the market that traditional schooling never even tried to teach me.”

2. The End of Jobs

Taylor Pearson thinks accounting is a riskier career than entrepreneurship. He dispels the old fashioned notion that your industry or major or company will provide security. In the beautiful new tech-enabled world, only you can.

Praxis marketing director Derek Magill calls it “One of the more important books written last year — if you like books like The Four Hour Workweek, The End of Jobs is for you.” 

3. The Last Safe Investment

This is like step two after The Education of Millionaires. Ellsburg explores what it really means to invest. Could it be that you’re putting your resources in all the wrong places? What if, instead of stock market funds entirely out of your control, you could be getting higher return from investing where you can directly impact the outcome?

Praxis participant and world traveler Ryan Ferguson said this about the book:

“People get caught up chasing money because they forget that money is a means to and end and not an end in itself. The Last Safe Investment helps you see clearly that happiness — not a bank account — is what you should maximize your return on, and it explains how to think about using your limited time, energy, and savings.”

4. Zero to One

“You are not a lottery ticket.” Peter Thiel reveals the keys to building a startup, but it begins with a philosophical exploration of being truly unique vs. striving to imitate those around you. This book is best for those embarking on the entrepreneurial journey, but it holds powerful lessons for all.


Here’s what one member of the Praxis Staff had to say about Zero to One:

“Peter Thiel is the philosopher king of Silicon Valley. Accordingly, Zero to One is not simply a work of business. It’s a work of personal, social, and business _philosophy_. If you’ve ever wondered how to set yourself apart, go big, and become a monopoly of yourself, you have to pick it up.”

5. How to Find Fulfilling Work

It’s not just about income or wealth. Those are means – often the wrong means – to the end all humans seek, which is a deep and abiding happiness. Happiness is not easy. It requires work. It requires self-examination. It requires philosophy. Roman Krznaric (try pronouncing that one!) believes philosophy is really about living a better life. This book is an excellent step.

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How to Find Fulfilling Work has been a part of the Praxis curriculum for some of our participants. Our education director T.K. Coleman shares some of the book’s insights:

“Most people commit the extreme of thinking about careers only in terms of ‘how much am I going to make?’ And sometimes when people try to counter that way of thinking by emphasizing meaning, they emphasize it at the expense of our legitimate, real concerns about survival.
How to Find Fulfilling Work highlights the balance we all need to find, and it’s part of why we believe that good work has to incorporate the philosophical as well as the pragmatic. It has to address the need for both money and meaning.”

Think you can read these books without having an epiphany? If you read them, we want to see those epiphanies. Send me your thoughts!