The 5 Books Tim Ferriss Wants You to Read [Giveaway]

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At Shopify, we love helping entrepreneurs get the inspiration and resources that they need.

That’s why we’re giving away Tim Ferriss’ five favourite books to one lucky winner - and that lucky winner could be you!

Every year, we hold our Build a Business Competition to give entrepreneurs worldwide the chance to start their dream business and win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The five stores that sell the most during the competition will get to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, stay at the world famous Great Gatsby mansion, and receive one-on-one advice from some of the most successful business influencers out there, including Tony Robbins, Russell Simmons, Tim Ferriss, and more.

As part of the competition, we recently held a live chat with bestselling author and angel investor Tim Ferriss where he shared his top five favourite books - all of which contain an incredible amount of insight into living a more productive, fulfilling, and successful life.

1. Moral Letters to Lucilius by Seneca

The way is long if one follows precepts, but short and helpful, if one follows patterns.

Moral Letters to Lucilius is a collection of 124 letters written by Seneca the Younger, an Ancient Roman philosopher, which focuses on Seneca’s tips for living a lifestyle governed by the tenets of Stoicism. This book is especially close to Tim’s heart - he actually recently converted it into an audiobook series called The Tao of Seneca: Letters from a Stoic Master.

Stoicism has seen a recent resurgence in the Silicon Valley tech scene with influencers like Tim Ferriss and Ryan Holiday singing its praises. Moral Letters to Lucilius is a fantastic starter pack for anyone looking to learn more about Stoicism and lay a proper foundation for dealing with the challenges and triumphs of entrepreneurship.

2. Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis

Two equally steep and bold paths may lead to the same peak.

Zorba the Greek is a 1946 novel that follows the story of a Greek intellectual who tries to break free from a life of academia with the help of an enigmatic figure named Alexis Zorba. Tim credits this book with being a great source of inspiration for leading a more philosophically intelligent life and for appreciating the things that you have rather than being obsessed with achievement.

If you want to push yourself beyond the boundaries of your day-to-day and dive head first into entrepreneurship, then Zorba the Greek might just be the encouragement that you’ve been looking for. This novel, and its eccentric title character, will fill you with a deep appreciation of the world around you and a passion for seeking out new perspectives.

3. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts

Work is when you confront the problems you might otherwise be tempted to run away from.

Vagabonding is a handbook for everyone who dreams of escaping their daily lives with a long-term trip abroad. From dealing with life on the road to supporting yourself financially during your trip, Potts details every aspect planning a successful extended vacation. Tim wrote the foreword for this book and considers to be a great guide to practical, everyday philosophy.

What starts as a guide to traveling the world quickly becomes a meditation on life and how to be more successful. Escaping your everyday life often means tackling some of your biggest challenges head-on - a feeling that most entrepreneurs know all too well.

4. Dune by Frank Herbert

What is important for a leader is that which makes him a leader. It is the needs of his people.

Dune is a deep and complex sci-fi epic that documents an interstellar power struggle on the resource-rich planet of Arrakis. For Tim, the sprawling 1965 space opera doesn’t just include one of the most immersive science fiction mythologies out there, but also some solid insights into leadership.

The story of Dune lies at the intersection of politics, power, culture, and technology, and its applications to everyday life are as far-reaching as its scope. As Dune’s protagonist grows into his role as a leader on Arrakis, you’ll learn what it really means to live life as your own boss.  

5. The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz

Look at things not as they are, but as they can be.

Originally published in 1959, The Magic of Thinking Big argues that in order for people to achieve greater success, they need to set more ambitious goals. Tim is a firm supporter of this line of thinking - he believes that to overcome and avoid failure, you need to set goals for yourself that you’d be willing to do anything to accomplish.

Whether you’re just taking the first step towards being an entrepreneur or you’re already on your journey, the lessons contained in The Magic of Thinking Big will not only help you crush your goals, but also help you create even bigger ones. This book is perfect for anyone who doesn’t just want to be great, but to do great things as well.

BONUS: The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.

As a bonus, we’ll also be including Tim’s runaway smash hit The 4-Hour Workweek in our giveaway! The 4-Hour Workweek is the ultimate guide to rethinking your life and building smarter habits that make you happier, wealthier, and more productive (all while working a whole lot less).

Entrepreneurship takes a lot of time and energy, but you’ll be well on your way to maximizing your efforts with the help of Tim and The 4-Hour Workweek. Success really is a process and Tim has streamlined that process to perfection.

Want to win Tim’s top five favourite books + The 4-Hour Workweek? Enter below:


Tim Ferriss' Favourite Books