My Secret Weapons

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Screenshot 2015-02-16 18.17.4515+ years ago there were no fitness business mentors that I knew of teaching you how to build a fitness empire… So I turned to virtual mentors in the form of books. But not just ANY books – I was fortunate enough to find a few rare gems that gave me the insight I needed to explode my fitness business into “The Most Profitable Studio in the World” that it is today… And now for the 1st time EVER, I’m distilling the 2,000+ books I’ve consumed down to my TOP 10 MUST READ. Along with your Smart Studio Systems Membership, I have no doubt these specific books will change your business (and life) forever… They’re that powerful. Check them out now ->

(That’s my custom-built personal library & desk inside my brand new office ; )

If you didn’t read the article leading up to this S3 Exclusive post here it is:

My Secret Weapon(s)

You’ve seen this hundreds of times…

It’s become “famous” in Internet Marketing Circles.

It’s the not so occasional email where a marketing expert gives you their “Top 10” favorite books for success, or asks you what your favorite is.

And while I love looking at those emails myself (it’s a guilty pleasure!), I’ve found they just lead to more procrastination.

Again, don’t get me wrong…

I read 2-3 books a week – every week.

But, I believe books should be read with a PURPOSE.

I used to use books in place of a “real-life” mentor 15 years ago when there were no fitness business coaches…

I had no choice.

Now it seems like there’s a 100 “mentors” for every 1 personal trainer.

But I digress…

I’m really here today to tell you that my secret weapon was (and always has been) BOOKS!


Think of it this way:

Whenever someone publishes a real book (not a marketing ploy), they’re literally giving you their BEST STUFF.

It took them years to research and make perfect through trial and error.

And now you get all that distilled in 200- 300 pages…

It’s amazing when you stop to think about it!

This is why I CRUSH 100+ books a year and have an enormous library (photo above).

I consider every author, a virtual mentor, and I’m grateful for their knowledge and willingness to share their failures and triumphs so that I can steer clear of their misfortunes and model their success.

I recommend you do the same… ASAP.

Now my last piece of advice is to read with a purpose.

This means that you must carefully choose a subject you want to improve upon.

If you’re a phenomenal trainer, then study nutrition.

And, if you’re a master of nutrition, then begin to delve deeper into the digestive system…

If you want to become better a business owner, study marketing, strategy, or systems.

Regardless of what you choose, I just want you to not just randomly start reading…

Aim to get something out of each book and then immediately implement it.

If you simply read something, and then don’t take action, what was the point?

After all, the whole reason the author wrote it was for you to gain insight, reflection, and then make you a stronger, more well-rounded thinker.

(Trust me, as a published author, I make about a buck book… nobody writes a book to make a ton of money on it – it’s all about giving back.)

I hope this makes sense and that you head over to Amazon (or your favorite book store) and create your own list of 3-5 books you’ll be reading next and in the order that makes sense for your business and life.

And, if you’re a Smart Studio Systems Member, you can check out my latest exclusive S3 post (below) on my secret weapons (books) that I used to get me to where I am today.

(These books built my 7-Figure business plan and mindset!)

They’re also all broken down into categories that tell you which books to start with and why.

Then, I walk you down the ladder of what to read next…

It’s a “Real World” MBA for building a fitness empire and Millionaire state-of-mind.

This is the first time EVER I’ve shared these “secret weapons” with anyone and I reserve the right to take the S3 Member’s article down at anytime…

Yes, it really is that powerful.

And no, common books like “Think and Grow Rich” are not on there…

It’s a great book ad everyone should read it, but everyone already knows about it – what I’m giving you are the books hardly anyone knows about, but everyone wishes they did.

Essentially I’m condensing down the 2,000+ books I’ve devoured into less than 20.

And I believe once you’ve read my TOP 10, you’ll never look at your business (or life) in the same way.

I can guarantee it!

They’ve changed my life and helped me create “The Most Profitable Fitness Studio in the World,” and now it’s time for you to experience your own awakening.

Now let’s get started!

My advice is to begin with LEVEL 1.

Level one begins with expanding your mindset and getting you out of the “small-minded conditioning that has kept you where you are today.”

Where you are today represents your current belief system (this includes me as well) and it lets the world know what you believe about yourself and what you feel you deserve…

I’m sorry if that stings a bit.

I was pissed the first time someone said it to me… and then I realized I was only mad because I knew deep down it was true.

I was working hard – real hard, but I was’t getting anywhere.

Of course, I wanted to be successful, and I thought I was moving in that direction, but it wasn’t happening fast enough…

By the way, this goes for every level of success.

I feel like I should be making DOUBLE what I’m making right now, but I’m not… and I know it’s only my level of thinking that has to change in order for me to take that next step.

I’m ready…

Are you?

Let’s do it!


1. You do not need to read all of them before moving on to the next level, but I did bold the ones I consider MUST reads before doing so…

2. Under each level the books are in no particular order. Many books do not necessarily repeat the information of another one – that’s one of the benefits I tried to provide…

3. I highly recommend taking notes (but not more than 5 pages) per book. I’d also stop when an idea enters your mind and then start journaling the idea you had that was sparked by what you just read. This has led to some of my biggest break throughs!

4. Read. Implement. Read. Implement. Do NOT just read…

5. Use the success formula for reading that I’ve given to my private coaching clients: Read 10 pages when you wake up in the morning, 10 pages at lunch, and 10 pages before bed. This equals 30 pages per day… Most books are 200 – 300 pages which means you’ll be able to read a book every 10 days and 3 books per month (that’s 36 books per year)!

Even if you just commit to reading 10 pages per day, you will still read a book a month and 12 books a year. This strategy will put you light years ahead of your competitors… and your mindset will be completely different.

You will become a rock star and the world will be in the palm of your hands…


Now, Here are the 7 LEVELS of SUCCESS:



LEVEL 1 is where I suggest the most reading... The reason is that if you master LEVEL 1, you’ll become upstoppable. Literally. I truly believe this and not much else matters until you gain control over your own mind, since your actions are simply your most dominant thoughts in motion.

1. “The Attractor Factor” by Joe Vitale
(Easy read to understand the “law of attraction” – Plus Joe Vitale is a great person to study in terms of writing a story. His books are enjoyable, fun, and easy to read)

2. “Infinite Possibilities” by Mike Dooley
(The first time I read this I just ate it up… I think I was in a down and out state of mind and this lifted me back up… for that I’m grateful)

3. “Unleash the Power Within” by Anthony Robbins
(Everything by Tony Robbins – I recommend listening to his books on audio, since his books are HUGE)

4. “The Art of Exceptional Living” by Jim Rohn
(This is the most amazing business advice on SIX CDs [do not get the 1 CD version] from the “legend” Jim Rohn – he was Tony Robbin’s mentor!!)

5. “The Success Principles” by Jack Canfield
(Amazing book. I used to give it out to all attendees of my private seminars)

6. “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” by Joseph Murphy
(This is the #1 book I gift to others when it comes to recognizing the power of their “subconscious”)

7. “Your Infinite Power to Be Rich” by Joseph Murphy
(By the same author, but focuses on how to make money ethically without forcing it. Read “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” first.)

* Here are some very rare and unknown books that you can look into on MINDSET after you’ve gotten your foundation set (please keep in mind that many are esoteric and may not be suitable for all minds ; )

– “The Master Key System”
– “Outwitting the Devil” by Napolean Hill (nobody know about this “other book” that wasn’t released until almost 80 years after it was written…)
– “The Greatest Manifestation Principle in the World” by Carnelian Sage
– Books and Audio on NLP for self-improvement purposes (Neuro Linguistic Programming)



1. “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David Schwatrz

2. “Irresistable Offer” by Mark Joyner
(All of Mark Joyner’s books are short, excellent reads)


… More coming soon!



1. “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Ecker
(Brilliant book about figuring out how much money you need to make – “dream-lining”)

2. “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Guy Kazawaski
(This is the FIRST book I ever read on business – it was my start and began my love of reading! The author also wrote Cash Flow Quadrant, which is excellent)

3. “12 Week Year” by Brian Morgan
(I was using a system similar to this based on quarters, but I changed my plan to model this one after reading this book – it’s amazing.)

4. “Goals” by Brian Tracy
(Brian Tracy is a beast and puts out best seller after best seller)

… More coming soon!



1. “Breakthrough Advertising” by Gene Schwartz
(Rare, hard to get book… considered the #1 advertising book by EVERYONE. If you can’t find it on Amazon I have 3 extra copies I may possibly be willing to sell – maybe ; )

2. “Mind Control Marketing” by Mark Joyner
(He’s a former CIA operative and in this very rare book he reveals how to use “mindcontrol” techniques for good – not evil. This is why you’ll never see me mention this book except on this private post.

3. “Magnetic Marketing” by Dan Kennedy
(Although his seminars are pitch fests, he writes some of the greatest books ever published on business. Also check out his “NO B.S.” series of books.)

4. “Talk Like TED” by Carmine Gallo
(This is a phenomenal book on how to give presentations, or just shoot videos for YouTube, your training website, or online products…)

5. “Yes! 50 Scientificcaly Proven Ways to Be Persuasive” by Robert Cialdini
(Most people would tell you to read “Influence” by Cialdini [and you should], but this book is way easier to use in your business)

6. “1001 Ways to Market Your Business” by Crandall
(This book is jammed packed full of marketing ideas – just pick a section and choose ONE to implement a week!)



1. “The Automatic Millionaire” by David Bach
(Teaches you about investing and building wealth)

2. “Mastering the Money Game” by Tony Robbins
(Massive book on investing and how not to lose your shirt with stocks)

3. “Bold” by Peter Diamandis
(This book was written by the guy who create private Space flights for civilians and many other enormous projects. The theme is after you have some money in your pocket try to think of an idea that will change the world or the lives of a BILLION people… big BIG thinking.)

4. *Look into setting up a SEP IRA – I use the Entrust Group and it allows me to put away 20% of my net income up to 50K a year – Tax FREE. This saves me about $20,000 a year in taxes.

… More coming soon!



* This is a personal list of books that keeps life, business, and what “it’s all about” in perspective…

1. “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle
(There are so many books like this one, but if you’re never looked into how to become more “present,” then this book is a great place to start)

2. “Celestine Prophecy” James Redfield
(Some books just change your life in ways you never expected… this book did it for me.)

3. “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman
(This book, like the Celestine Prophecy blew my hair back and changed my life…)

4. “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” by Deepak Chopra
(I have a small, one-sided, love affair with Deepak and this short read is something I return to quite often)

5. “The Book of Secrets” by Deepak Chopra
(This book is a little deep… when you’re trying to evaluate why you’re here on this earth and what’s the purpose, check this out)



* Every day I read ONE page out of these books and listen to some inspirational audio

1. “The Maxwell Daily Reader” by John Maxwell

2. “Giant Steps” by Anthony Robbins

3. Any Tony Robbins audio, such as “Unleash the Power Within”

4. Podcasts such as “Entrepreneur on Fire”

5. Videos like “TED TALKS”


– – –

I hope you enjoyed (as much as I did) this massive personal undertaking I went through to dig out and divulge my personal sources (Secret Weapons) of how I changed my mindset from a “hot tempered, punk kid from Medford” to a “down to earth fitness business owner with a purpose” ; )

(Just as a side note, I very rarely read business books now – Typically 1 for each 10 books I read on health, wellness & self-improvement. I read them more when I was first starting out in order to help me build my business – it worked. And now, I want to more strictly focus on being the best health & fitness practitioner I can be for my team and clients. I recommend you do the same…)

Please keep in mind I’ve read over 2,000 books and I’ve left off so many great ones (like “Think and Grow Rich”…) that doesn’t mean they’re not great.

I simply wanted to give you a different perspective to help you grow.

PLEASE list any of your favorite books that made a difference in your life below.

I would LOVE to see them and if I haven’t read them, I’ll be ordering them today!

Thank you so much for being a Smart Studio Systems Member!!



Comment on this Content

  • Mike Bruce

    Just ordered Level 1, arrives Tuesday the 14th.
    “Own the Day”

    • Let us know what you think and the key take-aways you got out of them!

  • Mike Bruce

    Thanks for the great list Coach C!
    Here are some books that are my favorites.
    Daring by Paul Louis Cole
    Who Moved my Cheese a great little book, have read it more than once.
    Attitude 101 by John C. Maxwell
    21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by John C. Maxwell.

    • Great list Mike!

      I haven’t read “Daring” yet, so I look forward to checking that one out!

  • John Gonzalez

    Thanks for putting together such an amazing list of books for is to read Stephen! I am going to print this list out and get to it! Books I’ve read recently that have helped motivate me are
    *The War of Art by Steven Press field
    *The 50th Law by Robert Greene
    * Failing Forward by John Maxwell
    *No B.S. Guide to Brand Building by Dan Kennedy

    Thanks again Stephen I actually haven’t read most of the books you have on this list you gave so I’m looking forward to begin reading some of these books. Continued success to you take! care

    • Hi JOhn,

      Thanks for the comment and I haven’t heard of “The 50th Law” before – can’t wait to check it out and add it to my “list!”

      I have another 50-100 business books or so that I read years ago at my “beach house” in Maine (which is under 6′ of snow currently), so I’m definitely going to update this list even further after going through those books again this Spring!

  • Did you enjoy the Exclusive S3 Post?

    Also, PLEASE list any of your favorite books that made a difference in your life below – I’d love to see them and it would benefit everyone!


    • Aric Lee

      DEFINITELY Psychocybernetics by Maltz and Thew Way of the Superior Man by Deida

    • Hi Aric,

      Completely agree with Psychocybernetics by Maltz!

      Looking forward to checking out The Way of the Superior Man…