How to Win Friends and Influence PeoplePhoto by Claudio Papapietro, courtesy of

How to Win Friends and Influence People was first published in 1937 in an edition of only five thousands copies. It’s now one of the all-time international bestsellers with more than 16 million sold. It’s also my latest read. Here’s the blurb (and a free copy giveaway further down).

His advice has stood the test of time and is aimed at helping you to win people over to your way of thinking, improve your conversation skills, and to acquire new clients and customers.

How to Win Friends and Influence People has the potential to turn around your relationships and improve your dealings with all of the people in your life.”

A bold statement, but it’s worth keeping in mind that the book is aimed primarily at business relationships (when you have something to sell or promote), rather than personal relationships, where you expect people to see both your ups and your downs.

Here are a few quotes from throughout to give a taste of what’s included.

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“Benjamin Franklin, tactless in his youth, became so diplomatic, so adroit at handling people, that he was made American Ambassador to France. The secret of his success? ‘I will speak ill of no man,’ he said, ‘…and speak all the good I know of everybody.'”

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“Criticisms are like homing pigeons. They always return home.”

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“Abe Lincoln once remarked that ‘most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.'”

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“‘Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbour’s roof,’ said Confucius, ‘when your own doorstep is unclean.'”

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“‘A great man shows his greatness,’ said Carlyle, ‘by the way he treats little men.'”

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“Lincoln once began a letter saying: ‘Everybody likes a compliment.’ William James said: ‘The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.'”

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“If some people are so hungry for a feeling of importance that they actually go insane to get it, imagine what miracle you and I can achieve by giving people honest appreciation this side of insanity.”

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“‘I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people,’ said [Charles] Schwab, ‘the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.'”

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“Wise words from General Obregon’s philosophy: ‘Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you.'”

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“I once read a definition of flattery that may be worth repeating: ‘Flattery is telling the other person precisely what he thinks about himself.'”

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“Here is one of the best bits of advice ever given about the fine art of human relationships. ‘If there is any one secret of success,’ said Henry Ford, ‘it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.'”

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“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

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“It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.”

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“A long time ago, a hundred years before Christ was born, a famous old Roman poet, Publilius Syrus, remarked: ‘We are interested in others when they are interested in us.'”

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“‘There is nothing either good or bad,’ said Shakespeare, ‘but thinking makes it so.'”

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“Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.”

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“I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

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I’ll send you a free copy

Just leave a comment with the title of a favourite business book, and I’ll draw a winner on Friday 23rd (updating the post with the winning name and emailing the recipient for a mailing address).

Rob Cubbon who was randomly drawn as the winner. Email sent, Rob.

Get How to Win Friends and Influence People on / /

A few more good books.

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April 21, 2010


I own the book, it’s on my To Read list. But I have a whole slew of business/professional development books I love, including:

First, Break All The Rules (and the rest of that series) by Marcus Buckingham

Good to Great and Built to Last both by Jim Collins (and others)

One-Minute Entrepreneur by Ken Blanchard and others

and Getting Things Done by David Allen

That’s just the tip of the ice berg but there you go.

For something that helps designers a bit more than some of those others check out “It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For” as well – good book!


David, this post could not be more timely for me. I am on a journey of self improvement and two of my goals are to become more positive and to improve the way I interact with other people. Your post reminded me that I actually own this book and that now is the time to finally pick it up, so thank you!

Those quotes are brilliant. I can’t tell you my favourite business book as I’m more of a fantasy fiction kind of gal, so I’ll tell you my favourite quote from above instead: “‘A great man shows his greatness,’ said Carlyle, ‘by the way he treats little men.’”

Wonderful. :)

Excellent, Sheri. Always better getting recommendations from folk you know. I hope business is good with DDD.

Marnie, all the best with your journey of self-improvement. This book’s a nice kick-starter. I particularly like this one: “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

One of my favorites, and like yourself, one I’ve kept around and pick up from time-to-time is “Little Black Book of Connections: 6.5 Assets for Networking Your Way to Rich Relationships” by Jeffrey Gitomer.

I really enjoyed Good to Great by Jim Collins. It’s more of a business success book as opposed to personal success, but it has a lot of insights about what makes an organization great. Highly recommended.

The Richest Man in Town by V.J. Smith. Okay, so I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my bedside and I’ve heard from many close friends it is a touching story of a Walmart greeter who reminds the reader of the importance of good relationships. I find it amazing that despite how global the economy has become in this age, the importance of personal business relationships remains. Lately, it has really become increasingly evident that the more genuinely happy I try to make others, the more joyful I become.

Hi David.

My current fav read is this book:

The Designers Guide to Business and Careers. It’s entertaining and has a lot of great ideas of how to navagate a successful career. Another favorite read is “How to be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul” It was required reading in school but I have to say it was a book that I absolutely enjoyed.

I just finished “The E-Myth Revisited” and really enjoyed it. The book talks about becoming an entrepreneur who creates a business for themselves instead of just another job for themselves. It’s really quite enlightening. I would recommend it highly. Anyway, would love a copy of the book you reviewed here. Seems great.

I’m currently on a business book reading binge:

“The 4-hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss
Good, it started me off.

“Crush it!” by Gary Vaynerchuck
Over-rated, didn’t tell me much I didn’t already know.

“The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber
Really good. I agree with Preston.

“Getting Real” by 37 Signals
Currently reading. Seems good.

“The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey
Pretty good, as well.

“The Richest Man in Babylon” by George Samuel Clason
Money management advice.

Oh, and if you’re looking for inspiration and a really, really short read then there’s “Screw it. Let’s do it” by Richard Branson.

And one of these days I’m going to write one!

An excellent book I finished not too long ago was Success Built to Last, by Jerry Porras. Alternatively, The Power of Personal Branding, by Tim O’Brien. Those two books would go together brilliantly with the wisdom from How To Win Friends and Influence People.

This is an excellent post idea. Thank you. We all get to benefit from reviews of books we haven’t read. I appreciate it. I already put down two titles I haven’t read for later. Cheers.

My favorite book right now is “Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?” by Seth Godin. I highly recommend it.

He explains that our society rewards those that don’t follow the rules, that create and follow their own set of rules. The book will help you fight off those inner thoughts and doubts that prevent you from accomplishing your goals and making a difference.

“What Color Is Your Parachute?” by Richard N. Bolles is a good one, as is “The 4-hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss. I also enjoyed “Go Put Your Strengths to Work” by Marcus Buckingham.

Many thanks!

Actually, Brian, I’ve been wanting to buy a Seth Godin book for ages but he’s written so many I didn’t know which one to start with! I’ll add Linchpin to my Amazon Wish List!

the one book that I see picking up from time to time is “Who’s Got Your Back” by Keith Ferrazzi. Check it out

I have a copy of this book, it’s just wonderful. Really changed my perspective on dealing with people.

Hey Rob, yea you should definitely read it. Also “Purple Cow” is a great marketing book.

I actually have an extra copy of Linchpin. I’m looking to pass it on to someone, who will then pass it on to someone else, and so on. Contact me if you’re interested.

Thanks, Brian, I’ll get round to reading both of those soon. I’m sure you’ll find someone to pass it on to. The postage to me would cost more than the book!

One of my favorite business books is “The Girl’s Guide to Being a Boss (Without Being a Bitch)”. After college I very quickly rose through the ranks at my company and after just 1.5 months there found myself managing a team of 4. The book really gave me some good examples of how to take charge as a women in a working environment without getting the stigma attached to many high-powered women. Many of the lessons I’d heard from my parents around the dinner table growing up, but each one was supported with a clear example of what to do , and what not to do, and resnoated even more with me now that I found myself in that position.

I now recommend it to every career woman I know as she climbs the ladder.

My favorite is the one I edited in response to “The One-Minute Manager,” which we titled “The 60-Second Employee.”

My Favourite book of the moment is Think Rich Grow Rich which actually features Carnege, The insights on faith and desire really resonated with me as I read it and considering it was written in 1937 I think most of the concepts are still valid today. Ir’s definately worth a read.

last year i ordered a copy of design business review and thought it was rpetty good. it contained many shorter write-ups and essays that were rather insightful, by a range of working designers. unfortunately, i dont think they ever released an issue 2 . . .

there is this other book i read that was really good, from like the 1930s or something ridiculous . . . i forget the name but ill look when i get home and post it.

Great topic, great quotes, great idea for comments. Thank-you!

I’d recommend “Outliers: The Story of Success,” by Malcolm Gladwell.

The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris is indeed superb, David. Plus, Tim himself REALLY knows how to market himself.

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind is well worth a read too.

Would be good to get a followup post from you about your level of interest in self development. It’s been vital for me. I’m sure it is for all business men and woman, but I’d be interested to know how far you’ve taken it …


The use of the word “friends” in the title of Dale Carnegie’s book is so misleading is disgusting; when that word is used something like this comes to mind: . Heck! The movie “Brian’s Song” portrays what true friendship is all about: .

I much rather read Cialdini’s book: “Influence”, or, Greene’s book: “The 48 Laws of Power”. No need to sugarcoat manipulation, influence and persuation.

Secrets of Successful Women.
The book talks about how to make ideas happen with interviews from successful business women also talks about issues like having a family or working with a partner and of course the issue of being a women in a man’s world.
Very inspiring book!

I’m going to be a complete suck and say Logo Design Love, which helped me communicate the ‘whys’ of logo design descisions better with clients :P
I’m also going to check out that suggestion from Channing “The Girl’s Guide to Being a Boss (Without Being a Bitch)”, sounds like a good one :)

Thanks for sharing this David. Just when I needed something inspirational to get me through the day’s stress. I’m finally encouraged to read the book :)

“I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

Maybe not an out and out business book, being design specific, but it works well as a crossover. I recently enjoyed “How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul” by Adrian Shaughnessy.

Probably best used as a starting point before reading more specific business books.

Love that book – it changed my whole paradigm on dealing with and relating to people. [so to be fair I don’t really need another copy ;-)] The new dust jackets are beautiful though!…

Currently I am reading and recommending John Gattorna’s “Living Supply Chains – How to mobilize the enterprise around delivery what your customers [or clients for that matter] want”

The author is really on to something… [I was lucky enough to win a copy of this though provoking book after a group of us won ‘Best Business Plan’ for an idea yet in it’s embryo stage…]

One of my favorites is called The Satisfied Customer, by Claes Fornell. The author attempts to quantify the value of customer satisfaction in a scientific way.

I’ve been meaning to get a copy of this book for a while now.. So I figured I’d throw my name in the hat too :)

I’ve got quite a few favorite business books, but I guess Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” has to be one of the best as of late. And anyone who hasn’t read “Ogilvy on Advertising” by David Ogilvy, really really should read it.

Keep up the excellent work, David! A visit to your blog is always a pleasure :)

I’ve picked up a couple of book ideas from you commenters lists. Thanks for that. The Dale Carnegie book is a classic.

Two that I like that are not on the list are:
It’s not how good you are…..-Paul Arden


Maverick – Ricardo Semler


Sounds like a good book.

Recently listened to Alan M. Webber’s (Fast Company Founder) ‘Rules of Thumb’ book which I thought was a great lesson is business relationships.

I first read that book a few years back, it’s still as relevant today as it was back when it was published for the first time. I also got a lot out of his book “How to stop worrying and start living”. One of my favourite quotes was “I had the blues because I had no shoes, until upon the street I met a man who had no feet”. I’m going through a redundancy right now and his books, amongst other things, help me put things into perspective and take a practical approach.

David Airey:

Excellent quotes! Your website is so inspiring to me everytime I visit.

As far as a free book, I try to frequent the public library (to help keep them from closing!), so I have a wealth of “free” books to choose from already. You are so kind to give a book away, and your doing so is further proof that you are not merely talented… you are a really nice guy.

My book choice? The Elements of Style.

Nearly one-hundred years old and not considered a business book in the minds of most. However, it should live visibly on the desk or shelf of anyone who writes.

David, this a great post and the comments are super helpful (I’m adding a bunch to my Amazon wishlist.) I’ve a good amount of business books to improve my abilities for my design practice. Besides Good to Great by Jim Collins I often find myself going back to Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale. I highly recommend every designer (especially ones who are on their own) give it a read.

Thanks to college, I also own this great book. I also picked up a real funny one the other day at Jellybeans here in Flint, MI. It’s called “Saving Face: how to lie, fake, and maneuver your way out of life’s most awkward situations” and it’s hilarious. I don’t know if you should actually follow the advice in this book, but it can help you avoid some awkward situations.

I think it was wrote by 2 writers from Saturday night live and Seinfeld. I’ll give you one of my favorite tactics from the book:

“Arriving without a Gift
As you pull into the driveway of your friend’s house, the balloons tied to the mailbox are the first sign this is something more than an informational get-together. Confirming your fears, every other guest seems to be carrying something: a colorful box, a decorative bag, a bottle. You look like an idiot, a bad friend, and a cheapskate.

What’s in your pockets?
A nice pen? A pocket knife? A slightly used wallet? A cool key chain? If you’re wearing a new sweater or sweatshirt, remove it, steal a gift box from the present table, and presto: You’re the paragon of thoughtfulness.”

With these 2 books, you’ll be unstoppable haha.

Great giveaway idea! I’d love the book and may just purchase it if I don’t win :) One of my favorite business books is called The Brand Gap, it’s more about branding and marketing but I believe that is all tied in with business anyway. Looks like a great list of books in the comments, I may be adding a few to my reading list!

I’m not usually into these kind of books, but this is one I’ve always meant to read. I’ve got Stephen Covey’s ‘7 Secrets’, but I didn’t finish it. The Abe Lincoln quote stood out for me, also, and reminds me of a book I do like: ‘100 Simple Secrets of Happy People’ by David Niven. Another book I found inspiring for different reasons is ‘Three Cups of Tea’ by Greg Mortensen, which I highly recommend.

I didn’t realise these kind of books were your cup of tea, David.

Well, I have three for you David and your blogees…

1.) The Business Side of Creativity by Cameron S. Foot. It’s the complete guide for running a graphic design and communications business. It’s been my bible and long term reference.

2.) The Practical Stylist by Sheridan Baker. I’ve had the book since college and it’s been the hot bed for everything to do with how to write clearly and develop your own effective style.

3.) 301 Great Ideas for Do-It-Yourself Marketing. By Jay Conrad Levinson. It’s sparked a few creative streaks that helped pull my ass out of the proverbial “how am I going to solve this one?”. It was given to me as a gift and I initially thought “oh brother”, but read it anyway and was intrigued with some of the stories.

Oh, and a last one: Steven King’s The Shining. Only read at night. It’s a great ride.

I’m very fond of Andy Maslen’s Copywriting Sourcebook. I don’t know if it counts as a business book, but it’s a must read for anyone who writes as part of their job.

And the winner is…

…Rob Cubbon!

I’ll send you an email now, Rob, to get your mailing address. Thanks for all the excellent suggestions, folks. That’ll keep me going alright.

Oh my god, the last time I won something it was probably pass the parcel or something. I don’t believe it. Well, it was a great idea and gave me a good few recommendations. Looking forward to reading HTWFAIP. Thank you so much!

Its really a nice book. First time, I got this book, I completed it in a single sitting. And after that, I refer to this book, every now and again. I was surprised by the stories in the book, and all those cases are still valid in life.
Another writer, which I enjoy reading is “Seth Godin”. I personally prefer “Tribes” from Seth Godin. Possibly second must read.

That book looks like a good read, David! I’d actually go and buy it if I didn’t have two books sitting here already that I am supposed to be reading! Once I get stuck into my reading again, and pry myself away from this Mac I might just try and get a copy of that. :-)

I have the second edition copy that my grandfather gave to me, and I can honestly say this is one of the most important books I own. It’s probably one of the main reasons that at 16, I’m able to start my own graphic design work, ranging from churches, to band merch. Many subjects in the book are at least a tad outdated (see, 10 rules to a happy household, for women), but overall the key factors still hold true today. I’d tell anyone trying to start a business to give it a read.

I know how you feel, Mark. I have four supposedly excellent books sat waiting to be picked up, but finding the time isn’t so easy.

Matthew, there are certainly a few parts that sound sexist, I agree, but if they can be overlooked, with a focus on the underlying message, there are few books more worthwhile for a business owner.

I have just read – or should I say devoured – the book. I was thinking, “what’s David on about here, why would I be interested in a 70 year old self-help book for double glazing salesmen” – wow, was I wrong.

The book takes you back to timeless truths of treating others how you would like to be treated yourself and seeing things from other peoples’ perspectives.

It can help us a great deal in our online world. I have just written a blog post where I extract a few of the principles and apply them to blogging and internet marketing.

The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it – this is one of my favorite themes and so, so true.

Thank you for introducing me to this book which I should have read a long, long time ago!

Definitely look at the slightly more amoral series by Robert Greene, especially my favourites The Art of Seduction and 48 laws of power. The principles span across business, life and love. I am also fond of the fact that he tells stories using biographies, fables and real stories from the past. It’s like one big story book.

As always, great post David.

I stumbled across this gem, “Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long”, which is especially relevant to the freelance multi-tasker who balances creative work, new business, accounts, accounting, and personal. If you didn’t minor in neuroscience then this should be pretty enlightening for creatives that need to find ways to be more productive and distraction free.

Great reminder of a great book that I haven’t read for a long time, but will definitely go back and read it again. The classics are the classics!

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