Confession time: I LOVE books, buuuut I didn’t LOVE to read them until about five years ago.
Even though I wasn’t reading them, I was fully aware of the magical expansiveness that the tiny box of bound paper held. It felt invigorating to know that practically anyone at any time could open a book and have their mind opened or world brightened or learn something new in such a small span of time.
When I started delving deeper into my own personal development several years ago, to break out of old habits that were no longer serving me and picking up new routines that would, it was probably very fitting that one of those new activities be reading.
I now read for pleasure, for knowledge, to see events and ideas from a new perspective. It has not only helped my personally, but so much goodness has come to me professionally as a result of the simple act of reading.
I feel empowered and excited to know that any time I crack open the pages, something wild and adventurous is resting at my mind’s doorstep.
So I’d like to share my Top 5 Must Reads for the Confident Entrepreneur:
That title is really anything but subtle. It also successfully encapsulates the no-nonsense approach to business and life that gleefully spews from Mark Manson’s brain. In short, his book is my top must read!
My husband read it first. About halfway through, he leaned over and said ‘You need to read this book. He’s all substance, no fluff – you’ll love it. And, there’s a mystical panda involved, too.”
If you aren’t keen on foul language, then a little warning: Mark enjoys his cuss words to get the point across. I mean, just look at the title. If you prefer your books more on the clean side, you may want to steer clear. Not sure and want to preview the content, check out the original blog post that eventually became this full-length book here .
I like to see how people, systems, and events tangle and mingle because I truly believe that we’re all one. John and Raj provide a picture of how all parts of a business are connected, from the customers to the leadership team even down to the community and environment (as in Planet Earth). The principles shared apply whether you’re a large, international corporation or a one-person show. At the heart of it is that business is not just about revenue and profits, but how we can all be part of thriving enterprises where all stakeholders needs are met.
This is the book that I wish I had known about and read while still in the corporate landscape as it would have given me the words to describe what I was seeing and where there are room for improvements. But now, it’s helping me to be a more conscious business owner.
What’s an unconventional list without the master of living unconventionally, Chris Guillebeau. I admit it, I’m a fan of Chris’ work and regularly attend his big summer event, World Domination Summit. But even before catching the live version, this book made approaching life from a non-traditional place accessible and doable.
And why not apply those principles to your business, too? Don’t be a cookie-cutter template of the next coach on the list. Be all you and embrace it! Test and try and experiment. Be curious just for the sake of doing something remarkable and see what awesomeness arises in your business and life.
This book gets to the root of what’s holding you back from reaching your next level by examining and busting through your limiting beliefs.
Allow me to share a personal example: I used to hold the belief that “rich people are greedy and self-centered” and yet, I wanted to live a comfortable life based a specific amount of income I was generating in my business. Basically, I was aiming for the monetary definition of “rich”. I held the belief that people with money are essentially bad (my words) and I wanted to be “good” (again, my words) but I also wanted to be a person with money. Yep, that’s a conundrum for you. So I had to rewrite my belief around money and what it means to have a “rich” life in a way that was in alignment for me. Game changer!
What the what is a fiction series doing on a list of business reads? You aren’t reading this wrong and I’m not yanking your chain. Yep, I’m recommending a trilogy that has absolutely nothing to do with business.
I want to highlight the importance of making time to let your mind wander and be creative and not focus on business. This activity is just as vital as the intentional actions to drive your business skyward.
If the combination of intriguing prose and dark themes of Gone Girl or Sharp Objects aren’t your cup of tea, pick another novelist and make it a point to get indulgent, delicious, frivolous reading time on your calendar.
Honorable Mentions (because why not?)
Steering by Starlight, Martha Beck
Daring Greatly, Brené Brown
The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks
Thrive, Ariana Huffington
Did you notice a theme? The authors and books that helped the most are the ones that changed me at my core and didn’t just tell how to to get from point A to point B in a specific business challenge. Each fundamentally shifted how I see myself, approach my day, interact with others and show up in the world.
Is there a specific book or books that have helped you to elevate your business game? What was it and how did it make an impact on you? I’d love to hear your story.