Updated: May 1, 2020
Reading about business, life, entrepreneurship and health
Whether reading for pleasure, to learn or just to get your head around what you’re doing at day to day level – there are a wealth of options. The following reading suggestions are based on my own experience, interests and bent for jargon-less information. I’m not sure about you, but I often go through phases of reading, where I’ll consume a book a week to swing to the extreme opposite end of the spectrum and be completely unable to finish a sentence.
This selection of reading material is, in my opinion, great as you can dip in and out chapter by chapter. Because let’s face it, not many of us have mastered the art of working 4 hours a week, successfully.
Katie Brockhurst, also known as the Social Media Angel, is a consultant, coach and content creator and works with high profile and high vibe clients to rock their social media. Katie’s work is a breath of fresh air, and if you’ve ever been exasperated when it comes to all the “shoulds” around using social media to get your message out there, you’re going to love her new book.
Reading this book started it all for me. A friend of mine gave it to me after he had finished reading it, and it changed my world. Tim Ferriss outlines his own business mistakes and creates an opportunity for fledgeling business start-ups and anyone who is in business to review whats working and how to improve the processes that are already in place. An oldie, but a very goodie.
Tim Ferris has interviewed hundreds of incredibly successful people in different walks of life on his podcast. He has distilled these conversations into themes and it is remarkable how successful people have common themes which ripple across their lives.
Tim has also personally tested them before listing them, so you know whether it is a diet or health routine or peak performance practise, it is repeatable in its success.
I first discovered Chris Guillebeau and the art of non-conformity about 15 years ago and became an avid fan. His books have been driven by a need to help people get started step-by-step, using non-business degree language.
In his own words, Chris says, because most books about business are too generic. The purpose of this book is to say, “OK, you’re ready to go for it? Great. Here’s how you actually do it.”
This isn’t a book about business, at least not as most people think about it. Instead, it’s a book about freedom. It’s for those who want to escape from corporate life, build something of their own to support their families, or just find a way to make more money.
Other books written by Chris are;
For some people, the thought of quitting their day job to pursue the entrepreneurial life is exhilarating. For many others, it’s terrifying. After all, a stable job that delivers a regular paycheck is a blessing. And not everyone has the means or the desire to take on the risks and responsibilities of working for themselves.
But what if we could quickly and easily create an additional stream of income without giving up the security of a full-time job? Enter the side hustle. He offers a step-by-step guide that takes you from idea to income in just 27 days.
Small business and lean startup guru Dr Polly Mc Gee connects the basics of lean startup methodology with yoga. She advocates for businesses to be built on yoga principles, to help us lead a heart centred life.
A great resource for anyone who either practices yoga and wants to integrate it into their day to day life. Or for people who struggle with the hard sales, money-driven, FOMO pitches we are often faced within business.
Changing the focus from what to why has helped build better focused and more productive businesses. Reading Simon Sinek‘s book pushed me to rethink my motivations behind my own work. I had to really get comfortable with my why feeding into my what, and not vice versa.
Find your why is the practical application to start with why. If you’re in the initial stages of start-up or losing your sparkle with your business this is a great place to regroup.
Get inspired by others’ journeys
Maureen Chicquet outlines her very successful career and how she balanced it between her family and work commitments. With a degree in literature, she was not an immediate candidate for the corporate environment. However, she used her skills in listening to others and sheer bloody-mindedness to make her mark and carve out a very successful career. Super inspiring for anyone who has wondered what to do with their B. Arts.
Prolific business and life enjoyer, Tim Ferriss decided to write this book when he turned 40. A series of more than 100 interviews, Tim asked the same 11 questions to some of the world’s most successful people. To share their ideas around habits, learning, money, relationships, failure, success, and life. A great book to dip in and out as and when needed.
Braving the wilderness was the first of Brené Brown‘s books that I’ve read. I was very familiar with her Ted Talks and often referenced her work when coaching, but this book. It was as though she’d written it about me.
Other books from Dr Brené that I can't recommend enough are;
Looks at being vulnerable and open in a world where strength and extroversion are worshipped and finding that balance between what you need, what's expected and how to make the most of both, in the best way for you.
Rising Strong is about recovering from failure, utilising a 3-phase process for bouncing back, designed to be implemented into both in your own life, and work, and better enable us to embrace setbacks as part of life, deal with our emotions, confront our own ideas around what success looks like and ultimately rise stronger.
The Gifts Of Imperfection shows you how to embrace your inner largeness, and being okay, comfortable and accepting of these aspects of yourself. Embrace your inner flaws to accept who you are, instead of constantly chasing the image of who you're trying to be
About the leader in you, but also addressing the aspects that make us small and/or lean out of our true paths, guilt, shame and grief. She also now has a Dare to Lead workshop which I highly recommend.
Brené has launched a podcast and in-conversation with series of discussions with people from all walks of life leaning into all sorts of aspects that we prefer to keep hidden, from Glennon Doyle's discussion about her recent book, Untamed, to Sue Monk Kidd's recent work, the Book of Longing, David Kessler's work on Grief and the addition of the phase of Purpose and Brené's own discussion what she calls the FFT (Fucking First Time) and the impact this has on our personal beliefs, behaviours and emotionally driven responses to our FFTs. Brilliant listening.
I like Elizabeth Gilbert, I enjoy her writing style and the way she presents her experiences, ideas and knowledge. After reading Big Magic it became my go-to gift for all my entrepreneurial and creative friends. Because the golden thread theme that runs through them all is – fear. Her letter to fear had me punching the air with excitement because quite frankly, fear has had too much power and influence over too many of us, for too long.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck
- Mark Manson
It’s not often that I find myself reading a book that swears more than I do. So, if you’re offended by swearing, then don’t bother. Essentially Mark Manson zooms in on what caring and not caring looks like. He gives examples of what to do, when and why. His book is essentially a no BS self-help book for people who usually hate self-help.
This new book, Everything is fucked, is focused on how to understand and lean into your own feelings so that you can take more ownership of your life, think bigger than we have before and asks us to reassess our cultural values, as we culturally are freer and wealthier than ever before but live in chronic sickness whilst destroying the planet for quick bucks.
This book should be recommended reading. An honest upfront look at life, its twists, turns and a series of insights into the lives of other people, who will more often than not have had tougher life experiences than your own. Christina Patterson navigates her way through a series of interviews that focus on life’s losses and failures. A stark contrast to her career as a journalist focusing on the highs and wins of the rich and famous. An honest look at life. With a strong reminder to ride the waves of unpredictability with a healthy dose of humour and a glass of something strong (to take the edge off those not so funny in the moment, moments).