Beyond just serving as an enjoyable hobby, reading has helped me to improve the way I approach entrepreneurship. Learning about different techniques and perspectives from those who have tackled business ownership before me gives me valuable insight. I’ve used what I’ve learned in business-focused books as I’ve gone through my own growing pains, triumphant moments, and times of uncertainty. Here are a few books to boost your business that have meant the most to me as an entrepreneur. If you’re looking for a new book to add to your personal library, I’d definitely suggest giving one of these a try! In the comments, tell me one of your favorite business books!
The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
This title was one of the very first business books I read. Canfield is the co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Admittedly, I expected the book to be cheesy, but it’s quickly become my business bible. It stretches your thinking, and makes you consider your own progress in a different way. The book offers up some beautiful guidelines for the mentality of an entrepreneur. It’s one of my favorite books if you’re looking to boost your business, no matter how many years you’ve been an entrepreneur.
Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams by Mike Dooley
This book served as my companion as I went through the hard years of growing. It was a beautiful and constant reminder about the infinite possibilities that could be out there for me as a business owner when I couldn’t quite anchor into them myself yet. One of my favorite stories from the book that’s continued to stick with me is about when Dooley was a growing entrepreneur. He would go to his rooftop pool in the afternoon and would feel guilty about taking time off, believing he should be pounding the pavement even though nothing was coming in the door yet. When he became successful, Dooley realized there was no longer time for an afternoon dip in the pool. He then looked back at his younger self and really wished he had taken that time when he had the ability to do so. I always think about that when I have space to take an afternoon off – now, I enjoy it!
Feel the Fear… and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
I just referenced this book during my guest appearance on The Margarita Confessionals podcast (listen in for my thoughts on overcoming your fears and breaking out of your comfort zone)! This book is perfect for those of us who might be more timid. Personally, I’m naturally a pretty fearful person, and try very hard to push myself out of that comfort zone regularly. It’s an essential part of being an entrepreneur. The book offers step-by-step instructions on feeling and acknowledging fear, and moving forward and taking action anyway.
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz
This is a great book if you’re looking to boost your business, while simultaneously improving your relationships. As entrepreneurs, it’s essential for us to be impeccable with our word and to not take things personally. These four agreements help me in every aspect of my business relationships. I always say that this book reminds us of the principles of life that we know we should be abiding by, but often aren’t putting into practice on a daily basis. It helps to ground you as an entrepreneur as to what you’ll experience when others have high expectations.
Are Liars Tell Stories by Seth Godin
I’m a fan of anything by Seth Godin, but I especially love this book. It’s about being authentic in your business, in who you are, and in what it is that you’re doing to change the world. It’s about telling stories about the times you’ve failed, the times you’ve succeeded, and the questions you’ve had along the way in order to allow yourself to be transparent and vulnerable with your audience. If you’ve never read anything by Seth Godin, I would definitely recommend checking out his work!
Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Great Teams, and Why People Follow by Tom Rath
I took a look at my past Amazon purchases, and 75 percent of them were books I’ve given to clients. It came as no surprise to me that this is the book I’ve purchased the most. All of my coaching clients work through the assessment at the back of the book, which reveals your top five strengths. To me, it’s far superior to assessments like Meyers-Briggs or the DISC Assessment. These strengths focus on the skills you use every single day. They’re your personality, not just at work, but in life. Once you understand how (and if!) you’re maximizing your strengths, you can learn to bring them into balance in order to be much more effective in all areas. We often don’t give ourselves credit for the strengths we have, because they come so naturally to us. Instead, we choose to focus on our weaknesses. This helps to shift your attention to the areas where you’re naturally skilled. It’s one of my favorite books to boost your business.
Eat That Frog: Twenty-One Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Bryan Tracy
This book drastically changed the way I work as an entrepreneur. The analogy sounds odd, but it makes sense after you stop to think about it. If you had a live frog sitting on your desk that you had to eat by the end of the day, you’d spend hours dreading the nasty task. The frog would sit there, staring at you, just consuming your brain power. Tracy talks about choosing your three biggest tasks (your frogs) and doing them first thing, that way they’re done and over with so you can move on and let the rest of your day fly by.