*Disclaimer: Some of these books were mentioned in my first blog post about books, Hot Business Books. I believe that they are such impactful stories that they are worth mentioning again. If you have any suggestions on awesome books to read, please reach out! I never have enough books on my To Read list.
As the end of the year approaches, I find myself starting to look towards 2017. I am starting to plan out where I want to be by then and what direction I'm going to head in once we start. Now, knowing myself, all of that will probably change in the next few months, but it's good to have a plan in place nonetheless. This way, I am not completely starting from scratch.
To help me prepare, I always read a few books. Reading is my jam and if I could do it for a living, I totally would. I have gone through my fair share of books in my - relatively short - lifetime and I always come back to the books listed below. Not only do I continue to learn new things every time I read them, but I am inspired, motivated, and passionate throughout the whole story.
Onto the List!
I am going to share a bit about why I thought this is a book that everyone needs to read immediately. Like these books need to be at the top of your To Be Read list and need to be scheduled to get consumed within the next week. I promise you it's going to change your whole outlook on life, business, and how you create your own content. These books aren't in any specific order - mainly because I can't choose my favorite.
Big Magic - by Elizabeth Gilbert
This book got a lot of well deserved press for being a great book for creative people. It's a book that really helps creatives take their business seriously but also learn how to have fun with what they are trying to create. It's a wonderful insight into how exactly inspiration and motivation works, from Elizabeth's mind. I loved being able to read about her theories of how ideas interact with the human world.
The reason I think that everyone needs to stop working and read this book is because it will help with mindset. It's going to make your work so much more creative and light because you're going to remember the reason why you started creating in the first place. She really doesn't give you a chance to be afraid. She pushes you to be the best that you can be.
My fiance was actually shocked that it took me as long as it did to finish this book. Normally I can absorb a book in one sitting, maybe two if he makes me go outside and interact with humans. I think this book took me two weeks to finish. That's not to say that it was hard to read or even hard to understand. It is an incredibly easy read, with some simple concepts, but it was written in such an inspiring and motivational way that I would HAVE to put the book down and go do work! I couldn't keep reading because I wanted to go work on the stuff that she was talking about. I think that's the highest compliment that a book can receive.
This is a book that I read a few years ago, but that I still enjoy browsing from time to time. This is one of the books I included in my previous book post, but it's such an incredible story! I read this book to inspire me. If I ever am stressed out about finances or am concerned that my business won't make enough money, I pull this book out and settle into my own little corner. There are so many different ideas on how to make money, what business to run, and ways to make your life a little easier that it's something which helps with my anxiety that I won't be able to be successful.
While I read this book least of the five, I always pull this out in case I am looking for ways to expand my business. If I want to find a direction to open for revenue, I consult these amazing authors. They don't tell you what to offer, but they give so many concrete examples my mind starts to open up and get inspired. I come up with more ideas and refer back to the book if I start to stall and then I get even more! You get the idea.
Whenever you're blocked on what to do next for your BIG THING, try checking this book out. I promise it will help you get out of that corner you've backed yourself into and help you really have fun with being creative. Plus, they have witty comments and some sarcastic bits. Who doesn't love that?! I know I live for it!
The Richest Man in Babylon by George S Clason
Out of all of these books, I truly believe that this book needs to be required reading. If you read any books from this list, I have to insist it be this one, with Big Magic coming in a very close second. Like thisclose. This book may be hard for some to read, as it is placed in ancient Babylonian times. The concepts behind the writing are fairly simple. In fact, the book's description itself talks about the lessons the characters learn as being simple lessons in financial wisdom.
This book helps bring solidify the ideals behind having financial intelligence. It is written as if told it were a story, but every lesson behind it, you will find in a financial literacy book - and probably not as clearly. Since humans learn and understand concepts through the use of stories, this book is perfect. It is an excellent example of breaking down complex issues and explaining them through relatable and entertaining stories.
Please, PLEASE, take the time to read this book. It's only like 200 pages, but it will change your life in ways that you cannot image. It is one book that I will always add to the list of books that I think an entrepreneur, leader, or student should read. I can't say enough about it. If you do read it and you end up not liking it, please let me know why! I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.
Leave Your Mark - by Aliza Licht
This is a book that took the public by storm for quite awhile. It sat on many books to read lists and came out in many blog posts. I believe that it's earned every piece of publicity. While not a book that has much practical advice, it is a book that I believe many people need to read - especially in the younger generations. (To give some reference, I'm 23. Anyone younger than 30 should read this. Immediately.)
The reason I want so many people to read this book even though it isn't a typical business book is because it is a book that will hopefully add some common sense back into the world. With the invention of the Internet and the creation of jobs that are online, a lot of people tend to blur the line of what is okay to share and what isn't. This book can help put into perspective just how permanent and important thinking through what you publish on the Internet is.
It can be the start and the death of someone's career, even before they know they want to pursue it. Take the Internet very seriously. This book helps explain why and how to do so. Aliza is brilliant and almost makes you want to get an internship just so you can apply her brilliant techniques. I use her advice daily and I always remember to take some of her suggestions into account. Read this book if you use the Internet at all.
The Alchemist - by Paulo Coelho
This is not a book that is normally on the best business books to read posts. That's because this isn't a business book. Some of you may remember having to read this book in high school - or middle school if you're an overachiever - for required reading. I somehow went through all of my school career without having to read this one. I'm actually bummed about it because when I finally did get to read it, I thought it was brilliant.
The story is of a young shepherd who has a reoccurring dream about going to Egypt and is told that there is treasure under the pyramids there. He ends up getting introduced to the concept of a Personal Legend, which is defined as "what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is." He adds that "when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." This is the core theme of the book.
The reason I think that this book should be something all business owners should read is exactly the theme of the book. A lot of business owners believe that the business they are pursuing is their Personal Legend. Some think it is but just aren't sure. This book can help those who are doubtful and re-convince those who know that their Personal Legend is worth fighting for. It can help those who are tired and are considering not continuing by reassuring them that they and their Personal Legend is worth fighting for.
There are many worthy books that I believe should be read by business owners. I know I've seen quite a few that I seriously considered adding to this list. However, I wholeheartedly swear by these 5 books. If someone is taking their first steps into becoming a business owner, they should start with these books. It can help improve your mindset and get you started on the right path. It can also help business owners who are lost and needing some help in certain areas of their life.
If you're looking for support, education, or inspiration, look at the vast resource of books that are available at your finger times. The information they present can do wonders for those lost or confused.