Something I have heard from lots of people is “I don’t like self-help books”. Personally though… I do. Not self-help books that tell you really generic life advice, but ones that tell you how to get s**t done in business and get your head back on track to do it.
When I read these books I know for a fact I will not remember every piece of advice they offer. What I will get from them without a doubt though is at least one key learning to take with me into business which is what I’m going to share with you below – combined with some other info on why you should invest your time and a little bit of dollar in these books.
Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
Lesson – Luck helps, but it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Work hard or don’t bother.
I won’t lie, the 1st chapter of this book had me looking at everything I have been working on and wondering if it was worth it, the book sucked me in and i felt momentarily helpless reading about the great business men & women of the past who have invented the internet, ran the worlds biggest law firms or taken the American steel industry by storm in it’s infancy. It really threw me off, and then, after a little bit more thinking – I understood what this book was about.
This book is all about learning to take the opportunities you are presented with and make the most of them, because as much as you may be in the right place at the right time, if you let that time and place pass you by, you make as well never have been there.
Company of one – Paul Jarvis
Lesson – don’t make growth the goal. If you’re going to grow your company, do it mindfully with a plan.
Often companies focus on where the company can be rather than where they are now. This book talks through the reasons to not focus on scaling at speed for both personal and profession reasons. It ties together ideas of a minimalist approach to business to stay effective and grow in a manageable way, to stay nimble and give better care to your customers, rather than following the traditional business path and growing into a huge corporation as fast as you can with big flashy offices and thousands of staff.
It reminds us all that there are different ways to do to business and we need to find the ways that work best for us.
Be more pirate – Sam Conniff Allende
Lesson – If you’re going to break a rule with you business you have to replace it with something better.
I was lucky enough to get a signed copy of this book from Sam himself when he spoke at an event I was at. The story of how he promoted this book is testament itself that this man practices what he preaches and is worth a google.
What this book really did for me was relight that fire to get going again in my own business, after some months of focusing solely on my full time job. If you want to light the same fire in you then consider this line from the book.“Rebellion might seem messy and scary because it is… but it is also the first essential step to making change”
The hard thing about hard things – Ben Horowitz
Lesson – Business starts tricky and doesn’t get easier, but spending some time thinking & prepping yourself for the hard things to come will set you up to deal with them in the future.
This book was recommended to me by a past senior manager. It’s likely that this book was more valuable for her day to day life than it is to mine as it talks through the real struggles of management and running a business, like how to fire people and take your company in a direction it’s never been before, whilst keeping all your employees on board. This isn’t a position I’ve been lucky enough to be in yet, and is likely something lots of us are yet to come across. What this book does do however, is help you think about the hard things that are to come and how you might need to handle them.
Grit – Angela Duckworth
Lesson – stick-to-it-ness, can be learnt. It isn’t just something that you have. With discipline and consistency you can improve your own grittiness for the better of your business.
Grit it a hard book to review because it made me confront a lot of things that I know to be true about myself. I don’t personally define myself as that gritty and I can honestly chalk this up to having a really easy run at life – from the way I grew up to the opportunities that have presented themselves to me. What this book did help me with however, is understanding ways that I can change me day to day behaviours and ways of thinking to become more gritty and push myself to stick to stuff more. If you are at a point in time with your business where you are asking yourself why you bother. This is a book that you need to read.
Moving forward I am going to try and do more book recommendations posts so if you have a book that you think