Whether you’re an infinite book nerd as I am or have only dabbled in the secret life of books of late, it never ceases to amaze me what an incredible resource books have been for my own business.
I’m not talking silver bullet hacks or MBA courses at a glance. I’m talking about the immersive way in which we absorb information from reading, and how it has the power to directly affect the mindset in really powerful ways.
This list is all about heart. The books run the gamut from memoirs to how-tos, from creative process to money-making, and from going inwards to female work partnerships. They’re some of the books that have been instrumental for me in thinking about my business and how I show up in every sphere of my life, in the same way. As all of me.
Please report back as you read one, some, or all of these books – I truly can’t wait to hear what you think. Until then, happy reading 🙂
Untamed – For the full review of this book, head to my Instagram post fully devoted to it here. That’s how much I loved Untamed. When Glennon speaks about living a brave and untamed life (“We can do hard things” “You’re a goddamned cheetah”), I feel such an intrinsic connection to that message as an entrepreneur. It’s so easy for us, especially as women, to mold to and for those around us, to exist seemingly to provide comfort, to nurture and nourish everyone but ourselves. Untamed was an incredible reminder to keep making the brave choices. To stop downplaying ourselves and apologizing for making those choices. To never abandon ourselves and hope that it all turns out ok. Living was never meant to be easy, but as the author wisely reminds us, that means we’re doing it right. Feeling everything deeply even, and especially, when it’s hard. What a message, for our businesses as much as for our lives as a whole.
The Four Agreements – Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements is a sliver of a book with a simple message. Through four simple rules, we can experience freedom, self love, and happiness. This is a book that I know I will come back to again and again, and also makes a great gift for the new entrepreneurs in your life.
Bird By Bird – Where my writers at? Whether you’re writing a novel or a blog post, Ann Lamott does an incredible job of breaking down the creative writing process with wit, wry humor, and anecdotes from her own life. She used to teach a writing class, in fact, so the structure of the book follows lessons from her class, and all of the ways in which her students got in their own way when it comes to their work.
Be Antiracist – After reading Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi earlier this year, it was quite clear how much I… didn’t know. This is less of a book than a journal that prompts deep and often uncomfortable writing exercises about race and racism. As a business owner (and a human), I find this reflection to be imperative for self-awareness, growth, and being able to get out there and help to influence impactful change in the world.
You Are a Badass At Making Money – It is *all* (let me say it again, all) about your mindset when it comes to money. We have so much baked-in emotion around money, from our childhoods, from what society teaches us, from our own experiences with scarcity (I often equate it to our feelings about sex, actually. Another blog post). Getting your money mindset right is something I have found to be one of the most challenging and impactful pieces of my entrepreneurial journey, and Jen Sincero does an awesome job of helping you work through limiting beliefs and visualize yourself as a money magnet.
Big Magic – You mayyy have heard of the author Elizabeth Gilbert, who just so happens to be an amazing IG follow, too. Although the cover of Big Magic boasts a nod to the creatives, this book is truly about all of our creative processes, and how we are inspired, cultivate inspiration, and deal with blocks to our inspiration. The specific phrase that she uses, which I come back to again and again as a female entrepreneur, is the “strange jewels” that she motivates all of us to uncover within ourselves, and which we all are in possession of.
Things That Join The Sea and Sky – I’ve always been a big believer in a thoughtful morning routine, and this book happens to be a cornerstone of mine. I open to a page and read one excerpt each morning, and it’s become a favorite ritual over coffee in bed. They are pure spirit, pure universe, pure love, and pure joy for me to read. They center me in a place of heart opening, which I find to be a very empowering way to begin my day and work from a place of.
The Second Mountain – One of my OG New York Times columnists comes in hot with this epic work of nonfiction. If the “first mountain” is the mountain that we climb to move towards societally-endorsed goals such as getting married, making money, acquiring things, and scaling the corporate ladder, the second mountain is what you get to when you realize that you didn’t find happiness at the top of the first one. The second mountain is where we find joy in a fulfilled life based on serving others via our own higher purpose. If my corporate career felt like my first mountain, my entrepreneurial awakening and journey surely has felt like my second.
The War of Art – What do you call your work blocks? Procrastination? Laziness? Anxiety? Steven Pressfield, the author of The War of Art, calls them “resistance.” And he wrote a book dedicated to breaking down your blocks and conquering your creative battles. It’s a short read, but it’s full of thoughtful and actionable reframes.
Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks For Me & You – I’m a big believer that just a few words can chase the entire course of your day, and apparently Lin-Manuel Miranda agrees with me. This tiny book is actually an accrued collection of his tweets, which he used to share every morning and evening with words of wisdom for the day. I like having this by my side to help pull me out of moments where I get hung up or distracted by the less important things. As LMM would say “Good morning. Do NOT get stuck in the comments section of life today.”
Work Wife: The Power of Female Friendship to Drive Successful Businesses – Does the title not say it all, my friends?! Written by the female duo who founded Of a Kind, this memoir is a tribute to women in business who partner, who collaborate, and who lift each other up. It doesn’t just share their story, it weaves together interviews with other well-known “work wives” that mixed business with pleasure and learned how to invest in themselves and their female partnerships in order to truly make their businesses flourish.
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