George R R Martin said “… a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge” and for me, never a truer word was spoken. In the same way we eat to feed our bodies we must devour the ideas of others in order to develop and grow our minds. We learn so much from the world around us each day through our interactions with others, our experiences and our general lives that it is sometimes easy to forget that we learn and develop ourselves every single day. For us to be intentional about our learning though, it is sometimes necessary to be specific about the information we choose to feed into our minds. Since beginning my entrepreneurial journey, I have devoured information from across the web, social media and most importantly, through books that aim to teach me to be a bigger, bolder and better version of myself. My favourite way to learn is to read and then do; digest and progress. Here are some recommendations of the books that have truly impacted my thought process and my knowledge.
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Business for Punks
A close family friend and business mentor recommended Business for Punks to me when she saw that I was getting overwhelmed with this blogging business. It was during the launch of my book; WTF – The Real Story, that I bumped into her in one of our mutual coffee-shop haunts. We chatted and she mocked me for sitting and drinking coffee at such a crucial time in the launch of my book. The look on my face told her all she needed to know; I was struggling. She quickly took a seat with me and listened to me blather on about how stressed I was, how Paul had thrown me out of the house to have a break and how I was sitting there thinking of all the things I had to do. She listened, as any good friend would, and left the table with one simple remark; “read Business for Punks – that’ll chill you out….” I ordered the book right there and then (God bless Amazon Prime). The rest is history. Read it.
Blog for Profit
One of the first books I stumbled upon when I first started out was “How to Blog for Profitwithout Selling Your Soul“. The title immediately had me sold: it spoke to me in a way that no other title has ever done before. It said, you can actually do this Jo-Elle and someone out there knows how you feel! I am not a sales person! In fact the idea of selling anything to anyone gives me minor palpitations and makes me want to crawl inside the nearest bin. Not for me at all! So seeing this book, and being penned by one of the bloggers who had inspired me from the get-go, I had to grab it. It makes sense and speaks to the person, not the business. The ideas set out a clear path to success without the fluff or confusing algorithms that people often associate with online success. No matter where you are in your blogging journey, buy it.
You are a Badass
Mindset is one of the crucial things that I’ve come to learn about in the last twelve months and man, I wish I’d looked into it sooner! The idea that the universe has everything we already want and need is astounding to me, and the person who I have found presenting it in the least hippy and fluffy way is Jen Sincero. Two of her books, You are a Badass, and You are a Badass at making money, not only changed the way I thought about the world but also gave meface-ache from laughing and smiling through both brilliant publications. This is true-to-life, no nonsense language that really speaks to the person you know in your heart you can be. Jen gives you the basis of the ideas and the skills you need to achieve your dreams without making you feel like your whole life has been a void to this point. She talks frankly about her own, incredibly relatable, experiences along with those of others; whilst giving you pointers and to-do lists to keep you on track with your own transformation. If you buy none of the other books in this list, get one of these!
I think of all the things that I needed to know when I first started out on my own and jeez, there was so much! I knew nothing, I wasn’t a sales person and I had little to no technical know-how in my repertoire. What I did have though was the drive to learn and I went at it with gusto. I hunted the web reviewing the tools that other bloggers were using, trained myself to understand them, and cracked on with choosing the best ones for me. During this process I cannot even count the number of blog posts I read and the time I spent on Pinterest trying desperately to avoid the “click-bait” pins that drew my eyes! One of the tools I researched was email marketing. You already know that I couldn’t sell grass to a sheep, so the idea was cringy to say the least. I knew though that it had to be done. So I set about looking at the pro’s and con’s of all the different platforms available and spent goodness knows how many hours on Meera Kothand’s blog trying to understand email marketing for dummies (she makes it totally doable by the way!) I finally found The Complete Guide to email Marketing by ConvertKit. I was already leaning toward using their service so this book cinched the deal for me. It gives a real insight to the basics of understanding and implementing a good email strategy and it was free! Grab your copy here.
Lastly a time efficient information grab from the makers of Quick Reads. The 10 Keys to Success by John Bird is original in it’s thinking. It doesn’t give you time to feel sorry for yourself or pander to your “poor me” emotions. This book is a no nonsense guide to getting super clear on success. Not only does John give fascinating insight into his own experiences setting up a phenomenal and ground-breaking business, he also talks about success in the bigger sense of the word. His writing has you questioning your decisions, gives you a relentless belief in the abilities of people and directs you to questions that you didn’t even know existed in your own mind. A brilliant read and well worth an hour (at the most!) of your precious time.
If you love a good read, especially those that help you to learn and grow as an entrepreneur or business person; I’d love some other recommendations from across the web that should be on my “to-read” pile? Have I missed your favourite? Tell me in the comments!