Top 10 books you should read (hey, you’re stuck at home anyway, so no excuses)
“These are my top ten for making you a better business owner, a better human, and an even bad-assier badass.”
By Stephanie Powell
I thought about an intro. Hell, I even wrote one. But, let’s be honest...y’all don’t care (I wouldn’t). You just want the list. These are my top ten for making you a better business owner, a better human, and an even bad-assier badass.
1 Numero uno (and for damned good reason): Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life by Gary John Bishop.
I’m pretty sure it’s time for my second go-round with this gem. Gary gives you seven principles/guidelines to dramatically counteract self-defeating monologue. Get it. Read it. Apply it. You can thank me later. **BONUS: if you like audiobooks, grab this puppy. Ole boy is Scottish and narrates. You’re welcome. “...your self-talk is fucking you over and in ways you can’t even begin to imagine.”
2 You Are a Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero.
We’re pretty much all familiar with Jen’s first best-selling book, “You are a badass.” I actually started with this one because I KNEW I had some mindset issues when it came to money. Chances are, unless you’ve done the work, you do too. This isn’t all woo-woo and rainbows and skittles and unicorn farts. It’s authentic, honest, and actionable. “One of the best things you can do is get rich. Because of the way our world is structured, money and power are intertwined, so if you want to help make a positive change, money is one of the most effective tools you can use to do it.”
3 The Win Without Pitching Manifesto by Blair Enns.
I could literally write an entire article on the value of this book ALONE. What I’ll tell you instead is that Blair’s twelve proclamations will RADICALLY change how you think about, look at, and engage in sales. “Presenting is a tool of swaying, while conversing is a tool of weighing. Through the former we try to convince people to hire us. Through the latter we try to determine if both parties would be well served by working together.”
4 Brand Gap, Brand Flip, and Zag, all by Marty Neumeier.
Okay okay...so those are technically three books. Overachiever, remember? But real talk: I put all these books together because they are remarkably easy and quick reads. Don’t let that fool you though, because you’re going to want to highlight almost every single page. In fact, that was the author’s goal: to write a book you could read in an hour or two with zero fluff. These books will give you some amazing insight and perspective shifts on branding, building a brand in the age of social media, and business. “When everybody zigs, zag.”
5 Start With Why by Simon Sinek.
I know you’ve heard of it and have probably heard it referenced more times than you care to count. If you haven’t read it yet, I’m not sure what you’re doing with your life, but fix it today. Knowing and understanding your “why” is one of the most crucial parts of owning/running a business. And if you have read it, awesome. Time for round two. “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”
6 Launch by Jeff Walker.
Ok, so this one is a bit more specialized/targeted, BUT...if you have anything within your business that you plan on launching EVER (products, online course, new service, etc), this book ingeniously lays out exactly how to do that with huge success. “If you want to make your business and your marketing memorable, then your marketing needs to tell a story.”
7 Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss.
As a former international FBI hostage negotiator and world-renowned negotiation expert, Chris walks you through negotiating anything from purchasing a car to asking for a raise to getting your kid to go to bed. One of the things I love most is that he starts each chapter with a story from his experience as a hostage negotiator to illustrate his field-tested and proven techniques. We all negotiate something at some point, so this is for everyone. “Negotiation is not an act of battle; it’s a process of discovery. The goal is to uncover as much information as possible.”
8 Know What You’re For by Jeff Henderson.
I just finished this recently and, like all the others on this list, I highlighted the crap out of it. Jeff ’s book is all about getting you to shift your mindset and perspective on what and who you’re for. If we want to change the world with our product, service, and mission, then we have to stop being so focused on ourselves and promoting what WE do. Instead, we need to be focused on who we’re FOR. “...when your business is authentically FOR people, people will become authentically FOR the business.”
9 Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
Confession: I’ve heard people recommend this book more than once or twice. I didn’t start reading it until a few days ago. I’m done now. It’s THAT good. Now, fair warning: it’s not a “quick” read. It was written in 1937, shortly after the Great Depression, and you can tell. But this book can be life-changing. If you let it. “Set your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass.”
10 I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart
Yep. I sure did put a book by Kevin Hart on this list. Full disclosure: if you’re not going to get the audio version and listen to Kevin narrate his own book, don’t even bother. I mean, you’d still get great life lessons, but it won’t even kind of be the same. Yes, Kevin Hart is a comedian and silly and outrageous. But, y’all. His life story is really kind of incredible, and it will challenge you in ways you won’t expect. Plus...it’s Kevin Hart. “Your life today is the sum total of your choices. So, if you’re not happy with it, look back at your choices and start making different ones.”
Bonus (because I can’t ever follow the rules and just do what’s asked of me):
How To Be a Success Champion by Donnie Boivin.
No, I was not paid or coerced into including Donnie’s book on my list. I am nothing if not insanely authentic and I don’t say anything I don’t mean. Just ask anyone who’s ever been around me for five seconds. I put this book on the list because it deserves to be there. Listen, we’re talking about someone who went from nothing to a six-figure business, and he’s literally telling you how. It’s true, I love Donnie. He’s authentic as hell and tells it like it is. He’s also telling you what you NEED to hear, and I can speak from experience when I say that if you’ll just shut up and listen, it could change your entire trajectory and set you on a path to something pretty fucking amazing. “You must jump into the fire. You must face your fears and go straight at it because when you do, you’re going to find out what you’re made of.”
Et Voila. That’s my top ten (plus one) list of books you need to read, kiddies. Do yourself a favor and grab one of them (kindle, audio, hard copy, whatever) and read one chapter right freaking now. We all know what happens when we say, “I’ll do that later.” Oh, the lies we tell ourselves, n’est-ce pas?
But seriously, I hope you’re able to make the time to check these books out. I genuinely believe they could change things for you and your business in so many ways. I know they have for me.
I hope you’re staying healthy and as sane as any of us can be right now. If you’ve got questions, I’m always here to chat. Just hit me up! email@example.com
Stephanie is a brand strategist and creative designer specializing in brand + web design solutions. But more than that, she’s a: total nerd, animal obsessor, lion chaser, Aggie, lover of Jesus, breaker of molds, crusher of boxes, and a fierce believer in the badass magic you (and only you) can give the world. Her business began as a leap of faith after 13 years in public education, she’s got a dope husband, and her own little mini zoo (6 dogs, 2 cats); the only way to properly usher in her ultimate dream of opening an animal sanctuary.