Daniel and I had a bit of a rocky start into adulthood, having our identity wrapped up in who we would be as mission workers. We sort of accidentally stumbled into business and self-employment; and even then, we operated by many narrow and restrictive mindsets. One of them was that it was wrong to plan our ideal lifestyle or day. (The alternative? Just do whatever is the hardest thing, work as hard as you can, be content, and push through.) This book was helpful in motivating us to do just that.
2. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It (Michael E. Gerber)
Why do businesses often fail? Not because they don’t achieve success, but because they fail to plan for success. You’d never guess it from the title alone, but this is an important business book for many business owners. I’ve had several occasions of discussing this book with business relations, only to have them (or me) say, “wait…have you read The E-Myth Revisited?”
Book Yourself Solid is a comprehensive guide to networking and marketing through focusing on relationships and giving value. This has some great ideas for both online and offline marketing.
4. Essentialism: The Discipline Pursuit of Less (Greg McKeown)
Do you have ADHD (or “entrepreneurial ADHD”)? Focus is not just important for business owners, but for any aspect of life. That just so happens to be the focus of this book.
5. The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure (Grant Cardone)
I love the motivation in this book, but if you don’t like heavy-hitting, hard-pushing books, this might not be the one for you. I personally benefit from holding myself to these standards, but don’t necessarily advocate for holding and pushing others with this type of tone, as it tends to overlook the role of privilege in reaching success.
6. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (Sheryl Sandberg)
It’s been an evolution of sorts for me to recognize that the role of women is not as limited as the narrow set of options I’d grown up believing (i.e., motherhood or missions only). Along with Hannah Anderson’s Made for More, this book was helpful in expanding my understanding of the wide set of options we as women have in pursuing our callings and using our gifts. It can be difficult to deconstruct long-held beliefs that have become a way of living, but in the desire to go along with the saying “Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them,” exploring this construct and all its implications is something I owe each of my children.
7. The Energy Bus (Jon Gordon)
When I first began this book, I have to admit that it annoyed me. But as I continued on, it grew on me; and I realized that storytelling done well is a powerful way to get someone to remember the key themes and ideas of a book. Recent years have taught me that managing my energy is an important key to success, and this book holds a number of insights on how to do it well.
8. Smartcuts: The Breakthrough Power of Lateral Thinking (Shane Snow)
Want to know a secret to getting to your goals, and getting there quickly? It’s a lot about hacking your way through life. As the Goodreads summary of this book puts it, “These are not shortcuts, which produce often dubious short-term gains, but ethical ‘smartcuts’ that eliminate unnecessary effort and yield sustainable momentum.”
I was first drawn to this book because of the author’s writing on real estate. But his writing quickly turned into something much more comprehensive. As business owners who want to travel while we work, learning to create a mobile lifestyle is essential to meeting that goal. This book has a number of helpful idea on how to do so; and it happens that it does a great job explaining how to make it work as a real estate investoer.
This book and the title concept possibly seem inanely cliché, but there is a lot of wisdom packed into this short little book. Even if you come away with one thought stuck in your brain forever (such as “eat that frog,”) it may be just the truism needed to make substantial change.
- The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results (Gary Keller, Jay Papasan)
- What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: And Two Other Short Guides to Achieving More at Work and at Home (Laura Vanderkam)
- Creativity, Inc.
- Steal Like an Artist
- Extreme Ownership
- Investing in Real Estate