What I’ve read recently and what I’m reading now

Read and grow. As entrepreneurs who want to achieve their goals and thrive in the current business climate, it’s always useful to look for new tools that can help with this. We know that reading can be a powerful self-development tool when used in the right way. For entrepreneurs this can come in the form of learning from the shared experiences of successful entrepreneurs who have authored books and given their insights and experiences in an attempt to help fellow business owners deal with similar challenges. Here are a few books I’ve been reading recently that have also been beneficial to this purpose.

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The Coaching Manual

One of my “Go to “books and its always close to me. This book helped me develop the skills and understanding to become a transformational coach. I would thoroughly recommend this book to clients wishing to add personal business coach to their skill set. The processes detailed here, combined with my own personal experience as a successful entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience, enabled me to help fellow business owners achieve their own goals.

Shoe Dog

This book was a present from a friend. This is the story of the start-up of all start-ups. Phil Knight gives us an insight into how he set up the business that eventually become Nike. From selling low-cost imported athletic shoes from the boot of his Plymouth to the world’s most valuable apparel brand, with a global revenue which now sits at $37.4 billion. He gives us a tenacious account of the adversity and obstacles he faced in building his brand in a way that any business owner can connect with and learn from. This is not the account of a superhuman doing superhuman things, but an average person with an exceptional drive to overcome obstacles and make better shoes.

The Power of Focus

An amazingly simple plan that will benefit everyone who implements it. ― Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen are bestselling authors and motivational speakers who have dedicated their lives to enhancing the professional and personal development of others. They are the co-authors of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul and Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul.

 

A Promised Land

This was a brilliant read. This is a strikingly detailed and inspiring book where the 44th president of the United States takes us on a young man’s odyssey from community organizer to the highest seat in US office. This is a compelling read about a man balancing generational expectations of ‘hope and change’ with the practical high stakes decision making that comes with the presidency. This was an inspiring read that invigorates us with the will and eagerness to overcome our own challenges through engaging with his personal account.

50 Success Classics

As entrepreneur’s self-development is a necessity. We must keep on learning, adapting, and building useful skills in order to improve the way we run our businesses, and to encourage growth. For self-development, Bowden’s 50 classics is a great place to start. In this book Bowden assembles 50 landmark success stories new and old from a wide variety of works including Andrew Carnegie's Autobiography, Jim Collins' Good to Great, Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom, Thomas J. Stanley's The Millionaire Mind, Brian Tracy's Maximum Achievement, Sun Tzu's The Art of War. This is such a great place to start because it assembles a wide range of references and extracts the key points in a way that is digestible, and that encourages you to go further by reading some of these texts in full.

Tools of Titans

I have really struggled with this book…I have been trying to complete it for over a year now but I keep thinking this book is an oversimplification of a modern day concept. I am struggling to see how it became a best seller – way too much hype

The 15 second principle

At 176 pages long it’s the shortest book on my list! When I think about the quote ‘to read a book is to light fire’, this is the kind of book that comes to mind. The 15 second principle was one the first self-development book I read back in 1999, and it did just that. As entrepreneurs we are often considering multiple ideas that could add value to our business. Crucially though, those ideas are often just that, without an actionable plan in place. This is where the 15 second plan principle really shines, by arming us with new tools and techniques to stay focused and committed to our goals. The crazy premise here is that if you take any goal or project, and work on it for 15 seconds everyday you can achieve it…the reasoning being that once you’ve started with just 15 seconds in mind you will carry on for far longer.

Covid has been a period of enforced simplicity for many of us. Here, Hobsbawm offers us a brilliant combo of nature and neuroscience in the form of 6 practical steps, which has been especially useful during this time. The simplicity principle helps us cut through all the noise and clutter and reshape our lives in a way that makes more sense for us and the work we do. This is a part of what I do for my clients as a business coach. The simplicity principle reminds us, simply, that putting simplicity at the heart of our lives will make us more productive. It also shows us how we can do it for ourselves . Hobsbawm makes this not only useful but engaging, because it is filled with many fascinating examples from the authors own experience aswell as an eclectic range of different sources to grab your interest.

The simplicity principle:
Six Steps Towards Clarity in a Complex World