I find it can be so easy to continue working on my business in the same way as before. I’m sure we’re all a bit like that. Change for us humans can be a rather difficult notion. We can also have well-intentioned ideas about change (hello new years resolutions!) but all too often we can fall back into our old ways.

No matter what your vice, whether it be books, podcasts or online courses (or all of them), learning is the first step to inspire change. Books and their tangible nature continue to be a source of traction for me.

With so many self-help and business-related books out there, it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. And then there’s the trap of reading too much and not putting any of the advice into practice. For me, I’m more likely to only read books that have been recommended to me by my trusted advisors (shout out to Nell Casey and Bec Mutch!).

There are those rare books that make us sit up and take notice; that inspire us from a deep place so that we almost have no choice but to take action or to reconsider past habits. It’s like that saying, ‘once you know it, you can never go back’… or something to that effect.

Over the years, a few key books have been so profound that change for the better, both personally and within my business, did take place. They may inspire you too.

BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert

The way that Elizabeth describes where ideas come from and why they might choose us was incredible to read. You know when you read something that just hits the core of everything and you just feel its truth? This book was like that for me. Regardless of whether you’re a creative or not (which actually we all are, just in different ways), this book will shine a light on the endless possibilities available to each and every one of us, if only we let go of fear. It was also refreshing to read that not all ideas need to be actioned by us and sometimes an idea is better off with another person.

PROFIT FIRST by Mike Michalowicz and
BAREFOOT INVESTOR by Scott Pape

Both of these books have transformed the way that I manage my finances, both personal and business-related. Money can have so much influence over how we feel so when you read a couple of finance books that help you overcome a scarcity mentality, it’s life changing. Sure, I may now have 10 bank accounts to my name, but the peace of mind that has come as a result of better money management is priceless. From a business perspective, Profit First has enabled me to regularly pay myself super and to put a percentage of sales aside for profit before it gets chewed up by expenses. Both books are easy to read and easy to implement and I can’t recommend them enough.

ONE THOUGHT CHANGES EVERYTHING by Mara Gleason

If you’ve read a few self-help books, the concepts discussed by Mara Gleason won’t be anything new. But there is something so powerful in reading a true story that brings the concepts to life and demonstrates that anything is possible. This book is a refreshing take on the notion that thoughts rise and then they pass and the lifespan of a thought, positive or negative, is truly up to us. The book also contains examples of how the principles have been used within businesses to improve how people communicate to achieve desired outcomes. For me, it’s a good reminder to let go of past stories and to listen with an open heart and mind; it’s always a work in progress.

COMPANY OF ONE by Paul Jarvis

Even the subtitle of this book speaks to me so much: Why staying small is the next big thing for business. How enlightening is that! I’m still working through this book but already feel so inspired by its new approach to running a business and living the life you’ve dreamed of. How many times do you feel pressured by external forces to always grow, to double sales, to expand; as if they’re the only measures of success. This book explains a different way: Measured growth and increased profits without the need for more (ie. more staff, more expenditure, bigger premises). I’m already excited to revisit the way I run my business for the better, not necessarily bigger.

 

I’m sure you have your most influential business books too. I would love to hear about them! Share them in the comments below and let me know how they have been life-changing.