Now we’ve got less appointments, less socialising, less driving around in the car, it’s a great time to read (or as is usally my case, listen to the audiobook version) some good books.
I’m not a ‘read 50 books in a year’ type person.
There is nothing wrong with reading 50 or 100 books in a year, it’s just I like to take in books slowly for two reasons:
1) I don’t have the time to read for hours and hours each week.
2) I like to let the thoughts and ideas in the books marinate in my head before taking on more.
So here are just 5 books, a few I read last year and one that’s a long time favourite. The books I’ve picked have a lot to do with running a business with empathy that treats it’s customers with respect and dignity. There is also a theme of leadership, as that is what our clients and community need from us most, to be leaders.
Caveat: While I don’t always show it, I am someone who feels their feelings a lot. It’s a great trait for having empathy but it makes things overwhelming at times. So I tend to choose books that help with all those emotions while running a business.
What it’s about: Tribes exist all around the world. With the invention of the internet tribes were no longer limited to just those who were physically close to us. Leaders are members of the tribe who stand up and offer a new way of doing something. It’s your turn to be a leader.
Why you should read it: What your community needs right now is a leader and guess what? You already are one. This book will help you understand the important role leaders play in our society and how to show up as a great leader.
Why I loved it: I’ve come back to this book several times. Each time I get something new. The idea that we need leaders and that I can be a leader for some of my tribes (and a happy follower in others) has helped me understand how I can best engage people and spread my message.
What it’s about: Marketing is often used to try to make other people see the world the way you do. Instead, This Is Marketing says the most important thing is to see the world the way our customer does. Only then can we have a hope of trying to change their mind.
Why you should read it: If the traditional way of marketing where you hound your customer until they buy from you doesn’t sit well with you, this book offers an alternative by showing you how empathy can help you not only get more customers, but create a better product.
Why I loved it: I’m pretty bias when it comes to Seth Godin and buy most of his books. What made me recommend this book though was the way he cuts through a lot of the B.S. about marketing and gets into what really matters: empathy, status and making something great.
What it’s about: A collection of blog-post style stories and anecdotes about creating and running a business by the creator of CDBaby.com.
Why you should read it: Derek Sivers focuses not on what you should do in business but rather on what you can do because it’s your business and you’re in control. Don’t like doing something in your business? Stop doing it. Love training people? Keep doing it even as your business grows even if it ‘makes sense’ to have someone else do it.
Why I loved it: I loved reading one or two stories each day to get me into the mindset of anything is possible and out of the mindset of ‘I should do this just because everyone else is’.
What it’s about: Building on her past 4 books written about the findings from her research on shame, Brené Brown, looks at how to apply being vulnerable and whole-hearted as a leader.
Why you should read it: This book is written more for leaders of companies, but can really be applied to leaders in all organisations. Whether you want to improve your skills as a caring trainer or make change in your childs sporting group, this is for you.
Why I loved it: Like with Seth, I buy anything Brené puts out as it’s always good and things I need to here. Dare to Lead got me to look at my Values and really understand them which was excellent as a parent and a business owner.
What it’s about: While writing a book about addiction, Johann Hari realised that at the core of a lot of addiction was depression. This lead to a journey around the world interviewing people from different cultures and backgrounds who are successfully understanding and treating depression in different ways.
Why you should read it: As soon as COVID-19 restricted us to mostly staying at home I thought of all the people out there who were already battling with mental health issues who would be further cut off from support. This book on why connection and purpose is so fundamental to our state of mind will be incredibly helpful with supporting your clients.
Why I loved it: Having had my own serious run-ins with depression, I found this book a breath of fresh air on how Johann covered such a wide range of ways to treat it and really got down to the key causes of depression. It helped me set up activities in my life that have lead to a much better state of mental health.
Some honourable mentions are also Reboot by Jerry Colona on how our personal stories influence the way we do business, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert on the creative process and Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown on belonging.
Don’t feel like you need to read all of these books, just pick one that stands out to you and start there.
Before you go, I’d love to have a moment of connection with you, let me know in the comments below which book you’d like to read and why.
Kyle Wood created Bootcamp Ideas in 2010 when he was hunting around on the internet for workout ideas. He ran a successful bootcamp in Victoria, Australia and spends his spare time managing this site, adventuring (or lazying) with his wife and find new ways to make bootcamps even better.