The following books were part of last year’s summer reading list. However, with the new year in full swing, I think it’s the perfect time to revisit some motivating reads that will help you power on to achieve the resolutions set just a few short weeks ago.
While the entrepreneurial process might come naturally to some, for those in need of real inspiration, the following are three books I recommend to anyone looking to wake their inner entrepreneur.
The Defining Decade; Why your twenties matter and how to make the most of them now
Despite being addressed specifically to twenty-somethings, The Defining Decade addresses three common causes of the existential crises suffered by people of all ages – work, love and wellness. By combining scientific research with over a decade of stories from clients throughout her career, clinical psychologist, Meg Jay takes on the erroneous notion that young adults have unlimited time to make the foundational decisions that shape a majority of their lives. For a generation too often told to “take time off” in order to “figure things out” and that “things will somehow work out on their own,” The Defining Decade is both the wakeup call and the assurance anyone considering a bold career move might be seeking.
A memoir from Nike co-founder, Phil Knight, Shoe Dog gives a firsthand account on what it took to build the former sportswear underdog into an iconic global brand worth more than $87 Billion today. Knight takes the reader through the lessons learned in his entrepreneurial journey to the top of the industry, with each experience showing that every giant has a beginning. The book recounts the numerous times the company (then known as Blue Ribbon) almost failed whether due to a lack of financing, supply chain challenges, competition and even rogue employees. In his personal roller coaster, Knight reminds us that contrary to popular belief, success is not linear but rather it is a winding path of highs and lows.
The Perennial Seller
For some, the creation process results in a strong debut, viral fame and a short-lived period atop their respective industry charts only to quietly disappear shortly thereafter. In The Perennial Seller, Ryan Holiday outlines the process of creating work that transcends the ephemeral nature of bestseller lists; a journey he believes starts with the creative process. Holiday’s approach is logical in that it allocates extensive time to planning and preparation but untraditional in his suggesting that a platform should come before the work. His sixth book, The Perennial Seller, is rife with guidance that will make creatives, disrupters and entrepreneurs alike rethink the process of creation and marketing.
Finding the time to do more is always a challenge. But these books, in one way or another, show that where there is passion, there is also an unrelenting work ethic. All three authors will agree that while creating quality work takes time and effort, to those who are dedicated, that’s perfectly okay.