Keep these titles close at hand, and inspiration will always be just a page away. Whether you're looking for the cold, hard truths about running a business, or you're hoping to find a little nugget of motivation to meditate on, these books have got what ya need.
YOU ARE A MESSAGE - Guillaume Wolf "Prof. G"
This book meant so much to me, that I had one of the block prints from it tattooed onto my arm! This isn't a book that you sit down and read cover to cover, but instead a daily meditation of sorts. Read a page and really think about what it says, and use that to guide your day. Every page is a small passage with a wise nugget about controlling the story you're putting out into the world, whether its your business or your personal brand.
PROFIT FIRST - Mike Michalowicz
The message that really stuck with me from Profit First was this: a small, profitable business can be worth much more than a large business surviving on its top line. We're constantly assaulted with every other business's highlight reel and left thinking, "I want 40 employees, too! I want that giant beautiful office. I want that massive client!". But here's the thing: do you really want to grow into a super-sized company? If you do, that's amazing and you should go for it. Or, are you just looking to make more money with the little company you love? You don't have to be massive to be perfectly profitable, and this book will give you easily executable steps to get to where you need to be.
SHOE DOG - Phil Knight
While this isn't a "business advice" book, it was more inspiring me than anything else I've read. The memoir of Nike founder Phil Knight's journey from a little volatile startup to one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands is my kind of page-turner. My favorite part: you don't even hear the word Nike until about 2/3 through. This is proof that people don't wake up one day and start Nike. There's a lot of shit and other businesses they wade through along the way, and this book was one of the most real accounts of that I've ever seen.
OUTLIERS - Malcolm Galdwell
The main lesson in this one: figure out what your advantage is in life (we all have one) and run with it. In this book, Gladwell explains the success of people you know well in terms you don't hear all too often. “It is not the brightest who succeed,” Gladwell writes. “Nor is success simply the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is, rather, a gift. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities — and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.”
DARING GREATLY - Brene Brown
This book is more about life lessons than business lessons, but can't we agree that all life lessons can apply to your business, too? The name of the book by Brene Brown (who uses tons of research to backup everything she says) comes from a Theodore Roosevelt quote: "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” The book emphasizes that embracing vulnerability and imperfection can lead to some of our greatest accomplishments.