Over the last year I’ve made it a point to read more ‘business’ books. I use the term ‘business’ loosely because what I tend to gravitate toward when in search of ‘business’ books are stories about entrepreneurs and the ever pressing need to find a balance between work and personal life while being self-employed (a feat I still have not mastered, but I’m working on it)
Among my ever-grown ‘read’ pile of books, there are a few that stand out like flashing beacons and I wanted to share them with you here today in hopes one of them might be as beneficial to you as they have been for me.
The first, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace. I must be honest because at first, I wasn’t sure I was a huge fan of this book. It felt a little scattered, slightly pretentious, and there was a lot of name-dropping. However, there is a great underlying story and some beneficial points to pull from it, so I truly feel it’s worth the read. Catmull discusses the growth, successes and failures of Pixar. He talks about the concept that good teams can grow average ideas into some extraordinary, but to keep in mind that mediocre teams can take the same ideas and run them into the ground. It’s a great reminder to focus on our strengths in our businesses and pass along the work that we know may be better suited to someone else. If you’re on board with reading a bit between the lines, I really think you’ll enjoy this book!
The second book on my list is Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. This book was published in September of 2015 and it has been getting a lot of press since. I’ve seen it at the front of bookstores since it was released, and in my opinion, for very good reason. This was one of those books that I devoured over the course of a day and hope that is the reaction it pulls from you if you pick this one up. Gilbert focuses on the creative process and while she’s focusing specifically on her writing it’s a discussion which can be had around any art form. She places much emphasis on how to approach your art and encourages readers to embrace their curiosity. This book picks you up and pats you on the back and that’s why I feel it’s a great read to fuel a creative soul.
The third and final book I want to share with you today is Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington. I often refer to this book as my bible. I read this book when I was feeling overwhelmed with work, being pulled in countless directions, burnt out, and desperately needing some balance in my life. And, as I admitted earlier, balance is still something I struggle with, but this book has been one of the most beneficial I’ve read to assist with that. She tells a lot about her personal growth and family but it’s grounded in a thread that runs throughout the entire book about striving for balance. She shows how mindfulness, meditation, and unplugging can transform your personal life and business, and that putting your well-being first ultimately makes you more effective at work which equates to a more successful business. Typing this out, these all seem like very straight forward and almost too-obvious points, but reading it in her book and seeing how these changes affect a very prominent corporation is insightful and really puts it into perspective.
What are some of your favorite ‘business’ books? Are there any I should add to my list?