My favourite business books

Reading Time: 6 minutes

 

I was recently fortunate to attend the Business Chicks breakfast with Kirstine Stewart, at the time global VP of Media for Twitter.

She has just released her first book, Our Turn, which I bought following the breakfast. I’m reading it at the moment, and it got me thinking about my other favourite “business books”…

The One Thing by Gary Keller

the-one-thingI’ll admit I’ve only recently started this, and haven’t finished it yet… But the general premise appeals to me for so many aspects of my life.

Basically research has shown that when people have too many “things” to focus on, they tend to do all of them poorly (or not as well as they could). So instead, we should aim to drill down to the one thing that will make a REAL difference, in that area, or at that time.

For example:

  • What’s the ONE THING you MUST do today?
  • What’s the ONE THING that would make a genuine difference in your day/week/life?

Like I said, I’ve only just started this, but I’m already trying to employ this philosophy in my life and work. For example, while I still have multiple items on my to do list, I highlight the ONE THING that will make the biggest difference to my life or work that day.

I rarely get through my entire to do list… but this little change in mindset has the added benefit of making me feel like a winner if all I achieve is that ONE (very important) THING!

About The One Thing:

YOU WANT LESS.

You want fewer distractions and less on your plate. The daily barrage of e-mails, texts, tweets, messages, and meetings distract you and stress you out. The simultaneous demands of work and family are taking a toll. And what’s the cost? Second-rate work, missed deadlines, Read more …

Released: May 31, 2013

Get it on iBooks

The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman

the-personal-mbaWhen I first started working for myself, I also thought I needed an MBA (because that’s what you need to do when you’re solely responsible for your own income, forking out more moo-lah to justify to yourself that you are entitled to work for yourself).

Thankfully, a very wise person suggested that in my line of work, an MBA is more likely a cosmetic or ego-driven goal, that would cost me a lot of time and money, for very little results.

Instead, he suggested I read The Personal MBA, which highlights the main aspects taught in an MBA.

Yes, MBA’s ARE relevant for some people. Just not me.

If you’re like me, or even are considering an MBA but aren’t sure. Why not read this book first…

About The Personal MBA:

This revised and expanded edition of the bestselling book, The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman, gives you everything you need to transform your business, your career or your working life forever.

An MBA at a top school is an enormous investment in time, effort and cold, hard cash. And Read more …

Released: February 03, 2011

Get it on iBooks

Busy by Tony Crabbe

busyThis book gave me a “When Harry Met Sally” moment, except that I wasn’t faking it. Well, it didn’t cause that… but this book genuinely made me say YES!

YES! Most of us – me included – are too busy.

YES! We get distracted by things that aren’t relevant.

YES! We are overwhelmed by our own expectations and those of others.

YES! It isn’t sustainable and we need to change.

It isn’t easy, but it is possible.

Do you want what I’m having…?

About Busy: 

It’s difficult to ask anybody ‘How are you?’ without hearing the word ‘busy’ somewhere in their response. We feel overwhelmed by busyness because of the demands on our time: our inbox and our to-do list are bulging, a huge amount of people expect things from us and our organisations are trying to do. Read more …

Released: June 05, 2014

Get it on iBooks

Dot Complicated – How to Make it Through Life Online in One Piece by Randi Zuckerberg

dot-complicatedI had a little bit of a fan girl moment with this book… Getting to meet Randi Zuckerberg at another Business Chicks breakfast, and having her sign my copy of her book.

Randi, her philosophy and book echo a sentiment that I share strongly.

While I LOVE digital and social media, it DOES complicate our lives, and needs to be considered, and sometimes controlled.

I am also concerned on the affect it is having and will continue to have on future generations.

In this book, Randi not only shares her own story (including being Marketing Manager for brother Mark at Facebook) but also her concern about technology, the affect it is having on our lives, and how we can both benefit and protect ourselves from it.

About Dot Complicated: 

Technology and social media have changed, enhanced and complicated every facet of our lives. The technological revolution is not going away. We can’t hide from it or pretend that it’s not happening. So how do we deal with it?

In Dot Complicated, Randi Zuckerberg shows us how. Read more …

Released: November 05, 2013

Get it on iBooks

Flying Solo: How To Go It Alone in Business Revisited by Robert Gerrish, Sam Leader & Peter Crocker

flying-soloI bought this book (the real, paper version) quite early in my solo career…

It provides practical tips and advice for getting started and keeping going working as your own boss, whether as a solo-operator or head of a very small business.

Flying Solo also offer a wealth of practical articles and resources on their website, and I’m honoured to have recently become a contributor!

About Flying Solo:

From the founders of Flying Solo, Australia’s micro business community, comes the book that started it all, fully updated for a new wave of modern business owners.

Originally published by Allen & Unwin in 2005, Flying Solo: How to go it alone in business is the bestselling guide to Read more …

Released: February 06, 2012

Get it on iBooks

Get a real, physical book! Made from paper!

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

the-e-mythI have always been interested in what inspires and drives other business leaders.

So during a conversation with one such business leader (head of an incredibly successful national business, started in South Australia) I asked her what has helped her to grow her business, and herself professionally.

She shared that having kids helped her business, as it forced her to take a step back from working in the business. While she was still busy raising her kids, it allowed to to take a different perspective, and identify opportunities for improvement and growth, that she hadn’t seen when in amongst it.

It also gave her time to read (which she didn’t usually) and one such book was The E Myth.

The general gist of The E Myth is the importance of not only systemising your business, but documenting this system.

Whether you plan to franchise or not, treat it like a franchise, and clearly document exactly how it operates.

This is valuable for two main reasons:

  • If someone needs to step in to help you out (unexpectedly, or expectedly through staff hires etc), you have clearly defined systems and processes that they can read and refer to
  • If you ever decide to sell your business, you have a valuable document that shows potential purchasers just what makes it tick, and how to keep on ticking…

I’ll admit, I have not done this to the nth degree with Scout, but I do try to where I can.

About The E-Myth:

An instant classic, this revised and updated edition of the phenomenal bestseller dispels the myths about starting your own business. Small business consultant and author Michael E. Gerber, with sharp insight gained from years of experience, points out how common assumptions, expectations, and even Read more

Released: March 17, 2009

Get it on iBooks

It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be by Paul Arden

its-not-how-good-you-are-its-how-good-you-want-to-beThis book is from my design days…

I don’t recall how I came across it specifically, but I still refer to it when I need to shake my thinking up.

It is a simple, visual book that not only shows examples of Paul Arden’s clever design work, but other layouts, graphics and words that get you thinking differently.

It is VERY easy to get stuck in our ways. Especially when working predominantly alone. Anything that reminds us to take a different perspective is very useful.

Get a real, physical book! Make from paper!

Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite by Paul Arden

whatever-you-think-think-the-oppositeThe follow up to “It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be”

In a similar fashion to its predecessor, this book shares examples of Paul Arden’s design work and thinking to challenge our perceptions and expectations.

It particularly appeal to me due to the section about “Reckless Erica”, who did not conform, but was a success anyway.

Get a real, physical book! Made from paper!

As I said above, I LOVE discovering what inspires others, so please share your opinions on these, or your favourite business books in the comments!

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