As a small business owner in the web design sector, you might think that my reading list would comprise purely of books focusing on website design and development.
In fact, the books that have influenced me the most have nothing to do with web design!
In this post I’m going to share with you the books that have helped changed the way that I think, taught me to do better in business, improve my focus, confidence and general outlook on life. I hope you get as much out of them as I did!
Start With Why
I only read Start With Why by Simon Sinek last year, but it was revelatory.
Not because it taught me anything particularly new, but because it describes a way of doing business that I completely understood on a fundamental level but could never articulate myself.
In essence, the book advocates having an underlying purpose for doing business (your own “why”) and using it as the guiding principle for whatever decisions you make. Companies that don’t have a why, the book point out, are doomed to fail because they struggle to connect with an audience. Their behaviours are reactionary and volatile, untethered from a core reason for being. They make bad decisions, chasing short-term ideas with neglect to long-term sustainability.
This book resonated with me and helped me to really dig into my purpose and direction. I’ve internalised its key message and applied its teachings to my own business, which I believe has contributed hugely to my success.
Buy Start With Why from Amazon
Key Person of Influence
Key Person of Influence is a less philosophical and far more practical read. Its author, Daniel Priestley, describes how he identified the traits and behaviours of successful entrepreneurs — those “key people of influence” who occupy the inner circle in any sector — and lays out 5 simple steps to replicating their success.
It’s a very aspirational read, talking about how you can earn more money by having people come to you. Become the goto person in your industry for work and thought leadership. Whilst I don’t consider myself to be at this level, it did encourage me to write my own book, which was a hugely rewarding experience (and has delivered new clients!)
This book is full of practical tips which are easy to understand, and more importantly to action. I highly recommend reading it if you need some step by step guidance on marketing strategy, and lack the confidence to put yourself out there.
Buy Key Person of Influence on Amazon
Feel The Fear… And Do It Anyway!
How many times have you avoided doing something because you were too scared?
I don’t mean the kind of fear you might feel being chased by a rabid dog. I’m talking about that awful anxiety of what if.
“What if I take on that big project and f**k it up?” … “What if I agree to give that talk and crumple on stage like a paper bag?” … “What if…”
For me, Feel The Fear tackles these questions head on. It helped me to reframe my fears and teach me that really, there’s no wrong path, and that from even bad situations, good can come.
If there are things in your life that you keep putting off, or if you’ve identified negative thinking (“I could never do that”), then this is the book for you. It breaks down what it is to feel fear, and then rebuilds it as opportunity, giving you some really practical personal development tips along the way.
Buy Feel The Fear… And Do It Anyway! on Amazon