I’ve always loved to read. Reading is a gateway for imagination, a way to unlock secrets you’d have to spend centuries developing yourself and will help keep your mind sharp. As someone who works to support companies as they grow, I strive to maintain my ability to provide invaluable insights, execute on the newest implementation techniques, and remain versed on the cutting edge of technology. How can I continue to provide relevant advisory if I do not keep learning?
And no one should try to if they are not developing their knowledge and staying ahead of the curve. For me, I read three to four newsletters every morning, I am always chipping away at books, and I recently have tried to write once a week, often times about what I am reading and learning.
When I was little, my go-to books were sci-fi and fantasy (some favorites included the Chronicles of Narnia, Game Of Thrones, Artemis Fowl, and the Edge Chronicles) but now I love anything that serves to teach me something new about life or business. With my early reading, I developed the understanding that anything is possible and our minds are full of creativity and wonder. Now I read books that try to teach me how to channel that creativity and wonder into an actionable and value-driven life.
I read many books this year but these five transformed the way I choose to live and work.
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
I don’t care if I am late to the game and I also don’t care about haters who think this book is overrated. If you want to understand the startup landscape and be able to conceptualize how most founders build their business, you need to read this book.
The Lean Startup is the startup book for our current age despite coming out in 7 years ago (1.5 exits ago in startup-speak). It is still very relevant today even if I am not by having just read it.
This Might Get Me Fired by Greg Larkin
Greg Larkin is a whole human. Don’t know what that means? It is someone who has found their purpose, channeled it, delivered it onto a silver platter, owned it through the doubts and fears, got paid for it, triumphed in the face of adversity, and then wrote a book about it. He has continued to kick ass and take names in the corporate world and his book shows you how he did it without actually getting fired (although he might argue it would have been fine even if he was).
If you work in a corporation and you feel creativity and optimization dying a slow death inside you in any way shape or form, read this book for a resurrection and rejuvenation of your defiance against the sluggish, inefficient status quo.
As Greg would put it, this book is hella’ punk.
The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Read this book. After reading it, take some time to absorb its truth. It will make you a better human. It will make you more grateful and more giving. It will help you come to terms with walls you never even knew you had and it will cause you to see the magic potential in every person you meet. The world would do better to see things through the eyes of this book. And god knows we need it.
The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg
After reading this book, I feel like I know one of the biggest secrets of humanity. Like I have some superpower. This book will make you hyper-aware of consumerism and, from that awareness, better able to live outside the control of its many tendrils. Or it will teach you how to wield them. Regardless of how you choose to use what you learn from this book, try to remember that with great power, comes great responsibility.
Principles by Ray Dalio
I will tell you right now — this book gives you a comprehensive operational framework for living life and running a business in such a simple and yet incredibly nuanced way, it will cause shiftings in your core. Reading this book felt like someone unveiled the truth behind many inexplicable discomforts I’ve experienced in past work environments. It made me vow to do better with the future of my work and leadership. It made me promise to not subject myself or others to anything that wasn’t in some way an attempt at reflecting these principles. It made me want to chart a map of everything I will do in the future so that I could, like Ray Dalio, bring even greater balance to the working world.
There were many more books I have read this year but these five, hands down stand out and I hope that you go and get your hands on them so that they can transform you in 2019.
If you like what you read, have something to add, or want to learn more about what I do, drop a comment below or connect with me here!