5 Must Reads for the Conscious Entrepreneur

Books that will feed your soul and ignite your business

Photo by Rhett Wesley
In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn’t read all the time — none, zero. — Charlie Munger

As my spiritual journey has progressed, I’ve found my reading list shifting and discovered some amazing books along the way. We have entered a time where conscious business is not only the right thing to do, it’s the best business decision. In fact, according to a piece in the Harvard Business Review, companies that practice conscious capitalism perform 10x better.

My recent journey has also showed me that there are easier and more enjoyable ways to be an entrepreneur. In the startup world, much success is attributed to hard work, grueling hours and insane rigor. Successful companies have certainly been birthed that way, my own included. But, despite the financial rewards, I’ve found this lifestyle to be unfulfilling.

There are ways to create abundance from a pull mentality, rather than a push or “need to” mentality. I wrote about my shift from Type A to “Type Be” in a previous article. For me, it has been about finding the pull in the universe. This takes trust which is hard for recovering Type As like myself. But, when I have trusted, I’ve seen many signs of the Universe guiding me towards greater fulfillment.

Here are some titles that have inspired me along my journey. I hope they will do the same for you:

1. The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer

I’ve recommended this before but for good reason. It’s the best book I’ve read all year. If you believe that you can’t build a business with a Type Be mentality, this will shatter those beliefs.

This inspiring true story tells what can happen when you just let go. Singer managed to accidently build a billion-dollar public company from the woods of Gainesville. Along the way he acquired 600 acres of land and built a spiritual community within it. All this by just surrendering and tuning in.

2. Do the KIND Thing by Daniel Lubetzky

Daniel Lubetzky defines what it is to be a heart-centered entrepreneur. In addition to founding KIND Healthy Snacks and the KIND Movement, he is also the founder of PeaceWorks and OneVoice. He was named by BusinessWeek as one of America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs.

While certainly no stranger to hard work, Lubetzky shares his entertaining and heartwarming journey in creating and building KIND. The book shares wisdom on how to build a company that improves the lives of all that it touches. It is filled with lessons on building a strong brand, culture and community.

3. The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun

Another true story about a remarkable entrepreneur. While Braun started the nonprofit Pencils of Promise, the lessons ring just as true for the for-profit world. Adam Braun, the grandson of Holocaust survivors shares intimate details of his upbringing, most inspiring of which is his relationship with his grandmother.

Braun’s story is engaging and heartfelt throughout. His mission noble and massive in scale. He is truly able to capture what is possible when we follow our heart and find our purpose.

4. The Purpose Economy by Aaron Hurst

The growing need, particularly among Millennials for more meaning and purpose in their life and work is clear. If you don’t see it yet, you will after this book. Hurst compiles trends and developments to show how purpose will be the next major pillar of our economy and our lives.

The implications of Aaron Hurst’s work affect every business and provide an optimistic case for how Capitalism may correct itself. Filled with examples and useful data, the book makes the case for why all business must be purpose driven.

5. The B Corp Handbook by Ryan Honeyman

Many of today’s most successful companies like Patagonia, Etsy, Kickstarter, Warby Parker and Ben & Jerry’s have become B Corps. This global movement is redefining what success in business means. B Corps are structured so that their board has fiduciary responsibility for the company’s values and not just its profits.

Ryan Honeyman has worked closely with over 100 B Corp CEOs and shares their best tips and advice. This instructional book gives clear guidelines as to how and why to become a B Corp as well as the benefits in doing so.

Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more. — Jackson Brown, Jr.

People are waking up at a rapid rate. Businesses need to transform at an equally fast pace. This is why I founded 1heart as a Conscious Business Collective. I hope these books will inspire more to join us in building businesses that create societal value first and shareholder value second.

Know a book that should be on this list? I’d love to hear it. Please share it in the comments.

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