Summer means beach days, family vacations, and weekend getaways, all of which mean reading time! As a book publicist, my to-be-read pile is constantly overflowing, but I make an effort to fit in books aimed at personal development. As I mentioned in a previous post, personal development is key.
So whether you have a long flight in your future or just a few stolen moments in the car while you wait to pick up the kids from camp, here are my book recommendations for boosting your brand and growing your business:
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert*
I tend to stay away from hyped-up books, but this one deserves every ounce of praise it’s receiving. As both a creative and an entrepreneur, the lessons in Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear felt like they were written just for me. It’s impossible to fully understand where inspiration comes from, but Elizabeth Gilbert gets pretty close.
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie*
I first read this popular book back in college, but since then, I’ve made it a point to re-read annually and my well-worn paperback may have to be replaced soon. Carnegie’s philosophies on making connections, persuading others, and getting people to like you are crucial to your career advancement, no matter what industry you’re in.
Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans*
I saw Burnett speak at a conference and immediately bought his book, read it, and recommended it to anyone I met who was going through a career change. The book centers around the idea of a prototype for your life, that before you make any big career or life changes that you first create a prototype and figure out whether or not it really is the life you want. If you’re thinking of giving up the 9-5, starting a new business, or making a shift in your family life, I encourage you to read this book first.
This is a must read for those of you serving as your own publicist or if you’re interested in developing a PR campaign for your business. Don’t be deceived by the slim volume; Dietrich’s non-nonsense style translates into her writing and the book is all value, no fat. Check out the Spin Sucks blog to get a sense of her style, then grab your copy of the book to take a deep dive into the PR process.
The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight*
As the cover promises, the life-changing magic shared in these pages is the perfect balance of practical and parody. As someone who constantly wants to please people and serve others, I often find myself without a single f*ck left. Through Knight’s practical guidance, I have managed to give away less f*cks and increase my happiness significantly. Also, I highly recommend listening to this one as an audiobook.
I’m a longtime Gladwell fan, but of all the books and all the articles, Outliers has stuck out with me the most. Identifying the patterns of success, from software billionaires to Olympic athletes. While we can’t imitate all the qualities of high-achievers (being born in a certain month, activities we did as children), there are many takeaways that we can apply to our own development and improve our chances at success.
Along those same lines, what all high-achievers have in common is “grit” or the ability to persevere and maintain passion for projects over a long period of time. It can apply to writing a book, launching a business, even something as small as learning a language. The ability to stay focused on a singular goal over a long period of time is what separates the high achievers and those who just have some big ideas.
Is there a book you’re an evangelist for? Looking for more specific recommendations? Feel free to share in the comments!
*Denotes affiliate links. I receive a small commission when you purchase products through these links and I only link to products or services that I’ve used and can honestly recommend. Reputation is everything, and I have no plans to risk mine for a few bucks.
Gini Dietrich says
I have Big Magic on my night stand, but haven’t read it yet. I’ve also heard lots about The Life-Changing Magic … I will make both a priority now. And thank you for the Spin Sucks love! <3