1. 5×50 Productivity Formula
This video by Brendon Burchard was eye-opening for me on how to block my day for productivity. It also got me going on the practice of meditation, which has been life-changing for how I think and approach my life. Additionally, the first thing he says you should implement is (spoiler alert!) more sleep. Who can argue with that?
2. “Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits!” by Greg Crabtree
If you are a founder or new to running a business, this will be your guide to get your feet under you and learn to run. If financial statements scare you, this is a book to pick up and refer to over and over again as you start your business.
3. Tim Ferriss
The pace and tone of his podcast put me off initially but I’ve grown to enjoy his interviews and his “5-bullet Friday” (go.tim.blog/5-bullet-friday-1) e-mails. Subscribe for a short, weekly e-mail with new music, interesting quotes or compelling speeches. I was introduced to David Foster Wallace’s speech “This is Water” (fs.blog/2012/04/david-foster-wallace-this-is-water) from this list. It’s something I listen to on a regular basis now.
Meditation and mindfulness are important in my life. It’s safe to say they have changed how I think. You may think you’re too busy to meditate or that you can’t. I promise that can change. Headspace was a great tool to get some of the basics down. Subscribe for a few months to get through the basic/advanced modules then move to Insight Timer, which is a free app that has timers and guided meditations.
5. “Anything You Want” by Derek Sivers
Derek Sivers is the anti-business businessman. A musician by trade who created a hobby website only to sell it years later for $22 million (giving the proceeds away to a non-profit). I read this book over and over again. It’s an anchor for me to keep my principles in check and plan for growth.
Back to Brendon Burchard (spoiling another 5×50 here) and his recommendation to stretch each day. ROMWOD (Range of Motion, Workout of the Day) is a Crossfit inspired stretching routine. Each day, you get a new one that ranges from 11-20 minutes with the optional “Warrior Routine” on Thursdays (50-60 minutes). ROMWOD helps you stretch your body overall rather than focusing on the same thing all the time. It also has some great breathing work and features everyday athletes performing the stretches.
“The Little Red Book of Selling” by Jeffrey Gitomer
We are all in sales. Being the first sales book I read, it’s one that I read a few pages on a regular basis and also a regular gift of mine to people I meet. Gitomer has a no BS approach to sales that focuses on creating real value that people want. If you want deep relationships with loyal customers, then this is a must-read.
We all could use a little help with our grammar and making our writing more readable. I frequently contribute to publications on a local and global scale, writing technical and news articles for the feed industry. Grammarly is an amazing tool to help be your editor. I also like the Hemingway Editor, it’s helped me make my writing more readable.
BOOKS that should be on your reading list
Last but not least, here are a few essential books. (They asked me to keep my list to 10 things but being an entrepreneur, I’m a bit of a rebel and overachiever.)
“The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miguel Ruiz
This book helped me reframe how I think. Consider it a practical antidote for all the negativity that comes your way.
“The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Keeping Your Sh*t Together: How to Run Your Business Without Letting it Run You” by Sherry Walling and Rob Walling
I broke down in tears several times listening to this book. It helped put me back on a path of self-care. After reading it, I began a regular practice of meditation, exercise and taking time for myself.
“The Motivation Manifesto” by Brendon Burchard
The writing style in this book is different than most anything else you’ve read. But the pages are packed with inspiration and practical wisdom for making the most out of each day.
“Business Models for Entrepreneurial Ventures: Developing Sound Metrics for Long-term Success” by David Newton
I read this during the InnovateND “Boot Camps.” Reading this book helped me develop a pricing/business model for my company that I still use and refine.