We’ve said it before; taking responsibility for how we choose to work and live is the first step in how we can all make the world a better place, and a key part of that is educating ourselves on what is happening in the world around us and what we can do to make things better.
As such, we are starting the Recommended Reading Book Club for our Better Business Network members; an ongoing series of blogs highlighting the books for business we recommend for business leaders, owners and entrepreneurs.
Do let us know what you think of the recommended books below, and if you have any suggestions of the best business books we should be reading ourselves, please recommend them to us!
Let My People Go Surfing - Yvon Chouinard
Legendary climber (and businessman / environmentalist / founder of Patagonia, Inc.) Yvon Chouinard’s memoir shares the persistence and courage that have gone into being head of one of the most respected and environmentally responsible companies on earth. From his youth as the son of a French Canadian handyman to the thrilling, ambitious climbing expeditions that inspired his innovative designs for the sport's equipment, Let My People Go Surfing is the story of a man who brought doing good and having grand adventures into the heart of his business life. This is a book that will deeply affect entrepreneurs and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
Atomic Habits - James Clear
In Atomic Habits, James Clear evangelises about how to change your life - not through big, grand gestures and shifts in the way you live / work - but instead via the compound effect of hundreds of small decisions that he calls ‘atomic habits’.
Clear describes how making these miniscule changes, whether that’s doing two push-ups a day, waking up five minutes early, or holding a single short phone call, can grow into life-altering outcomes.
He uncovers a handful of simple life hacks (the art of Habit Stacking, the power of the Two Minute Rule, or the trick to entering the 'Goldilocks Zone'), and delves into cutting-edge psychology and neuroscience to explain why they matter.
These small changes will have a revolutionary effect on your career, your relationships, and your life. We cannot recommend this book enough.
Digital Minimalism - Cal Newport
Learn how to switch off and find calm with professor Cal Newport’s fantastic Digital Minimalism book. Understand how to live a more meaningful life with less technology and pair back digital distractions.
With Newport’s 'digital declutter' process, you'll learn to rethink your relationship with social media, prioritize 'high bandwidth' conversations and rediscover the pleasures of the offline world.
Deep Work - Cal Newport
Can you tell we’re fans of Cal Newport?
'Deep work' is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task; it will make you better at what you do, let you achieve more in less time and provide the sense of true fulfilment that comes from the mastery of a skill. ‘Deep work’ is like a superpower in our increasingly competitive economy.
Developing and cultivating a deep work practice is one of the best decisions you can make in an increasingly distracted world and this book will point the way.
This Is Marketing - Seth Godin
No matter what your product or service, this book will help you reframe how it's presented to the world, in order to meaningfully connect with people who want it.
Among its many lessons, this book will teach you how to build trust and permission with your target market; the art of positioning (deciding not only who it's for, but who it's not for); why the best way to achieve your goals is to help others become who they want to be; why the old approaches to advertising and branding no longer work, and much, much more.
This book shows not just that you can do work that matters for people who care, but how.
The Lean Startup - Eric Ries
Eric Ries’s book opens with the fact that most new businesses fail. But read on! Because most of those failures are preventable.
The Lean Startup is a new approach to business that's changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. It’s about learning what your customers really want and testing your vision continuously; adapting and adjusting before it's too late.
Essential reading for any business owner, leader or entrepreneur.
Tools Of Titans - Tim Ferris
Tim Ferris has interviewed nearly two hundred world-class performers for his podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show, with guests ranging from actors and athletes to Special Operations commanders and black-market biochemists. This book contains the distilled tools, tactics, tips, and life lessons that you won't find anywhere else.
Tim Ferris: "I created this book, my ultimate notebook of high-leverage tools, for myself. It's changed my life, and I hope the same for you."
It really did!
Notes On A Nervous Planet - Matt Haig
Matt Haig’s brilliant Notes On A Nervous Planet works on the premise that the world is messing with our minds (which we can’t argue with here) and then asks; What if there was something we could do about it?
Looking at sleep, news, social media, addiction, work and play, Haig invites the reader to feel calmer, happier and to question the habits of the digital age. This book will change the way you spend your time at work and at home.
The B Corp Handbook - Ryan Honeyman and Dr. Tiffany Jana
While this book is framed around the B Corp movement, any company, regardless of size, industry, or location, can use the tools contained here to learn how to build a better business. As the authors vividly demonstrate, using business as a force for good can help you attract and retain the best talent, distinguish your company in a crowded market, and increase trust in your brand.
"This book shows how using business as a force for good, not just pursuing short-term profits, can be better for consumers, employees, local communities, the environment, and your company's long-term bottom line."