It’s that magical time of year again, when we’re all miraculously awarded an additional 20 hours per week to do whatever we want. That might not be true, but we are about to welcome the warm summer months, when people feel reinvigorated to pursue their personal and professional goals. As a kid, you likely had a summer reading list – now that you’re a grown-up, there’s no reason you can’t use your summer to catch up on all the reading you didn’t get done during the year.
Because you’re a young entrepreneur who likely squeezes your reading in during commutes, waits in between meetings, and infrequent lunch breaks, eBooks are going to be your summer reading list savior. Here are the 10 you need to check out in 2012:
1. Do Less Work, Make More Money by Leon Jay – This book shows you numerous shortcuts so you can get more done in less time (or squeeze in a few more books). From learning how to become a thought leader in e-publishing without paying a cent to writing solid email copy and subject lines, this eBook will correct a few of your current flaws and give you a few new things to try.
2. Power Up; Speak Up; Be Heard by Kay White – White’s guide on how to become more confident, clear, and effective in communicating with others is perfect for any career professional. It’s good to learn how to stand up for yourself – and your ideas – while you’re just starting out; it will be that much easier later.
3. The 12 Biggest Business Problems You Cannot Solve are All Really Mental by Geoff Greenwood – We sometimes spend so much time trying to figure our co-workers and colleagues out that we rarely spend time exploring our own psyches. This book will lend a performance psychology analysis of your behavior so you can get out of your own way.
4. 1-to-40 Tried and Trusted Ways to Become More Productive at Work by Rough Guider – Have you ever tried to check 40 things off your to-do list in one morning? Have you ever succeeded? This rundown will help you pinpoint how your multitasking ways have become less efficient, and reverse the impact they’re having on your daily tasks.
5. 17 Highly Guarded Strategies to Close Every Sale, Guaranteed by John Di Lemme – While lots of sales books have cheesy covers (and this one’s no exception), not many of them have real-world sales experience to shed light on the process. This one does – even if you’re terrified of sales calls, this book will show you how to close them successfully.
6. 52 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Work – One Week at a Time by Long Yun Siang – Have you noticed a trend in these numbered titles? That’s because these books can be read in chunks, and they leave you with concrete action items you can do something with. This title makes it even easier – it gives you one thing to do each week of the year. Change doesn’t seem so scary when you break it down, does it?
7. Best Management Quotations – Vol. 1 by Ismael D. Tabije – This book is more a reference than anything else, but it provides necessary inspiration, particularly on the days when you’re still fuming over the insult your boss doled out – or the empty coffee pot you found when you walked in. Some of these are truly frame-worthy.
8. All is Mind by David Samuel – This may look like a medical textbook, but it’s actually about how we interact with others. It walks us through how we experience conflict, how we can identify the different personalities we encounter, and how we can overcome our bad habits and meet our potential.
9. How to Get More Customers: The P.U.M.P. Marketing System by Martin Wales – While I’m sworn to secrecy as to what the acronym P.U.M.P. stands for (you’ll have to download the book to find out), this book is chock-full of low-cost strategies you can use to enhance your marketing and sales. What startup couldn’t use budget-friendly, step-by-step instructions to improve its visibility?
10. How to Be Happy and Live in Abundance by Jiri Majkus – Majkus knows that, sometimes, we all need to stop thinking solely about business and think about the big picture: what’s truly important? What will make us happy? The answers may surprise you, but they will provide information you can use to make decisions as you keep growing in your career.
Download these 10 tomes and add them to your to-do list. While reading may just seem like a time-wasting leisure activity, absorbing others’ ideas and thoughts can help you develop your own business. Getting input from another person – who has absolutely no investment in your venture – can be incredibly helpful. Jump back into your childhood routine of summer reading lists, and help your startup on its journey to becoming a grown-up.