Kick back, relax and be inspired by the books on this reading list.
Question: What is your favorite non-business-book for entrepreneurial inspiration?
Albert Einstein: A Biography
“Albert Einstein: A Biography” reminds me that one man can make a huge impact on the world.
The Power of Full Engagement
“The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal” reminds me that being successful is about having a well-rounded existence on all fronts. If you focus all of your energy exclusively on your business, then you’ll end up letting your health and relationships atrophy, and that will eventually hurt your business. It’s about balance.
A pillar for the model of capitalism, “Atlas Shrugged” is a timeless story that puts so many things into perspective. From introducing new products to navigating the regulatory environment and discussing the true character of people (good and bad) to overcoming impossible odds, there are so many business lessons in this book.
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Daniel Kahneman is the godfather of behavioral economics. “Thinking, Fast and Slow” is a fascinating read about how the brain works. The anecdotes from his book help me think through my personal decision-making as well as consider what influences our customers’ choices.
The Design of Everyday Things
What makes great products and services? Design. “The Design of Everyday Things” helps you recognize the flaws in the world around us, and that creates the inspiration for great design, solutions and entrepreneurship. You’ll see the world — even cups, phones and door handles — in a whole new way.
Long Walk to Freedom
I gather inspiration and confidence from biographies and autobiographies about leaders I admire. My favorite go-to book is “Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela.”
“Inspiration is derived from adventure and story. The extreme ups and downs of Steve Jobs’ life story and his erratic behavior in “Steve Jobs” help characterize a true American entrepreneur and the challenges he faced.”
“When I first read “Jurassic Park,” I wasn’t fascinated by the dinosaurs. I was most impressed by the park owner’s vision, dedication and innovation. Capturing people’s curiosity and imagination is a powerful business model. It’s a great reminder to beta-test your services before opening them to the public. “
The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition
“The Endurance” is about the incredible real-life Antarctic expedition led by Ernest Shackleton in the early 1900s. He and his men survive in the face of incredible odds. Their willpower is inspiring; they have incredible persistence. Do yourself a favor and grab a copy.
I read “The Alchemist” at least once a year. The book reminds me that we’re on a mission to pursue our personal legend, and if we stick to that journey, “all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” It helps me when I feel like everything keeps going wrong. It also reminds me just how many people support me.