Reading business books has been one of my “hobbies” since a very young age. While my peers were reading novels and escaped the reality into a fictional world, I’ve always preferred “the real” stories. I started by reading biographies mainly about actors and Hollywood stars, which slowly transitioned into the business world. Maybe because I find actors and business people very fascinating and similar in a way. One common characteristic that I’m always drawn to the most is their ability to become very resilient to every rejection they get; being rejected after an audition or rejected by the whole world around them when they come up with great business ideas. I also find that this resilience links closely to the ability to persevere and having enough self-belief to stick to the journeys they take on. Over the years I have read many inspiring books but these are my absolute must-read books* for creative entrepreneurs.
- Find Your Extraordinary: Dream Bigger, Live Happier and Achieve Success on Your Own Terms
by Jessica Herrin
If you haven’t heard of Jessica Herrin, she’s the founder and CEO of Stella & Dot. This book is great for anyone who needs not only some inspiration and some practical advice from an amazing global brand as a case study but also if you feel you lack confidence in your abilities, or think that you are a weirdo because you don’t fit in. This book is all about embracing your uniqueness and who you are rather than who you should be. Jessica encourages you to go beyond the ordinary, hence the title: find your extraordinary. I read this book in one sitting from start to finish. I find it better than splitting the reading sessions into days or months because that way you stop going in and out of the mindset you’re currently in while reading it. Have a pen and paper at hand because you might be getting ideas, or you might want to take some notes for future reference.
Why is it must-read? Jessica talks a lot about mindset, positivity, managing yourself but also training your brain on how to become more resilient and confident.
- Anyone Can Do It: Building Coffee Republic from Our Kitchen Table – 57 Real Life Laws on Entrepreneurship
by Sahar and Bobby Hashemi
Even though this book, Anyone can do it, was first published in 2002, it is still a very relevant business book. Sahar and Bobby are the sister and brother team who founded and built Coffee Republic from scratch. This was the first book I read about a franchise business model. They go into detail why and how they started the business and include many practical/ real-life templates such as their business plan, which they wrote in early stages to seek funds for the first branch. There are also creative ways, which they describe about how they did their branding and marketing on a shoestring budget. The whole book is peppered with inspirational quotes from well-known entrepreneurs.
Why is it must-read? As you read through the chapters you get very practical advice, which they call “laws” or lessons learnt. I love how honest they are on the growth and the rapid scale up they did as part of their strategy.
- Glitter Plan, The : How we Started Juicy Couture for $200 and Turned it into a Global Brand
by Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor
This book is a fascinating story about Juicy Couture, one of the best-known clothing brands that can be found on our high streets and worldwide. Pamela and Gela started it from a small apartment. I love the whole crazy journey they took from their beginnings to building a brand, and selling a brand, which led them into the corporate world. There are tons of insights about how scaling up in the fashion world works.
Why is it a must-read? The most interesting part of the book, I found, was when they transitioned into the corporate world. The knowledge and experience they share is amazing and, dare I say, valuable to any fashion/lifestyle brand out there who’s trying to achieve similar results. Plus, there are great tips on how to plan and sell your business, and move on afterwards.
- Business Nightmares: Hitting rock bottom and coming out on top
by Rachel Elnaugh
If you watch Dragon’s Den you probably have heard of Rachel. She was one of the early series dragons before her business, Red Letter Days, collapsed. Most business books are written as success stories but this book takes on the opposite approach and focuses on the darkest hours of business. It’s a very powerful and inspiring book, which tries to show that you can pick yourself up from any business disaster. I can definitely relate to stories such as Laura Tenison’s, the founder of JoJo Maman Bebe, which she shares in the book. She took quite an eventful journey prior to starting this business.
Why is it a must-read? There are many stories shared in this book, which you will find relatable. For instance, I could relate to having many failures before finding the right business for me. This small quote was like a mini revolution to me. It gave me the reassurance that I’m probably not the only one how failed at previous businesses and that I can still have a meaningful/problem solving business and be good at it.
I know that time is so limited these days and that reading books is definitely not on our priority list. But if you are planning holidays or need something upligting that will put you back into the positive business mindset, reading these books will open your mind and help you see things differently. If you have any questions, please get in touch. Kxx