Do you find yourself recommending books over and over? I certainly do. My dad definitely did. He had this habit of buying multiple copies of a book so that any time he wanted to tell you about it, he’d putter downstairs, pull one off the shelf and just give it to you. People would leave our house with stacks of books.
I can’t do that, dear whole internet, but I can share the books I love and WHY I keep raving about them to family, friends and clients.
Books that I recommend to my my clients:
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert – I recommend this book to anyone who’s ever questions themselves while creating something. It’s written for authors and artists, but as a person creating a business, I found gems in here. Whether you’re an Eat, Pray, Love fan or not, Gilbert does a great job of putting her finger on the particular neuroses of creativity and shedding new light and perspective on them. I found this book utterly refreshing, and hope you will to!
Business Model You: A One-Page Method for Reinventing Your Career, by Tim Clark – If you’re thinking about freelancing, going into business for yourself, or even designing your ideal intrapreneurial position – this book is a solid assist. It helps you think through everything you’d need to for a solid business model (stakeholders, revenue, costs, unique value propositions, channels, etc.) from the vantage point of whether it aligns with your values, purpose and who you want to be in this world. There are some really great exercises in here that I’ve been known to whip out for a client!
Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life, by Bill Burnett and Tim Clark – This book is great for anyone looking to bring a little more strategy and intention into their lives – at work or at home. It has some great exercises and thought experiments – ones that I’ve used with clients! The last chapter is also a solid thought piece on looking for work (the TLDR is don’t apply for jobs on job boards, instead work your network and set up as many informational interviews as you can).
You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero – Jen’s first book, You Are a Badass is solid, but this one is a game-changer. She takes a coaching and mindset forward approach and uses them to attack all our issues around money, success, wealth, poverty etc. If you think you might have an issue with money, or are noticing that you have a really strong reaction to that suggestion – this book might be worth a read.
The Dip: A Little book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin – Well the reason I picked up the book is right there in the title. Who, in the grips of a major decision, hasn’t struggled with the question should I quit or should I persevere? Which is the wiser choice? I certainly know I have. While Seth Godin’s world is fairly black and white, and this book misses a lot of the emotional nuance that I love to think about so much – this book does succinctly (it’s like 70 pages) provide an extremely useful framework for making the choice to Quit or Stick.
Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights, by Steve Portigal – Great tips and tricks for an ethnographic approach to talking to people, or if you’re about to embark on a round of informational interviews. I’d recommend this to anyone interested in Design Research, Interviewing or just asking better questions.
How to Be a Woman, by Caitlin Moran – Hilarious introduction to what it means to be a feminist and just generally good read.
Life from Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family and Forgiveness, by Sasha Martin – This memoir of a Type-A person confronted with immense illness inspired me to ask the question – if you only had 1 hour a day of able body and able mind, what would you do with it? (Her answer was cook). It’s brought about some great answers for me and for my clients.