Monday, January 7, 2013

[2012 In Review] The Best Books I Read For My Business

I read a lot of books for my business in 2012. I read so many that I ended up forgetting a lot of them as soon as I moved on to the next book. But there were a few that really stuck with me, and have continued to shape the way I think about my business. Here is a short list of the ones that mattered most to me.

1. Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey. Winner, winner, winner. Whether you agree with Dave Ramsey's personal and religious views or not, he knows what he's talking about when it comes to running a business. Not only that, but he also knows how to communicate that knowledge in a compelling and down-to-earth way that really connects with business owners.  

I seriously can't recommend this book enough. If you have aspirations to grow your business and create a place where you and your employees work hard and love to come to work every day, I consider this a must read.

2. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell. To be honest, pretty much everything after Law 1 in this book was white noise to me, but Law 1 so revolutionized my thinking about being a business owner that the book ranks at the top of my list for the year. Not that the rest of the book wasn't worth reading, but nothing else in the book really compared to the realization of how true The Law of the Lid is - that I am the lid on my business. My limitations, my personal ability to lead, will always be the cap on my business. Amazing.

3. Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuck. I listened to the audiobook of this one - read by the author, with lots of additional commentary. If you haven't yet discovered the wonderful world of Gary Vaynerchuck, buckle your seatbelt. I love this guy for his passion, his enthusiasm and his tenacity, all of which come through in everything he says and does. It's hard not to be inspired by him. Especially for a quiet, reserved person like me, it was so good to insert some loud, crazy, passion into my day.

Some great practical advice for getting out there and hustling to make your business work. This book also includes a big element of online and social media strategies that are so important in running a business today.

4. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Ok, so I first read this book a few years ago, but I reread it this year, and will read it again and again. This isn't strictly a business book, but it is for anyone who fights the inner battle with creativity and discipline. I never fail to finish this book feeling ready to fight my demons for another day.

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