With the year coming to an end, it’s a pretty good time to stock up on some inspirational reading. I’m an avid reader, particularly of a good crime thriller novel, but also a book that will inspire my business. There’s thousands out there (even mine!) and even more blog posts like this but here’s 8 books I’ve got on my summer reading list (a couple I’m re-reading again, namely #1 and #3) that you can add to yours.

 

*Note: all descriptions are the official blurbs from the books


1. Unprofessional – Jack Delosa

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To be unprofessional is not to be disrespectful. It is not to be reckless or lazy. It is not to be unpunctual, badly presented or poorly spoken.

 

To be unprofessional is to be real. It is to create a vision that is unborrowed from the past. It is to develop products that genuinely ‘wow’ your audience. It is to think of marketing strategies that the management consultants don’t have diagrams or buzz words for yet. It is to think original thoughts and speak of proactive ideas that haven’t yet been documented in the academic playbooks.

 

At just 26 years old, Jack Delosa knows more than you’d expect about business and entrepreneurship. A self-made millionaire by 24, Delosa is an award-winning entrepreneur and educator who has built several start-ups into successful thriving businesses. In UnProfessional, Delosa reflects on his business adventures and offers practical how-to advice on topics such as becoming a market leader on a shoestring budget, becoming the go-to person in your industry to win more business faster, how to manage and lead other people toward your vision and why it’s important to fail fast.

 

The business world has changed.  What worked in the past will not work today. Offering a fresh perspective on the challenges of starting and running a successful business, UnProfessional is an ideal guide for Australia’s current crop of forward-thinking entrepreneurs of any age.

 

 

2. Think and Grow Rich – Napolean Hill

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Napoleon Hill’s thirteen step programme will set you on the path to wealth and success. Think and Grow Rich reveals the money-making secrets of hundreds of America’s most affluent people. By thinking like them, you can become like them. This powerful 1937 classic, with analysis from self-development authority Tom Butler-Bowdon, will continue to be read through the decades of economic boom and bust, proving that the magic formula for making money never changes.

 

3. Start With Why – Simon Sinek

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Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty?In studying the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way-and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does.

People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why. Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire.

 

4. Start Something That Matters – Blake Mycoskie

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Why this book is for you:
You’re ready to make a difference in the world-through your own start-up business, a nonprofit organization, or a new project that you create within your current job.
You want to love your work, work for what you love, and have a positive impact on the world-all at the same time.
You’re inspired by charity: water, method, and FEED Projects and want to learn how these organizations got their start.
You’re curious about how someone who never made a pair of shoes, attended fashion school, or worked in retail created one of the fastest-growing footwear companies in the world bygiving shoes away.
You’re looking for a new model of success to share with your children, students, co-workers, and members of your community.

You’re ready to start something that matters.

With every book you purchase, a new book will be provided to a child in need. One for One..

 

5. The 4 Hour Work Week – Timothy Ferris

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Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan – there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, this book is the blueprint.

This step-by step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaches:
* How Tim went from $40,000 dollars per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per MONTH and 4 hours per week
* How to outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want
* How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs
* How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist
* How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent ‘mini-retirements’.

 

6. Girl Boss -Sophia Amoruso

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The first thing Sophia Amoruso sold online wasn’t fashion. It was a stolen book. At age 17 she was a dumpster-diving, shoplifting anarchist. By 29 she was the founder and CEO of Nasty Gal, a $100 million plus fashion empire.

Filled with brazen wake-up calls (‘You are not a special snowflake’), frank observations (‘Failure is your invention’), and behind-the-scenes stories from Nasty Gal’s meteoric rise, #Girlboss is more than just Amoruso’s story, it is a book for anyone seeking a unique path to success – even when that path is winding as all hell and lined with naysayers.

 

7. Let My People Go Surfing – Yvon Chouinard

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In his long-awaited memoir, Yvon Chouinard-legendary climber, businessman, environmentalist, and founder of Patagonia, Inc.-shares the persistence and courage that have gone into being head of one of the most respected and environmentally responsible companies on earth. From his youth as the son of a French Canadian blacksmith to the thrilling, ambitious climbing expeditions that inspired his innovative designs for the sport’s equipment, “Let My People Go Surfing” is the story of a man who brought doing good and having grand adventures into the heart of his business life-a book that will deeply affect entrepreneurs and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

 

8.  The Responsible Company: What We’ve Learned From Patagonia’s First 40 Years –  Yvon Chouinard

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The Responsible Company , by Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia, and Vincent Stanley, co-editor of its Footprint Chronicles, draw on the their 40 years’ experience at Patagonia – and knowledge of current efforts by other companies – to articulate the elements of responsible business for our time.

 

Patagonia, named by Fortune in 2007 as the coolest company on the planet, has earned a reputation as much for its ground-breaking environmental and social practices as for the quality of its clothes. In this exceptionally frank account, Chouinard and Stanley recount how the company and its culture gained the confidence, by step and misstep, to make its work progressively more responsible, and to ultimately share its discoveries with companies as large as Wal-Mart or as small as the corner bakery.

 

In plain, compelling prose, the authors describe the current impact of manufacturing and commerce on the planet’s natural systems and human communities, and how that impact now forces business to change its ways. The Responsible Company shows companies how to reduce the harm they cause, improve the quality of their business, and provide the kind of meaningful work everyone seeks. It concludes with specific, practical steps every business can undertake, as well as advice on what to do, in what order.

 

This is the first book to show companies how to thread their way through economic sea change and slow the drift toward ecological bankruptcy. Its advice is simple but powerful: reduce your environmental footprint (and its skyrocketing cost), make legitimate products that last, reclaim deep knowledge of your business and its supply chain to make the most of opportunities in the years to come, and earn the trust you’ll need by treating your workers, customers and communities with respect.


What will you add to the list?