A few weeks ago, I decided to add 30 minutes of daily reading to my morning routine. And that got me all inspired to buy some new books!
I always prefer a good old fashioned paperbacks if I have the choice, so I decided I’d order myself a big pile of books (ok, I’ll admit I probably didn’t need to buy 7 at once but I couldn’t decide what I wanted to read first). I unboxed my haul on insta stories and chatted about them in this video in one of my daily vlogs for 365 Days of Personal Growth. But I haven’t shared them here – so I thought I’d do that today!
It won’t take you long to see a theme – personal growth and business, as always! But I did throw a couple of fiction books in there too, just to give myself a break (and because I also LOVE fiction)! So here’s what I’m reading at the moment and what I will be reading over the coming months:
I’m about halfway through Shoe Dog and I adore it. It’s the story of Philip Knight, the co-founder of Nike, as he tries to navigate adulthood while building what is now one of the most successful brands in the world. I definitely recommend reading this book if you have, or want to create, your own business. But I also recommend it if you don’t because there are SO many incredible lessons about patience, persistence and resilience in his story!
Philip started Nike (then called Blue Ribbon Sports) just before his 26th birthday. Nike was a side hustle while Philip worked full-time as an accountant and then as a teacher. For years. And it wasn’t until he was 32 that the Nike logo was designed and much later that the brand truly started to take off. Reading about the persistence and patience that Philip deploys in order to create Nike is not only inspiring but a much needed reminder that there’s no need to rush.
I know I’m not the only one who has a tape playing in the mind about what they ‘should’ be doing in their twenties and what their twenties ‘should’ look like – an inspiring career, a loving partner, savings in the bank, a hot body and a flawless morning routine to boot (ok, maybe the last one is just me). And I know I’m not the only one who has caused themselves an incredible amount of suffering by constantly comparing their reality to the ‘should’, and to all the people who appear to have it.
Lately, I’ve found myself wanting to rush to success and I’ve realised that the rush comes from the ego – from my need to prove to myself and to others that I’m good enough, from the need to calm the uncertainty in my mind. I’ve been telling myself that I ‘should’ already be successful and impatiently resenting the process – and that does not help me achieve my goals. This book has reminded me that there is no ‘should’ – we all have a different path and we’re always on the path, so we need to learn how to enjoy every stage of it for what it is (instead of resenting we’re not further along). Love this book so much!
I’ve never been a great negotiator (probably because of my people-pleasing tendencies and fear of rejection) so when I came across this book, I immediately popped it in my cart. Never Split The Difference was written by a former FBI hostage negotiator to share his tried-and-tested negotiation techniques and teach others how to be more persuasive in their personal and professional lives. I’ll definitely be going through this one with my highlighter and some tabs and will let you know what I learn, but I’d recommend looking into this if you’re anything like me and struggle to assert yourself to your own detriment. It has amazing reviews!
The author of this book, Joey Graceffa, is a Youtuber. And he’s actually one of the ones I’ve never watched. But since I LOVE reading a good success journey story and this book has amazing reviews (from fans and non-fans alike), I decided to order it! It will probably be the last book I read from this hall, but I’m still excited to learn a little more about what it’s really like behind the glitz and glamour of being a famous YouTuber.
Meditations is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, a Roman Emperor, recording his private notes and ideas on Stoic Philosophy that were never intended for publish. Nonetheless, they were published (obvs haha) and many people now look to his writings for wisdom on how to overcome obstacles and lead a more fulfilling life.
I’ve heard these writings referred to multiple times, particularly in podcast interviews with either Tim Ferriss or Ryan Holiday, both of whom credit their practice of Stoic Philosophy principles as a factor in their success. I’m really keen to give it a read, though I know it’s one that’s going to take a little more concentration than usual (since the writing style is so different). I’ll let you know what I think!
Note: For an introduction to Stoic Philosophy, try The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday. This book pulls a lot from Meditations and contextualises it for modern day. I listened to it a couple of years ago on Audible and LOVED it. Definitely due for a re-listen!
In the last month I’ve been on a Gary Vee binge, so you might have heard me talking about him before. But in case you haven’t, Gary Vaynerchuk is an entrepreneur who shares his advice about building businesses and being truly engaging on social media. He’s known for being ahead of the curve, dishing out tough love and practicing what he preaches.
Since I find his podcast and YouTube videos insanely helpful, it was a no-brainer to order his book. But honestly, it hasn’t been as good as I’d hoped it would be! Not that the advice isn’t on point, but the book is Q&A style which means it’s a little hard to sit down and read with a cup of tea cover to cover. I also found that Gary’s tough love came across as a little cocky when it’s just there on a page without his enthusiasm and personality to back it.
Would I recommend this book? I’m not sure. I personally find his YouTube videos much more helpful. Here are some of my favourites:
- Document, Don’t Create (this is what inspired me to start my daily vlog 365 Days of Personal Growth, along with this episode of The Life Coach School Podcast)
- The Ultimate Advice For Every 20 Year Old
I’ve been a fan of Jodi Picoult since high school (My Sister’s Keeper was good, but my favourites have definitely been Nineteen Minutes and more recently The Storyteller). When I was looking for a fiction book to give my mind a break, Jodi Picoult was the first author I searched for and I was delighted to discover there’s a new book I haven’t read – Small Great Things. So keen to start reading this, I can’t even explain.
Last month I finished Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (I know, I was a little late to the party!) and I adored it. If you haven’t read Me Before You, please do yourself a favour and get it. The story reminded me of one of my favourite movies, The Intouchables, and I felt like I just had to get myself the follow up. I know it’s probably going to make me cry again but I don’t care. I need to know what happens! Definitely recommend checking this series out if you enjoy a good love story on a cosy Sunday afternoon.
How I Choose And Buy Books
So that’s everything I ordered! But I thought I’d share how I choose and buy books, just in case you’re interested!
Due to the free worldwide shipping, I almost always order my books through Book Depository. And I found the books mentioned above in a few different ways.
Some of them were recommendations from people I follow online. I always keep my ear out when I’m listening to my favourite podcasts, watching YouTube videos and scrolling through Instagram, and make a note of any standout recommendations in my iPhone. Others in the list (like Never Split The Difference) I found by searching through different categories on Book Depository. I looked through ‘Business, Finance & Law’, ‘Personal Development’ and ‘Mind, Body & Spirit’ as well as ‘Bestsellers’. And I vetted everything I found through Goodreads reviews.
By the way, this post is not sponsored by Book Depository – I’m just a huge fan of free shipping, especially since I live in Australia!
What are you reading?
I’d love to know what you’re currently reading and what you’ve got on your wishlist. Please let me know in the comments!
Get Out Of Your Own Way is a motivational 7-day challenge that will teach you how to overcome perfectionism and reach your full potential. You’ll find step-by-step instructions, inspiring pep talks and thought-provoking exercises to help you stop procrastination, create true self-confidence and become the best version of yourself that you can be. Learn more here.