Books to Help Grow Your Business & More
It’s been a hot minute since I have shared any book reviews with you, but this girl has been a reading machine! Between audiobooks, and reading at night, I’ve been making it through a few books a month lately. January is a month to revisit goals and seek inspiration and motivation, so this past month I was all about books for the entrepreneur, and I read 5 books that each shared great wisdom for someone trying to keep their nose to the grindstone in creating their own way in the working world. Then I ended the month with a really lighthearted funny read, because those kinds of books are good to just make you laugh and cleanse the palette sometimes. So that I don’t fall behind in sharing book reviews with you (I know you love them, and I don’t want to let you down!), I’ve decided to do monthly recaps of the books I read each month. Today we’re going to talk about everything I read in January, and it features one of my all time favorites! (I am an amazon associate and I earn a small commission on purchases made through my affiliate links. Thank you for your support!)
Everything is Figureoutable– Marie Forleo
If you’ve been reading my Feel Good Friday posts, you’ve seen this woman’s name pop up several times before. I am a huge fan of Marie Forleo. She’s ridiculously talented, and so business savvy, but has a unique quirky tell-it-like-it-is approach that resonates with me. I selected this book as my instagram book club‘s January read, and I am SOOOO glad I did. (By the way, anyone can read along with us, so check out our page!) Marie’s voice throughout the book is just like that on her famous Marie TV or podcast, and I could hear her speaking to me. Interwoven throughout this book are several anecdotes that Marie shares about her own life and struggles, and they are 100% relatable. Incredible, inspiring, media moguls don’t get there overnight… they work hard, make mistakes, learn from all failures, and figure things out. In addition to text, there are end of chapter activities, so I kept a journal and pencil handy and made time to complete each of them. This book truly encouraged me to believe in myself and the power of the phrase, “everything is figureoutable.” I was encouraged to push myself to do all of the things I have been dreading because I didn’t know how, or it wouldn’t be good enough. In fact, after years of blogging, I finally started an email newsletter! (You can sign up in my side bar over there. <——) I’ve made a few mistakes with it, but I did it, and I am proud of myself for taking that step. This book is for anyone trying to do better in life, but I think it especially hits the self-doubter hard (that’s me, hand up in the air!). If you’re interested in seeing the reviews from the book club, and hearing what the other 3 members thought, you can view our video here.
Girlboss– Sophia Amoruso
I happened to pick up this audiobook on my Libby app (library app). I prefer to listen to nonfiction over fiction, and don’t plan ahead enough so I always just peruse what’s available, vs what I hope to read and as I hop on a 3 month wait list. I needed a book to listen to NOW NOW NOW! Girlboss is almost 5 years old, but boy did this one resonate with me big time! Amoruso started out eating food out of the dumpster (that part did not resonate with me as much…), and had a knack for thrifting and a love of vintage fashion. With her passion, and savvy business instincts, she created a multi-million dollar business that is huge today! I loved her street smart sense, and real approach, and think this is a must read for anyone starting a business in fashion or vintage, or just needing a kick in the pants in owning their Girlboss status! There were so many times I found myself quoting the author’s stories to Emmy because I was hoping she’d be as inspired as I was, plus she has a really great eye for vintage fashion. LOVED this one, so much more than I ever expected. I will say that since this book was written, Amoruso ran into some troubles, and filed for bankruptcy in 2016, but sold her business which still exists today. In 2012 her shop was named fastest growing retailer by INC magazine, so while she did struggle at some point, she clearly grew and scaled an amazing business and knows what she’s talking about. Also, I think anyone who can sell a company for millions and millions of dollars is a success.
Do It Scared– Ruth Soukup
I really wanted to love Do It Scared, which was written by fellow blogger (hugely successful one at that!), Ruth Soukup. Even though I don’t actually read her blog, she’s an inspiration of how a woman has really built an enterprise around her brand. This book started by naming all of the fear archetypes, and encouraging you to go to her website to take the fear archetype test to see which you were. (I mentioned already, and this test showed me… self-doubter here!) This section of the book dragged out for me, and wasn’t super interested or engaging, but I kept going knowing that the real meat of the book would follow, which it did. This section was filled with more stories from her own life as well as testimonials of others, and those stories always hit me so much more than just a bunch of facts. Soukup also provided tactics for overcoming each fear. However, I found there was a lot of crossover in the archetypes, and redundancy in the book, and way too much tooting of her own horn. I know it’s her book, and that it should be filled with inspiration from her life, but a lot of it just repeated unnecessarily. Now, don’t get the wrong idea, I still really liked this book and got a lot out of it, but it was not what I had hoped for. I also think that it paled in comparison to Marie Forleo’s book, which has some similar ideas but is more relatable and down to earth.
(Note: After taking the archetype test, I started receiving emails from her brand every day, and it was a little too much for me and I had to unsubscribe. I found some Amazon reviews that felt the same way about the “email bombardment” as one review called it. Just a warning to the reader.)
Crush It– Gary Vaynerchuk
Once again while perusing what was available on Libby, I came across Crush It. In this book, Vaynerchuk addresses how to cash in on your passion by using the power of the internet and social media. This book was written in 2009, so instagram wasn’t even around. (Can you remember a world without instagram?) It’s outdated by now, but it was a quick audiobook, and it was an introduction to Gary V for me, and I really loved his exuberant personality. After I listened to it, I came home and searched to see if he had written anything else and was excited to find….
Crushing It– Gary Vaynerchuk
In his follow up to Crush it, Crushing It, Gary Vaynerchuk shares several success stories from entrepreneurs who used the tactics he shared in Crush It. This one, I really loved! I found all of the stories throughout of entrepreneurs figuring things out and taking advantage of social media to scale their business really insightful and inspiring. I was using the audio version again, so I was glad to have my phone nearby, because each time a new entrepreneur was introduced, I’d look for their instagram account. There was one story in particular that had me in tears, and just shows what gumption and passion and a willingness to learn can do to grow a business. I ended up sending that woman, Mimi G, a message through instagram just to tell her how her story had me crying, and how happy I was for her success. She ended up following me and I followed her back, and now I love keeping up with her. She’s a positive light in this world! This book was filled with examples of people making a difference in the world with their businesses because they followed their hearts and took Gary V’s advice. I strongly recommend this one!
Sh*t My Dad Says– Justin Halpern
My last read of the month was Sh*t My Dad Says. I honestly can’t recall how I heard about it, but I believe it was on a podcast. However I did, I knew immediately that I wanted to give this book to my own dad last year for Father’s Day. He passed it on to my mom who then passed it on to me. After the author was dumped by his girlfriend at the age of 29, he found himself moving back in with his parents. His father was retired, and home all day, and had many hysterical things to say that he started tweeting. People reacted and loved it, so a book was born out of all of the things his father said. Halpern added many stories from his youth, and things his father said throughout his life. I was laughing out loud at several moments throughout this book. It was a light read with a lot of curse words that made me laugh, so I am calling it a winner. I’ll end with his dad’s thoughts on kindergarten, “You thought it was hard? If kindergarten is busting your a$$, I got some bad news for the rest of your life.”
There you have it; that is everything I read for the month of January. If you’re worried that I am only going to be reading non-fiction, don’t worry! I am reading a suspenseful novel right now, and am following it up with another fictional read for our book club.
What have you read lately that you loved?