As an entrepreneur, it can be hard to take a step back and work on your business, instead of in your business. But that ability to invest in yourself–to learn, to change, and to grow–as a business owner is vital to your continued growth and success.
Reading can be a wonderful way to refresh your creative juices! Recently, our team enjoyed these three titles and found that reading as a team sparked tons of productive conversations and ideas to make our business even better.
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Read by Ellen
“Someone has done it before? Honey, it’s all been done before. Nothing’s really original. Not Homer or Shakespeare and certainly not you. Get over yourself.”-Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit
Fear of not being able to make something good enough, fear of focusing too much on a project that I would be a bad mom, and even fear that I wouldn’t be coming up with anything new had prevented me from even starting a project at various times; but after reading this book I realized not only what my fears were but why I could and should work through them.
The Creative Habit is a must-read for anyone with any kind of creative aspect to their life or business. It's written in a conversational way with a great blend of no-nonsense advice and refreshing encouragement. It's both practical and encouraging, offering inspiration and super useful exercises throughout the book. One of my favorite exercises was a long list of questions (that I was tempted to skip), which ended up teaching me about myself as I went through the process of answering each one. I highly recommend you read the book and do the exercises!
Read by Carlee
A quick, simple read, this book is nonetheless packed with genius. Maybe I'm older than I like to admit, but when I think of marketing strategies I think of TV ads, billboards, and infomercials. But I can't be that old because I detest all of those! The thought process within marketing has traditionally been to create, develop and then heavily market a product–sometimes with relentless, very expensive marketing. Sounds simple, but in the 21st century, it's all wrong. Marketing now means testing an idea, tweaking a prototype, and making real-time changes to your product. The ideas behind the changes come directly the consumer–it's a matter of getting constant feedback from the very people who are using or will use your product.
This is an easy-to-follow book, get through in a day kind of book, perfect for anyone who, like me, needs to wrap their brain around growth hacking. It has flipped a switch in my head to be always testing, always tweaking, and always, ALWAYS caring about what the customer has to say. We can't be afraid to listen and then to put their suggestions into action. And to drive that point home, the author shares just enough true stories of major brands–ones you use every day–that started out as something very different than they are now. And if they are wise, they'll continue to change as their consumer's needs progress.
Read by Victoria
I appreciated much of what Aimee Cohen had to say in her book, but at times her tone did rub me the wrong way. That said, I do think the insights of her book are helpful. (Also, I caught myself skimming at some points. You can often get the gist by glancing at the headings and bullet points.) Through years of working in career development, Cohen has identified seven ways that women prevent themselves from succeeding in business. Professional working women certainly are her ideal reader, but mamapreneurs will benefit from her coaching. (And for the record, I thought her use of the word ‘sin' was misappropriated and a word like mistakes or would have been more effective.) Personally, her charge for women to not believe that we are at fault for every mistake was the most impactful. I loved this quote:
“Why do we assume responsibility for things that aren’t our fault? This sinful, self-sabatoging behavior is best illustrated by every woman’s least favorite activity…jeans shopping…A woman will walk into a fitting room with 10 pairs of jeans and walk out with non because none of them fit and she’s in tears. She tells herself the jeans don’t fit because, “My butt’s too big, my legs are too short, and my muffin-top is an affront to society.” … In contrast, a man walks into a fitting room with 10 pairs of jeans and walks out with none, and his internal dialogue is very different. He tells himself, “There must be something wrong with these stupid jeans. Their design isn't’ right. Why don’t manufacturers know how to make a decent pair of jeans!?”
If you've been spinning wheels in your business and unsure of how to move forward, it could be that you've fallen into a rut of self-sabotage. Cohen's book may offer just the motivation you need to get back on track.
Shop our Reads!
Which of these books are on your “To-Read” list? Or tell us which books you are currently reading in the comments!
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