It’s one of the great quandaries, don’t you think, that despite the relentless march of technology, books are still the source of the most useful information?
Sure, you may choose to read a book on your phone, or laptop, via something like Kindle. But it’s still a book. Simply transferred to a different medium.
Words hold an infinite power to educate, guide, inspire, celebrate, and reassure.
In book form, you’re insulated from distraction. No annoying pop-up adverts, no ability to simply hit the back button. The author has your attention, and you concentrate on what they have to say.
There are, of course, countless business books that’ll help you in your entrepreneurial journey.
Sometimes, though, it’s good to let loose with your thoughts and delve into wider, more abstract, elements that could help too.
By doing so, you’ll be refreshing your mind, allowing it to run free, however briefly, from the day-to-day business necessities that tend to occupy it.
That freedom allows you to explore new ideas, avenues and possibilities, prompted by the thoughts of the authors.
Instead of focusing just on one thing, these authors all encourage your mind to wander. To embrace the new, even if it’s just a slightly different take on something you’ve already decided to do.
Taking a few hours out every week (every day would be even better) leads to a more complete view of your business and the wider sphere of activity it exists in.
Here are a few favourite authors, and some of their titles. (Links are to their own websites; whether you choose to buy from Amazon or somewhere else is your choice.)
Malcolm Gladwell: David & Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants
“…innovators need to be disagreeable. By disagreeable, I don’t mean obnoxious or unpleasant. I mean that on that fifth dimension of the Big Five personality inventory, “agreeableness,” they tend to be on the far end of the continuum. They are people willing to take social risks—to do things that others might disapprove of.”
Dave Trott: Predatory Thinking
“Lessons that you work out for yourself are much more powerful than rules you memorize parrot-fashion. They stay with you. That’s why this book is a series of stories instead of a list of rules. Stories that have influenced me, and that I’ve learned predatory thinking from. Examples in as many different areas as possible. That way, you’ll learn the principles and apply them for yourself, in ways I might never even have thought of. And that is the whole point of predatory thinking.”
Jonah Berger: Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age
“Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 percent to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions. It is between 8.5 and 30 times more effective than traditional media.But want to know the best thing about word-of-mouth? It’s available to everyone.Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company trying to increase sales, a corner restaurant trying to raise awareness, a non-profit trying to fight obesity, or a newbie politician running for city council, word-of-mouth can help you succeed. And you don’t have to have millions of dollars to spend on an advertising budget. You just have to get people to talk.”
John Hegarty: On Creativity: There Are No Rules
“Every day we have ideas. They are the most profound of products that we as humans generate. Big ones, silly ones, funny ones – the irreverent to the groundbreaking. Ideas are the driving force of human progress. From the discovery of the wheel to the internal combustion engine, for better or worse ideas are mankind’s contribution to our planet’s development. Some are good and sadly some are bad. Like peanut butter. Disgusting stuff.”
Bernadette Jiwa: Meaningful: the Story of Ideas that Fly
“We don’t change the world by starting with our brilliant ideas, our dreams; we change the world by helping others to live their dreams. The story of ideas that fly is the story of the people who embrace them, love them, adopt them, care about them and share them. Successful ideas are the ones that become meaningful to others—helping them to see what’s possible for them.”
Remember, you don’t have to agree with everything these authors say. But you’ll find, at the very least, they’ll keep you on your toes. Considering alternatives, questioning paths you’ve already embarked upon, and continually evolving your own unique strategies.