One of the things I love to do is read about seemingly ordinary people running extraordinary business's. I guess it's easy to think there must be some highly qualified, powerhouse people behind the big brands - when in actual fact they are mostly people like you and me who step into the arena with little to no experience, learn everything on the go and never give up.
I've collected a pretty extensive bookcase full of start-up stories and I just wanted to drop in here and let you in on the 3 most powerful books I've read since starting my Gift Hamper Business. There are also some honourable mentions of other 'must reads' at the end. I hope these can inspire & help you like they did me.
WINGING IT - Emma Isaacs.
Emma is the founder and Global CEO of Business Chicks - Australia's largest community for women in business. As a University drop out, Emma started a recruitment agency at the age of 18, then went on to buy 'Business Chicks' at the age of 24. She is a mum of 5, a hugely successful entrepreneur, sought after speaker & mentor.
What's it about?
Highly relatable, warm and funny - it's like sitting down with your bestie and having a (very insightful) chat about how to thrive while growing your business.The premise is 'winging it' which means Emma thrives on being uncomfortable, challenged and stretched - it's actually how she gets her energy. Mentored by Sir Richard Branson, Emma runs us through her most valuable insights into how she got to where she is....and it's all about mindset, building valuable relationships and working smarter. Not afraid to admit her vulnerabilities, it's Emma's ability to continually show up and work in a smart/multi-tasking kind of way (her time saving hacks are brilliant) that truly make this a book that will be re-read many times over. Emma is the kind of boss who goes above and beyond to not only support her staff but everyone she comes into contact with. I love how the 'imposter syndrome' phrase that we all know & feel has been turned around into a more positive phrase of 'winging it' - it sounds daring, and that's kind of cool.
Start doing - one step at a time and 'wing it' when you don't know how.
"When you wing it, you learn how to trust yourself and develop more confidence. You start to believe that everything is going to be okay, and if not, at least you've felt something you've never felt before and you've tried something new. And that my dear friend, could just about be the meaning of life right there." - Emma Isaacs.
BIG MAGIC - Elizabeth Gilbert.
She's that lady who wrote 'Eat, Pray, Love'....please don't let that turn you off!
What's it about?
OK, so I tossed up whether to award number 2 spot to Brene Brown's 'Daring Greatly' but I chose to go with this title. It's a little more light and fluffy to read but I love her message - have the courage to put yourself out there and unleash your creativity - without shame and without apology. It's a warm reminder to live curiously, and be open to receiving inspiration from the most unlikely sources (read the part about her 'transferring' her book idea directly to Anne Patchett in a greeting kiss). I like Elizabeth's energy, encouragement and reminder to live a creative life, because who's got time for fear?
"Your life is short and rare and amazing and miraculous, and you want to do really interesting things and make really interesting things while your'e still here." - Elizabeth Gilbert.
#IFSHECAN - Rare Birds.
Who's it about?
If you could bundle up all the best business mentors and put their advice into a book - well, this is actually it.
27 Australian women entrepreneurs share their insights, do's, don'ts, mistakes, challenges and successes.
What's it about? It's full of stories from recognizable business start-ups like TOM Organic, CANVA & Frank Body. These women share how & why they started, how they handled the beginnings of running a business, the challenges and lastly, their best tips for success.
Be consistent, have faith in where you are going & know that when you start nothing will be perfect.
"Just jump in and don't let fear or excuses hold you back." - Justine Flynn, Co-Founder and Director of THANKYOU.
Honourable mentions...Here are some more great books to read. I'm always keen to hear your recommendations so please, reach out and pop me a DM or email if you want to let me know about a 'must read.'
From my bookshelf to yours,
SHOE DOG - Phil Knight
DARING GREATLY - Brene Brown
DARING & DISRUPTIVE - Lisa Messenger
Thankyou - CHAPTER ONE - Daniel Flynn
YOUR DREAM LIFE STARTS HERE - Kristina Karlsson