My very first job out of college was as an intern at ESSENCE magazine in New York City. And as you can imagine, working with a media company had its perks. There was the occasional free make up and beauty essentials, tickets to movie screenings, all access passes, epic social events (and yes the list goes on). Now I admit all of these things were great ( I mean REALLY great), but my biggest highlight woking in editorial were the tons of books we got for FREE!
Since then, intentional reading has changed so much of how I do business, connect with others, think, and simply how I live my life as an overall person! So if you're ready to take your work life, and real life to the next level, here are
7 books to read for blogging, business, and leading your best life!
1. Think and Grow Rich By Napoleon Hill
“Set your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass.”
― Napoleon Hill
This book is often referred to as the first ever "self-help book," and i couldn't agree more! Reading this will teach you the "secrets" that could bring you success ( by your own standard of course), and not just tell you what to do, but exactly HOW to do it! And the awesome thing about this book is that the illustrations and lessons are not just sharing techniques on how to grow rich financially, but also in spirit, relationships, and even at work.
But before you start, grab a journal, pen and a highlighter ( which you'll probably never put down by the way), so you can write down notes, affirmations, exercises for what's about to be your completely different life!
2. Leave Your Mark By Aliza Licht
“If change doesn't hurt a little, it's not change. You have to go beyond where you're comfortable, or you're not progressing.”
― Aliza Licht,
Aliza Licht is a global fashion communications executive, AKA fashion's favorite 'PR girl' AKA the big sister/mentor you always wanted.
This book tells you all things you need to know ( that no one ever thought to tell you) or perhaps the many things that most of us had to learn the heard way. From how to land your dream job and or internship, what to do to stay there, e-mail and social media etiquette, personal branding, and basically everything you need to get ahead in this digital age.
3. Slight Edge By Jeff Olson
“The journey starts with a single step—not with thinking about taking a step.”
― Jeff Olson
Study shows that four out of every five people struggle with consistency. Ok, that was definitely made up, but everyone has ( and probably still do) struggle with staying consistent at something. The Slight Edge is like "the little black book" that dishes out all the inside tips that helps you stay on track, remain consistent, reach your own idea of success, and just live an all around happier life. This is not just another "you can do it" self help book, but more like a illuminator of sorts that's shining light into your life showing you how you can shift your business, brand, and entire life by simply using the tools that are already within you!
4. How To Win Friends and Influence People By Dale Carnegie
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
― Dale Carnegie
OK. I've got to hand it to Dale Carnegie on this one. He literal gave a blueprint on influencing, before "influencing" was even a thing. And no this isn't about marketing your favorite lip gloss on Instagram or how to become popular. This book sheds light on building relationships by effectively communicating, and learning how to lead through listening ( and yes that's a thing). If you want to learn how to market, network, give the best you every single time, THIS book is a must read!
5. When Breath Becomes Air By Paul Kalanithi
“But knowing that even if I’m dying, until I actually die, I am still living.”
― Paul Kalanithi
Ok first thing's first. Grab some tissue while you'r ahead because book is one heck of a tear jerker. It's memoir of a surgeon Paul Kalanithi, who at the height of his career learned that he was dying from cancer. As compelling and thought provoking as this book is, the greatest take away for me is the way Kalanithi gracefully illustrates the value of life and doing that which we love, and also spending much time with those we love. I know often times we are torn between relationships, jobs, starting a business, launching our blog and we put our dreams off until tomorrow " assuming we had more time." Or perhaps it's quite the opposite. We know exactly what we want to do and where we want to be so we create extensive highly detailed outlines of our ideal life leaving no rooms for mistakes, or life's "lemons." And believe me i have been both! But few pages into this book you'll learn how finite ( and uncertain) life truly is. And the past and future are not nearly as important as the present.
6. Steal Like an Artist By Austin Kleon
“Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use—do the work you want to see done.”
― Austin Kleon
This book is like a creative manifesto for the digital age. It's graphics, illustrations, quotes and positive message is a must read for any and every creative regardless of what field you may be. Austin Kleon teaches valuable lessons on being yourself, tapping into your creativity, and finding inspiration in the world around you.
7. The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion By Elle Luna
“We each have unique potential that was given to us at birth, but whether or not we cultivate it is entirely up to us. In its purest sense, Must is why we are here to begin with, and choosing it is the journey of our lives.”
― Elle Luna
Ok so we've all be here before. We get to a place in our lives and we're uncertain what to do next, if our passion will lead to a "paying" job, or if we should play it safe and keep our 9-5. And that's when you come to the crossroads between what you think you "should" do, and what you must. And this book is a paper compass that gives you the tools to make the right decision without ever looking back! It’s about the difference between jobs, careers, and callings, the fears of choosing Must over Should—money, time, fear of failure) and the importance of making mistakes. There are so many valuable lessons in the fun, yet thought provoking short read I guarantee you'll read it twice!
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