5 Books that Shaped My Business This Year

If you head into a bookstore this holiday and go to the aisle on entrepreneurship, you’ll find hundreds of titles to choose from. (And if you go on Amazon and do a search, well, be prepared to be even more overwhelmed.)

That’s why I’m sharing a curated list of books that helped me shape my business this year. I know the time you have to read is limited (after all, you’re growing a business) and that the titles you pick up need to be particularly impactful. 

So here it is, my list of 5 titles that influenced me this year, and earned my "worth your time" recommendation: 

THE PROSPEROUS COACH by Rich Litvin and Steve Chandler
Despite the fact that many people recommended this book to me, I didn’t buy it for months because I thought it was going to be more focused on prosperity than purpose. Now I know it’s a must-read for any coach or service-based entrepreneur who wants a big impact and great income. The best part is the authors preach simplicity so you can create clients for your business with ease, one powerful conversation at a time. No surprise, I absolutely loved their approach because it validated what I’d been doing to grow my business for years and gave me new tools to do it better too.
This one’s for you if…you’re a service-based provider who needs to get clients and wants to do it authentically and without relying on overly complicated marketing strategies.

WILL IT FLY by Pat Flynn
Truth be told, I bought this book for my husband, who was exploring a business idea we’d hatched one night after dinner. It now sits on my side of the bed. I was drawn to the way passive income expert Pat Flynn shares real life stories and actionable advice to help people vet their ideas. It’s an important step in the business building process, and one we too often skip. I’m confident that if you take your next idea through this vetting process, it will save you loads of time and prevent you from pursuing ideas that won’t fly. 
This one’s for you if….you’ve got a new business idea or an idea for a new product or service that you want to explore before you fully invest your time, energy and resources into it.

CHASING SLOW by Erin Loechner
Technically, this one’s not a business book. But Erin Loechner’s story of how she left the fast lane for a slower, simpler life, resonated with me because I so firmly believe that we have to design our businesses and work to suit our lifestyle not the other way around. And, as Erin finds in the book, when you design your life and work around your priorities, some pretty beautiful transformations unfold. 
This one’s for you if…you’re feeling like 2018 needs to be the year you slow down and design a business that suits your lifestyle so you can enjoy the freedom of being your own boss. 

YOU ARE A BADASS by Jen Sincero
This book packed everything I learned in life coaching school into one witty paperback read. It’s self-help with a side of humor, and covers topics as diverse as fear, procrastination and perfection. If you’re new to mindset work, it’s a good overview – and completely relatable as the author acknowledges that she was a skeptic too when she first started exploring things like gratitude, meditation and manifestation. 
This one’s for you if…you have a sneaking suspicion that you and your limiting beliefs are the only things holding you back from running a successful business and living a truly great life.

IN THE COMPANY OF WOMEN by Grace Bonney
Design*Sponge founder Grace Bonney combined inspiration and advice from makers, artists and entrepreneurs in this lovely read. That doesn’t mean she shies away from the harder topics, though. There are questions in each interview on real life stuff like diversity in entrepreneurship, self-doubt and adversity. I’ve been making this one last by reading just a few interviews a week and always come away with a useful tidbit – or three.
This one’s for you if…you learn best by reading about what worked (and didn’t) for other entrepreneurs and can adopt their advice to your own life and business.

Now I’d love to hear from you. Did you read any of these titles this year? If yes, comment below and share your takeaways. 

If no, comment below and tell me what titles topped your list. I’m already stocking my shelf for 2018 and am always looking for personal recs.

With love,

Ashley