While I always knew I wanted to start a business, I never really had much idea of where to begin. My business masters left me with practical skills, but there was still something missing… So I did what I always do, left with a puzzle I don’t know how to solve- I got reading. My biggest learning about starting a business from these inspirational business books? That so much in life comes down to fear. And until we get that fear (about our abilities, what people will think, that we aren’t worthy enough etc. etc.) out of our heads, we won’t be able to achieve what we want to achieve.
While many of these books contain lots of practical advice, what they really help you prepare is your mindset. This is key, as any gap in knowledge, or any mistakes you make along the way can be overcome as long as you have prepared for yourself mentally for the undertaking and have a clear vision of what you are chasing after.
These books not only changed my mindset in a way that allowed me to chase my dreams and start my own business, but those same tools formed the basis for the way I live my life on a day to day basis. I hope they can do the same for you…
The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith, Gabrielle Bernstein
I’m don’t remember there being any particular focus on starting a business at any stage of this book. There may be, but my real point is that this isn’t a book written with the intention of getting you to hand in your notice and chase your entrepreneurial dreams. What it is about, is reconnecting with your dreams and desires and having faith in the process of life. How on earth does that relate to starting your own business, your asking.
Well- in two ways. So many of us have disconnected from who we are and what we want, so we become consumed in living a life that doesn’t fully embody who we are. And secondly, when starting a business I discovered that a lot of things will go wrong and there will be plenty of ‘blocks’ that seem to come in the way. By changing the way I saw these I could release all the resistance to these. In real talk? I got less stressed by things that ‘went wrong,’ worked to find new ways around them and then realised the advantages to the change in plans after all.
Plus, taking a risk and starting a business feels so much easier when you know that the universe has your back…
She Means Business: Turn Your Ideas into Reality and Become a Wildly Successful Entrepreneur, Carrie Green
If you have ever felt the twinges of ambition to start a business this book is for you. This book was nothing short of life changing for me… So many of us have great ideas for a business, but don’t know where to begin, or we start and so quickly become overwhelmed, convincing ourselves that it was madness that it would ever be possible to achieve those goals. This book helped me overcome so many blocks with its stories and exercises, but also provided me with practical advice when it came to starting a business. I was also once lucky enough to attend a Red Magazine breakfast with Carrie and got to see her inspire so many other women first hand, so I can promise you it wasn’t just me!
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert
Did you used to love writing stories when you were little? Or perhaps you loved to paint, or create lego fantasy lands. We give up on so many of the things we enjoy as we get older and ultimately give up on our dreams as a result. This book inspires you to reconnect with the things that make you feel most alive.
One of the biggest lessons from this book was that in order to do this, we have to let go to our attachment to the result. It was something I struggled to grapple with, especially if you put it into the frame of starting a business. But think of it this way… You firstly need to reconnect to things you love, you then need to create the intention to nurture those ideas and then, maybe, you can form some success from them… but if you’re enjoying them and your happy isn’t that success in itself?
This book is also great if you don’t necessary want to quit your job and fly by the seat of your pants- Elizabeth may be a best selling author now but she was once a waitress whilst writing in order to make ends meet…
If you’re not much of a reader, or fancy even more, I suggest listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s masterclass on the CALM app. It’s fantastic for realigning you to your goals and passions when you’re feeling a little lacklustre!
So often we don’t want to start a business or chase our passion because we are scared what people will think. Well, welcome to the ultimate guide to not caring a damn what anyone has to say… This book is written in such a brilliant way, making it funny and accessible. It helps you realise those deep seated fears that stop us being who we want to be whilst helping us see why others can be so resistant to it. Be prepared to start living your life the way you want to, in every respect.
Do you have any books that have helped you? I always love a good book recommendation so send them my way!