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Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Written by the two founders of 37Signals (now Basecamp), this book is a must-read for just about anyone! Whether you’re an aspiring solopreneur, an employee or in management, the rules of how work gets done have changed – and it’s in your best interest to keep up! Many of the old adages and hand-me-downs of the workplace are simply outdated, inefficient or just wrong.
This book begs to be read multiple times. The lessons are both concise and noteworthy, and they’ll serve you well. For those thinking about starting a side-hustle, I recommend the ‘Go’ chapter – it will get you up and moving!
The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
This is a real game-changer of a book. If you don’t know Tim Ferriss you must check out his website, podcast and his other work. With a focus on mobility, automation and outsourcing, 4-Hour will inspire you to think big about all of the opportunity out there. It’s the internet age and the whole concept of ‘work’ has changed for us. To get you started, Tim has provided many examples and has a ton of helpful resources in the Expanded And Updated version.
Remember, setting up passive income streams frees you up to spend your time doing what you want to do. If you are feeling stuck in a day-job this is the book for you! Life is too precious to spend 40-hours/week doing something you don’t enjoy.
This is Marketing by Seth Godin
Seth Godin’s marketing philosophy should be your philosophy. His writing is crystal clear and will really get you thinking. Simply put, great marketing is all about solving other people’s problems. Your brand needs to tell a compelling story and needs to connect with a group of people. Keep the audience small – really niche down and be specific – and make them passionate about your brand. It is an art!
If you have uncomfortable feelings about marketing – or if you think it’s overrated – this book will sort it out. You must understand the importance of solid marketing in today’s world. As the subtitle states, ‘You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See’.
The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman
This gem is over 30-years old now, but it still holds up. Don Norman is a cognitive scientist who breaks down ‘design’ – the good and the bad – in a very digestible and clear manner. The key argument of the book is that your focus throughout the design process of anything must always consider how people (with all of their quirks and tendencies) will interact with it. A philosophy referred to as human-centered design.
Whether we are talking about your product/service, your website or your customer interactions – they all must cater to human behaviour and psychology. Making something that looks cool, but is awkward and confusing to use, just isn’t acceptable anymore. A very important read for entrepreneurs in the early stages.
Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio
This has been a very powerful book for me. Ray Dalio is the founder of Bridgewater, one of the largest hedge funds in the world. Here he lays out his guiding principles – his guidebook to life/work – for everyone to adopt or alter. These kinds of principles help to maximize your effectiveness so you get the most out of life/work. He writes very clearly with a voice that is both tough-love and empowering.
‘Be Radically Open-Minded’ really stuck with me. You need to see beyond your own biases to get the clearest picture and the best information. This book is full of nuggets we would all do well by implementing into our daily lives. Ray is both wise and, subsequently, very successful; the kind of person worth your time and attention!