4 Books you should be reading right now

Posted In: This & That
Books you should be reading in 2016, Andrea Staska Photography


I have always been an avid reader and I’ve been known to finish a book within a day if I really liked it. In the past my friends often made fun of me, when we’d go on vacation and I’d complain about pain in my shoulder. It would help if I didn’t always carry at least 3 different paperbacks in my handbag, they’d say. While there was certainly truth in that statement, what was I supposed to do? This was before Kindle and before Audible (and yes I realize this sentence makes me sound ancient). Leaving my books at home? Not a chance.

These days things are a bit different though. I exchanged heavy paperback books against my Kindle (with an admittedly heavy heart) and I started using Audible for business related books, which is awesome. You see, with a 40hr / week corporate job and my photography business, spending an hour reading everyday simply isn’t feasible anymore and I am now using my weekends to catch up on reading the latest bestsellers.

Also, since I’ve started my business this past April I’ve become a huge fan of business and self-development books and have a huge list with titles that I’ve yet to read. For those books I’ve started using Audible. I’m not usually a fan of audio books, but my drive to and from work takes me about 30 minutes twice a day and I’ve found that listening to business related audio books during this time, comes in really handy (and I feel so productive before I’ve even clocked in at work 😉 )

Below I’ve listed a couple of business related (audio) books that I’ve ‘read’ recently and that I can absolutely recommend, even if you are not a business owner.

The Success Principles - Jack Canfield I think this book should be required reading for everyone. Jack Canfield presents 64 success principles that he claims "always work"—and draws on his own experience and that of others to illustrate them. Sixty-four principles definitely seem like a lot, but each receives a concise, easy-to-digest chapter that challenges readers to risk creating their lives exactly as they want them. Many of the principles are familiar—e.g., "Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life"—but Canfield has a nifty way of summarizing them ("Reject rejection"), and some are inventive: "Become an Inverse Paranoid" means see the world as out to help you instead of out to get you. Obviously a lot of these principles could be called common sense and I don’t think it’s possible to execute all of them all the time, but none the less it’s a great book that, if nothing else, will push your level of motivation up for sure.

How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie This book was first published in 1937 and has been updated to reflect todays circumstances. Since I am a big believer in being kind and treating others with respect, this book has quickly become one for my favorites. Success, Carnegie believed, is due 15 percent to professional knowledge and 85 percent to "the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people." He teaches these skills through underlying principles of dealing with people so that they feel important and appreciated. He also emphasizes fundamental techniques for handling people without making them feel manipulated.

Start with Why - Simon Sinek I was pointed to this book and Simon Sinek in particular by Nadia Meli as she uses this book also in her photography workshops. In start with why Simon Sinek basically talks about what makes a business (or a person) successful. How is it that two people, two companies, two organizations can do exactly the same thing and one is successful doing it while the other is not. (Hint: It’s all about the “why”) Even if you are not a business owner or otherwise self-employed, read it anyway it’s really, really good.

Big Magic - Elizabeth Gilbert This one is not really a business book per say, as it deals more with what it means to be creative and how to live a creative life, which comes in handy if you work in a creative job, but probably isn’t your first choice if you are selling life insurance. I must admit it took me a while to warm up to Eat, Pray, Love (which was also written by Elizabeth Gilbert) so I wasn’t all that convinced about Big Magic, but after seeing quite a few interviews and TED talks with / by her, I decided to give it a chance anyway. As I said before, if you are a very straight laced person and not interested in living a (somewhat) creative life, this book probably won’t do much for you, but personally I really liked and enjoyed it.

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