5 Self-Help Books for Navigating Entrepreneurial Life​

5 Self-Help Books for Navigating Entrepreneurial Life

Blog post by Karen Hollenbach

15th May, 2023

Here are my top picks for the self-help books I’ve read, and in some cases re-read or listened to as audio books. They’ve been instrumental in helping me navigate entrepreneurial life since establishing my business in 2010.

1. “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain

As I recall doing the simple quiz at the start of this book, I am reminded of the gift that comes with reading new concepts. The quiz uncovered that I’m an ambivert. Ambiverts are described as being smack in the middle of the introvert-extrovert spectrum.

In this book, Susan Cain explores introversion and its impact on individuals and society at large. She unveils the often overlooked strengths and contributions of introverts in a world that tends to favour extroversion. She challenges the societal bias towards outgoing personalities and celebrates the power of quiet, introspective individuals. 

“Quiet” encourages us to embrace our  true selves, harness our unique strengths, and find the courage to stand proudly in a society that sometimes underestimates the value of introversion. This was a popular read with One Roof’s Book Club.

2. “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” by Cal Newport

If you haven’t heard of time block planning, here’s the best possible introduction to this concept. I credit this book for helping me work a 4 day week. 

In this book, Cal Newport explores the value of intense focus and undistracted work in a world filled with constant distractions. He outlines strategies to cultivate deep work, such as embracing a ritualistic approach to work, minimising shallow tasks, and setting clear boundaries to protect uninterrupted focus. Newport also examines the negative impact of constant connectivity and multitasking on productivity and creativity. 

3. “Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business” by Paul Jarvis

I first read this book when I was feeling like an entrepreneurial outlier, as a result of resisting moving into an office and rejecting the commonly held belief that a successful business must scale. 

In this book, Paul Jarvis presents a refreshing and unconventional approach to entrepreneurship and business growth. Rather than advocating for relentless expansion and scaling, Jarvis makes a compelling case for the advantages of staying small and building a sustainable, fulfilling business on one’s own terms. Jarvis encourages entrepreneurs and business owners to focus on quality over quantity, nurturing strong customer relationships, and staying true to their core values. 

4. “Atomic Habits” by James Clear

In this book, James Clear emphasises that small changes, or “atomic habits,” can lead to remarkable transformations over time. By understanding the four key components of habits – cue, craving, response, and reward – you can gain insights into the mechanics of behaviour change. Clear introduces the concept of habit stacking, habit tracking, and the importance of your environment in shaping habits. This was a popular read with One Roof’s Book Club.

He also emphasises the role of identity in driving behaviour, advocating for the adoption of new habits that align with one’s desired identity. This idea is the reason I am reading and listening to more books. You can check out what I am currently reading or have recently read over on goodreads

5. “Braving the Wilderness” by Brene Brown

In this book, Brene Brown explores the concept of true belonging and the courage to stand alone when necessary, delving  into the paradoxical nature of belonging – how it requires both embracing our authentic selves and being open to connect with others. 

“Braving the Wilderness” advocates for the courage to stand for our beliefs even if it means braving the wilderness of being misunderstood or isolated. This is the part of the book that resonated most for me. The book ultimately empowers us to cultivate self-compassion, authenticity, and a sense of belonging to create a more compassionate and connected world. Brown’s inspiring and compassionate message challenges us (gently) to embrace our true selves and bravely navigate the wilderness of human connection and belonging.

Anna and I will be discussing this book in an upcoming One Roof Quarterly Book Club. 

About the Author

Karen Hollenbach is a LinkedIn Training Specialist, Educator, Writer & Speaker and the Founding Director of educational consultancy.

Karen offers a unique perspective to help individuals and organisations use LinkedIn better to achieve their professional goals.

Follow Karen on LinkedIn or sign up to her e-insights at thinkbespoke.com.au

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