Feed Your Inner Entrepreneur: Five Favorite Books

Our Reading List

Summer's slowly transforming itself to fall and one of my favorite pastimes is to read as much as I can. The types of books I enjoy reading sometimes vary -  from business and leadership to inspiration and fiction. I often ask myself, how can Story Spark grow and how can I improve as a leader? Thus books (whether they're physical or digital) have been extremely valuable resources. I've learned about new approaches and perspectives, principals in starting and running a business, as well as how to stay motivated. With that, I'd like to share some of the books that have provided me with some extremely insightful guidance. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, hopefully one of these can provide some new perspective and assist your own journey.

 


 

#1. Thou Shall Prosper

By Rabbi Daniel Lapin

Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin

The title is attention grabbing and after hearing that it was endorsed by Dave Ramsey, I looked forward to reading it. Though the title design is not visually interesting – in terms of content, it was hard to put down after the first couple of chapters. The book interweaves the history of why there's an exchange between a business and a customer. What I found particularly insightful was understanding how the perceived value that one is offering becomes appreciated by another in the form of a purchase. There is no sense of guilt for making something and selling it. The book also highlights the good that money can do for others. If a business is successful, then it helps the community thrive - a great reminder of why we start up our own businesses in the first place.

 


 

#2. Start With Why

by Simon Sinek

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

This is Simon Sinek's first book and personally I think this book is better than his second: Leaders Eat Last (which is included in this list as well). Start With Why helps you ask and answer those hard questions about why you do anything at all and then expands into the How and What - ultimately being described as the "Golden Circle".  Sinek walks you explicitly through this thought process so as to keep you focused on a single path toward building the business that you want. Once one is able to answer these questions, a sense of confidence and motivation becomes the reward.

 


 

#3. Leaders Eat Last

by Simon Sinek

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

Although I liked his first book an itsy bitsy more, Leaders Eat Last does a wonderful job in explaining how our brains work in conjunction with our actions. Simon Sinek describes how our brains respond in a culture of safety, and how we perform in that type of environment. Once this culture is created by leaders who actually care, then it's human nature to remain loyal and do a good job. There is a direct connection between our actions and our brain activity. This is what I appreciate about this book for it's a good reminder why we stay on course with Story Spark.

 


 

#4. Outliers

by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

I read this several years ago, but the stories are still relevant today. If you haven't heard about the 10,000 hours rule - it comes from this tome. Malcom Gladwell looks at the factors that create success and develops a pattern from them - which in turn allows us to ask that question: is success a destined path or not? I know this is oversimplifying any type of success, but the way he writes really persuades you into believing that everything about you matters - when you were born, where you were born, who went to school with you, what your parents did, the list of factors goes on and on. Knowing this about a group of successful people makes you hopeful that you're able to define your path, and that you can't do it in isolation.

 


 

#5. Found

by Davy Rothbart

Found

This is a book full of human treasures. It captures handwritten notes and drawings that were found by the author and others. It's a fun read and is filled with visual messages, letters from breakups on getting back to together, random notes found on cars, sidewalks and lockers.  l like picking this up to see the authenticity that lies behind words written by actual people – a reminder of how people are so different but yet can be so similar.

 


 

There are so many great books and stories to learn from. The next one I'm going to read will be the recently published Chaos Monkeys by Antonio Garcia Martinez. 

If you have favorite entrepreneurial books that you would like to share, please feel free to add them to the comments below.

Until next time, stay tech moderate and feed your mind.

 

 

Sun Kim

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