The return of autumn means it is back to business for entrepreneurs after a summer loaded with sunnin’, funnin’, and plenty of light beachy books. But while getting back into the groove may be pumped full of adrenaline in the beginning, it’s still easy to use a bit of steam along the way.
If you’re ready to recharge your business with words that inspire, check out the four books currently on the MyCorp bookshelf. From exploring the science behind what makes ideas popular to the replenishing nature of sleep cycles, these reads are just the material you, and your small business, needs to challenge yourself to light a fire within.
The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington
It may seem strange to kick this listicle off by telling entrepreneurs to go to bed, but as Arianna Huffington, Co-Founder of The Huffington Post writes, we are actually in the middle of a sleep deprivation crisis. How often do entrepreneurs put off sleep in favor of getting just one more thing scratched off the to-do list? Or worse yet, consider sleep to be a waste of time better spent working?
In her latest book, Huffington explores how sleep provides us with the ability to refocus on who we are and the consequences that come with ignoring this need in favor of shrinking life down as a to-do list. By renewing our relationship with sleep, we ultimately reinforce our relationship with ourselves, giving our lives the chance to put goals into action and achieve dreams while nourishing and transforming our own self inside and out.
Contagious by Jonah Berger
What makes an idea popular? For those heavily entrenched in social media, it’s easy to say that word of mouth is responsible. But according to Jonah Berger, marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, word of mouth is only the primary factor behind 20% of 50% of all purchasing decisions. If that’s the case, then what else accounts for bringing products or ideas to the top of mind? Why do some ideas succeed while others fail?
Contagious takes an in-depth look at what makes ideas and products popular and the science behind how ideas that are placed at the forefront of our minds lead us to take action. As Berger writes, contagious content utilizes physiological arousal — emotions like joy or anger — to help it naturally spread regardless of whom is spreading the content. But at the core, the content can’t spread alone. Using the mantra “when we care, we share,” it relies on people to share the story, which is ultimately what content is: a story. We think in narratives and it’s up to brands to establish that narrative and add the right information to ensure that the idea and product is promoted along for the ride.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
By nature, entrepreneurs are gritty people. Grit means that through thick and thin moments alike, there is courage to move forward and a backbone to know that hard work reaps rewards. In Grit, psychologist Angela Duckworth argues that the keys to success lie in passion and perseverance. Going off of the notion in Contagious about why ideas succeed while others fail, Grit explores why some people succeed while others fail.
Being talented does not mean you’ll be successful. Rather, Duckworth explains that factors like identifying passions and following through on commitments fuel our achievements. Doing one thing, and doing it better and better each time, is also considered to be much more satisfying than remaining an amateur at many different things. Duckworth also taps into how not to overreact to setbacks and failures and what she has learned from interviewing high achievers over the years.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
“Nothing in life is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it.” Consider how much we dwell on the choices we make in our professional and personal lives. Why do we decide the way that we do? The answer lies in the two systems of the mind: System 1 and System 2.
In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman dives into the world of these two systems which, if you haven’t guessed it already, allow us to think quickly and slowly. System 1 moves fast, using intuition and emotions as a guide. System 2 takes in the facts and logic first at a much slower pace. If a good decision does not work out, we blame the decision maker for making the ‘wrong’ choice, but anything that is quietly successful after the fact receives little credit. Kahneman explores how it is easier to recognize the mistakes of others than our own and what our thinking, whether fast or slow, reveals about our own thoughts and behavior.
What business books are you reading this fall? Share a comment below and let us know!