I have to admit – I dislike reading. It’s not that I’m lazy or don’t have the willpower to turn off the TV, it’s that I have poor eyesight from years of staring at screens. Rather than letting that deter me, I turned to audiobooks. Audiobooks make it so easy to continue my education and broaden my horizons – whenever and wherever I want.
My commute used to be around forty minutes each way, and anyone that has sat through Dallas traffic knows how frustrating it is to spend forty minutes to go only twelve miles. Rather than scrolling through endless Spotify playlists only to land on songs I loathed at the most inopportune time (like 70 miles per hour on the tollway), I started turning to audiobooks. I found that I arrived at work calmer, more refreshed, and bursting with ideas.
Another great time to carve out for self-education: bed time. It’s the perfect way to wind down and decompress at the end of the day. By carving out just an hour or two each day for reading, you will find you can read a book every one to two weeks. Now do a bit of math, compound that interest, and then decide if it’s worth getting years ahead in just a few minutes a day!
Not all reading is created equal, however. Your choice of content is equally as important as time spent committed to reading. I tend to focus mostly on business, career and behavioral non-fiction books. I find the material to be very helpful throughout all aspects of business, especially those within my control, like attitude, behavior and individual positioning. Never underestimate the power of knowledge!
3 Books Every Businesswoman Should Read
- Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
- It’s really easy to sit back and downplay others accomplishments by saying things like “I could easily do his job – why did he get it and not me?” or “she didn’t earn that position”. Those are small-minded statements generally made by insecure individuals. In her book, Duckworth dives deep into the world of parenting, education, sports and other aspects of life that help to shape and determine level of “grit”. Some of the studies she references I found surprising and intriguing – especially the parts where she talks about not having to be the best or the smartest, at least not right away. If you’re in a slump, looking for motivation, or need to make a change – this is a great read to give you that kickstart!
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
- This one is a game-changer. Most people will talk about attitude being the most important quality in determine whether an individual will be successful, but in reality, it is based on her mindset. Dweck explores the old saying of “if you think you can’t, then you’re right” throughout her easy-to-digest stories and studies. Unlike a lot of other psychologically heavy non-fiction reads, I found the concepts of this book easy to process and easy to apply. It completely changed my outlook on my own goals and future trajectory. This is a must-read for anyone looking to take the next step up in her career.
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers By Ben Horowitz
- This book came recommended to me when at a dinner with a friend’s private banking client. Being able to speak fluidly about what you’re reading and share useful concepts over drinks is always a great topic to keep in your back pocket. This is the kind of book that you can turn to when you find yourself between a rock and a hard place in your business. Harowitz tells tales of his time at Opsware (formerly LoudCloud, acquired by Hewlett Packard for $1.6 billion), as well as how he moved through his career as a software engineer, to cofounder, to CEO and later, investor. This book is packed full of ideas and concepts that will re-shape the way you do things – from addressing poor employee performance to potential business pitfalls. I highly recommend this read for anyone tasked with managing a team, a big project or currently working for a startup.