Has a book ever changed the direction of your life? As a self-confessed bibliophile, reading books has brought me to where I am today as a confident entrepreneur. It’s amazing how books can help in so many areas of your life. I contribute much of my success to the books and learning materials I have studied over the years.
The best book I have ever purchased hands down is the Dictionary. I have used the dictionary to expand my vocabulary. Expanding one’s vocabulary builds confidence and deepens conversations. Having a greater vocabulary also enriches my writing by allowing me to be more creative with words.
I used books to reach my goal of becoming an entrepreneur. I was in the employee mindset and learned this mindset as a little girl. You go to school, find a good job and retire happily ever after but deep down I knew I was meant to be an entrepreneur. I hated sitting in the cubical staring at the minute hand on the clock as if it were an inch worm inching a long until five o’clock. I used many self-help books to help pull myself out of this mindset to get me to the place I am today.
One of the first things I learned as an entrepreneur is that to remain successful you must continue to grow and educate yourself. It has been said that those who become voracious readers and continuous learners become and remain successful. Therefore, I always have at least three books a week going ranging from business, self-help and inspirational. Instead of the twenty plus hours of mindless TV I used to watch, I now read and expand my mind.
Books can inspire you to try something new that could evolve into a full-time career. I realized not long ago that I also enjoyed writing and wanted to start doing some freelance writing, so I started reading books on writing. One the most helpful has been The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. The book taught me how to open up the creative right side of my brain, while overcoming limiting fears that caused blocks in the creative process.
Books are also a powerful source at helping you see what’s important in life, then setting a plan to meet those personal goals. One of the best books that I found useful in this journey was Success is a Given – Reading the Signs While Re-Inventing Your Life by Marlene Chism. It also re-confirmed that in order to reach my goals that I would have to move out of my comfort zone, which can be, truly scary.
You can also change the way you think by reading books. A couple of the best books out there on this topic are The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and The Answer by John Assaraf and Murray Smith. Your beliefs change your habits, which change your, actions.
Books can also teach you how keeping a positive attitude when something negative happens or the outcome you wanted to happen did not; how to find the positive spin on it. Some times because of the outcome, which you did not plan on, amazingly, something extraordinary happens that would have never happened if the negative incident had not occurred. A delightful book I have read on this issue is If You Don’t Have Big Breast, Put Ribbons on Your Pigtails by Barbara Corcoran.
You can also read your way to fortune. I read not long ago a quote by Darren Hardy, the publisher and editor of the inspirational magazine SUCCESS. He wrote: “More men and woman have been motivated to achieve success because of reading Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill than by any other book written by a living author. The book teaches techniques that if applied, you will have mastered the secret of true and lasting success. The techniques helped me think differently about success and wealth.
Another great book that has been used by many successful people is The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason. I once attended a seminar where the speaker, a millionaire himself, said as a young man he interviewed fifty millionaires. During the interview he asked what one book they would recommend that he read and they all said The Richest Man in Babylon. The book offers an understanding of and solutions to your personal financial problems that if applied will guide you through a lifetime. He said he had to read the book three times before the light bulb went off.
Books can also give you an insight on the changes that are taking place in the current market place helping you stay ahead of the competition. Author Seth Godin has written many books on how to advertise and market your business in today’s climate. He writes that today consumers are bombarded by marketing messages almost everywhere they go. If you want to grab someone’s attention, you first need to get his or her permission with some kind of bait–a free sample, a big discount, a contest, an 800 number, or even just an opinion survey.
Books can also provide tangible insights into what makes great companies, helping entrepreneurs avoid the dreaded pitfalls during their years in business. Books can provide tried-and-true tactics that show you how to navigate through difficult times in both business and life.
I am now a more organized, streamlined person thanks to books. Reading Getting Things Done by David Allen has had a huge impact on what I do, when and how I do it. It fundamentally affected how I prioritize and how I file information. I now keep everything I can on my Blackberry, and keep computer and printed files with names that coordinate across all platforms.
Stop dreaming of your success and start reading to your success. Visit your library or book store. Peruse the different sections for ideas that spark your passion for change and start your journey today.
Julie Barnes is a Freelance Writer focusing on her passion of entrepreneurship. Julie published “So You Want to Start a Business…Now What?” in December 2009. Julie lives and works in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, KS with her husband Ron and lovable dog Hank.