Having the right mindset is the first step of anything. Whether you're going to start a business or already running one, cultivating your mind is an all-time thing.
Today, I'll be telling you about some of my favourite books on mindset and motivation. You will need some practical tips along your way as a business owner. In these times when you’re feeling down, these books can provide you the much-needed inspiration.
So, buckle up as I tell you all about the books that will help you grow and achieve your goals. Each one of these is a must-read for a business owner.
1. Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited
“Don’t make me think, revisited” instantly became an essential read for everyone who works in web design and website development. It was first published in 2000 as a classic amongst designers and developers across the globe.
It’s an excellent read that portrays the principles of information design and intuitive navigation. Thanks to the author’s witty and practical explanation, it's an easy-to-digest, fun book that offers a fresh perspective on subjects that can be quite boring and dull.
This new version of the book reexamines all the principles from the original one and adds updated examples. There's also a new chapter on mobile usability.
It puts the creator in the shoes of website visitors which gives them a new perspective on what they should do to create a successful web page that people will want to stay on for longer.
So, if you're someone that wants to work in website development or web design, this book will be a well-illustrated and enlightening read that will help you in your professional path.
About Steve Krug
Steve Krug has spent much of his life (around 25 years) as a usability consultant for many major corporations including Apple, Bloomberg, and NPR. His famous best-selling books are based on the experience he got while working for these big companies. His amusing writing style is what made his books a must-read for any professional working in the website development sector.
Currently, Steve spends his non-writing time running his consulting firm “Advanced common sense.”
2. Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life
In this incredible book, Jim Kwik shares his real-life story and some practices that can be used to boost focus, memory, and self-learning abilities. Along with this, it can level up your reading speed.
The book aims to help you develop a growth mindset and motivate you with scientific facts that will aid you in developing brain power.
“Limitless” begins with unmasking assumptions and negative patterns that stop you from succeeding by limiting your potential.
In his book, Jim Kwik condemns negative thinking and reveals the impact of looking forward to positive future possibilities. The author also talks a lot about motivation, which he sees as a feeling that comes when passion, purpose, and energy come together. Not only this, he also states that when all three are present, a person can develop a long-term mentality focused on achieving results.
Every business owner should read “Limitless” to learn about mindset and motivation so that they can nourish their brains to think clearly in long term.
About Jim Kwik
Jim Kwik is a best-selling author and the founder of Kwik Learning, a platform dedicated to helping people become better at learning. Jim is also a world-renowned expert in brain performance and memory improvement. He uses his personal experiences and life story to inspire others to change their mindset and work on improving performance.
Kwik is a firm believer in brain exercise and claims you should treat your brain the same way you treat your body. That’s why he is focused on providing scientific brain training methods that can be used by everyone.
3. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World
In this New York Times bestseller, social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk gives his best blueprint for creating social media and digital marketing strategies that work.
In his passionate, street-like manner, Gary V explores the importance of not only developing high-quality content but also adapting it to fit the format of the different social media platforms. He gives a lot of practical advice to readers, without sugarcoating.
The main theory of this book is based on the “jab, jab, jab” techniques that a lot of companies use. This refers to the period where a company develops a relationship with its customers through the use of social media channels. Vaynerchuk claims that most marketers use old-fashioned methods that don’t work in the current market and hence, they are unable to deliver the “right hook” (ending a marketing campaign in a way that drives sales).
Gary’s mission is to teach how to adapt your company’s “jabs” according to the modern market and when & how to deliver the “right hook.” It's the crucial blow that will turn customer interaction into sales and ROI.
About Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk is a multi-talented person. He is a successful entrepreneur, investor, author, and social media guru. He is also the chairman of a New York-based communications company called VaynerX.
He first started as a wine critic who helped his family business grow leveraging the power of internet. Later in his life, he became a public speaker and an influencer.
But most importantly, Gary V is an authentic social media influencer. He's honest and his no-BS approach has inspired many to improve their mentality, mindset, and start working on creating their own business.
4. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
It's a brilliant book about mindset written by Carol S. Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University. It explores the way we think about our abilities which consequently determines our success in different aspects of life.
In “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” Dweck emphasizes the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth one. It reveals how teachers, parents, and coaches can foster incredible achievement using the right psychological approach.
Dweck applies the same concept of mindset in the latest version of the book. However, this time she applies it to groups of people, organizations, and companies.
She also shows how our thoughts and beliefs influence the path we take in life. With academic research in her favour, she proves the importance of our mindset and how it's crucial to every aspect of our lives – including the way we work, teach and even love.
About Carol S. Dweck
Carol S. Dweck is a psychology professor at Stanford University. She is mostly known for her work on mindset. Her key contributions to the field of psychology have come through her research on motivation, personality, and development. She has also worked in the field of social psychology and contributed to the implicit theories of intelligence.
After the release of her first bestseller, Dweck has not published any other book yet. In 2017, she talked about working on a new theory that puts motivation and the formation of mindsets at the heart of social and personality development.
5. The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
This book provides a scientific approach to leading and creating a successful start-up. It makes business owners stay aligned with their vision while being capable of adjusting and adapting to the changes occurring around them.
“The Lean Startup” is a book that showcases the value that human creativity could bring if used efficiently. It offers a new perspective to managers through an agile business model. This model involves several counter-intuitive strategies that shorten product development cycles and measure progress accurately.
The book was inspired by lean manufacturing principles and the lessons learned there. It’s a blueprint to creating a company that can be successful in the increasingly dynamic world.
It’s a must-read for any aspiring entrepreneur that wants to capitalize on relatively new business strategies that will most likely shape the way companies that work around us.
About Eric Ries
Eric Ries is an entrepreneur, a software engineer, and the author of a best-selling book. He graduated from Yale University in 2001 and shortly after, he started working for There.Inc – a Silicon Valley start-up.
After deciding that software development is not the right path for him, Ries became a venture advisor and developed a methodology based on specific management principles designed to help new businesses succeed.
Very soon Ries started documenting his theory which he called “the lean startup.”
6. Grit - The Power of Passion and Perseverance
Angela Duckworth in her book “Grit” aims to show everyone that success depends not merely on talent, but also on a blend of passion and persistence that she calls “grit.”
This book explores what creates success. It's an inspiration to all of us who have no special talent but are willing to work hard. Angela explains that other factors (such as finding what we’re passionate about and being consistent with our actions) matter a lot more than our God-given gifts. She takes us through her journey of learning, exploring, and testing which led her to believe that success is not because of being a genius or someone exceptional, it depends on long-term perseverance.
“Grit” is first and foremost psychological research on success. The author takes the reader on a journey through many different life stories of high achievers and focuses on the vital components that made them successful.
A key insight from the book is: Grit can be learned, it’s not a talent you're born with. It’s more of a skill that can be developed over time. Any effort you make towards achieving a goal counts twice as much.
About Angela Duckworth
Angela Duckworth is an academician, a writer, and a psychologist. She is a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania where she researches grit and self-control.
Duckworth is also the co-founder of a non-profit organization called “Character lab” whose mission is to improve the science and practice of character development.
She is best known for her research on grit and even developed something called “the grit scale,” which measures an individual’s score on the construct that she created.
7. Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
“Extreme Ownership” is a book that tells the story of two Navy SEAL officers, who led the highest decorated special operations unit of the Iraq war.
In this book, they show how powerful leadership principles from the battlefield can be applied to business and everyday life.
Each chapter focuses on a specific topic such as Decentralized Command, Leading up the chain, and Cover & Move. The authors explain what each of these terms means, why they’re important and how they can be implemented in any environment that requires leadership.
“Extreme Ownership” is a book with a compelling narrative that includes instructions applicable to everyday life. It poses a challenge to any leader who is willing to adapt to a different leadership style and revolutionizes the way business management works.
This is a must-read for any business owner who has just started expanding their team. In a start-up, the people you hire in the beginning can be crucial in the development of your company. So, knowing how to choose the right staff members and learning how to be a true leader are the two crucial qualities every entrepreneur should strive to develop.
About Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
John Gretton “Jocko” Willink is a retired Navy SEAL officer, a writer, and recently a host of a podcast. For his participation in the Iraq war, where he commanded the SEAL Team 3, Willink was honoured with a Silver and a Bronze Star for his service.
After his retirement, he turned his focus to teaching leadership principles through books and public speeches.
Leif Babin is also a former Navy SEAL officer, who served for 9 years. He was also a part of the Iraq war and after the end of his military service, he co-wrote “Extreme Ownership.”
8. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
“Zero to One” is a book that focuses on the power of creativity and new ideas. The author, Peter Thiel talks about the importance of learning to think for yourself and coming up with innovative technologies or methodologies that haven’t been used before.
The book states that when you do something that’s already known, you take the world from 1 to n, just adding more of what already exists. But when you come up with something new, you go from 0 to 1.
Peter Thiel says it’s clear that the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network and the next Bill Gates won’t develop an operating system. Instead, they will escape the competition starting a unique business.
The author also gives tips on how to create a successful company and the importance of the first few people you decide to start a venture with.
Overall “Zero to One” is a book about the importance of progress, creativity, and the optimism that comes with the belief of adding new, good ideas to the world.
About Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel is a billionaire entrepreneur, a venture capitalist, and the author of a New York Times bestseller. He is the co-founder of many successful companies such as PayPal, Palantir and was also the first outside investor in Facebook. He remains on the board of the social media giant, even though he sold his shares back in 2012.
He also funds non-profit research into artificial intelligence and life extension. He is also a conservative, who opposes high government spending, high debt levels, and foreign wars.
9. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
We all want to learn how to work faster and concentrate better. However, our daily lives are filled with distractions – mobile phone, tablet, TV, laptop, etc. We are surrounded by them all the time.
“Deep Work” is a book that shows you how to cultivate immense focus and achieve more.
Cal Newport explains that a deep work ethic can benefit you massively. He presents a series of four “rules” that serve as a training regimen for your mind. By deep work, Newport refers to the ability to focus on a single task that’s cognitively demanding. It’s a skill many of us have lost.
In “Deep Work,” the author takes readers on a journey through many memorable life stories that show the importance of immense focus. It’s a great guide for anyone who wants to succeed but lacks the skill of saying no to distractions.
About Cal Newport
Cal Newport is an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University. His work there focuses on distributed algorithms in challenging networking scenarios and incorporates the study of communications systems in nature.
In 2007, Cal Newport started a blog to share his secrets on how to stay focused and work in such a distracting digital world. In his blog, he conveyed the term “deep work” which he later explored in his best-selling book that carries the same name.
10. Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else
“Talent is Overrated” is a book that debunks a lot of myths about exceptional performance. The author argues that the top performers are not determined by their inborn talents. The book focuses on the importance of perseverance and practice.
However, Colvin talks about more than just old-fashioned hard work. In “Talent is Overrated”, he discusses the keys to good practice and how progress must be measured, so that success is more easily achieved. The book has many scientific and real-life examples and the author shows how every type of skill in business – from negotiations to evaluating financial statements- can be improved if one uses a systematic approach.
Reading “Talent is Overrated,” you will find a lot of practical advice that will alter the way you think about your career. It will inspire you to achieve more. Like the other books on this list, this one also focuses on the importance of continuous hard work and passion. They are claimed to be the key to success and leaving behind a legacy.
About Geoff Colvin
Geoff Colvin is an economist, who graduated from Harvard and got his MBA degree from New York University’s Stern School of Business. He is the author of many bestselling books, including “Talent is overrated” and “Humans are underrated.”
Besides, he is also the senior editor at Large for Fortune Magazine.
He is one of the most respected speakers on leadership, wealth creation, and globalization in the United States. He is also an honoured on-stage interviewer. Some of his most popular guests include Bill Gates and George W. Bush.
Azfar is an eCommerce ninja at Conversionskitchen.com, who has been writing awesome stuff about eCommerce for over 4 years, you're more than welcome to have a look at his extensive write-ups on our blog.