five favourite business books

Those of you playing along at home will know that each year, for the past three years, I publish a list of the best reads I’ve enjoyed. Some of the books are new, some are new to me, some are those I reread every couple of years because I just love them so, so much.

Here’s a link to 2016’s list, and 2017’s and 2018’s for your reading pleasure. 

You’ll see that only a small percentage of books that have a business focus make my list each year and that’s usually because many of the business books that cross my desk are incredibly unengaging. My criteria for a business book is that it must be well written (or at least, not overly awful) and that it leaves me with at least three actionable, specific things I can take away and implement within my own business and broader life. 

Criteria outlined; let’s get stuck in, in no particular order:

One Red Paperclip: or how an ordinary man achieved his dream with the help of a simple office supply by Kyle Macdonald

This was a funny read that gave me the feels, but also showed the power of PR, bloody well written descriptions and captions and a good news story. Journos would have been jumping out of their skins for this story, and it shows how a bit of creativity in pitching could have fantastic results.


Essentialism by Greg McKeown

This book had a great impact on my business by highlighting the power that can be gained by saying ‘no’ and by refusing to allow others to hijack your workload. There’s not many feelings at work that are less desirable than feeling busy and yet unproductive, and more than anything else, this is a read that celebrates focus as a gift to productivity. Whilst not amazingly well-written, it’s a quick and easy read with clear take-aways.


The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

This is one of those business bibles that is artfully included in almost every ‘take a tour of my office’ instagram post, positioned in a jaunty angle next to a fiddle-leaf frigging fig or some such greenery. Honestly, I didn’t feel like I could call myself a woman in biz (#girlboss! #eww) without reading it. There’s some really good, practical, commonsense and easy to apply practices that Ferriss recommends. Do I now have a 4 hour work week whilst raking in the cash Scrooge Mc-Duck style? No, but I have limited checking my email to three times a day, so that’s a win.


The Miracle Morning by Hal Enrod

Spoiler alert- this book prescribes waking up early which is nothing new for me. I do get up early, 5.30am in fact, but my morning routine has basically involved looking at my phone whilst putting on my sneakers to be at the gym at 6am. The Miracle Morning prescribes a little bit more love and care to the routine to up level your day, your business and your life. It’s six steps that are easy to implement, but may require a wake up time of 5am, which I’m not 100% on board with. I’m still thinking about actioning some of Hal’s steps, but can I see myself repeating affirmations at 5am? Computer says no… it’s a fun, easy read, though- go for it!


Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris

OK, so this read hasn’t actually made it to one of my yearly booklists because I received it for Christmas last year, but it’s already earned itself a place in my 2019 list thanks to the page upon page of to-do items that I wrote as I read it. This is a massive book- would be a fantastic doorstop, in fact- but there is simply slabs of gold within the pages. There’s also some dubious ‘tools’- psychedelics, for example- but I think barely a chapter passed without me making a note for myself give a tool a try. I think that’s what I like most about it- every tool is offered up as a possibility. There’s no draconian must-dos. The content is delivered in an expression and invitation of gentle suck it and see. 

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Tell me, what’s your favourite business book?

This is a post in my Holly’s Story blog category. Each month, I share some insights, thoughts and behind the scenes shenanigans from my communications and writing for business adventures. If there’s something specific you’d like to know, please shoot me an email or give me a buzz, and I’ll do my best to help, or address it in an upcoming blog post or on my social media platforms.

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