I talk a lot about writing well for your business here in the Well Said Wednesday blog, but I am also a proponent of reading well. (Yep, I was the kid walking out of the library with a stack of books nearly as tall as I was.)
Reading triggers new thinking, makes you see connections you’d otherwise miss and it is just a little more engaging than an endless scroll through Facebook or Instagram. (Not that scrolling doesn’t have its charms, but a little goes a long way, no?)
Reading widely, picking up something outside of what seems to be your wheelhouse, is also a great brain boost.
But sometimes those books feel like homework. Like you should be taking notes or changing everything in your business and personal lives. (Again, not that taking notes and changing your life isn’t worthwhile.)
But if you’re struggling to understand the message of your business or you can’t seem to access your authentic voice, you need a jump start of a different kind.
Here’s what I’ve been reading or listening to to shake up my perspective and get me out of a stuck messaging spot.
Creative Quest by Quest Love
The co-founder of and drummer for the Roots has written several books and this one on creativity comes from such a pure place of his own creative DNA that you can’t help but get snapped out of the doldrums.
Don’t let people make you feel that you’re something you’re not, or else you’ll get in your own way. — Quest Love
You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris
This short book (it’s a one-sitting read, really) is devastating and beautiful. If you’ve ever balked at “being you” in your content, read this book. The author writes of losing his wife in the Paris nightclub bombing. He is achingly himself and it’s the only way understand his story.
“I realize why he didn’t tell me that she died, in his arms. I realize he is not yet the survivor I see. He is still there trapped in the scene that is still being played.” —Antoine Leiris
Born A Crime by Trevor Noah
Listen to this one, if you can. Noah is a fantastic storyteller and he wraps you up in the circumstances and surroundings of his South African childhood. You are there with him, even though, if you are like me, you have nearly no lens into the apartheid and post-apartheid eras of that country.
“When you make the effort to speak someone else’s language, even if it’s just basic phrases here and there, you are saying to them, “I understand that you have a culture and identity that exists beyond me. I see you as a human being.” —Trevor Noah
First We Make The Beast Beautiful by Sarah Wilson
Technically, a book on anxiety and sort of guide out of it. Technically, a meandering, semi-structured collection of ruminations and suggestions. But also a place to feel messy and jangled and realize so many of us feel messy and jangled. Because that’s pretty much inescapable if you’re running your own business!
“One of the dear, dear things about getting older, is that it does eventually dawn on you that there is no guidebook. One day it suddenly emerges: No one bloody gets it! None of us knows what we're doing.” —Sarah Wilson
Have you read any of these books?
What do you recommend I add to my stack?