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Books to help your business succeed

I'm thinking of scaling back biz posts to potentially one a month. I know its quite a niche subject as not everyone has their own biz and if you guys think otherwise then please let me know but that is my current plan. 

As you guys know (since I talk about this all the time) running a biz is tough. It wasn't tough when it was a lifestyle kind of biz, one store plus online was pretty easy looking back, although I don't at the time remember it being easy, accept it was a walk in the park compared to how it is now. Its the scaling up with concessions and our wholesale side taking off that has put the pressure on. 

I was so keen to push, expand, grow bigger, do this, do that and we're doing it but its pretty full on . So to keep me motivated I read biz books because sometimes running your own company is lonely, you need oodles of confidence, a thick skin, and to feel like you’re not the only one out there. So biz books inspire me to carry on. These books have made me realise I don’t have to take failures personally and have shown me the importance of balance (yet to get that one right) not to mention flexibility!

One of my fav’s, I read the whole thing recently on a plane back from China is Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. Knight is the guy behind Nike. He originally borrowed $50 from his father and  went on to create a $30 billion annual sales company. Hats off! He details the risks he has taken (and boy you wouldn't believe the risks). Delays from factories actually led him to charter a plane to bring in stock. We have had a similar situation, its the worst thing you can possibly do because you've lost all your margins and are potentially not even breaking even but it keeps customers, clients and other stores happy, reading that we all sort of go through similar things makes it easier I find. Their are so many risks taken all outlined in this book not to mention tons of setbacks but this hard working guy speaks so much wisdom. Its a book studded with lessons the best one 'business is like war without bullets'. Good to know, wish I had known that from the get go!

Here are some others:

Angela Duckworth: Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Eric Ries The Lean Startup

Marc Gobe Emotional Branding

Sheryl Sandberg Option B

One more and actually its not a business book as such is Haruki Murakami What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I’ve read everything he has ever written and this tome is all about risk taking, discipline, building resilience, sticking in there. Super motivational

I love books that are informative and entertaining, books that make you feel smarter without them being dull. Next by my bedside is The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. Looking forward to that one. 


Comments (2)

  • Anne on October 30, 2017

    Hi Abigail, I am an entrepreneur (not in your space) and love your style, so for me your biz columns are always great. But obviously you need to focus on what makes your ideal clients tick, so I’ll be happy to wait once a month for the business tips. Thank you for the inspiration & sharing the book list.

  • Rachel Perry on October 25, 2017

    Thanks so much for this nugget – I’ve finally taken the leap (after attending one of your retail courses a few years ago) and have taken on a lease on a nearby shop (with a view to opening a florist / art / lifestyle store with my brother….. wish us luck!!) so I for one am finding all your posts incredibly helpful, so please don’t abandon them altogether.

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