I love this topic! After I met Shelley, I checked out this blog and was so excited at the thought of collaborating with her. What she shares is not only valuable, but fun, and I was all about the idea of expanding my blogging about escaping the 9-5 into one of my favorite things: books. Specifically sharing any reason to read and how that plays into an entrepreneur’s mindset.
So I have broken it down, strongly focused on the why which can lead to the how and some recommendations for the what. To be honest, your “what” may be different than mine, but this post is meant to get you thinking about which “whats” (books) you should get going on!
Collaborating about books and entrepreneurship just made sense, so here it is!
Growing Your Business is 1 Prosperous Reason to Read: Get Into An Entrepreneurs Mindset
Why do I read?
There is no one reason to read in my book (ha, ha!).
Actually, there are many reasons I have for reading but here are the most prominent.
- to learn
- to take a break from reality
- to relax and recharge
- to take me somewhere or into a life I am completely unfamiliar with
Depending on your personal bias and perspective you may see the meaning behind each reason to read on my list differently. But I will be straight with you, I mostly read fiction. It is a rare, rare occurrence for me to pull out the business and self-help and leadership and personal growth books often recommended.
I just don’t jump on bandwagons. The non-fiction books are tough for me. To be honest, I did go through a phase a few years ago trying to fit into the corporate box and read things, people, I worked with recommended. But I’d get a few chapters, or even a few pages, into the book and be like: “yup, I get it.” I’d peek around through the book and then ditch it.
And to be really specific about my preference for reading fiction, I almost strictly like mysteries – historical and current. I just cannot do the romances and dramas.
Also, I have a little history here: back in college (over 30 years ago!) I read the North and South trilogy by John Jakes. It was fantastic, to say the least, but also: it took about a year. It was thousands of pages.
I’d had enough drama.
And after almost 15 years in the state legislature, where I read A LOT of legislative analyses and bills… non-fiction wasn’t calling to me.
So why does what I choose to read impact my business?
For one thing, it gives you a sense of who I am and that is my personal brand right?
Authenticity is vital and being authentic ensures that shift from the employee (where you represent others’ branding) into an entrepreneur’s mindset. We spend so much time carefully sharing the “message” we are told to share. Often that includes specifically crafted content and communication reviewed and approved by supervisors, legal teams, and a board or C-Suite.
In my 6-Step Checklist to Escape the 9-5, “shift your mindset” is step 2. Because the checklist is based on my experience going from employee to entrepreneur and I was so conditioned into a 9-5 mindset, I believe it truly is a “step” to take. Books can help with that- massively.
For business: the reason to read number 1 is the most important
For those of you who are diving into entrepreneurship, you can back me up on this: it’s a bit lonely. You can’t run into the breakroom to gather opinions on something, you no longer have a manager or supervisor to approve your creation and you absolutely do not have corporate teams on speed dial.
- No IT team, if you’re laptop starts freaking out or if you need to edit content for a video training.
- No marketing team to post your social media content at the right time in the right cadence.
Books can be your friend, my friends. I am a big believer in online courses, but books are different, as you know. While courses are vital in your entrepreneurial journey, books can be a reference you go back to continuously.
There are so many topics this applies to:
Finding books that help you think differently, even break out of what you have been trained to think is vital. You can build your confidence by understanding mindset in itself.
According to Oxford Dictionaries, mindset is defined as: “the established set of attitudes held by someone.” As a GenXer, that established set of attitudes included the belief that you had to be the first in and last out at “work.” Meaning 9-5 was really 8-6, 7-7, and even weekends. Essentially, it is a pretty common attitude to think that someone not exerting a ton of effort into spending hours proving how many hours we are “working” isn’t up to standard.
To ditch that set of attitudes fostered by the 9-5 belief system really is a mindset shift. Books can help you realize what else is out there.
When you are out there trying to build a business, it is easy (if you’re anything like me!) to wander down some seriously distracting rabbit holes. What worked for you in the past may help: time-blocking, batching tasks, etc., or maybe your new life is so vastly different that you need help navigating it.
Finding the right system to keep you productive is essential. And it is so very personal. Each of us is wired differently not just in how we learn but in how we function effectively. Books give you the option of exploring productivity tools that are tailored to you and your business.
Inspiration and encouragement
Other people’s experiences and learnings can inspire you to take action but can also be encouraging. Knowing that others made it through into success, or that the struggles you have were had by others, is not only a comfort but can greatly impact your ability to continue moving forward.
The reasons I read are the reasons I chose blogging as my profession
Simply put: I got into blogging because all through my career (and even in my personal life) writing is the easiest way for me to share, encourage, and communicate in general.
I get super-excited about the stuff I read, the lessons I learn. It’s my hope that through my writing, and of course, particularly through my blog, I share lessons that are valuable to others.
Beyond that, I passionately mean to inspire and encourage! 100 percent.
Let’s talk about the books that helped me on this journey out of the 9-5 and into blogging
This may sound obvious by the title, but it isn’t. Not in the way it encouraged, inspired, and ultimately continues to impact me and my business.
If I’m honest, it’s about the first 86 pages and the stories towards the back. This book was my affirmation, in fact, it was my “hallelujah” symbol in a way.
As a GenXer who was conditioned to the tradition of 9-5, I read, in black and white, that it was not only OK to step back from the 9-5 belief system but to shift my mindset out of it.
In fact, it was sensible to use the skills I’ve learned and earned all these years to:
- do something I love
- earn an income doing it
- and ditch the idea of retirement (and waiting to be a certain age) to simply enjoy life
The Essential Habits of 6-Figure Bloggers
I knew that all that stuff I saw online about making 6 figures in minutes (ok maybe 30 days?) was unlikely.
And guess what, I was right!
Yes, I work with a business coach, but having read this book and keeping it on hand means I have access to 17 bloggers’ stories, words of encouragement, and a realistic explanation of what it means to be blogging to earn income.
There are a number of ways to earn income as an online entrepreneur and with blogging, I may have chosen one of the longest roads from point A (launching the thing) to point B (making money)! But I have no regrets.
Reading Miller’s book does three things:
- Paints a realistic picture of building a business, especially a blog, online.
- Breaks down the habits that truly are essential for entrepreneurs into sections with stories that coincide.
- Offers an easy read; one that you can come back to time and again, as you need reminders and reinforcement.
And a bonus: each story ends with how you can connect with the blogger interviewed! I’ve followed a few and definitely get value doing it.
The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz
What? A fictional novel that can even be categorized in the romance category? So I am completely confusing you with this choice, I am sure. But this one is all about my need to be in the entrepreneur’s mindset and blogging for my chosen profession.
In my journey, my why includes the ability to live wherever I want. For me, that was Colonial Williamsburg and before blogging, in my last 9-5 life, I was pretty restricted in that I traveled so much and had to be in a position to get the flights I need (easy access to a hub). Preferably located in the “center” of the country to ease travel days, because most of my travels were just for 1-2 nights.
And now, after my blessed COVID layoff and the launch of my new career blogging, I am living in Williamsburg! Where The Lacemaker takes place on the eve of the Revolutionary War.
Thus: this book, rich in history and able to make me visualize the past as I wander my new hometown, is a glaring (in a bright and sunshiney way) reminder of my why.
Call to action: read a book and shift into an entrepreneurs mindset
Whatever calls to you, read it. There is always something to be gained from a book.
And if it is something you need to reference time and again, keep it within reach. My 4-Hour Workweek and Essential Habits of 6-Figure Bloggers books hang out on a bookshelf in my office.
About the Author
Daphne Reznik is the creator of the Free At 50 blog, which focuses on life after corporate, how to transition into professional freedom, and resources to create income streams. She has a diverse background having worked in state government, small business, and most recently, a large corporate entity. Her experience supporting businesses and leading a national staff training program, provided her with a skill set she is using to design a lifestyle as a blogger and to inspire others.
OTHER POSTS YOU MAY FIND HELPFUL
Are you an entrepreneur? Has reading helped you grow your business?
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