I was recently on a Mastermind retreat with some business owner friends whose judgment I really trust. Their input was one of the things that have helped my business most this year. But a close second are a few really good books.
I'm a dedicated bookworm, and I try to limit the amount of business content that I read. It's so easy to get swept away in someone else's enthusiasm or lost in the weeds of tactics when I have so many other things that I should be moving forward.
The books that have been the most helpful aren't on business strategy or tactics. They're on communication, clarity, and mindset, which are some of the hardest lessons we learn as business owners. (I've included affiliate links to these books Amazon, so if you buy one I receive a small fee at no cost to you.)
So if we went out for coffee and you asked “Kyla, what should I read next to become a better business owner and work on my mindset?” these are what I would recommend:
QBQ: The Question Behind The Question
What you'll learn: This quick read teaches you how to ask better questions about your business. It helps you get out of procrastination and negativity, and get straight to taking action. It teaches a straightforward way to access a confident, entrepreneurial mindset.
How it's different: Instead of offering vast amounts of advice that are hard to put into action, QBQ gets to the point. It teaches you a new way to think that has a huge positive impact on your mindset. And it took me under 2 hours to read! It illustrates one core technique that you can start learning right away. The rest of the book shows how it's used in action.
The Coaching Habit: How to Say Less, Ask More, and Change the Way You Lead Forever
How it's different: This book teaches the tools to have powerful growth conversations that you won't learn in school. Even if you're only asking these question of yourself in a journal, these questions will help you discern your goals and grow toward them. It's succinct, flexible, and deeply practical for day to day life as a female entrepreneur or online business owner.
Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity
What you'll learn: How to actually give constructive, positive or negative feedback to the people around you! Radical Candor is written for large organizations, but it's a crucial read for female entrepreneurs. So many of us struggle with saying exactly what we mean, especially when it's negative. This book helps stop the struggle.
How it's different: It shows you, step by step, how to give transformative feedback to others, and how to lead teams where it's the norm. If you're a female entrepreneur who works with contractors or a VA, or who hopes to build your team, this book will lay out the insights, and mistakes, of Apple and Google's best managers.
How to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk
What you'll learn: How to practice active listening that makes other people feel heard, and fosters independence. A common communication habit we fall into is listening and then sharing related stories about ourselves. The problem is that's steering the conversation, not listening!
How it's different: This is a parenting book, but it's an essential read for online business owners and female entrepreneurs who want to improve and clarify their communication skills. (And your kids will benefit too if you're a parent!)
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
How it's different: Discerning what's crucial and what isn't is a massive part of thriving as a female entrepreneur. If you're struggling or feeling overwhelmed, this will be a refreshing approach to getting to the heart of what matters and leaving the rest.