As we approach the end of December, I thought I would share my favourite business books of 2021. I spent most of my two hour bus trips to Orange Theory Fitness reading to avoid making conversation with strangers. While I read a LOT of books over the course of the year, these 5 are my favourite business books of 2021.
Do Over by Jon Acuff
Do Over is the ultimate book for anyone considering a professional transition. Jon Acuff breaks down the four positions you can find yourself within your career based on whether your situation is voluntary or involuntary, and whether the situation overall has a positive or negative impact. Positive positions are career jumps (voluntary) and career opportunities (involuntary), while career ceilings (voluntary) and career bumps (involuntary) are more negative positions. The book outlines the strategies to utilize in each of the four positions, from investing in your skills, to character building, to relationship development, to hustling. Do Over is a great book for anyone feeling ready for a change professionally.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
Atomic Habits is a comprehensive guide on changing your habits. James Clear emphasizes how small changes in habits can result in a 1% improvement everyday. The book also discusses breaking bad habits and sticking to good ones, mistakes to avoid when changing habits, overcoming a lack of motivation, making time for new habits, designing your environment for success, and getting back on track. Atomic Habits is a must read for anyone looking to develop better habits personally or professionally.
Essentialism by Greg McKeown
Essentialism discusses the disciplined pursuit of less. Greg McKeown emphasizes the importance of doing less, but better, and eliminating things from your life that are not absolutely essential. It is a productivity technique that, instead of encouraging getting more things done, focuses on doing only the right things. Essentialism is an essential read for anyone who feels like their attention is being pulled in too many directions.
The Practice By Seth Godin
The Practice is a little book of inspiration for all artists, writers, and creative entrepreneurs. Seth Godin states that creativity is a skill, not a talent. That we need to trust ourselves and that we do our best work when we create something new that is generous and makes a change in lives of those who consume it. The Practice challenges misconceptions about the creative process and asserts that professional creatives produce with intent. It is a great source of motivation for anyone who identifies as a creative and is looking for direction in finding their creative voice.
Think Again by Adam Grant
Think Again is a deep dive into the idea that rethinking and unlearning are cognitive skills potentially more important than acquiring more knowledge. Adam Grant emphasizes the notion that we favour the comfort of conviction over discomfort created in doubt. We choose to listen to opinions that make us feel better rather than ideas that make us think hard. Rather than seeing disagreement as an opportunity to learn, we feel it threatens our ego. Being good at thinking is argued to make us worse at rethinking. Think Again is a must read for anyone looking to let go of views that are no longer serving them, celebrate curiosity, and embrace knowing what they don’t know.
Like My Favourite Business Books of 2021? Read more entrepreneurship blog posts here.