One thing I have found when working from home a lot, is a sporadic lack of motivation and inspiration. Being surrounded by your own company 9-5 can sometimes be a little daunting when it comes to bouncing ideas off colleagues that usually sit next to you in an office environment.
I have found several ways to keep creative and inspired whilst building my business from home: podcasts, books, networking, and social media. But today I want to focus on books.
In particular, 5 books which have been on my home office desk since I started my own business in November 2016 - and the books I reach for when I need a break from staring at the computer screen. Reading stories by women who have been successful in their ventures is one of my favourite things to do - whether it's articles on the internet, or paperback books. I can't cope with books on a Kindle or an e-reader - paperback will never go out of style.
A lot of us entrepreneurs and new business owners have no idea what we're doing when it comes to building a business - we're fab at the 'labour' that we do, or the product that we sell - but what about the business journey? The struggles? What is to be expected when you're building an empire? Reading about the experience of other women, from a variety of backgrounds and industries gives me hope and inspiration. The first book I bought for my 'inspirational women' collection was Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook. I actually bought it whilst I was waiting for my interview for my first creative agency - and got hooked. Sheryls journey of smashing through the glass ceiling which many women encounter at the workplace made me proud to be a career-driven female. All at once it is empowering, surprising, and inspiring. Definitely one for the marketeer ladies who are going up against corporates, and who's favourite position is CEO.
My fiancé then bought me the #GirlBoss book - which believe it or not I couldn't even afford at the time. I have spent all my money that month on trying to set up my own vintage and handmade clothing brand. I had big plans for it, and wanted to know all about the journey of Sophia Amoruso, the CEO of Nasty Gal, who started her boss girl journey by selling vintage clothes on eBay - and raking in the cash. Her journey from zero to hero is both inspiring, funny, and you end up rooting for her because at the beginning you can really relate to the girl who sits bored at her desk, in front of a screen, and spends her days on the internet. It's safe to say my clothing brand didn't take off, I realised I wasn't quite ready financially or time wise to meddle in the industry of clothing retail. But, I learnt a lot from the #GirlBoss book.
One book that I actually pre-ordered was The Million Dollar Blog by Natasha Courtenay-Smith - I was so excited for this read. This book features interviews by some of the worlds leading bloggers, and shows your the behind the scenes of the blogging world. And it takes the reader on their own journey - from interviews by bloggers who make $$$$$$$$$ to talking about strategies on how to further your small business through blogging, this book is relatable. It's no all about the multi-billion Instagram industry, but down to earth hacks on how to make your blog work for you. For me this is a great read, because it was my blog which helped me set up my own business through incredible opportunities and the people I met on my journey. So I have everything to owe to my little space on the internet.
Finally, Bloom by Estee Lalonde. Because as a blogger, you just have to. I watched Estee when I first started blogging and I loved how down to earth she was. Plus, she always picked the best skincare items! It's been fantastic to see her brand grow up and turn into a successful business - and I really wanted to read her story. This is another book which I haven't read through to the end, but so far it's been a lovely book to read with a cup of tea in hand and ideas of a future you want to build in your head.
These are the 5 books which are essential for me right now to keep my mind inspired, creative and forward thinking. Have you read any of these books? Can you recommend a book that gets you inspired? Comment below!