Fellow business loving entrepreneurs and life long learners, what have you loved reading this past year? As a nod to 2020, we have reflected on what inspired us and how we’ve grown. Reading good books has been one of our great enjoyments. And this is true more than ever in our socially distanced world. And today we wanted to share the love.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is a worthy re-read. A self-help book focused on seven habits that will launch you towards success; as an individual and business. Covey compares “character ethics” to “personality ethics” in his recipe for success, which we find very interesting. And his seven habits are, clearly, incredibly relevant to business owners.
Creativity Inc. is a fascinating story told by the president of Pixar and Disney Animation, Ed Catmull. He shares strories from his past 30+ yrs in the creative business realm. He breaks down his advice in what he calls ‘foundations and barriers to creativity and problem-solving’. To have someone with experience in both the creative process and successful business is priceless. We’ve loved this inside view of Disney, as being San Diego based video makers, we get to visit Disney Land with a very short drive! Brings a whole new dynamic.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown is something we plan to read annually. He offers a lifestyle which challenges not just how much ‘stuff’ we own, but our responsibilities, commitments, mental space, emotional landscape, time, and skills. Friends, read this book. Here’s a pithy quote we like to use as a mantra: “If it’s not a hell yes, then it should be a no.” You’re welcome.
Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein. A fun and easy read or listen! Epstein challenges our western cultural pressure to give 100% of our efforts to ONE niche. He predicts the future is geared to generalists (individuals with a spectrum of skills and interests). As a result, he also argues that cultivating a large range of skills with ultimately make us more successful! But how can we love Essentialism and Range? Because, being an essentialist (focusing on the right things for you), doesn’t limit us to only focusing on one thing. It actually frees us to focus on the many things we value and love most. Range inspires us to remove any imposed limits on our interests and joys.
Deep Work by Cal Newport states that ‘to learn hard things quickly, you must focus intensely without disctraction.’ He emphasizes that the key to developing a deep work habit (which is a core need to thrive in today’s economy), is to move past good intentions and create routines and rituals that allow you to maintain a state of unbroken concentration. But what about multi-tasking, you may ask? He’s not a fan. That’s the only spoiler we will give. Check it out to find more. It’s a deep dive worth the read!
To all our friends who are doing creative work, keep your fires lit with continued learning! It’s inspiring and can change your minutes, days, and years. As San Diego based video makers, we are gifted the beauty of constant opportunities; we are dedicated to honing our focus, craft and art, and have found such wisdom in our chosen reads.
So friends, what are your top reads for us this upcoming year? We would love to hear your suggestions. Happy reading!
[On a side note, Greg McKeown is working on his next book, and we’re excited about it! Check out some sneak peaks on his IG . For any ravenous readers, some of our favorite authors are recommending some interesting titles here and here.]