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Must read books – page 1 | Understanding business, branding & storytelling.

Must read books – page 1 | Understanding business, branding & storytelling.

Business, philosophy, psychology, or straight-up fiction. When I (Michelle) was younger, I didn’t have a favorite book regardless of the genre that was popular. To get away from the stressful and chaotic season that was called my youth, I got lost in listening to music. And the more hectic my life got, the more I listened to the worst songs possible. Not always, but sometimes. Being born in the ’90s, I had the pleasure of experiencing the whole hype of girl- and boy bands till the mid zero’s. It still continued after that, but I got older and realized how corny some of those lyrics were.

It was by reading the cd-covers and finding out that many artists collaborate with songwriters, that I set my mark for the future; I was going to find a way to make money while writing lyrics. Next to being the CEO of my own business of course..

As the years added up and I had the luck and pleasure to grow, by learning and failing but finding my own path in life, I started reading more books. Especially during the past few years. The more comfortable I got in realizing I was going to start my own business, the more I decided to read about it. And I don’t mean endless lists of books regarding money-making, I also include memoirs and ‘how-to’ books to these lists. Teachable words and endless inspiration can be found in many books. It’s up to you if you’re willing to learn and apply it.

Below the first 5 books that helped me understand a lot more about business and life in general. What is your favorite book? Feel free to leave a reply below, maybe I can add it to the next must-read list!

(this blog post includes affiliate links. If you want to learn more about it, click here.)

Start With Why

That ‘why’, oh you will read more about it once you get to know me better. That why is the fundamental puzzle piece that will make your business become the biggest success the world has ever seen, or nothing at all. Start with Why is the perfect introduction to the what-why-how philosophy and how to adapt and apply. Simon Sinek wrote an approachable book with easy to understand tips, while he shares the knowledge he gained while working in advertisement over the years. Simon studied cultural anthropology but exchanged his career as a lawyer for advertising early on. He became world famous after his TED talk ‘Start with Why – How great leaders inspire action’, and wrote Start with Why afterward. If you are interested in self-growth, understanding your drive behind whatever it is that you want to do, this book is the right one to start with.

If you’re interested in buying the book through Amazon, click here.

The subtle art of not giving a F*ck

This book caught my eye early on since I love the title, being direct when needed works if you ask me. But this book works best if you have ever forgotten what life is about and most of all, if you think you can get away with complaining about everything and anything and still desire change without changing.. Because as much sh*t life might throw at you, you won’t be the only one experiencing it. Moral of this story in direct and straightforward language; you’re not special. Lower your standards. Work hard. And be happy with what you have, where you are, and once you achieve your goals.


If you’re interested in buying the book through Amazon, click here.

Building a story brand

This is one of my favorite books to read when it comes to storytelling and selling your story. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, but Donald Miller’s book is very helpful and informative. But most of all, it offers many solutions every business leader faces when either starting a business, or standing still when they’ve been running their business for a couple of years. It gives you insights in connecting with customers, revealing the secrets on how to understand your customers and truly serve and/or sell a product, idea, or service they request.

While reading the book you learn about the seven universal story points all humans respond to. And once you understand all those points, you understand your (future) customers, which makes creating the most effective brand messages for your company through social media and more easily accessible.

If you’re interested in buying the book through Amazon, click here.

The King of white-collar boxing

This memoir is only available on Amazon right now, which is ridiculous if you ask me. In late 2018, I trained and lived in New York for 3 months. Gleason’s gym was on top of my list to ever train and learn in my life, that life being an amateur boxer. The first day I arrived in NY, I signed up immediately and was assigned to a trainer; Sir David Lawrence. I can tell you endless tales, but if you’re ever looking for some motivation and inspiration on continuing whatever the hell it is that you’re doing, get to know this man.

As we continued training twice a week during the weeks I wandered around New York City, the conversations became better and better. His life reads like a Hollywood script; English professor turns Wall Street tycoon. And after turning to boxing to become a pro fighter after he got bored being a Wall Street magnate and fighting over 50 fights, he ends up convicted of fraud. He loses all his money and ends up in jail, yet he continues to write. And while writing poetry and books, he also starts a rap career selling several albums once he got released.

Anno 2020, Mr. Lawrence still works at Gleason’s Gym as a personal trainer, while writing more (poetry)books. If you’re interested in learning more about booking a private training session, visit Gleason’s website. But by the dahm book, it’s a must-read that shows that mindset, dreams, and aspirations can lead you anywhere. You just need to have the power to kick it.

If you’re interested in buying the book through Amazon, click here.

How to win friends & influence people

If you want to understand how people think, why they act the way they do and for which reasons, read this book. It’s not about manipulating people, it’s about the ability to win arguments, to influence people with your why’s the right and ethical way. You can get people to like you, to understand you if and when you wish, once you understand their behavior and logic. This book also helps you to understand you and your own reasons. And eventually learn, change, and adapt, all to being a great and successful leader. Whether you’re searching for new qualities to learn and adapt in your personal life or business life, How to win friends & influence people teaches you both.

If you’re interested in buying the book through Amazon, click here.

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