Category Archives: Personal development

Self help and personal development

Monday Inspo

It’s the start of a new week back in lockdown for many of us living in Melbourne. Let’s look at this as an opportunity for us to have another go at finding a fun hobby for the next few weeks. Here’s a little inspo to help kick start your day.

Books of the World: The Power of One

Through an epic journey through a land of tribal superstition and modern prejudice a boy learns the power of words, the power to transform lives, and the power of one. Today’s Book of the the World is The Power of One. Have you read it?

Books for Those Who Are Going Out on their Own in Business

Perhaps it’s the recent taste of Working from Home; or perhaps you want to diversify your income stream; perhaps you’ve retired, but don’t want to feel idle; or perhaps you want work that fits better with your lifestyle choices. There are lots of good reasons to start your own business, and there are more tools and support for budding entrepreneurs than ever before.  So if you think that now is the time to work on that business idea, we have the right guides to inspire you to stop dreaming and start doing!

Side Hustle: Build a Side Business and Make Extra Money without Quitting your Day Job by Chris Guillebeau

The author of the New York Times bestseller The $100 Startup shows you how to launch a profitable side hustle in just 27 days. Side hustles are income streams that supplement your regular paychecks – it may be your first taste of starting your own business, or you may simply want to diversify your income in these uncertain times.  In Side Hustle, Chris Guillebeau presents a framework for effectively starting your mini-business – from how to generate and select ideas, through development to launch, with the steps broken down into approachable daily tasks.
Peppered with anecdotes and tips from his own extensive experience, Side Hustle shows that you don’t need an MBA or lots of capital to get started.  If you’ve been thinking about turning your passions or talents into profit, Side Hustle is the motivation you’ve been waiting for.

How To Build an Online Business: Australia’s Top Digital Disruptors Reveal Their Secrets for Launching and Growing an Online Business by Bernadette Schwerdt

As a TEDx speaker and award-winning business leader, Bernadette Schwerdt has access to top business leaders from around the world – and she has interviewed many of them in order to create her insightful business books. How to Build an Online Business is a follow-up to her successful Secret of Online Entrepreneurs, which identified strategies and insights through in-depth interviews with e-business leaders. This update features top digital disruptors including Uber, Booktopia, and Catch of the Day. The “warts and all” stories of these companies, plus Bernadette Schwerdt’s in-depth analysis of the strategies, tech tools and leadership principles they used to grow their business, reveal the underlying patterns common to all successful online businesses – what they did right, what they did wrong, what they would do differently and the strategies they used to build an online business.

Company of One: Why Staying Small is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis

Small is beautiful according to Paul Jarvis. In Company of One, he encourages us to redefine what business success means, by suggesting that, for many solo and small businesses, it is smarter, more profitable and more enjoyable to stay small rather than expand.  Paul argues that blind growth is the main cause of business problems, and leads to more time, more stress, more responsibilities, and more expenses; instead he suggests that success can come from developing richer relationships with existing customers, based on trust, humanity, and empathy.  For entrepreneurs wondering about your next steps, this innovative, contrarian book may be just what you need.

Start Before You’re Ready: the Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Extraordinary Success in Work and Life by Mick Spencer

Part memoir and part business manual, Mick Spencer wrote Start Before You’re Ready to encourage and help young people chase their entrepreneurial dreams.  His is not a conventional success story – he managed to develop a sense of adventure and an entrepreneurial spirit, despite chronic health issues and learning disabilities.  By starting his business ONTHEGO (OTG) in his early twenties, and growing it into the international success it is today, he has defied the bullies and naysayers, and achieved success on his own terms.  With plentiful tips on resilience and overcoming adversity, Start Before You’re Ready challenges you to get outside your comfort zone and encourages you to learn ‘on the go’, focussing on what you can do rather than what you can’t. 

The 1 Minute Commute: Turn your Skills into a Business You’ll Love, Be your Own Boss, Work from Home by Robert Gerrish

For many of us, the pandemic has offered a taste of a 1-minute commute (aka Working at/from Home); if this has strengthened your resolve to strike out on your own, then Robert Gerrish should be your go-to guide.  Robert Gerrish has spent over 20 years helping Australians succeed in solo businesses, including as co-founder of Flying Solo, Australia’s largest online community of solopreneurs. His special interest is in developing lifestyle-friendly businesses, helping business owners live they lives they want. The 1 Minute Commute collects his most up-to-date advice, on how to take creative charge of your career and be your own boss.  From freelancers and soloists to entrepreneurs and micro-business owners, this book will give you the knowledge and skills to shape your professional life to fit your lifestyle.

What if it Does Work Out? How a Side Hustle can Change your Life by Susie Moore

Many of us dream of monetising our skills with side hustles – and there are more opportunities to do this than ever – but hesitate out of fear of failure.  Susie Moore’s guide to side hustles focusses on overcoming those fears – as the title suggests, visualising your business Working Out rather than Not Working Out.  Using her skills as both a life coach and business coach, she shows how recognizing your skills, understanding your potential, and knowing your purpose in life can lead you to living a life of full satisfaction. Having helped over 500 clients develop successful businesses, Susie Moore has packed this book with useful advice, tips and resources- the perfect motivational and practical injection you need to get started.

Monday Inspo

One thing we have noticed while staying safe at home, other than people have been devouring fiction books, is the serge in self help titles being bought. So this week on the blog we’ll share the best books for people who are thinking of starting their own business. To help kick-start the week, we have this little gem for you.

The newest books unveiling lessons you didn’t learn at school

Sarah Lebner’s 101 Things I didn’t Learn At Architecture School was the book that prompted this blog post. How many of us have found ourselves wondering ‘why didn’t someone tell me it was going to be like this’ at work? Often the reality of having that ‘dream job’ or even climbing the ladder of your chosen profession would be much easier if someone had let us know a few key tips and tricks that we could carry with us in our mental toolbox. So we have scanned the hottest new releases from this year (and last) and have rounded up six fabulous books that are definitely worth a read. 

101 Things I Didn’t Learn in Architecture School by Sarah Lebner

Your first architecture job can involve a very steep learning curve. This book helps students and graduates of architecture kick-start their career and shave months off their professional development. This book will help you: Understand construction basics so you can avoid embarrassing situations and quickly understand instructions. Grasp an overview of the industry and business of architecture so that you don’t feel kept in the dark. Gain personal tips and helpful resources for an enjoyable and successful work life.

Young architects are expected to learn much of their trade on the job, in an industry that often treats them poorly and stunts their professional development. The profession is crying out for a resource like this that can provide introductions, insight, perspective and mentor-style advice for young architects in the first five years of their career.

Readers are invited to understand concepts through 25 simple diagrams, and language that assumes no prior learning. Throughout the book, further resources are provided as a mind-map of industry information. 

Work Like A Woman by Mary Portas

A force for good, for change. This book will make you change the way you think. Packed with advice, tips and decades of business experience from Mary Portas, this is a book for every one of us: whatever level you are, wherever you work. It’s about calling time on alpha culture and helping every one of us to be happier, more productive and collaborative. 

Taking us through her working life, Mary addresses a range of topics from workplace bullying and accessing promotion, to combining a career with children and the affect that getting divorced and becoming a single parent had on her professional life. Speaking candidly about the traps she fell into, from aping the behaviour seen in aggressive corporate environments to recreating a male working culture within her own business, Mary explodes the myth of women ‘having it all’. She will also track her evolution as a business leader and the decision to rebuild her company from the ground up on a model that today embraces female values. Arguing for a revolution in the way in which we work, Work Like A Woman is a manifesto for all: from young women entering the workforce and older women trying to integrate professional and family ambitions, to executives running businesses and creating best practice and the businesses that employ them. Honest, accessible and entertaining, it is a bold and inspiring vision of the future world of work.

In-distract-able by Nir Eyal

A former Stanford lecturer and behavioural designer, Nir Eyal spent over a decade researching the psychology behind habit-forming products. The result was his international bestseller, Hooked. Now, the man who identified the habit has delivered the cure. Eyal describes how to manage the discomfort that drives distraction, and explains why solving the problem is not as simple as swearing off your devices. With a four-step, research-backed model, Indistractable lays bare the secret to getting the best out of technology, without letting it get the best of you. Empowering and optimistic, this is the book that will allow you to control your time and attention and live the life you really want.

Loonshots by Safi Bahcall

What do James Bond and Lipitor have in common? Why do traffic jams appear out of nowhere on highways? What can we learn about innovation from a glass of water? In Loonshots, physicist and entrepreneur Safi Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behaviour and the challenges of nurturing radical breakthroughs. Drawing on the science of phase transitions, Bahcall shows why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing wild new ideas to rigidly rejecting them, just as flowing water will suddenly change into brittle ice. Oceans of print have been written about culture. Loonshots identifies the small shifts in structure that control this transition, the same way that temperature controls the change from water to ice. Using examples that range from the spread of fires in forests to the hunt for terrorists online, and stories of thieves and geniuses and kings, Bahcall shows how this new kind of science helps us understand the fate of companies and empires. Loonshots distills these insights into lessons for creatives, entrepreneurs, and visionaries everywhere. Over the past decade, researchers have been applying the tools and techniques of phase transitions to understand how birds flock, fish swim, brains work, people vote, criminals behave, ideas spread, diseases erupt, and ecosystems collapse. If twentieth-century science was shaped by the search for fundamental laws, like quantum mechanics and gravity, the twenty-first will be shaped by this new kind of science. Loonshots is the first to apply this science to help all of us unlock our potential to create and nurture the crazy ideas that change the world.

Roxy’s Little Black Book of Tips and Tricks by Roxy Jacenko

When the totally tenacious PR and brand-building expert delivers her industry-insider advice, you listen. If you’re growing your own brand, or you’re a budding PR dynamo, Roxy’s Little Black Book of Tips & Tricks is invaluable. 

‘The fact that I’m sitting here writing a business book when, at school, I was the student who read the crib notes rather than the actual books is rather ironic. However, if I’ve proved anything over the years, it’s that you needn’t be the smartest girl in the room or get the highest marks (heck, I didn’t even go to uni!) to succeed in PR or business. If I can do it, anyone can. The trick is to be willing to give up your excuses and consistently put in the work’. Roxy Jacenko built a PR empire on intuition, common sense and an unbreakable work ethic. Now she’s passing on her best business advice, tips and tricks in a handsome handbag-sized volume that’s perfectly sized for the millennial worker on the run. From writing a stand-out application to building your brand to generating killer social media buzz, Roxy’s Little Black Book of Hints & Tips is a must-read resource for aspiring publicists and business builders, and for anyone already in the PR industry.

Brave New Work by Aaron Dignan

The way we work is broken. It takes forever to get anything done. Meetings and emails are incessant. Bureaucracy stifles talent and creativity. After decades of management theory and multiple waves of technological and societal change, is this really the best we can do? Aaron Dignan teaches companies how to eliminate red tape, tap into collective intelligence, and rethink long-held traditions that no longer make sense. In Brave New Work, he shows you how to revolutionise the way your company works forever. Using stories from companies at the cutting edge of organisational transformation, Brave New Work will show you how to transform your team, department and business from the inside-out-making work more adaptable, abundant and human. It is packed with new tactics and tips for updating your company’s operating system: the simple rules and assumptions so deeply embedded that you don’t even think to question them. Learn how to reignite passion and energy throughout your organisation. Build a company that runs itself.

Enjoy!