Books Can Help
The world is changing rapidly and we need to increasingly rely on ourselves to navigate our way. Governments, corporations and social institutions can’t provide the level of reassuring paternal oversight they once did. They are caught up in the same waves of disruption.
We are charged with figuring out where things are headed and where we fit in. We are challenged to adapt to a rapidly evolving landscape. Charles Darwin’s key insight wasn’t that the strongest survive, but the ones who could most successfully adapt to change. We are all called upon to retool in order to survive and thrive in this fiercely competitive economy.
This is certainly a clarion call. But our response shouldn’t be panic and worry that our skill sets, and we, are becoming obsolete or marginalized. One door closes, another opens. This is a time of unlimited opportunity and potential prosperity. The traditional gatekeepers and barriers to entry have evaporated across wide swaths of the economy. And more access and possibility is on its way. You no longer need permission. We have degrees of freedom undreamt of in the past to invent ourselves and create our life.
It is also a time to rethink what we can achieve in groups; groups that to a large degree can self-organize. We can use networking and communications tools to enhance creativity, collaboration, innovation, entrepreneurship, and community. We have transcended geography and soon will transcend language barriers. There is an old-school practice that remains crucial.
Mark Twain wrote, “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.” We all need to take time to read books. The value in enjoyment and personal growth relative to the time spent is one of the best deals on the planet.
Reading books, the right books, can accelerate our transformation.
One of the most efficient ways we can gain experience, expertise and skills is to read. To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson: “If we encounter a person of rare intellect, we should ask what books they read.” Through reading we can gain the knowledge that others had to suffer to get.
There are so many books; where to start? Check out this group of books I have read that I think are the absolute best at gaining a base of worldly knowledge.
We can appropriate the tested skills and experience of entrepreneurship coming out of Silicon Valley and elsewhere and apply them to crafting a satisfying life. We can develop an entrepreneurial mindset in order to assess and exploit the myriad opportunities that surround us in plain sight. An entrepreneurial skill set can serve us in our life journey by teaching us how to seize opportunity and be less fearful.
Here is a targeted list of the Top 10+ Books by entrepreneurs and academics about new venture strategies and startup culture. They aren’t in any hierarchical order but are curated to work as a whole. As a group these books serve a more general purpose in that they can transform the way you perceive yourself and interact with the world.
Check out this list of the best business biographies and these reasons why reading biography is so important and useful.
Books invite us to take life at a comfortable tempo. The cadence of reading can be an antidote to the frenetic pace of digital life. The act of reading encourages us to be contemplative and imaginative.
“If you have a garden and library, you have everything you need.” Cicero
These books are a big part of developing the flexibility and adaptability to succeed in life, in monetary terms and also in the level of satisfaction that comes from being able to productively pursue your dreams, aspirations, and ambitions. They are the foundational texts that provide blueprints, roadmaps and inspiration towards success. Pick some and Level up!