For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a business owner. I was fascinated by business: what it takes to run a business, understanding all of the moving parts, juggling everything to keep the business afloat, managing employees and inspiring them to stay on task - you name it.
However, since college was never really in the books for me (no pun intended), I began reading business and career related books from a very young age to get as much business knowledge and inspiration as possible. When most kids in Middle School and High School were reading J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, I was reading Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad. That book changed my whole outlook on business, and I still find myself quoting philosophical lines from it today.
Although, inspirational books don't have to be related to business and careers. They can be based on whatever inspires you and teaches you and urges you to become the best version of yourself. Here is a list of my top 5 favorite motivational/inspirational books that I've read so far.
1. Letters to My Son - Kent Nerburn
You don't have to be a son to benefit from Nerburn's profound wisdom. This book took me only a few days to finish, and as soon as I read the last page, I instantly started back on page one. The author touches on "love, marriage, travel, money and wealth, tragedy and suffering, spirituality, sex, and the true meaning of strength" (Google Books, 2016). Whenever I need a pick me up, or am confused about anything in life, I find the answer in this book. Letters to My Son is a MUST READ! When my step-kids turn 18, this will be their gift.
2. Rich Dad Poor Dad - Robert Kiyosaki
Rich Dad Poor Dad changed my outlook on business and wealth forever. The first time I read it, I was 17 years old. Robert Kiyosaki tells the story of his "Rich Dad" who wasn't his dad at all, but gave him profound career and financial advice which he shares in this book, and his "Poor Dad", which was his biological father who lived a life of conformity in career and wealth. His wisdom and guidance in becoming financially free was eye opening, and I will never forget his quote: "Work smarter, not harder." - Robert Kiyosaki
3. Outliers - Malcom Gladwell
"There is a story that is usually told about extremely successful people, a story that focuses on intelligence and ambition. Gladwell argues that the true story of success is very different, and that if we want to understand how some people thrive, we should spend more time looking around them-at such things as their family, their birthplace, or even their birth date. And in revealing that hidden logic, Gladwell presents a fascinating and provocative blueprint for making the most of human potential." - Google Books.
4. I Shouldn't Be Telling You This - Kate White
Kate White, the Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan shares her "Success secrets that every gutsy girl should know". This book is great for anyone who just took a higher position in a company or is looking to manage employees of their own business. She tells you her secrets for getting promoted, gives background of her life, education, and career, and tells you what she looks for in employees. Much like Ivanka Trump's The Trump Card, this book is jam packed with valuable lessons you'll never forget, and that will help take you to the top.
5. Brand Advocates - Rob Fuggetta
This book isn't exactly in the same realm as the first four. It isn't so much inspirational and motivational, but more educational. However, it is one of my favorites for business. Rob Fuggetta tells his readers how to turn enthusiastic customers into a powerful marketing force. Before I read this book, I thought my only option was to take out a small business loan for marketing and advertising my brand. However, Brand Advocates changed the way I thought about advertising and taught me how to leverage my loyal customers and ask them to help me spread the word about my company. It worked! This is a must read if you are starting your own business.