My Top Picks for an Entrepreneur Summer Reading List

Jenna Kutcher 

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June 27, 2019


Consider this post a book club invite from me! I only wish we could sip wine and sit on the couch and talk through each title but since that’s not totally possible, this post will have to do. Summer is officially here, so you can find me with a book in my face on a beach in Maui for the better part of this month. To me, reading is just as much an escape from regular life as it is an expansion of my perspective. Whether it’s page-turner mystery novel or a strategic business book, I don’t discriminate when it comes to reading because it can all teach me something interesting about myself, my work, or the world.

I love, love, love reading. In fact, I pretty much HAVE to read in order to fall asleep – even if I only read one page 5 times while I doze off, it’s my favorite way to unwind. This summer? I challenge you to pick and read at least one of these 6 must-have books for entrepreneurs. There’s a bit of something for everyone, and I guarantee you’ll feel inspired and learn interesting, smart ways to approach your biz a little differently. Fire up those Amazon shopping carts, friends. It’s go time.

Do Less by Kate Northrup

Kate Northrup blew my mind when we had her on the podcast recently, where she shared how synching your workload with your menstrual cycle is the greatest untapped productivity hack for women. I mean… Insane, right? But it makes so much sense! Our bodies change drastically throughout the month, so it’s no wonder paying attention to each phase can impact how we get stuff done. (More on THAT in her episode.)

Her book delves deeper into the addiction to busyness many of us have. Moms who work are especially spread thin because we have a tendency to want to do it all — have the perfect work life and family life. “Do Less” shares that you don’t have to be overworked and overwhelmed to be successful, and in fact, that belief is creating burnt-out, stressed-out mamas, which none of us want. With bite-sized, actionable tips, she gives women the permission to let go of extraneous “fluff” consuming their lives and, instead, live in a place of satisfaction, joy, and not having to have or do it all.

The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman

Another past podcast guest, Emily P. Freeman is a powerhouse of a woman as a writer, creative director, and spiritual mentor who inspires thousands with her books and community of creatives through Hope Writers. She is the REAL deal and gives me so much drive to pursue my biz and community with grace, enthusiasm, and realness. Her book, “The Next Right Thing,” helps those less-decisive folks simplify choices into digestible, doable nuggets of clarity.

Big decisions — the next job, the next move, when to have kids — can often become all-consuming and debilitating. Even smaller decisions can be difficult to make at times, and with her insightful advice and thoughtful encouragement, Emily helps to create space for your soul to breathe and discern the next right thing out of a place of love and self-understanding, rather than fear, chaos, or regret. Indecisiveness is something we all deal with at some point or another, whether it’s caused by chronic worry or a new arrival of decision fatigue. Her gentle guidance will get you unstuck and allow you to make choices with more confidence and less overwhelm. Yes, please.

The Defining Decade by Meg Jay

Your twenties are the years where you fully get to burst free from childhood and step into who you are as an individual. We begin building careers, define our relationship standards, make plenty of mistakes, and grow immensely during this decade. Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist, argues in this book that many people write off their twenties with mutterings like, “30 is the new 20,” but these sorts of stances are a mistake!

Instead, she says we should embrace these 10 impactful years rather than trivialize them. The exceptional stories and insights shared in this book provide twenty-somethings with the best tools for making the most of this time and lean into the work, relationships, and change that comes with these unforgettable years of youth. Heck, if you think about it, your twenties are setting the foundation for the rest of your LIFE. She’ll help you fully embrace these transformative years and soak in this precious time of your life.

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman

In entrepreneurship, there comes a time where you’ve grown and scaled into a place that you no longer have a total grip on your business. I’ve totally experienced this! And I bet you have, too (or will sometime soon). It’s a blessing and a curse of running a business, and this book will help you get a handle on the normal frustrations that come with leadership and big-time development, including internal conflict, profit decisions, and unsteady growth.

My team and I are actually working through and implementing the systems from “Traction” as I type this! I just about inhaled every word of the book and am fascinated by Gino Wickman’s approaches to strengthening each of the six key components of your business. It’ll pull you out of the weeds of everyday fire extinguishing and, instead, allow you to view your business from more of a birds’ eye view, and gain more focus, clarity, and growth to experience greater enjoyment from your biz. And what entrepreneur DOESN’T want that?!

The Latte Factor by David Bach

I was just in Puerto Rico with David Bach, and can I just say how incredible he is? He’s truly the best, and I love his book’s encapsulation of showing how you’re probably richer than you think. His captivating storytelling through a heartwarming parable sheds light on “Three Secrets to Financial Freedom,” encouraging readers with the truth bomb that it is never too late to go after your dreams.

Basically, he walks readers through some easy shifts we can all make in our day-to-day lives that will immediately secure your financial future and help your realize and eventually achieve your deepest dreams. Often, it’s not our jobs or circumstances holding us back from our biggest potential — it’s our own excuses, lack of knowledge, or refusal to make a change. I mean, if that isn’t the love-drenched gut punch we all need today, I don’t know what is!

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

I love, love, love Kristin Hannah, and I couldn’t make a list of must-reads and leave her off of it. This incredible story will leave you gripping for answers and aggressively turning page after page to discover what happens next. In the novel, Ernt Allbright returns from the Vietnam War after being a POW and decides to move his wife and 13-year-old daughter to a remote corner of Alaska.

While it seems like a positive transition for the family at first, winter comes and 18 hours of night brings out the worst in Ernt’s frail mental state and disintegrating psyche. With stunning storytelling and heart-wrenching twists and turns, you’ll be enamored by this story of resilience, love, and loss. Pack this one for your next trip, or give it a read on a lazy Sunday afternoon. You’ll be glad you picked it up.

I hope this list lends you plenty of insight, advice, and stories to pack your summer full of educational and inspirational page-turners. Summer is a time to explore, rest, and adventure, and I know these 6 books will each help you in their own ways to embrace and soak up all of that and more!

I’ve got more where that came from!

10 Books Every Girl Boss Should Have on Her Shelf

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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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