For me, a new year means resetting my brain and dropping unintended habits. It also means reinstilling habits I may have forgotten over the last 12 months.

Books are the main way I get my mind right. I read these four books to begin every year.

Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz: How do you keep your money flowing when your pay is erratic at best? Michalowicz has a simple, strong method, perfect for freelancers and entrepreneurs alike. We tend to sacrifice our salary to feed the business. As I've experienced, though, you can't run a business if you can't eat. His breakdown has transformed how I fund and run my business as an independent.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown: What do you really need in your life? As a entrepreneurial coach, I focus on my clients' removing from their lives rather than adding. McKeown is a kindred spirit with his strong, clear call to do less with more meaning. He captures the book in one showstopping quote: "If you don't prioritize your life, someone else will."

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield: Classic material if your work requires any ounce of creativity. Here's what I said after reading it:  It is a short, passionate book, filled with essays on the many self-defeating habits we have as humans. Steven Pressfield is a former Marine, once lost soul, who tapped into his writing talent late in life with The Legend of Bagger Vance and many other titles. And in every word, from the discussion on self-worth to the need to just do the work, you can tell that he walked the path he preaches.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert: Big Magic has been my go-to for years because it answers one great question: How do you follow your creativity without guilt or shame? The approval of others, the needs of family and the call of finances can distract us from our best calling in the world. Gilbert's painfully honest book gives examples throughout history, as well as from her own life, to show the best way to be your best self in the world. It was a great reference for my new book, Bring Your Worth: Level Up Your Creative Power, Value & Service to the World.

Published on: Jan 18, 2019
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