As 2019 comes to a close, it's time to decide what you're going to be taking with you into 2020. While New Year's resolutions are a dime a dozen, the end of the year is still a great time to evaluate what the previous 365 days have taught you -- and what else you still have to learn

If you're looking to start 2020 with a fresh perspective on important issues, a great read is absolutely the way to go. Here are a few books I found helpful for broadening my outlook and getting a grasp on what's true: 

1. Stop Random Acts of Marketing by Karen Hayward

Sometimes it can seem like any marketing is good marketing -- as long as you're getting exposure, it must count for something. I watched one CEO run his company into the ground on this "no press is bad press" mentality. Stop Random Acts of Marketing shows just how wrong that position is. Karen Hayward's new book shows the absolute necessity of well-crafted marketing plans and the benefits you can reap by implementing one yourself. If your business's marketing is stuck in first gear, let this book open your eyes and push you forward to real growth.

2. Waking up a Leader by Daphne Scott

You might know what leadership looks like, but what does it feel like? Daphne Scott's brilliant insight into a leader's mind shows how important mindset is to success. The single biggest thing holding back most leaders is their own insecurity. Waking up a Leader is a how-to guide for overcoming stress and worries while leading a team. To lead others, you need to first be a leader to yourself. While that might seem impossible now, this book can make it a reality -- it echoed a lot of thoughts I had after picking up jiu-jitsu and feeling more in control of myself and, therefore, the world around me.

3. Thank You, Cancer by Logan Sneed

The title here is no joke: Logan Sneed transformed his stage-4 brain cancer diagnosis from a death sentence into a new lease on life. By sharing both the highs and lows of his journey, Sneed shows how the right outlook can help you tackle almost anything, no matter how dire it might seem. As informative as it is inspiring, Thank You, Cancer is a must-read for anyone who needs a lesson on positive thinking. More positivity is one of my top resolutions for the new year, thanks to Sneed -- for both my personal life and my business. 

4. The Problem Isn't Their Paycheck by Grant Botma

By now, it's common logic: If you want top workers, you need to pay top dollar. While there's undoubtedly some truth to that statement, it ignores some key nuances of the recruiting process. The Problem Isn't Their Paycheck is a deep dive into what companies need to do to attract and keep high performers. This book is designed to promote healthy, productive relationships between employers and employees that common logic has gotten in the way of for years. As a leader, the highlight for me was the discussion about building a culture based on trust and ditching micromanagement in the process.

5. The Household Endowment Model by Vince Annable

Success, no matter how great it feels, is always followed by a fear of losing it -- I know the feeling all too well. The worlds of finance and business are too varied and unpredictable for anyone to stay on top of it all, and The Household Endowment Model is a crucial read for people looking for a way to weather whatever storms may come. Vince Annable shares some priceless insights for succeeding where many others have failed, helping you shore up some bad habits and create a strong future. 

6. Raise Your Standards by Mark Evans

Expanding your business is no longer about pressure, deceit or questionable pitches. Mark Evans' Raise Your Standards gives you everything you need to bring your sales team into the 2020s: relationship building, attention to detail and tactical thinking. By shattering previous assumptions about the way sales should be done, Evans is ushering in a new era. While coaching businesses, I've seen how one rotten sales approach can spoil the bunch, and this book reinforces that lesson.

Business is constantly evolving, and you should be, too. Don't simply believe the same things you always have. Reading gives you access to new perspectives that can challenge your thinking and help your business stay ahead of the competition in the coming year.