The 3 Best Business Books I Read in 2022
This is the time of year I reflect back on 2022 and think about what worked well and what didn’t. I love belonging to my Smart Boss Business Book group. It is composed of amazing women who share their experiences and how they are applying what they learned from the books we are reading.
Atomic Habits by James Clear.
His theory on making small changes that have big results was really applicable to every part of my life. He presents the Four Laws of Behavior Change as a simple set of rules that we can use to build better habits. They are:
- Make it obvious
- Make it attractive
- Make it easy
- Make it satisfying
He also suggested stacking habits to make them more ‘sticky’. I had been wanting to start some type of exercise program to improve my skiing and tennis game. I also wanted to watch more YouTube videos on ways firms like mine were using QuickBooks Online (QBO) in different industries.
Boom! Thanks to habit stacking, I was watching videos while I walked on a treadmill for 30 minutes every morning. Even the walking and watching started small, I picked short videos, first five minutes and then made them longer every day to increase the amount of time I was walking. I was consistently walking 30 minutes a day in no time and ready to do any sport. I also learned a lot about QBO in different industries.
I love that he really goes away from the norm of setting goals and focuses on the system and who you wish to become. We are always setting goals for ourselves and I haven’t stopped doing that but I do it with a system that will help achieve who I want to be. Look out world!
The Power of What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant
Adam Grant has an interesting way of looking at situations and providing alternative views for you to consider, using humility and skill, like a scientist. He points out that we typically have three mindsets.
“As we think and talk, we often slip into the mindsets of three different professions: preachers, prosecutors, and politicians. In each of these modes, we take on a particular identity and use a distinct set of tools. We go into preacher mode when our sacred beliefs are in jeopardy: we deliver sermons to protect and promote our ideals. We enter prosecutor mode when we recognize flaws in other people’s reasoning: we marshal arguments to prove them wrong and win our case. We shift into politician mode when we’re seeking to win over an audience: we campaign and lobby for the approval of our constituents.”
Instead, he puts forth that we should be thinking like scientists, being actively open-minded, searching for reasons why we might be wrong – not looking for things to reinforce what we already know- then revising our views based on what we learn.
Grant also provides ways to help others see new possibilities using ‘motivational interviewing’. He suggests that you do this by asking open-ended questions, using reflective listening and affirming the person’s desire and ability to change.
I once again found this book applicable in all areas of my life. I was able to practice thinking like a scientist when my team would bring situations to me and I wanted to go down one of the 3 mindsets. This book also made me think more about communications with family members and how I could improve those conversations too.
You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero
I was a little hesitant to read this book. I thought it would not be as useful as other books that I had read. As a group we were used to books that gave us clear paths to action. This was more of how to change your attitude and get a healthy relationship with money and use it to create a successful life. I loved her definition of Rich: “Able to afford all the things and experiences required to fully experience your most authentic life” That started me thinking differently about my life and what my current mindset was.
I felt like I had a good relationship with money and I think I still do but this definitely made me realize I had put up walls for no reason. I put boundaries on my thinking about how much money I could make and what it took to do it. I told myself stories (excuses) about why I couldn’t make unlimited money.I have 6 kids and my focus is on them (true..but…) and I wanted more than just money, I want a life of interactions with my kids, travel,and fun. I realized I can have all three so why limit my dreams to only what I have decided is possible?
My three main takeaways:
- Money isn’t evil and if you have an adversarial relationship with it, you will keep from realizing your full potential.
- Putting positive energy out into the universe, especially about finances, will do wonders to improve your situation.
- To make your money goals become reality, get specific about the amount of money you want to have and how you will use it.
She really pushes you to think beyond what you have in front of you and to ask the universe for help. When she starts to talk about the ‘universe’ I wanted to shut down my thoughts, as it sounds very intangible and admittedly a little too out there for me. But having read The Power of What You Don’t Know, I tried to use my scientist mode to lean into this and wrap my head around it.
It is a different way of thinking and then again it isn’t. She likened it to the voice in your head, a spiritual guide or knowing that there is something bigger than you at work here. Ok, I can get on board with that and delve deeper into changing my attitude to fit with this new outlook on making money. This is an easy read – she is funny and very authentically herself. I really enjoyed reading about someone else’s journey and taking tips from her experiences and applying them to my life.
While we read several books in 2022, these three really made an impact on the way I work, lead my team and my life. I highly recommend them and if you want to continue the conversation or join our women’s Smart Boss Business Book club, email me (Alisa@firststepsfinancial.com) and I will get you on our list!