My Favourite Non-Fiction Books

Today I am talking a little bit more about the business side of Breakfast & Business! Get ready guys, I'm trading in dinner parties and photos of pie for some #realtalk on one of my true passions: researching/reading about the soft side of business.

The other day I caught myself recommending the same four books yet again. Although I have enjoyed hundreds of cheesy beach reads that require absolutely no intellect, my favourite books have somehow ended up being the few non-fiction gems that I have come across. I have fallen in love with these books and I'm realizing that the ideas within their pages have often transformed into many of my fundamental beliefs about how I fit into the business world.

I would like to share my top fave reads:

1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking
by Susan Cain

I first learned about Quiet when Susan Cain came to speak at my school during my first year of university. As she spoke about what it means to be an introvert in a world where being outgoing is encouraged, my fresh and receptive first year mind was blown. I finally felt understood. Like whaaatttt, I'm not the only one who can only truly recharge and feel grounded after some alone time locked in my room with a book??

In Quiet, Cain goes on to explain what it means to be an introvert as well as what we bring to the table as wise and empathetic individuals.

Here's the deal: I read this book five years ago and still think about it in my day to day life... woah #bookgoals.

If you are looking for a quick version of the book, Cain has also given a fantastic TED talk (I'm talking 15 million views) and her twitter page is bursting with thought provoking articles.

Pets > small talk 4ever&ever

2. Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace)
by Chade-Meng Tan

I was introduced to this amazing book in my favourite class of my undergrad. As part of my Interpersonal Skills class our goal for the semester was to better understand ourselves (#selfawareness) which then lead to a better understanding of how we work with others. Our main reference for the class was Chade-Meng Tan's Search Inside Yourself. 

Tan is a Google engineer that launched a program that revolutionized how people find happiness at work. The book is a page turner with relatable, easy to read breakdowns of mindfulness and emotional intelligence, two really big words in today's world of collaboration at work.

3. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
by Angela Duckworth

I often catch myself telling people that I'm not that smart, I'm just insanely hard working. Although it's not the most self confident statement, what I'm usually getting at is that you don't need an insane IQ level to be the top of your class or to get your dream job. Angela Duckworth's Grit delves into this topic with years of gripping research on how grit - made up of passion and perseverance - is really the main characteristic that will enable you to achieve amazing things.

The ideas in Grit are easily digestible with interviews from Will Smith and Woody Allen but at the same time are backed up with pages and pages of scientific evidence. If anything Grit is empowering!! It challenges conventional beliefs about the path to success and ultimately drives home the point that anything is possible if you work your ass off and remain passionate about your goals.

Duckworth also has a TED talk and brilliant twitter page if you want a quick snapshot of the essence of the book.

4. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
by Sheryl Sandberg

During my first ever job that exposed me to the world of human resources, I had the greatest mentor. Among all the incredible advice and guidance she gave me, she told me to read this book.

Lean In is written by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook and overall badass business woman. Some of her insight about being a woman in the business world is so spot. I felt like she was sitting right there with me, coaching and empowering me to own my career. As I became aware of how I blamed external factors for my success (e.g. good teachers, easy test, luck...), over apologized in emails, or avoided conflict to ensure I was still well liked, I was shocked at the little things she pointed out that I could easily change to reach personal fulfillment at work.

In my senior year at university I somehow landed an interview at one of the top consulting firms in the world. As I dried my clammy palms and tried not to throw up from nervousness, all I could do was channel Sandberg's voice compelling me to lean in to my career. Even though I didn't get the job, I made it through the interview with mega confidence.

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