I read the other day that the average CEO reads 4-5 books each month.
Thats 48-60 books a year.
Now I don't know about you, but I definitely don't read 60 books a year. I know there will be a few of you that will be the exception, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say I was lucky if I read 10 books a year. This usually happened on a family vacation or those rare Fall weekends where I cozied up in a chair, cup of tea in hand and dove into the pages of Harry Potter. Yes, I know I am late to the Harry Potter game, but I'm now hooked (thanks sis!).
Anyways, as I sat there reading that the average CEO reads 48-60 books a year, I naturally did what anyone would do. Google this information to verify its legitimacy. And much to my dismay, it was true.
Now, I began going through what my average day looked like, going over every excuse I could think of as to why I don't read even half that much, then finally got up and went straight to our local half priced book store. And I've got to say, this was one of the single greatest decisions I have made in a long time.
For the past few months I've made the conscious decision to read instead of watch Netflix, Youtube, shop online, etc. Really anything that consisted of me sitting there wasting time. Now don't get me wrong, I still do these things, but far less than I used to. I spend all of my work hours on a computer or my phone, so I find picking up a book to be the most beautiful contrast to my every day life. For an hour or two (sometimes more!) I get to sit, forget about deadlines, designs, sales, emails, and escape into a great book. It can be anything from a fairytale to a book from the founder of a rad company, I'm choosing to read them all.
Below are 4 of my favorites reads from companies I admire. These books are not just for someone who owns a company, they are books for people who want to be inspired, learn about overcoming obstacles, and realizing that a brand is often about so much more than a soft t-shirt or a great chicken sandwich.
Do yourself a favor, read at least one of the below, you won't regret it!
1. Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycowskie, Founder of TOMS
I read this book in one night. Not lying. This was the book that was the catalyst for me wanting to read from founders of rad companies. Blake's passion for life, TOMS and most importantly helping others is inspiring. There are many changes coming to Soul Honey in the new year and a lot of it is thanks to this book. So yeah, it's that good! Promise.
2. Doing Business the Chick-fil-a Way by S. Truett Cathy, Founder of Chick-fil-a
I read this book in one day as well. Again, I am not lying. I had two long flights that day and couldn't put it down. To me, this book was so good that I feel like I would be doing it a disservice to try to sum it up. So I will just say that this book is about so much more than a company with a killer chicken sandwich. It's about one mans humble and hardworking life lived in service and sacrifice to others, that happened to start one of the greatest (or in my opinion the greatest) fast food chains. Needless to say, during my layover I went straight to Chick-fil-a and got a chicken sandwich. After this read, I was inspired and hungry!
3. Life Is Good by by Bert and John Jacobs, Founders of Life Is Good
Three days. I read this book in three days. If time had permitted, I guarantee this would have been one I finished in one day as well. To me, Bert and John Jacobs epitomize perseverance. When it would have been so much easier to give up, they didn't. Instead, they had the most optimistic attitudes with the challenges that came and still took time to enjoy their life. They realized that life was and is more than your success. It's the people you help along the way and the lives you change that matter far more than the number of t-shirt sales that season. I don't know about you, but I can learn from them! Also, this book is written in such a rad way. I'm not going to say anymore, I want to leave you enticed so you have to read it. You can thank me later!
4. Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Patagonia
Now, I will be totally honest, I am currently reading this book, but after the first bit, I knew I had to change this post from my top 3 favorite books, to top 4 favorite. I feel confident recommending this book without finishing it. It will give your chills, chills. It's that good. This book will make you want to go straight to Patagonia, buy a backpack and hike a mountain. (and hey, I encourage you to do so, with a Soul Honey hat on as well. :)).
If anything, I hope this post encourages you to turn off Netflix and do something different in your everyday routine. I have found escaping into these books to be the most beautiful thing for my life recently. I hope it does the same for you!