The holidays are my absolute *fave.* Despite the fact that I always draft up long lists for Santa 🎅🏾, chock full of the best business books and must-have techie toys (I’m looking at you Canon EF 24-70mm Zoom Lens), my family loves to grace me with makeup and clothes. Probably ‘cuz they know me just a little too well – like the time my sister-in-law bought me a portable eyeshadow palette because she said I’m a (and I quote) “nomad.” Okay, yeah… so I carry my whole living room and home office in my bag BUT ’tis the perks of being a creative entrepreneur.
I digress though. The point is I was drafting up yet another list of the best business books to share with Santa and figured I’d share it with all of y’all instead. While, yes, Christmas is an overly-commercialized way to SELL SELL SELL it is also a lovely reminder to celebrate the people in our lives. Or you know… cat. No judgment here. I’m personally praying for a cute little golden retriever puppy *hint hint family* this holiday season but they’re not exactly the most ideal stocking stuffers. 😋
Now, in an ideal world, this is what I’d find under the Christmas tree. You may know a dope creative business owner who would love to find one (or four) of these books under their tree too! These are the best business books I’ve read thus far and would recommend to just about any creative, entrepreneur or hustlin’ Harry.
Aaaaaaaand just so you know, there are affiliate links in this here bad boy which means if you click a link and make a purchase I get a small percentage. Like small small. And no, you don’t get charged extra (‘cuz I know you was thinking it! This ain’t guac!) Here’s the thing though: I love the products and services I’m sharing and truly believe they’ll help your business become the best it can be. I’ll never sell you on something I myself wouldn’t buy, haven’t bought or recommended to a friend. (And books are like my best friends. 😍) Okay! Enough nerding out. Let’s get to gifting.
Dronile Hiraldo is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
For the Spiritual Warrior
You know her: the one who speaks from her soul and just *vibrates* with love. She’s uplifting, enlightening and the sweetest there is. This woman loves balance, in every aspect of her life. If one part of her life is out of whack, she’s sure to feel it, and will quickly do everything she can to get centered. When it comes to gifting the Spiritual Warrior, focus on books that will help her in areas of personal development, spiritual success, and holistic wellness.
In her second book, celebrity wellness/lifestyle guru and birth doula, Latham Thomas, delivers the ultimate guide for soulful mamas. Each chapter in Own Your Glow: A Soulful Guide to Luminous Living and Crowning the Queen Within is full of enlightening tales about Latham’s own spiritual growth and powerful meditative practices. From creating a vision journal to supporting women in re-vamping their wardrobes for greater confidence, Latham provides an easy to read and soulful manual that you (or a friend) can return to time and time again for encouragement.
This is one of those reads you can pick up and take on-the-go (perfect for all you nomads out there 😉). The agreements provided here by Don Miguel Ruiz are useful for any human – business owner or not. Tapping into deep wisdom from his own Mexican culture, Ruiz dives into 4 ways we can unlock personal freedom not only for ourselves but for others as well. It’s one of those “do unto others as you’d like done unto you” with spiritual insight on why these agreements are important and actionable tips on how to make them part of our everyday lives.
3. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams by Deepak Chopra
Before Deepak Chopra, I’ll admit I laughed at self-help. I’m actually an avid fan now having created my own spiritual life and relationship with Jehovah, but had you told me 6 years ago that I’d be merrily pulling titles from the self-help section of B&N I would’ve given you the side eye and laughed. Some of the best business books I’ve read have been titles that actually tapped into my spiritual life and development, like this one from Deepak. Laws like “The Law of Giving” and “The Law of Detachment” can help any entrepreneur create space in their lives to genuinely do what they love. It’s great for those who appreciate affirmations and speaking their dreams into existence.
For the Artistic Maven
The Artistic Maven is always coming up with new visions and ideas. From cutting up her overalls to spewing out new stories, this little lady is brimming with otherworldly narratives. For her, being able to hone in on her craft and deeper understand how to be a better artist is a much-desired necessity. Pick out memoirs from her favorites, reads full of applicable tips and titles in line with her artistic pursuits.
Ah, the writing master himself. Stephen King’s ability to weave rich details into a suspenseful narrative is no mystery to any of us. (See what I did there? 😂) King takes us through his early days at college, his wedding and even the days his first manuscript got sold while also highlighting the habits that helped him become the writer he is today. One key nugget from the book?
“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” – Stephen King
Tis true Mr. King. Tis very very true.
Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way is the book that changed it ALL for me. Before picking up this creative guide, I was WAAAAAAAAY blocked. Like not writing a lick type blocked. I read this book nearly a year ago, right before landing my first freelance writing client *yay!* and starting this blog. Because of it, I’ve started to let go of my fears, doubts, worries, and anxieties about following my dreams. And here we are ladies and gents! 😄 It’s a 12-week “course” with exercises and creative homework at the end of every chapter. If there’s ONE book I’d suggest for the creative in your life *and yes, that means you too* this would be it.
So, in a past life (and by past life I mean 4 years ago lol) I worked in film production. As a young college grad hoping to 1) become a screenwriter and 2) break into Film & TV this made me think long and hard about the Hollywood we see today. To think, Robert Rodriguez edited his first movie back when digital editors didn’t exist! Yup. He used a VCR to create the final “cut” of El Mariachi. Today, we have a lot more tools readily available to us for video production but this goes to show, if there’s a will there’s most definitely a way.
For the Hustlin’ Boss
She’s the money makin’, selfie-takin’, on-the-go C-Suite professional. If there’s a deal to be cut, she’s sure to be at the head of the table leading it. For the Hustlin’ Boss, learning how to master sales, business, and marketing is at the top of her list. Share with her stories of inspiration, practical guides from previous business owners, and how-tos for her career aspirations.
You know when you have like a million ideas and try to do all of them at once to only find out that actually, you need to sit down and focus on ONE idea before moving onto the 100 others? That’s what Carrie helps entrepreneurs do in her book. If there are a thousand ideas swimming around in your head and you’re wondering “hey…wait… how do I make these a reality?” Then this is the book to pick up. Carrie even includes a 28-day She Means Business challenge to help you take action and move your dreams into real plans.
8. Fully Alive: Using the Lessons of the Amazon to Live Your Mission in Business and Life by Tyler Gage
Last summer, when I decided to finally take a chance on going into business for myself, I volunteered at Life@Work, a company culture conference for the team development brand Live Grey. In my goodie bag was a copy of Tyler Gage’s book which details how he and a few friends from business school created RUNA, an organic energy drink made from the Amazonian plant guayusa (gwhy-you-suh). Tyler’s willingness to be all the way R-E-A-L about entrepreneurship – like that time the board of RUNA almost fired him… from his OWN company – is really refreshing as a creative business owner. Goes to show being your own boss is oftentimes a roller coaster, with big twists that will make your stomach drop and sudden turns that will make you giggle with delight.
Ever tried saying YES for a whole year to everything that excites your soul? Well, Shonda Rhimes did. The creator and executive producer behind such hit medical dramas as Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice use to actually avoid doing interviews and public appearances. Finally, she noticed how much of her saying “no” had seeped into other areas of her life – including her love life! If you’re ready to live a life of Y-E-S then pick up Shonda’s read or slip it in as one of your picks for Secret Santa this year. It’s a read that is sure to positively alter anyone’s path.
For the Essayist At Heart
For this outspoken believer, even a trip to the salon can become a 1,000-word essay on why today’s blowout goes against feminist ideals. She’s all about the culture and at heart, is a true changemaker. Her book list is brimming with books centered on empowerment, justice, and hope. Go for the non-fiction section or literary pieces centering on identity.
10. Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture by Ytasha L. Womack
Okay, so Ytasha L. Womack’s Afrofuturism isn’t a business book *per say.* BUT it is a thoughtful exploration into the world of sci-fi and fantasy culture considering the growing representation of people of color in today’s media: from Black Panther to Ava Duvernay’s A Wrinkle In Time. Womack traces Afrofuturism through music, art, and even literature. For the Essayist at Heart, this is a book that is sure to spark inspiration and a number of cultural essays.
This.This.This.This. 💝 Funny. Raw. And oh so Issa Rae. Between the pages of Issa’s debut book, she shares how growing up as a Los Angelean without “style” or “cool points” can fuel your passions. Through humorous vignettes of life as a Senegalese-American, Issa Rae brings to life what it means to be a Black woman in today’s U.S. of A. It’s inspiring to read how Issa has taken her culture, personality, and upbringing to create a career that is all her own. This is the kind of book that will have any changemaker ready to tap into themselves deeper to figure out how to make that much-needed change in the world.
This one is a double whammy for anyone who is a runner and a lover of words. Jen A. Miller found the love of her life on the pavement. Through her love of running, Jen A. Miller found not only her life’s calling and purpose but also a sense of self. It’s a beautiful tale about how one sport can be the catalyst we need to open the door to a new world. You may even find yourself wanting to strap on a pair of sneaks too by the end of it!
Any books you’re hoping to see in your Christmas stocking this year? Tell me which ones and why in the comments below. I may just give Santa a list after all!