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Our Editor recommends: 3 business books that have had an impact on HLN

Three books that have had the biggest impact for me this year, in case it can help any other entrepreneurs with big plans

Written by High Life North
Published 17.11.2020

By Laura Kingston

I’m currently preparing to speak to a cohort of Durham University students tonight. It made me start thinking about business books I’ve read over the past 12 months that I’ve felt have had an impact on my business journey.

I find business books can be a bit like songs – they mean different things to different people. The words on a page can resonate and feel so inspiring to one person, and absolutely nothing to another.

That said, I still thought it might be interesting to share the three books that have had the biggest impact for me this year, in case it can help any other entrepreneurs with big plans!

Atomic Habits by James Clear

This was the first book I read when I made the transition from working as part of a large organisation to being self-employed and working at my kitchen table. I haven’t been alone this year, as the rest of the nation was also unexpectedly thrown into creating makeshift office spaces in our homes. So I’m sure many of you will resonate when I talk about the temptation to put a wash on, treat yourself to a sneaky lunchtime Loose Women session (whilst working of course) and popping to do the food shop in the middle of the day ‘while it’s quiet’.

Atomic Habits really helped me to understand the psychology behind the formation of habits, meaning I could structure my day around a few simple habits that made me significantly more productive.

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Brand Famous: How to get everyone talking about your brand by Linzi Boyd

This book is what I’d attribute to gaining a really clear understanding of the High Life North brand and how to ensure that I protect it as we grow. Linzi Boyd left school at 15 and went from working in a clothes shop to opening one of her own when she was 18. Her successes include bringing Replay and Diesel to the UK for the first time, setting up a successful footwear brand which she sold to Caterpillar when she was 24. She now owns Surgery Group, which includes one of the leading PR agencies in London.

What I love about this book is how practical it is. I literally just sat for a weekend at my parent’s house working through it and by the end of it, I felt really clear about HLN’s values and direction.

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Get a Grip: Gino Wickman

Gino Wickman is the author of three business books that I’ve found really useful – Get a Grip, Traction and Rocket Fuel.

Get a grip follows the fable of an entrepreneurial couple who after years of profitable and predictable growth, found themselves in a rut. They weren’t making any progress and felt they were working harder than ever but with less impact.

The book illustrates how the couple resolved their business issues by implementing the operating system that Gino Wickman has created.

Whilst HLN is nowhere near the size and scale of these businesses, it was a useful read and one which I think has helped me to create the right foundations for future growth.

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