In case you’re new here, I have a real crazy obsession with books, and there are a few that are my must read business books. I haven’t always been this way, I mean can you even imagine an English teacher who didn’t love to read? Well, that was me. It turns out that it wasn’t that I didn’t like reading, after all, it was that I didn’t have time or the space in my life to read. Does anyone understand how that feels? A year before I left the classroom I had a required reading assignment for my specialist degree in Educational Leadership.
I was disgusted that as an adult in a graduate program I was being required to read a book and do a presentation on it. So, in typically Kayse fashion I waited until the last minute to read it. This moment changed everything. The book I was asked to read was by Dr. Stephen Covey and it was titled 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Since I waited until the last week of class to read it, I decided to try out Audible and put Dr. Covey on 2X the speed to get more done in less time.
Little did I know that that book would be the catalyst to this multimillion-dollar company called the CEO Teacher®. Or that Dr. Covey would shift everything in my mindset. Or that I would read that book every year, sometimes twice a year, since that first moment in 2017. A lot has changed since then, but I still listen to books at 1.5 or 2 x speed because I have 5 kids. And let’s be real, if I get a moment of quiet, I want to soak up as much information as I can. I’ve spent nearly $100,000 on courses and masterminds in the past 3 years and I can honestly say without a doubt that a $12 audiobook (or one of the 100’s that I’ve read) has been more valuable than any course or mastermind.
If you can’t afford audiobooks at this moment, and I’ve been there – drive to your nearest library or Barnes and Nobel and sit on the floor and read. Who knew Dr. Suess was right? The more you read the more you know the more places that you’ll go.
It was almost painful for me to only pick 5 favorite books in my lifetime, so I decided to go with 5 of my favorite must read business books for this year. These 5 books helped me grow a lot this year and although most of the books I read in a year are for business. I did read a few this summer on my Kindle that I really enjoyed too!
I listen to business books on Audible, but anytime I want to read for pleasure and enjoyment, I have a Kindle Paperwhite for that. It’s funny when people don’t get your Kindle obsession because “you already have a phone or an iPad you can read on.” Nobody can text, notify, or mess with me on my Kindle. It’s just me and her. So I read all of my fun books there and highly recommend one unless you love real books you can touch and feel and smell (I feel that too)!
Straight out of the gate I feel like I’m cheating! My first must read business book is actually 2 books but they are written by the same author. His name? Michael Singer – the books (mostly mindset driven) are The Untethered Soul and The Surrender Experiment. I listened to both of these books in 2 days because I couldn't stop listening. First, he was on Oprah so – that basically makes him an instant star in my eyes, but he’s different from most authors. He’s nature and spiritually grounded and shares some pretty prolific stories in his life where he let go and let God.
In The Untethered Soul, he shares how to stop focusing on what you want to happen and begin to uncover your true reason for being on this Earth. And in The Surrender Experiment, he shares his entire life’s journey of how he implemented these strategies into every aspect of this life. It allowed me to see situations so much different and ultimately I think these books have made me into a better person each day for my kids, my husband, my parents, and more. If you are a control freak – these are a must read. (Many teachers are grasping for a bit of control most days, so I wanted to just throw that out there)!
One that deserves all the high kicks, fist pumps, laughter and tears belongs to my new favorite human on Earth, Shonda Rimes. Creator of Grey’s Anatomy, How To Get Away With Murder and Scandal (Olivia is my spirit animal). Shonda Rimes wrote one of the most remarkable books of all time called The Year of Yes – and it was way different than I anticipated.
The conversation went something like this: Me to myself, “that sounds boring, I think I got the entire book just by the title – the Year of Yes. Well I guess she says yes to everything for a year” but sister – I was so wrong. It’s so much deeper, better, and spiritual than that and she is the best and easiest author I’ve ever read. Whitty, and funny, Shonda slays this one. I loved it so much I actually started watching Grey’s Anatomy just to get more of her goodness in my life. She taught me to stop saying “I’m too busy” and start realizing “it just isn’t a priority” and I massively changed my decision-making process. Nobody is too busy, not even the creator of Shondaland. IF she can do it, so can I.
Raise your hand if you like quick reads? Same, girl same. This one also threw me for a spin because I never in a million years would have picked it off the shelf. But it kept flashing up on “books you may love”. So I said, what the heck. Its title? Make Your Bed. I’m was laughing before I read this book because I made it my mission in life to not make my bed. You read that right. My mom forced me to make my bed when I was little because ‘it helps build character’ and I made it my life mission to prove I could have character, integrity, grit, and success WITHOUT making my bed every day. But make no mistake, this book isn’t really about making your bed, although one chapter does discuss it. It’s about the real measure of a man (or woman) and how small insignificant decisions can change your life and maybe the world. I am actually making my bed 70% of the time now (baby steps) and it has basically changed my life. The author is Admiral William Mcgraven a retired US Navy seal and he shares so many stories of battle – usually NOT my jam at all but it is so darn powerful. You can read this one in about 2 hours on double speed, so just do it. You won’t regret it.
The next author, I for sure thought “was not my style.” I am a nerd at heart and I really thought Gabby Bernstein was too hyped from social media to make a big splash. Whoa was I wrong! This chick is insanely intelligent and I can’t believe how much I enjoyed her books, because I read all of them, once I read the first one. It’s called “The Universe Has Your Back.” and in the same token of “Let go and let God” where Michael Singer shares insights on how to get back to God with your life and make sure you’re moving in the right direction. The most powerful thing I gained from these books was the mantras. I say them a lot during the day (basically they are prayers) if and when I need them.
Before I share my final recommendation, I feel the need to preface this one a lot. First and foremost, if cuss words offend you, this is not the book for you. Second, I wanted to share a story about my husband before we discuss the book. When I first met my husband (Abe) he was a quiet tall man who came into the local pizza place where I waited tables and would leave me a $20 tip. He would come in every Tuesday night with his cousin and we rarely spoke because his cousin always had a lot to say. Fast forward a few weeks and we had been on a first date. I really liked this guy which was strange because I was 19 years old and he was 23 and had a 2-year-old son. Statistically, it shouldn’t have ever worked out.
Once I decided I really liked this guy, I invited him to have dinner with my brother and his girlfriend (now wife) at the time. My brother played high school baseball with Abe for 3 years so they knew each other well. We sat down at dinner and immediately I was confused. Abe began saying cuss words, and at the time – I had never heard him cuss once in our relationship. He peppered every sentence with them and I looked at my brother and said “I’m sorry I just am shocked, I’ve never heard him talk like this.” My brother’s response? Really, this is the only Abe I’ve ever known. Here I was, never a “cusser” listening to a man I really liked cuss and I mean a lot. He explained to me that cuss words help make the language more colorful and if they aren’t used for hurting someone, they just have a fake meaning in our minds that we’ve placed on them. Words aren’t bad, people make them that way.
Ever since that day, I’ve looked at language a lot differently, and I fell in love with that man and had 4 more kids with him…and he still swears the same as he did back then. Never “at” anyone, but always to make the language more colorful. So I have a different take on cuss words and they do not offend me at all.
So this next book also feels a bit like home listening to the author read it. It’s brand new and I just listened to it at double speed so intently. It’s called Will by Will Smith. Within the first few minutes, I was hooked, much like The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. It’s captivating and it cuts through the man we thought we knew as Will Smith, it isn't just a memoir – it’s a self-help book that allows you to see what life is like for someone who is very successful. It’s a lot of hard work. I cannot recommend this one enough for anyone over 18!
I have two favorites from last summer. And remember I read these on my Kindle, rather than listen to them on Audible. Mainly because one of my intentions each summer is to slow down and spend time soaking up time with my family. Recharging before the next step in my business life. I loved Nicholas Sparks' The Return and Elin Hilderbrand’s 28 Summers. Both are set along the eastern coast and give off those coastal summer vibes you know I love. I love to spend my summers on beaches and in small towns slowing down and soaking it all in. And these two books take me back.
Speaking of must read business books for 2022. Have you downloaded your copy of Start or Expand Your Online Teacher Business? If you need some more help getting started making an impact and more income this coming year, click here to grab my free book that’s bursting at the seams with tips, actionable strategies, and more to help you grow. Let me know in the comments what your favorite business books are. I am always looking to add to my professional library!
Here are a few more suggestions for your professional CEO Teacher® library:
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