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So much research went into how to start a business and what that could look like for Affinity Studios. There were so many ideas from my past work experiences that I was excited to implement, but there were so many things I had no clue about. I mean even today I’m still learning. But below are some of the best books I’ve read this year and how they’ve helped me. 

    1. The Freelancer’s Bible, Sara Horowitz – This one was a GAME. CHANGER. Thanks to my friend, Renée for sharing it with me. It touched on all the things I needed to know about client relations, taxes, processes, partnerships, and so much more. It really is my business bible. I have it on my desk as a quick reference if I’m stumped.
    2. Ninja Selling, Larry Kendall – My friend Cathy, a Realtor, shared this with me after I marveled over the story about how her son grew his t-shirt printing business in California. She had recommended this book to her son and it was a real game-changer for him. I think the reason I love this book is because it’s all about being mentally healthy as an entrepreneur. It’s so easy to feel discouraged and question yourself, but this book has shown me ways to rewire my brain and be in the best headspace to show up at Affinity and for my clients every day.
    3. The Tipping Point, Malcolm GladwellThis was a book recommended to me by my former boss, Jeff, and it took me years to actually read it. I think it was one of those things where I read it at the point of my life when I could really appreciate it. This book felt a little like the Matrix sometimes with its explanations about how ideas catch on but it was SO interesting. It reminded me of another great book that I read years ago The Design of Everyday Things. It was heavy in the theory of ideas and I really enjoyed that.
    4. The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World, Melinda Gates – I am a huge fan of Bill and Melinda Gates because of the work they do alongside Rotary International to eradicate polio. So when I saw this book, I was so excited to hear from Melinda- someone I admired for her work in philanthropy and service. This book is about the amazing impact that empowering women can make on the world. While I think the main idea is one that’s not new, I think Melinda’s experiences through her traveling with the Gates Foundation is what makes this book so special. 
    5. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE, Phil Knight – Now, before I started Affinity, I was working a full-time job designing interiors and graphics for college athletic programs around the country. It was tons of fun and the athletic brands like Nike were familiar to me. I didn’t think there was going to be new information about the brand that basically. However, I was pleasantly surprised with how deep Phil Knight goes into his setbacks and hurdles as he began to build Nike. I mean, you look at the industry giant today and you can’t imagine that they ever had it rough. I loved this book because it was such a tale of perseverance and the entrepreneurial spirit. It gave me hope.

Well, those are my top 5 business books of this year. I look forward to discovering more good ones and sharing them with you. Did you have a favorite book this year?


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