The first personal growth book I ever had was “The Monk who Sold his Ferrari” by Robin Sharma in 2000. A friend gave it to me – obviously she felt I needed some personal growth and development, but I thought it was a weird book with a weirder title so on the bookshelf it sat. When I finally picked it up to read about 10 years later, I liked the story but still did not really get that it was a self- development book. Little did I know that according to Amazon it is an “inspirational classic that has sold over two million copies worldwide.” My preference was normally romance by Norah Roberts or historical fiction by Ken Follett.
Being an athlete, coaches are an integral part of your sports career and they have become an important part of my business career. I was super fortunate to find a business coach after my Olympic career was over who helped me reframe my Olympic experience into business language so I could get myself back into the work force. I was so grateful for this help and for the book she gave me which I still have and have reread a couple of times. “Speed of Trust” by Steven R. Covey (son of the Covey of “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” fame) has been responsible for some very successful job searches. The message of listen more than you speak and always do what you say you are going to do as lost trust is the most damaging thing to a business. This book was inspirational in the practical tools it gave to direct my thinking from sport to business.
After I entered the entrepreneurial world, I did what all the successful entrepreneurs tell you to do – including Robin Sharma – read personal growth and development books! So, for the past 5 years, I have read nothing but personal growth and development books. A few favs “Three feet from Gold” by Sharon Lechter and Greg Reid, “Girl Code” by Cara Alwill Leyba and “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek.
In the past year, I struggled to get inspiration from any of the new books that came my way. The messages were just not resonating, and I could not force myself to finish any of them. I was really missing a good story and something I could not put my finger on. I stumbled upon the Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on a plane and then listened to the book on Audible! That was what was missing! Strong women making waves by action to raise others up!
This summer, my Mom gave me “The Nightingale” by Kristen Hannah, a fictional story about women in the French resistance during World War II. Again, it took me a while to open it as I felt that I was harming my business by not being totally committed to business / personal development books.
What I found was that I was so inspired by the stories of the incredibly brave women in this story that I could not get enough. Two more books of the same strain were consumed along with “Catch and Kill” by Ronan Farrow about the women who spoke out about harassment in entertainment industry leading up to the #metoo movement. Add Michelle Obama’s book into the mix and I was on fire! My business flourished as I prioritized self care and my motivation increased.
Now my morning walks are enhanced by interesting stories of incredible women coming through the Audible app. I have started to look at the Rising Tides Speaker Series as a way for me to have an active role in spreading inspiring stories. Check out the event page on risingtides.ca for a preview of the events. Inspiration comes from many places; motivation comes from within. Comment below with where you find your inspiration so I can share this during the upcoming Rising Tides Speaker Series.