Today is World Book Day so it’s fitting that I share what I read throughout the month of February. Admittedly I had no clue what day today was until I went online to write this.

‘Awaken the Giant Within’ — Tony Robbins

The genre of self-help gets its fair share of flack and a lot of the time I can understand why. What set Tony Robbins apart from the rest of the industry, however, is his willingness to learn from the best in their respective fields and relate these teachings to the lives of your everyday person. I for one am 100% interested in learning more about a wide variety of topics, so any tool, resource or person that can distill information for me is something I will search out. Robbins is such a person. ‘Awaken the Giant Within’ was first published 26 years ago now and although the references are a little dated, the lessons are the same. For entrepreneurs and professionals in fields as diverse as marketing, athletics and the arts, there are ideas you can apply to your working life.

MAIN TAKEAWAY: How we interpret any given situation is our reality.

‘Empire State of Mind’ — Zack O’Malley Greenburg

Written like a compilation of long-form articles, ‘Empire State of Mind’ digs into the career and business dealings of Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter. Undeniably one of the most influential artists of the last 20 years, Jay-Z also gets a lot of credit for being a successful business person from the jump. The book shows how his various partners and mentors combined with his own intelligence and savvy propelled him to become one of the richest entertainers of all time. A must read for aspiring musicians and entrepreneurs.

MAIN TAKEAWAY: Using your skill in one arena as a platform to launch yourself into new areas.

‘The Tanning of America’ — Steve Stoute

With a couple of references to Stoute in the previous book, I remembered I owned a copy of this (admittedly I had done for a good few years) and was yet to read it. What can best be described as part marketing to millennials handbook, part autobiography and part hip hop history, ‘The Tanning of America’ takes a deep look into the events and people that changed the culture and mindset of the US and indeed the world. From the invention of hip hop to Rappers Delight, to Run DMC’s version of ‘Walk This Way’ all the way through to the election of Barrack Obama, Stoute navigates some of pop culture’s highlights and how they relate to his own illustrious career. For Hip hop fans and aspiring marketers alike.

MAIN TAKEAWAY: “Credibility in the pop culture marketplace is everything.”

‘Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite’ — Paul Arden

A fucking masterpiece.

Concise, thought-provoking and altogether beautifully put together.

MAIN TAKEAWAY: “Do it, then fix it as you go.”

‘The War of Art’ — Steven Pressfield

I have now read this book three maybe four times and after every sitting, I take something new away from it. Widely recommended, this book is for anyone creating something from the beginning. ‘The War of Art’ is a no-nonsense look at what gets in the way of writers, entrepreneurs, musicians and painters alike (spoiler alert: it’s ourselves). Everyone faces the fear of not being good enough, not being able to produce work consistently and worries about being rejected for their art and Pressfield prescribes a very simple antidote. Show up every day, put in the work, rinse and repeat.

MAIN TAKEAWAY: “The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.” The key work here is TRYING.

What are you reading right now?

If there was one book you would recommend to me what would it be?

I am interested in hearing your stories and connecting.