One of the perks of being your own boss is that you can take holidays when you like. If only it worked out like that, eh?

However, it’s important to find some time to take a break this summer. For one, it’s a chance to recharge and take stock. It’s also an opportunity to learn something new or see things in a new light, with a select bit of summer reading.

Here are four books that should be on your summer reading list:

1. ‘Creativity, Inc.’ by Ed Catmull

If you don’t know who Ed Catmull is, you will probably have seen some of his company’s work. Alongside Steve Jobs and John Lasseter, he founded Pixar, which has gone on to dominate the world of animation. Pixar’s work represents the height of creativity, and in this book, Catmull explains, from his experience, what it takes to build and sustain a creative culture.

2. ‘Delivering Happiness’ by Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh sure knows a thing or two about growing a small business. His online shoe and clothing shop Zappos started off as a $2 million venture in 1999 – 10 years later the business would be sold to Amazon in a deal valued at over $1.2 billion on the day of closing. In this book, Hsieh shares the different lessons he has learned in business and life – and how his success has been built on delivering happiness.

3. ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success’ by Carol S. Dweck

World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck has carried out decades-worth of research on achievement and success. What she’s concluded is that it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success, but whether we approach them with a fixed or a growth mindset. With the right mindset, she argues, we can reach our own goals, personal and professional. In this book, she offers some practical advice on how to get there.

4. ‘Thank You for Being Late’ by Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman’s book has been described as an “essential and entertaining field guide to thriving in the twenty-first century”. The New York Times adds: “After your session with Dr. Friedman, you have a much better idea of the forces that are upending your world, how they work together – and what people, companies and governments can do to prosper.” It’s a book that will spur thinking on the implications of your business in terms of opportunities and risk areas.
So, see a summer holiday not as time out you can ill-afford, but as vital time to assess your personal and professional goals, and what action you can take to realise them.
Listening to someone who’s ‘been there, done that’, can steer you in the right direction and give you the inner confidence that is required for success.