The best business books of the summer

If you’re a time-stretched entrepreneur, reading is an opportunity to tick off multiple boxes at once. I know, I know – not all downtime has to be productive. But if you are looking to multitask, reading is a good way to go about it. It’s relaxing, it gives your eyes a break from screens, and if you pick your book wisely, it can be a great chance to learn about something new. Reading is scientifically proven to help you sleep better, reduce stress, improve your memory and concentration skills, and even make you more empathetic by broadening your horizons. If that hasn’t convinced you enough, a number of experts from the world of entrepreneurship have used the past year to bring out books on everything ranging from DIY branding for small businesses, to our relationship with money. Here are our top picks of this summer’s new releases.

We Need to Talk about Money by Otegha Uwagba
Our first pick is British journalist and entrepreneur Otegha Uwagba’s memoir-slash-guide, We Need to Talk about Money. We’ve grown up being told that talking about money is taboo, but if we want to challenge the accepted norms of paying women less, this has to change. Uwagba’s book covers her personal experiences when it comes to money, including what to do when you’re invited to something you can’t afford. It’s a tough one, but we’ve all been there. Uwagba also deconstructs her experiences in toxic workplaces, covering class, privilege and racism. Why are we so secretive about money? It’s a good question. As women inch towards workplace equality, this book provides a moment of reflection about how far we’ve still got to go. Good for: for helping you think about money in a different way.

Brand Yourself: A no-nonsense brand toolkit for small businesses by Lucy Werner and Hadrien Chatelet
Branding can be a bit of a minefield. Many entrepreneurs tend to try to cut costs in the branding department, choosing a DIY approach until they have the budget to hire a professional. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always end well. After all, there’s a lot more to branding than picking out complementary colours – it’s about standing out from the crowd, connecting with your ideal customers, and building a solid reputation. Luckily, Lucy Werner and Hadrien Chatelet of The Wern agency are here to help. This isn’t Werner’s first book. Hype Yourself: a no-nonsense PR toolkit for small businesses (there’s a theme here) was an Amazon bestseller, and was shortlisted for the 2021 Business Book Awards. Both Werner and Chatelet have extensive industry experience and teach courses on branding and PR. Their aptitude for translating complex ideas into easily digestible nuggets shines through, and believe it or not, this is actually a business book that’s enjoyable to read on the beach. Just like its predecessor, Brand Yourself is fuss-free and suitable for everyone, no matter how much (or how little…) you know about branding. The book is full of practical exercises, case studies and tips, so you can actually get to work on your branding as you read. How’s that for multitasking?

Side Hustle in Progress: A practical guide to kickstarting your business by Elizabeth Ogabi
If you’ve got a business idea you’d like to pursue, but don’t want to go all-in and risk losing everything, a side hustle is a great place to start. That being said, there’s a lot of information out there. You could sift through the 3,264,175 articles out there on building a side hustle (that’s a rough estimate), but it would take you a while. Instead, why not go straight to the expert who’s been there and done that? Elizabeth Ogabi is a multi-talented multi-hyphenate with a background in marketing and communications, consulting, and entrepreneurship. She’s also a podcast host, educator, and founder of the For Working Ladies platform. Safe to say, she’s got a lot going on. If anyone knows what it’s like to run a side hustle or three, it’s Ogabi. Her debut book Side Hustle in Progress breaks down everything you need to know to bring your idea to life. Packed with inspiring stories, interviews with some well-known side hustlers, and a ton of advice, Side Hustle in Progress is a must-read for anyone who wants to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset, hone in on their idea, and work through the practical steps to turn your dream into reality.

The Reset: Ideas to change how we work and live by Elizabeth Uviebiene
If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that there’s no one right way to work. Companies that in February 2020 would never have considered allowing remote working, have now made it the norm. We’re learning that actually, many of us are better off without a draining daily commute, endless unnecessary meetings, and the constant juggling of work and home responsibilities. Now, as we move beyond the pandemic, it’s time to think about what we’ve learned, and how we want to move forward. Uviebiene’s book The Reset will help you do just that, by challenging what we accept as normal. As the author points out, perks aren’t office culture, and being busy isn’t an identity. As we move into the autumn, it’s the perfect time to reflect on how we want the rest of the year to look. Onwards and upwards.

Written by Phoebe Dodds