How would you answer the question, "What makes successful people so successful?"
Talent, wealth, skill, access all seem like the keys to the kingdom. And while these things do factor in, they pale in comparison to one main characteristic of successful entrepreneurs: Teachability.
The highest achieving entrepreneurs are only as consistently successful as they are because they are willing to keep learning. They jump at the opportunity to be students over and over again because they know their growth is dependent upon knowledge and its application.
That takes vision, humility, and quite a lot of study.
In my conversations and research of what resources today's entrepreneurs swear by, I found that the following 19 books are some of the most highly regarded materials when it comes to financial literacy, business/brand development, personal development, and spiritual guidance.
Not only do these books offer inspiring words, they provide resources, methods of practical application, and ways to measure your growth. So, at whatever point you find yourself on your entrepreneurial journey - from daydreaming about your big idea to planning your next venture - this list was made with you in mind! Happy reading!
The wisdom of over 40 millionaires distilled into one book.
Read when:You need a glimpse into the proven life choices that will get you where you want to be.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not! By Robert T. Kiyosaki
LaKisha Greenwade, Brand Strategist - Founder, @LuckiFit & @GlamTechUSA
"I have recommended this book to my nieces, nephews, mentees, colleagues, and even those with multiple degrees because it trains the mind to refute cultural norms of progression, cast down comfort, and accept responsibility for individual financial well being. I love that it also encourages entrepreneurship, multiple streams, of income, and the process to building a business that can transform a legacy."
Read when: You want to upgrade your mindset about your money and pass down crucial information.
The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women by Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood, & Rhonda Joy McLean
Three executives created a "mentor in your pocket" to guide you into savvy leadership.
Read when:You're on the fast track to BOSS status and need Mother/Sister advice to stay sane, aligned, and effective.
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work & What To Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
Victoria Jackson, Creative Consultant, Content Creator, Founder of Reinvented Marketing, @thecapitalV
"It highlights one of the most important truths about entrepreneurship: If it doesn't run without you, you have a glorified job, not a business. It's a must read for anyone attempting to move from the employee mindset to the entrepreneurial mindset by building a sustainable, scalable business model."
Read when:You're interested in studying the life cycle of new businesses.
Is your idea "sticky" enough to capture your audience? Grab this NYT bestseller to find out.
Read when: You want to evaluate a new idea or you want to refine your business/brand/ministry's message.
Don't like change? Get over it and find the opportunities within it with this bestseller.
Read when: You're ready to embrace change and master making it work to your advantage.
Becca Bakre, Life Coach & Project Strategist of Becca Bakre Enterprises, LLC @beccabak
"I was serving as Director at a multi-million dollar non-profit, and although I was thriving and successful in the eyes of many, I felt very dissatisfied with my life and career path. This book gave me the courage to see my leaving the company not as moving backward but as a necessary step forward.
I am now the owner of a successful coaching business that gives me the freedom to use my talents and passion to lead other women into their God-given purpose."
Read when: You've decided to assess your habits, get rid of those that don't serve you and establish new, healthier ones.
Cut the noise. Cut the clutter. Cut the crap. Chase less. Get more.
Read when:You want to simplify, clarify, and breathe easier.
Need a sweet little kick in the pants to face your fear and live a big life? Here you go.
Read when: You're teetering, on the brink of going for it and need an "over-the-edge" pep talk.
A cult classic tale following a little shepherd boy and his journey to wisdom, self-confidence, and realized dreams for the absolute WIN.
Read when: You're sick of traditional self-help books and want to follow along on a brave little boy's journey to dreams fulfilled.
Pressfield pulls no punches. Let's bust up the blockages and DO this work.
Read when: You want to understand why you get stuck creatively and how to get unstuck.
Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How To Say No To Take Control Of Your LIfe by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
Every great businesswoman has got to learn the weight of her yes and the power in her no. Start here.
Read when:You're ready to make the time to dig deep, be brutally honest, and take responsibility for your decisions.
You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
Practical advice, sage wisdom, hilarious stories, powdered with a cuss word here and there. Jen Sincero serves you straight talk, no chaser.
Read when:You're feeling down on yourself and you're on the verge of giving up.
Whitney L. Barkley, M.S. Speakerazzi, CEO @whitneylbarkley
"[This book] is a testament that you can come from anything to create realities beyond your biggest imagination for your life and career. [It's] impactful because while you may be wildly skilled and talented, there is a level of personal development that is necessary in the areas of goal setting, Impostor syndrome, and discipline to heighten your potential and create the best set-up for current and future success."
Anaston Jeni, Self-care Coach @anastonjeni
"Regardless of what phase of life you're in, you can identify with [this book's] principles. It's great for anyone on a journey of self-discovery and self-mastery. Applying The Four Agreements will change your perspective on life & open you up to a new level of freedom."
Regret, hurt, and disappointment can stifle our journeys forward. Marshawn E. Daniels teaches how to use the past to find your purpose and believe the absolute best.
Read when: You're not quite sure what to do or where to go but you feel called to elevate.
Success encompasses principles beyond just having a business plan.
Read when:You want to implement practical steps toward a life well-lived.
Authenticity will take you far.
Read when:Life doesn't feel quite as honest as you'd like and you're ready to do the internal work to be your truest self.
Learn to stop doing too much for the wrong people with this read.
Read when:You're sick and tired of being sick and tired and want to learn healthier ways of planning and living out your best life.
Featured image by Shutterstock
Originally published on February 25, 2019
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports