I just wrapped up my first semester teaching at Loyola University New Orleans. It was a wonderful experience, and I’m really excited to see what my students go on to achieve. One of them asked me about books that I’d recommend, so I figured I’d sit down and make a list.
1. Live Your Life on Purpose – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. You’ve got to choose the course for your life, and this book was a great eye-opener for me. I’ve read it 7 or 8 times. I buy a copy when it’s time to re-read it, and then pass it on to somebody that I think could use it.
2. Stay Organized – Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky. I teach Music Finance, so all of my students are creatives at heart. The problem isn’t having ideas, it is executing on them. Making Ideas Happen is a great system for making more of those creative ideas a reality. Getting Things Done by David Allen would also be an excellent choice, but I think that Belsky’s book is more useful for the masses.
3. Lead Us – Tribes by Seth Godin. It’s never been easier to find a community than it is today. There’s no lack of followers, but there is a lack of leaders. Tribes is a short, inspirational book about the modern journey of leading a tribe.
4. Handle your Money – Get a Financial Life by Beth Kobliner. I don’t know that there is a perfect financial book, but this book is pretty good. It covers the basics with enough detail to give you a foundation.
5. Write Better – Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. The biggest area of improvement for my students was in their writing. Bird by Bird gives practical, actionable advice that can help make anybody a better writer. The future belongs to the communicators and if your writing isn’t up to par you’re missing a huge opportunity.
6. Write – Blank. As my friend Eric Kies once told me, “Anybody can read a book, you need to see if you can write one.” He didn’t mean an actual book, but more importantly, a personal journal. Capturing your personal ideas, in your own handwriting, on a regular basis is a huge challenge and a wonderful gift to your future self. Get a blank book and start writing in it.
That’s my list. What would you recommend for new grads?
(note – none of the above links are affiliate links. I only get paid by my clients. If you’d like to talk about becoming a client, contact me and let’s chat).