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5 books to help you hit the refresh button

Whilst 2020 didn’t exactly go to plan, 2021 provides us with a host of opportunities to reset how we live and work as we navigate what’s next. Business Chicks Premium member, podcast host, and bookworm, Steph Clarke, leads us through her reads for starting 2021 with a refreshed approach.

If you want to rethink connection…

The Power of Ritual by Casper ter Kuile

This delightful book is a perfect recipe for rethinking how we connect with ourselves, each other and the world around us. Taking a secular look at how we can reintroduce rituals into our modern lives, Casper provides a smorgasbord of new connection ideas. Pick from tech sabbaths or sacred readings of Harry Potter or pilgrimage-esq walks with friends. It’s the perfect accompaniment to redesigning a life full of connection and meaning in 2021, and beyond.

Quote: “In the midst of a crisis of isolation, where loneliness leads to deaths of despair, being truly connected isn’t a luxury. It’s a lifesaver.”




If you want to redesign work

It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Written when most of us sat in offices and pandemics were the domain of history books and disaster movies, this book was before its time. Basecamp co-founders, Jason and David, have been rejecting useless meetings, forgoing offices and championing asynchronous communication for years. Part-guide and part-manifesto, this is a highly relevant blueprint to working in a smarter, calmer way.

Quote: “What’s worse is that long hours, excessive busyness, and lack of sleep have become a badge of honour for many people these days. Sustained exhaustion is not a badge of honour, it’s a mark of stupidity.”




If you want to (finally) quash your perfectionism

Ish by Lynne Cazaly

If you find yourself regularly running yourself into the ground through perfectionist tendencies, let Lynne guide you to a mindset of ‘ish’. As a recovering-perfectionist herself, Lynne shows you how to reframe ‘good work’ and take more of a ‘done is better than perfect’ approach to work and life. Leaving you with the space and energy to focus on what really matters.

Quote: “In choosing to push towards perfection I gained nothing and missed out on nearly everything.”




If you want to rebuild positive habits

Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg

We’ve been sold a modern lie of willpower and inner-strength required when it comes to habit formation. BJ Fogg runs the Behaviour Design Lab at Stanford University and his habit building approach is equal parts science-based and compassion-centred. He shows the Tiny Habits ‘recipe’ for sustainable, effective behaviour change so you too can access the superpower of habit building, no willpower required.

Quote: “We are not the problem. Our approach to change is. It’s a design flaw — not a personal flaw.”




If you want to be inspired to overcome and dream

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

This beautiful memoir from poet, author and all-round inspiration, Maya Angelou, is a story of a childhood full of love, trauma, wonder and curiosity. It’s ultimately a story of connection and survival and provides an eye-opening insight into the challenges Maya faced growing up, and many others still do. Read this book for a new perspective and thought-provoking lessons on personal strength.

Quote: “Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.”





Steph Clarke is a Business Chicks Premium member, leadership and team facilitator and graphic designer based in Naarm (Melbourne).  She is also the Host and Chief Bookworm of Steph’s Business Bookshelf podcast, where she shares the three big ideas she’s learnt from the best business books she’s read. 


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