One of my favorite things to do while winding down at the end of a long day, taking a leisurely lunch break or enjoying some time outside on the weekend is curling up with a good book.
I love reading historical fiction, spy novels, and, of course, anything and everything about business, marketing, and personal development. It’s inevitable that once you jump into business ownership, you get a craving for books to help you grow smarter and faster.
Because of that phenomenon, I frequently get messages from aestheticians asking if I have any good book recommendations, so I thought it would be a great idea to create a blog post that rounds up some of my favorites that I recommend to everyone no matter what stage of life or business they’re in.
Here are my top three go-to business and personal development books (in no particular order):
Have you ever heard of limiting beliefs? Each of us has them even if we don’t realize it, which is usually the case.
Limiting beliefs are ideas and perceived truths that we’ve developed about what is possible based off of experiences that we’ve had throughout our lifetime. The Big Leap focuses a lot on mindset and teaches you ways to look at situations from different angles.
So, why is it a great read for aestheticians?
Well, I actually think it’s a great read for everyone, but especially for aestheticians because we’re natural caregivers, and when we are working so hard to build up our book and to attract new clients, it can sometimes take longer than we would like. It’s easy to feel like you’re not good enough or that there is something wrong with you, but it may be the result of having a limiting belief.
These types of beliefs come up a lot with money. For example, thinking, “I could never make $50,000 per year or $75,000 per year, or even $100,000 per year.”
We all have a different number, but the belief is still the same. And because we don’t believe that it’s possible, we won’t be able to take the actions needed to make it real. Our belief limits our possibility.
Now, it’s important to note that I am NOT someone who thinks that if you simply believe it, you will make a $100K per year salary. It takes hard work plus a clear action plan. However, I do believe that mindset and removing those limiting beliefs is a crucial part of your action plan.
Do you ever feel utterly exhausted at the end of the day, but when you reflect back you realize you’re not even sure what it was that you accomplished?
If you’re a solo aesthetician or spa owner, I’m sure you can relate because not only are you spending time in the treatment room with your clients, but you’re also running a business!
So, how do you prioritize your time so that you’re spending your most valuable resource on the tasks that will propel you the farthest in your business?
That is the central question Greg McKeown answers in Essentialism.
He also dives into what steps we need to take to discover what the essential tasks are, so rather than making a small amount of progress on a hundred different things; you can make a huge amount of progress on a single, essential thing.
When I was a new small business owner, it made a world of difference in how I approached operating and expanding my business.
For example, I’m a total type-A personality, which means I inherently want to do every single task in my business. Let me save you a lot of time and trouble - that is not a smart idea.
You need to spend your time on the essential tasks in your business and hire or automate the rest out. Essentialism drilled this into me.
Think you don’t have enough money to hire someone?
Think about it this way: If you can make $30-$60 profit per hour working in the treatment room, doesn’t it make sense to pay a virtual assistant $15-$20 per hour to take over administrative tasks that eat up multiple hours per week for you?
(Want to learn more about how to hire a VA in your business? Check out this post.)
Once you learn what the essential tasks are in your business, you’re able to focus on those and watch your business grow.
If I’m totally honest, I have to say that this book, out of all of the hundreds of business books that I’ve read, has had the most significant impact on my business.
It changed the way I think about my business, the way I operate my business, and it’s a book that I continually refer to if I’m feeling at a crossroads as I continue to grow and expand.
In The E-Myth Revisited, Gerber talks about how we all have three people inside of us: the entrepreneur, the manager, and the technician. Each role is important, but if you’re a solo aesthetician or a spa owner - or a small business owner like me - you have to really live in the entrepreneur role if you want your business to succeed.
In the book, Gerber uses an example of a woman who opens a pie shop. She’s loved baking pies her entire life and has always had a talent for it. One day, she decides to take the leap and open a pie shop only to discover over time that she was miserable working in her business.
She believed, like so many of us, that if you have a passion for something, it’s a good idea to start a business doing that particular thing.
But here’s the truth - starting a business requires so much of yourself; you will not be able to just do the parts that you love all day every day if you want it to be successful.
If you’re a solo aesthetician or a spa owner, think about how much time you spend in the treatment room versus how much time you spend marketing, planning, networking, and completing administrative tasks.
My guess is you spend a lot of your time in the treatment room because that’s what you love and it’s where you feel you make the majority of your money, but if that means neglecting the other aspects of your business, you’re setting yourself up for hard times.
Overall, the biggest takeaways from this book are that it teaches you the nuances of the different roles we need to play in our business, how much time we should be spending on each one, and most importantly, the power of organizing your business like a real business.
Simply put, The E-Myth Revisited changed my business, and if you apply the information Gerber shares, it can change yours, too.
Other Business Books I Love
With such a passion for books, it was tough to narrow down my picks to just three, so here are some honorable mentions that are absolutely worth checking out:
This book is all about vulnerability, resilience and the courage it takes to dare greatly. It’s got wonderful lessons for being a leader in both your life and business.
The Art of Speed Reading People: How to Size People Up and Speak Their Language by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger
I’ve discussed the importance of being able to quickly read your clients and potential clients so that you can effectively build trust before, but this book dives deep on the art and science of picking up on body language, personality, and more so that you can put your clients at ease in an instant.
The concept of branding can be an elusive one, but this book breaks down the elements of what makes certain brands, including yours, irresistibly fascinating.
In Getting Things Done, Allen’s premise is simple: “our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax.” His methods walk you through the steps you need to organize and clear your thoughts so that you can achieve maximum levels of productivity.
A classic, and for good reason. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People provides what Covey calls a “paradigm shift” to adjust your mindset so you can successfully adopt the habits that the most successful people in the world have in common.
Alright, that should be enough to fill up your free time (and your bookshelf) for awhile!
If there’s any other advice I could give, it would be to get a physical copy of these books because I have a feeling you’ll want to markup and reference for years to come like I have.
Have any other business and personal development books you love? I’m always looking for new reads, so let me know your favorites in the comments!