At some point in our lives, we all face the quarter-life crisis. For some of us, it comes earlier than others. But it always seems to catch us by surprise. We spend years in school preparing for a career and then get out into the real world only to realize we have no idea how it all works. If you’re in your early twenties and feeling lost, don’t worry. You’re not alone.
Many people have gone through (or are currently going through) the same thing. Feeling stuck and lost is natural, especially when trying to get the hang of things. But the good news is that plenty of people have already been through it and are more than happy to help you out of it. And what could be better than well-written books to assist you at this stage?
There are tons of business, attitude-related, and life books out there that offer helpful advice for young adults. But with such diverse options, finding great books is tough; that’s exactly what we’ll help you with. Today, we’ll round up the best business books that can shape your perspective and clarify your doubts about how the world works. Without any further ado, let’s get to it!
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
If you want insight into how to be successful in business, The Lean Startup by Eric Ries should be your next read. In this book, Ries lays out a new approach to starting a successful business based on “continuous innovation.” By constantly experimenting and iterating on your initial product or service, you can create a business that is much more likely to succeed.
Here’s why The Lean Startup is a must-read for any twenty-something:
It’s All About Experimentation
You need to try new things to find out what works and what doesn’t. This may seem like common sense, but it’s something that many businesses don’t do. They get an idea for a product or service, and then they execute it without ever testing it or taking the time to see if there’s a better way to do things.
It’s Not About Failing Fast; It’s About Succeeding Slowly
Many think that the best way to achieve success is to fail quickly so that you can learn from your mistakes and move on. However, Ries argues that this isn’t necessarily true. Instead, he suggests that businesses should focus on continuous innovation. Constantly tweaking and improving your products or services can help you avoid making the same mistakes repeatedly. Also, Ries takes you through each stage of starting and running a business, from developing your initial product to scaling your company and dealing with growth.
The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime by M.J DeMarco
You must have heard of The Millionaire Fastlane, which has helped countless people achieve their financial goals. If you’re in your mid-twenties and unsure what you want to do with your life, this book would be a great read. Here’s why:
The book’s message is simple: wealth doesn’t come from working hard at a job day in and day out. It comes from taking risks, being entrepreneurial, and thinking outside the box. The author, M.J DeMarco, lays out a step-by-step plan to help you achieve financial freedom.
One thing that sets The Millionaire Fastlane apart from other self-help books is that it doesn’t shy away from the hard truth. The world is not fair, and the deck is stacked against you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your dreams; you have to be willing to work for them.
The Millionaire Fastlane is an inspiring and motivating read, and it’s packed with actionable advice. If you’re looking for a roadmap to success, this is it.
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
In a world where we are constantly bombarded with distractions, staying on task is crucial. That’s where Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World comes in. In his book, Cal Newport shares a blueprint for learning to focus amid all the chaos and information overload. Here’s a brief overview of some key points covered in Deep Work.
The Importance of Focusing Deeply
In our society, the potential to focus deeply on a task is becoming extremely rare—and valuable. As Newport explains, “the few who cultivate this skill and then make it the core of their working life will thrive.” So, if you want to be successful in today’s world, you must learn to focus deeply and block out distractions. Achieving this mental clarity is not always easy – we are bombarded with notifications from our phones, work emails, and friends’ social media updates. So, it’s surely hard to even think straight, let alone focus on one specific task. But as Newport points out, those who can learn to focus will have a significant advantage over those who can’t.
How To Achieve Deep Work?
So how do you achieve deep work? Newport provides readers with four rules:
- Work Deeply: Schedule time for deep work into your day and stick to it. Turn off all distractions and give yourself time to focus on the task at hand.
- Embrace Boredom: Learn to enjoy downtime and allow your mind to wander if you want to come up with creative solutions.
- Say No to Social Media: Consider quitting social media or scaling back your usage. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are designed to be addictive, but they offer little value in providing deep work opportunities.
- Become a Luddite: Choose quality over quantity when it comes to technology. There’s no need to have the latest and greatest gadgets—stick with what works for you and resist upgrades that offer little value.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen Covey discusses seven time-tested principles that can help you become your best version. Here’s a look at why this incredible book is essential for anyone in their twenties:
One of the smartest things you can do in your twenties is to take responsibility for your life, behavior, and actions. That means being proactive and making things work rather than sitting back and waiting for everything to fall into place.
Begin with the End in Mind
Covey urges readers to “begin with the end in mind,” which means thinking carefully about what you want to achieve before taking any actions. This rule applies to every significant thing you do, be it in your personal life or career. What do you want to get from all this hustle? What kind of person do you want to become? Orienting your choices around these objectives can twofold your potential and help you reach bigger milestones.
Put First Things First
Getting caught up in unimportant tasks and neglecting the important ones is easy in this digital world. But if you want to be effective in life, you must prioritize what’s truly meaningful. That means saying “no” to the distractions and working on your goals; something that’ll work as a life-shaping anchor for you.
#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
At just 28 years old, Sophia Amoruso had already made millions as the founder and CEO of Nasty Gal, an online fashion retailer. But in her memoir #GIRLBOSS, Amoruso makes it clear that her road to the top was bumpy. Here are three crucial lessons that every young adult can learn from Amoruso’s memoir:
You Don’t Need a College Degree to Be Successful
Amoruso is proof that you don’t need a college degree to build a powerful career. She dropped out of community college after just one semester and never looked back. Instead, she taught herself everything she needed about business and fashion by reading books and learning from her mistakes. If you’re unsure what you want to do with your life, or if you’re struggling to pay for college, don’t feel you have to force yourself into a traditional path.
Follow Your Passion—And Be Prepared to Hustle
From selling vintage clothes on eBay to launching her fashion line, Amoruso has always followed her passion for fashion—and she’s worked incredibly hard to turn that passion into a successful business. If you want to achieve something great, you must be willing to work long hours and hustle like crazy. As Amoruso says, “If you want something bad enough, there are no shortcuts.”
Be Fearless And Stay True To Yourself—No Matter What
When Sophia started Nasty Gal, she had no experience in fashion or retail—but she didn’t let that stop her from going after what she wanted. As Amoruso says, “The most successful people I know have all made tons of mistakes. What distinguishes them isn’t avoiding mistakes altogether; what makes them unique is their willingness to live through their screw-ups and learn from them.”
Now that we have reached the end of our business book recommendations, you might feel overwhelmed by the amount of wisdom out there. But don’t worry – reading all things business and life-related is not mandatory in your 20s – you have plenty of time to absorb this knowledge. For now, focus on becoming well-read and adopting a problem-solving attitude to understand the fundamentals of life. With time, you can upgrade your to-read list and explore new niches, more authors, and a plethora of books. So, take your time, and absorb as much knowledge as you can. With each page you turn, you’ll be one step closer to becoming the successful business person you’re meant to be. Thanks for reading!