Inspiration is so important for time poor entrepreneurial parents, it gives us momentum at difficult times. Although I have been an entrepreneur for some time, I have only become a parent in the last 2 years and one of the wonderful outcomes of this has been reading bedtime stories to my daughter. Other than developing an unnecessarily large catalogue of voices and accents, I have found many of the tales to be very inspiring for my own business venture and focusing for a racing mind like mine. I find myself remembering their simple messages at times when I need encouragement. So, I have compiled a list of recommendations which I think that not only parents will love but anyone starting a business who wants a short, motivating read will enjoy too.
1. Harold Finds a Voice by Courtney Dicmas
I was recently feeling overwhelmed by choices and remembered this book, which I read often at bedtime to my toddler. The book called Harold Finds a Voice is the tale of Harold, a parrot who is brilliant at mimicking sounds. Harold becomes tired of copying the same sounds and sets off on an adventure to discover new sounds to mimic, Â The journey is inspiring and on it he discovers a new sound, his own voice! He is initially surprised at the uniqueness of it but soon finds himself surrounded by other parrots responding to it. I think it’s a lovely simple tale of how copying can be fun and impressive but a bit boring in the long run. Â Finding your own unique voice can be much more rewarding and fruitful. How does this help with being overwhelmed by choice?â€¦Well, often the choices you face when starting a business are created by what others are doing around you. Â One way to simplify through all these choices is to turn to yourself, use your own unique voice
2. An Awesome Book by Dallas Clayton
I’ve been reading this book since my daughter was very young and on every page it tells and re-tells its message; to pursue exciting ideas and not get stuck with conformity. As an entrepreneur you are already pursuing your exciting idea and this book re-enforces why exciting ideas are worth your brain space and time. As a parent it also beautifully illustrates the â€˜awesomeâ€™ things in life, away from the mundane consumeristic world that we can all easily get sucked into.
3. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
Okay, we’ve all read it a gazillion times but what a tale! If there’s anything that’s going to help us go forward with our business ventures it’s the magical story we have to tell about our product or service. We can learn a lot from the central character little brown mouse who so wittingly escapes being eaten by weaving a brilliant story. I’m not advocating that we should lie but the way we tell our business story can really make or break us. Choosing what to emphasis, exaggerate and omit in your story can help carry the message you want your customers to take away.
Inspiration for you and a great story for your kid, makes for the best bedtime. I’m hooked on these books, as is my daughter.
Aisha Yusaf is an entrepreneur and designer interested in business for good. A Permanent student of life, she is an art school graduate (Central St Martins) who has had a brief stint at business school too (LBS). Aisha is currently working on her new start-up STORYGARB and writes about her business ventures at http://pakorabutty.tumblr.com and tweets @new_nomad