Must reads by Phil Birch

I am an avid reader of books for business and personal development and I’d like to recommend two very different titles. The first is called  Flavours of Thought by Tom Evans.

This is a unique, insightful and thoroughly enjoyable read. If there is a more accessible way of accessing and understanding these issues then I have not, as yet, come across it.

Tom uses the analogy of recipes and ingredients to introduce us to thought components and how they influence our behaviour and general well being. The term “flavours” develops this methodology as he guides us through the respective construction of his own “recipes”. The method is simple but not simplistic; indeed he uses such accessible and light terminology that these complex issues become open to us in a way that I have never seen before.

Tom has opened up a perspective to our thoughts, emotions and behaviour that is compelling and inspiring. He has the ability to distil the essentials from these complex matters without in any way diluting their relevance or inter-relational aspects. In fact, it is the inter-relation of the “ingredients” and the subsequent “making recipes” that enhances the accessibility and enjoyment of the book. He makes it clear that these ingredients, thoughts and “flavours of thoughts”, are all our own to combine but Tom gives us a guide to their meaning and even provides us with a few easy-to-make “recipes” to get us going.

“It’s brilliant! I love the idea of thinking about thoughts in a way that encourages my intuition, without embroiling me in my intellect.”

The above quotation taken from the book is a typical and honest assessment.

He provides us with 21 recipes under the titles of “Strangeness”, “Charming” and “Direction” and constructs them into a various menus. How we can combine theses ingredients and introduce our own flavours is as personally flexible and creative as any traditional recipe book but so much more valuable and interesting. Personal understanding and development has never been so easy to access or simple to create a personal “solution”.

Flavours of Thought is thoroughly unique and enjoyable I will certainly be using this book time and again to follow the recipes that Tom has provided and to create some of my own. I recommend that you do the same whether you wish to address any specific issue that you may have or whether simply to improve the management of your own thoughts and life. It is truly an exciting approach to self awareness and development.

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Even if you’re used to thinking outside the box, this book gives an added dimension to possibilities. I’ve read it front to back twice and get something different from it each time. I also use it to dip in and out of to explore where I am in situations, to determine what could be an alternative way of thinking about something. It’s been so helpful for making big and small decisions, as well as writing articles and blogs. Tom’s a master at taking a concept and pushing it … he’s done it simply and accessibly. Readers have no option but to wake up and taste differences in their lives in all manner of ways. My feeling is that readers of Flavours of Thoughts will contribute it as a turning point for many.

The second book is The Business You Were Born To Create By Nick Williams

Nick has been writing about a new way to approach work (and life) for about 20 years. Nick’s perspective on work is one of enlightenment – practical and spiritual. Passion is the key to inspiration, and inspiration the key to success, according to Nick’s “philosophy”.

In this book Nick attempts to steer the reader through a structured, attainable route in order that they may discover the work that they are “born for”.

I have read several of Nick’s books and this is, to date at least, my favourite. He has a calm, accessible style of writing that makes the reader feel that Nick is talking specifically to them. This book reflects Nick and his approach to life and work perfectly but is by no means one of those “do as I say” books. It gently, but authoratively, lays out a plan that any individual can follow in order to create the business that they were born to create.

The book is segmented into 8 chapters, each a natural progressive step from the latter. In the first two chapters Nick deals with how to find joy in your work by becoming a “pioneer of a new work ethic”. A new work ethic that has joy at it’s heart; the joy that is found from actually loving the work that you do. He follows that with practical advice on how to develop this joy by letting it inspire and drive your business activities – how to become an Inspired Entrepreneur. Getting paid for the work that you love the most (and, according to Nick will perform the best) is a consistent theme in this and other of Nick’s books and is, in fact, the very core of all of his work. Being successful by enjoying your work! Well, that may sound trite or even a pipedream but the Nick and this book provide an immensely convincing argument that not only is this possible but that it is essential; essential for personal fulfilment and “job satisfaction”. In fact, life satisfaction.

It was in the chapters and 4 that I found most personal inspiration. The book addresses two aspects of becoming an inspired leader and entrepreneur that had a particular relevance and resonance to myself – resistance (and how to overcome it) and how to create and lead your personal tribe. This is where I think Nick is at his best – in relating deeply profound issues with a light, practical touch. He does not relate anything in this book that is not achievable. He understands the human spirit enough to realise that we all have foibles, fears and fantasies and that our natural and individual potential resistance to change and development can and should be overcome. To find our joy in work is to overcome our resistances and the book details just how we can all do this. He follows this with a nod to Seth Godin’s work on “tribes”. I love this book too so am already something of a convert but Nick incorporates the principles into his own unique approach seamlessly and respectfully. A typical quote being the following:

“It can be reassuring to know your job is not to get everyone to like what you do . . “not everyone is destined to be your client”… This is a great message to all entrepreneurs, not just the “inspired” variety. Too often do small businesses try to attract all end every client out there; spreading their energy, time and money all too thinly. Nick makes it acceptable and actually required that you do not approach your work in this way; it is likely to reduce the joy as well as the funds! He encourages the reader to find other, like-minded individuals and business partners that allow the entrepreneur to find clients with similar values (a point that I continue to stress in my own work) and that by carefully building a client base that trusts and respects is far more sustainable than one that does not “relate” to the values of the inspired entrepreneur. Extremely valuable advice.

The book then moves on to another critical element – you. He explains how and why being bold yet kind to yourself ensures that you yourself do not diminish your own passion and inspiration – how to avoid a kind of self sabotage. He encourages you on your own heroe’s journey and to tell your own, unique, authentic story. Authenticity is another key element of my own work so there is another pertinent relevance to me as an individual but the message is profound and relevant anyway. Developing yourself as well as your business is vital and Nick, of course, deals with this too.

Overall this book is my favourite of Nicks to date. I am an avid reader of the likes of Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer and I can see the influence of both of these enlightened individuals in Nicks book. I like Chopra’s poetic but practical spiritual perspective and Dyers accessible, democratic method (that is, we can all have it all) and Nick has an approach that rings of the best of these.

If you are not convinced then I suggest a single course of action – buy this book. I am convinced that not only will you enjoy the light but powerful way that Nick writes but that you will also be influenced and inspired by the content. This is a wonderful message written in a well constructed and accessible way; anyone who has even the remotest inkling to start their own business, to become an inspired entrepreneur or simply because personal development is a component of interest into their life, should invest in this book. I use invest deliberately in this context because investing in yourself is the first and most important investment you will ever make in your business and your life and this book is a must read on both fronts.

An excellent read; thank you Nick.

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What work were you put on this planet to do? How can you build a successful business around that work? Bestselling author Nick Williams reveals how this is the time to start your own inspired business, doing work that you love. As well as provide you income, your inspired business can be an immensely meaningful activity which allows you to share your unique gifts, make a difference to others and serve a higher purpose. It will empower you to become the best that you can be. But this requires a different approach to work. You can’t just bolt on traditional business methods to doing what you love. Being an inspired entrepreneur is about being authentic, about service, and about putting relationships first. Utilising a potent combination of ancient wisdom, spiritual insight and groundbreaking entrepreneurial thinking, Nick Williams shows you how a new way of working is possible for you, right now.

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