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Personal growth books that have changed my business (and my life)

Sep 13, 2020

A guest blog by graphic designer and Canva expert Marie-Louise O'Neill, Lovely Evolution

Take a moment to picture the scene in “Bridget Jones’ Diary” movie, where Bridget buys a load of self-help books to fix her life. She puts them on her shelf, feels a bit more in control having bought them, and then continues to experience mishap after mishap, with no improvements as a result of the books. She does eventually learn some life lessons and gets her sh** together, but only after twists and turns and embarrassments. 

If she had taken the time to actually open even just one of those books, read it, and then put what she learnt into action, and maybe read a couple more books, she would have reached her self acceptance and confidence to be herself much sooner. Probably saved a lot of heartache too. 

...But that wouldn’t have been such an entertaining story! 

The first personal growth book I got was “The Art Of Leading Yourself” by Randi B Noyes. I was given it some time in the early 2000’s by my Norwegian grandfather because it was a Scandinavian bestseller and the author had some loose family ties to us. I just read the ‘leader’ part and assumed it was about management or something. I wasn’t interested, I didn’t get it and I didn’t read that book for many years. 

In fact the first personal growth book I read was "You're A Badass" by Jen Sincero. It was November 2016, and I had just joined Arbonne, a network marketing company that encourages personal development and growth. I borrowed it from my sponsor Fiona McCarthy, who gave me the choice of two books. The bright yellow cover design and bold title captured my attention. 

Reading "You're A Badass" changed my life. 

A bold statement indeed but no exaggeration. I read this book at a time when working for myself full time was still relatively new. I was building up the client base for my design business, and my reputation in the local business network. I hadn’t reached the point where there was a flow of leads and projects coming in. I was beginning to doubt myself and my decision to work for myself. I was even considering getting a J.O.B. but was reluctant to do so with my son being under 2 years old. I needed the flexibility of working for myself but I also needed to earn! 

“You’re A Badass” gave me an introduction and understanding of the many methods of personal growth that are out there. Such as affirmations, meditation, self-belief, vision boards and more. 

This meant that as I worked on myself, my confidence and belief in myself grew. I felt empowered to raise my prices to what I was worth and not sound squeaky or apologetic when providing estimates. I stopped seeing ‘no’ as a personal attack on me, and no longer afraid to follow up a lead or quote. In the months during and after reading that book, my business exploded - I was busy and working. 

I now turn to a book (usually on audible these days) that best suits my needs at that time. Sometimes it's been on money mindset, being in flow, happiness, meditation, productivity, etc. As a result, I am learning and practicing a work/life balance to fit me and my family. I understand my emotions and behaviours better, so that I have more control to make positive changes when things don’t go so well. 

But I’m only human, so don't implement all of what I learn, and tend to use what I need or ready to action. When I go back to relisten or reread them, I always learn something new. 

I really wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t read “You’re A Badass”. 

I wouldn’t still be in business for myself. I wouldn’t have my own design business (Lovely Evolution), or working with Paul Drake at WhiteStar, or continuing with my Arbonne business. I wouldn’t be in The Business Community and surrounded by so many new friends and connections and opportunities. 

To reference another movie, it could have been my “Sliding Doors” moment! 

Here are some other books that have been powerful and helpful to me:

What books have changed your life?


Marie-Louise O'Neill - Lovely EvolutionMarie-Louise O,Neill specialises in logo and branding evolution; keeping your brand fresh, up to date and ahead of the pack. With her help, your brand will evolve over time, reflecting the changing nature of your marketplace but always keeping your core brand values at heart. She also offers a comprehensive range of visual services - from logo design, social media post templates and website design in the digital space, to print design for the creation of brochures, adverts, banners and packaging. With a breadth of design knowledge and more than 15 years’ industry experience, Marie-Louise offers a great value, bespoke service which is all about meeting your unique requirements. You get all the expertise of a top end design agency without the hefty price tag.

Get in touch today to find out how she can help with your design needs: lovelyevolution.co.uk

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