230 episodes

Most people don’t have time to read the books they want to. Each week join Steph (@stephsbizbookshelf), a life-long bookworm, as she brings you the lessons from the best non-fiction books she’s read. Steph will share the ‘three big things’ the books taught her, favourite quotes and actions she’s implemented since reading the book. If you have an ever-growing pile of half-read books on your bedside table, this podcast is for you. Steph's Business Bookshelf; doing the reading so you don't have to.

Steph's Business Bookshelf Podcast Steph's Business Bookshelf

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 18 Ratings

Most people don’t have time to read the books they want to. Each week join Steph (@stephsbizbookshelf), a life-long bookworm, as she brings you the lessons from the best non-fiction books she’s read. Steph will share the ‘three big things’ the books taught her, favourite quotes and actions she’s implemented since reading the book. If you have an ever-growing pile of half-read books on your bedside table, this podcast is for you. Steph's Business Bookshelf; doing the reading so you don't have to.

    Die with Zero by Bill Perkins: won't somebody think of the children?!

    Die with Zero by Bill Perkins: won't somebody think of the children?!

    About the book

    Die with Zero by legendary energy trader, Bill Perkins, details a thought-provoking framework for maximizing net fulfillment, over net worth. 

    Die with Zero introduces the compelling principles he uses to think about personal finances, and more importantly, life. 

    Die with Zero is not something Perkins came up with after building his wealth. It's packed with stories from his first job on Wall Street making $16,000 annually, to getting fired and feeling lost in life. To his life today: a hedge fund manager, film producer, high stakes poker player, and resident "Indiana Jones" for several charities.

    Called the "Last Cowboy" by the Wall Street Journal, Bill Perkins is reported to have earned more than $1 billion for his previous firm in five years.

    Source: https://www.diewithzerobook.com/welcome

    About the author

    "The Last Cowboy" according to the Wall Street Journal, Bill Perkins is one of the world's most successful hedge fund managers and entrepreneurs. After studying electrical engineering at the University of Iowa, Bill trained on Wall Street and later moved to Houston, TX where he made a fortune as an energy trader. Perkins is currently the CEO of BrisaMax Holdings, a consulting services firm based in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    Now at age 52, Bill views his career as an engine for personal growth and spends his time exploring the world, savoring his relationships, and taking in all that life has to offer.

    DIE WITH ZERO is a labor of love project. Bill has been developing the principles outlined in the book since his first job making $16,000 a year in the 90's as a screen clerk for the New York Mercantile Exchange.

    Source: https://www.diewithzerobook.com/welcome

    Big idea #1 - The risk of missed experiences

    Big idea #2 - Won't somebody think of the children?!

    Big idea #3 - Timing is everything
    Support my book habit: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/stephsbookshelf
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    • 14 min
    Move to the Edge, Declare it Centre by Everett Harper: how to be more human in complexity

    Move to the Edge, Declare it Centre by Everett Harper: how to be more human in complexity

    About the author

    Everett Harper is the CEO and Co-Founder of Truss, a human-centered software development company, named as an Inc 5000 fastest-growing private company for 2020 and 2021.

    He is a rare combination of a Black entrepreneur, Silicon Valley pedigree, National Champion, and a proven record for solving complex problems with social impact.

    He had the foresight to build a company that’s been remote-first since 2011, salary-transparent since 2017, anticipating the importance of hybrid work and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) by a decade. Before Truss, Everett was at Linden Lab, maker of Second Life, a pioneering virtual world, and Bain and Company management consultants.

    Though both his parents had pioneering careers as software programmers for IBM, Everett is the first in his family to attend college, as an A.B. Duke Scholar at Duke University. While majoring in biomedical and electrical engineering at Duke, he also won a NCAA National Championship in soccer. He was inducted into the North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame in 2019. Everett graduated with an MBA and a M.Ed in Learning, Design and Technology from Stanford University.

    In his career, he’s leveraged his education and experience to help millions of others, from helping fix healthcare.gov at Truss, fighting poverty worldwide as a Board Member of CARE, and helping low- and moderate-income homebuyers while at Self-Help, a community development finance institution.

    Everett grew up a small town kid in New York’s Hudson Valley. He currently lives in Oakland, CA, making limoncello when life hands him lemons.

    Source: https://www.everettharper.com/about


    About the book

    Lead organizations, solve problems, and sustain growth with effective practices for complex, uncertain, and unpredictable environments.

    Renowned CEO and strategist Everett Harper explores practical techniques for making pivotal decisions through uncertainty in Move to the Edge, Declare it Center—a pragmatic playbook for leaders solving complex problems in high-pressure environments. You’ll discover a collection of practices, processes, and infrastructure that can be applied to your own circumstances and scaled throughout your organization.

    The author’s framework—which is perfectly suited to an increasingly volatile, uncertain, and unpredictable business environment—offers effective ways to make decisions without complete information. It demonstrates how to sustain a team through uncertain and stressful periods while managing personal anxiety.

    The book includes case studies from World Central Kitchen, policymakers responding to Covid-19, and California wildfire fighters, adaptable playbooks on salary transparency, remote work, and diversity and inclusion, and personal stories from the author that describe strategies for maintaining high performance and avoiding burnout.

    An indispensable guide to modern business leadership, Move the the Edge, Declare it Center is a one-of-a-kind discussion of effective, modern strategies to deal with complex problems in the face of uncertain outcomes.

    Source: https://www.everettharper.com/about-the-book

    Big idea #1 – Move to the EdgeThe whole idea of move to the edge, declare it centre was inspired by a quote about Andy Warhol;

    “Move to the edge, declare it centre and let the world reorganise itself around you”. 

    Everett and his team did just this, even if it took the world a decade to catch on with things like being a remote first workplace, which they started doing way back in 2011.  

    This whole approach is one of responding to complexity, and using interior and exterior practices to do that. Move to the edge specifically, is the practices, processes, and infrastructure to address complex problems.

    Its methodology involves being at the edge of your knowledge and the unknown, in that liminal space between the two. It's where you need to get curious; you're looking for insights, running experiments, and thinking about how

    • 15 min
    Fully Connected by Mel Kettle: how to reconnect with yourself

    Fully Connected by Mel Kettle: how to reconnect with yourself

    About the book

    Are you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed?Do you feel like you have no time for yourself?Are you wondering how to regain your energy and find joy?

    Being a leader today is hard. We are pulled in so many directions, with big responsibilities and many livelihoods reliant on us.

    It may be surprising to learn that our first responsibility is to care for ourselves. To make choices that are right for us, instead of what is right for others.

    With blurred boundaries between work and life, it can be difficult to find time for this. We’ve glorified being busy to become over-scheduled and over-committed and feel guilty about taking time for ourselves.

    Fully Connected is for leaders who want to take back ownership of their lives and reclaim their health and energy. On their terms.

    When you figure out what lights you up and how to say no to what doesn’t bring you joy, you become a better leader as you energise your co-workers, communicate with conviction and create a culture of belonging.

    In these pages Mel Kettle shares practical, simple and actionable ideas for you to increase your self-awareness, understand what motivates you and prioritise self-care so you can become a fully connected leader.

    Source: https://www.melkettle.com/store/p/fullyconnectedbook


    About the author

    Mel is a trusted mentor to executives and leaders and a highly sought-after speaker and trainer. Her clients include leaders, teams and organisations that want to achieve real connection and sustained engagement.

    At the heart of everything Mel does is a commitment to self-leadership. She has an over-arching belief that we need to lead ourselves first before we can lead others. This view came after she survived the debilitating effects of work-related loneliness, stress and burnout in her late 20s, and was reinforced when she had a life-threatening melanoma in her early-40s.

    Mel also brings the unique educational combination of a Master of Business (Marketing) and a Master of Public Health, making her a valuable asset to clients including IRESS, Toll, Queensland Country Bank, ANZ, the Local Government Association of Qld, Pharmacy Guild of Australia, IHC New Zealand, Arup and numerous universities and government agencies.

     Mel's sub-speciality is helping women and organisations better understand the impact of menopause in the workplace. She is the founder of the award-winning menopause blog, Just as Juicy (www.justasjuicy.com). She has been a frequent podcast and radio guest talking about her experience and how organisations can better support menopausal women at work.

    In January 2022 Mel was recognised by leadersHum as one of the Top 200 Biggest Voices in Leadership for 2022, one of only seven Australians on the list.

    Mel is the host of podcast This Connected Life and the author of two books: The Social Association, published in 2018; and Fully Connected, due out in June 2022.

    In her spare time, Mel loves to cook, go to the beach, dance around the house and read crime thrillers.

    Source: https://www.melkettle.com/about

    Big idea #1 - Connect 

    The first section of the book is about connecting with yourself, but you need more than that to thrive.  

    If you're struggling, talk to a trusted friend, a colleague, or a doctor to help make some plans to change and regain control. To connect with yourself you need to get back control so that you feel like you have some level of agency about what is happening to you and around you. 

    To know when something isn't right, you need to be connected with yourself first to know what those signs of physical, emotional, and mental stress might be. 

    Ultimately if we don't start with leading and connecting with ourselves, it's going to be very hard to lead others.  

    Connecting with yourself is a leadership capability. It allows you to bring more energy to others rather than being an energy vampire to your team.  

    Big idea #2 - Prioritise

    Another big section of the book is about becoming

    • 12 min
    100 Days of Brave by Iolanthe Gabrie: how to build your brave muscle

    100 Days of Brave by Iolanthe Gabrie: how to build your brave muscle

    About the book

    A legit business: one that’s proof-of-concept tested, compliant and connecting with your customer. For real.

    Practical and frank, 100 Days of Brave is the ultimate guidebook for building a business that will thrive. It’s for women who want to live life on their terms, enjoying the freedom that entrepreneurship provides – but who haven’t the mentors to get their show on the road.

    Whether you’re on the cusp of beginning a part-time hustle or you’re in the throes of start-up, 100 Days of Brave presents you with an achievable roadmap to testing and working your business concept.

    Source: https://iolanthegabrie.com/books/

    About the author

    Iolanthe never imagined herself at the helm of a thriving brand. But after a detour from academia in Dublin and a wrestle with retail management, Iolanthe crossed the final frontier: she became an estate agent and an auctioneer.

    Iolanthe’s family and friends were about as impressed with this decision as you might imagine – but her intuition served her well: real estate is the ultimate bootcamp for business. In its arid soil, Iolanthe learned to connect with prospects, to market her negotiation skills and to have difficult conversations about money with an agitated public.

    After a successful career in property, Iolanthe launched Ruby Assembly in 2009, intuiting that social media would play an important role in global marketing in the years to come. She was right. Serving a diversity of professional categories from real estate to law, finance to franchise and local governments to psychics – Ruby Assembly enjoys a fine reputation for inimitable social media and digital marketing content that connects.

    An engaging and generous speaker, prolific business writer and marketing strategy mentor, Iolanthe shares her passion and expertise for very good business via Serious Women’s Business, a 500-strong networking group based in Melbourne.

    Source: https://iolanthegabrie.com/about/

    Big idea #1 – Being Brave  

    The book is split into three sections. Brave beginnings, building brave and being brave.

    Ultimately it is about building the brave muscle, the mindsets, the skills, the actions, and the activities, that you need to bring your idea to life as a business or as a side hustle.

    We don't have to be creating the next unicorn or tech venture, and Iolanthe is very strong on the fact that any business is a start-up, so whether you are walking dogs, financing multi-billion-dollar mergers or acquisitions deals, all of this is relevant to you.

    By the end of part one of the book, you almost forget that you needed any bravery at all. The advice in the book is so practical and outlines what you have to do, you can go off and do it. There’s also lots of good advice in there about what to worry about and what not to.

    Bravery is also required to avoid some of the noise - those awkward questions from your family, friends, and ex-colleagues. And that's before you've even needed to dig into the bravery required for hard client conversations and feedback.


    Big idea #2 – Brains & Guts

    Brave involves both knowing your stuff and knowing yourself.

    Iolanthe talks about how you do need to tap into a bit of intuition, a bit of your internal knowledge, to do some of the things that you will need to do as a business owner.

    But your business foundation can't be based on woo woo, or intuition alone. You do need to have some substance behind it.

    Iolanthe provides a really good amount of caution to those drawn to the Instagram fantasy or influencer types that lie to you about the reality of running a small business and getting one off the ground.

    She talks you through defining your initial offering, tricky legal things to avoid, money, hiring, firing, marketing, business development, prospecting, and SEO. She also covers what you should consider for branding, what to outsource and how to surprise and delight your clients and customers.


    Big idea #3 – Too Legit

    • 12 min
    Power by Kemi Nekvapil: why power takes practice

    Power by Kemi Nekvapil: why power takes practice

    About the author

    As a black child raised by five sets of white foster parents (some incredibly loving, some - not so much) I always felt that I had to prove my worth, so that I would to be 'allowed to stay.'' I had to be not only a 'good girl' but a 'good black girl'. I had no say in where I would live or who my new mum and dad would be, or where I would be living next.

    I was told to always be thankful, always be grateful for what I had, to never ask for more and, to never rock the boat.

    And now with thirty years of personal and professional development in my bones, things have changed.

    Professionally, I am an ICF credentialed coach with nearly a decade of ethical coaching under my belt.

    I work with women who want to lead value based and empowered lives. 

    I am a feeling person. I can be with and honour my own feelings; so I can sit with and honour your feelings.

    I am a person of meaningful action; so I can guide you to create meaningful action that supports you and your life.

    I have no agenda and I don't judge. 

    If you want someone to walk alongside you, as you step into your worth and begin to create the life that you want, it will be my honour and privilege to support you.

    Source: https://www.keminekvapil.com/aboutkemi


    About the book

    The world does not need busy women, it needs present and powerful women.

    Blending inspiring stories with reflective coaching practices, POWER provides the tools to navigate the challenges that impact who we are, from discrimination and burnout to trauma and self-doubt.

    Reclaim your power and create a life of true joy and fulfilment.

    Source: https://www.keminekvapil.com/power-book 

    Big idea #1 – Defining Power

    Kemi pays careful attention to the definitions. Throughout the book, she pulls out the Oxford English dictionary and defines some words where their meaning has been attached to things that aren't their original dictionary definition. 

    Included in this is defining power. She talks about how power is abstract and intimidating for many women so often we need to call it other things, to feminise it, call it 'soft power' to make it more palatable. But it's time to redefine and reclaim it for what it is. Power might have always looked male, white or some other combination of traits that just aren't yours.

    Power might also feel associated with other words, for example, ambition. Kemi associated ambition as a less positive trait until she looked it up, and realised that ambition is not a bad thing at all.

    She calls for a new paradigm, starting on the inside; women believing in themselves and feeling like they belong, owning their power and supporting and coaching others to do the same.

    Power redefined can be used as individuals and as a collective. Importantly it is power ‘with’, not power ‘over’, using the Brené Brown language. Power ‘over’ is what most people have experienced, hence the more negative connotations and ideas that we have about the idea of power. Like most systems, patriarchy is designed to support itself and sustain itself. So, we must dismantle it by using power differently.

    Big idea #2 – POWER

    Kemi breaks power into its own acronym. ‘Presence, ownership, wisdom, equality, and responsibility’ 

    Presence is being aware in the moment, knowing the impact that we have and using it to connect with ourselves and with others.

    Ownership is the ability to integrate all parts of ourselves. Who you are, what you stand for, your experiences and the impact those have had on you and owning the story, rather than someone else's interpretation.

    Wisdom is our inner wisdom, trusting your gut, and knowing that we often give our power away in the language we use of stories we tell ourselves. We need to trust ourselves rather than deferring trust or deferring power to other people because that's what we've always done.

    Equality is the role that we have to play in shaping global equality, helping others who have less than we do, and

    • 15 min
    The best books of 2022... so far (part 2)

    The best books of 2022... so far (part 2)

    Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? If you liked this, you might like my twice-monthly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading, and listening to, next. Click here to subscribe.

    Here's the best books I read between April and June this year (in no particular order)...

    The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll (listen to the full summary here)
    Killer Thinking by Tim Duggan (listen to the full summary here)
    Power by Kemi Nekvapil (coming next week!)
    Me by Elton John

    What did you read this quarter? Let me know by connecting...LinkedInInstagram 
    Support my book habit: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/stephsbookshelf
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

tron87 ,

Love it!

Love the short, sharp format. Each episode teaches me something new and helps me decide which books from my never ending wishlist to actually buy and read!

Greyhoundmum ,

An awesome find

I love books as much as podcasts. When I came across this gem I felt right at home.

S P Yeo ,

Subscribe for short bursts of learning and inspiration

One of my goals this year was to read more books. At first, I found it quite challenging as I was flooded with recommendations however, I was unsure where to start. Recently, when I went travelling, I downloaded a variety of Steph's Business Bookshelf episodes and have since been very inspired to make time for reading.

I thoroughly enjoy how the format is concise, full of insights and inspiration. I'm looking forward to learning more and reading more from the next episodes!

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