4 Fun Business Books

– Posted in: book review

There are fun business books. In a recent Forbes Leadership post I shared insights from improvisational theater that carry over into professional success:


Included are insights from business consultant and comedian/ improviser Bill Connolly, author of Funny Business: Build Your Soft Skills Through Comedy.

3 more fun business books mix entertainment and professional development

Standing Ovation Presentations by Robyn Hatcher

Robyn Hatcher is founder and principal of SpeakEtc and a former actress and writer for two daytime dramas. In Standing Ovation Presentations (Motivational Press, 2013), Hatcher shares a thorough overview of communication and presentation best practices, told in a unique framework of 9 ActorTypes (e.g., Hero, Ingenue, Villain, Comic, Whiz Kid, Super Hero, Sex Symbol, Buddy, and Salty Veteran/ Curmudgeon). I’m the Villain type, and the book has given me some great ideas!

Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe

On the flip side, Rob Lowe’s Stories I Only Tell My Friends (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2012) is an autobiography, not an advice book. Yet, there are career lessons to be gleaned amongst the intrigue and insider view of Hollywood. Lowe’s preparation for The West Wing auditions is an excellent example on how to exhaustively prepare for your own job interviews and other high stakes events. The choices that he made in the roles he pursued (e.g., not always the highest paying), the way he took advantage of lucky breaks, and the way he created opportunities for himself are lessons for any professional navigating today’s up-and-down job market.

Celebrity, Inc. by Jo Piazza

This book is the ultimate melding of entertainment and career, and the subtitle summarizes it completely: How Famous People Make Money. Here you can read about Taylor Hicks, former American Idol winner, and how he bounced back after being “laid off” by his record label. You can see that good general career habits matter in celebrity career management as well: a consistent personal brand (Charlie Sheen); strong work ethic (Kim Kardashian, yes, not a typo); market flexibility (Ashton Kutcher). You’ll also learn the importance of income diversification with almost every celebrity story covered.

Who says you can’t have fun while working on your career? What fun business books are your favorites?

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