6 Must Read Books If You Are Starting Your Own Business

6 Must Read Books If You Are Starting Your Own Business

There are many reasons why you want to start a business. It may be that you want to follow your passion, be your own boss, make enough money to take early retirement or maybe even work from somewhere else in the world. Whatever the desire, starting your own business is a big learning curve.

Most of us have entertained the thought of starting our own business but many have struggled to turn those thoughts into actions. The truth is, it’s not easy. Along with family, a day job and all the other things that add up it can seem like you have to climb a mountain before you even get started. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible it just means that it takes time, hard work and direction to start seeing results. The process of becoming successful usually takes a number of years and is often a bumpy ride! So to help you along your entrepreneurial journey we have selected 6 must read books that will make your business life a little easier and hopefully more successful.

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill

The Idea in You


A great place to start is by reading The Idea in You by Martin Amor and Alex Pellew. It’s certainly not one of those books that waffles on about vague, unrelatable advice with no real actionable information. In fact, it breaks down the reasoning and thought processes you need to get the seed of a simple idea into a money making business. It inspires you to take action – now. Martin and Alex underline the urgency to do things when you think of them and also reassuringly guide you through your early versions of an idea. It’s clear, thoughtfully written and includes the journey’s of other real life business’s to illustrate their unique paths to success.

In a nutshell: A bulletproof system for finding the right idea and shaping it in to a success – on your own terms.

Rich Dad Poor Dad

Top 5 Business books

Money is the oil that runs your business and if it runs out your business will break down. One of the keys to starting your own business is understanding money.  Robert Kiyosaki’s best seller Rich Dad Poor Dad explains what the rich teach their kids in order to successfully manage their finances. The book follows the journey of Robert and his upbringing where he learns from his real father, a poor but well educated working man and his friends Dad who is a rich investor. Robert learns and compares the results of their actions and how they lead to financially different lives. It is a great starting point in understanding how to manage money and with the right know-how you can avoid some of the most costly mistakes when starting your own business.

In a nutshell: The financial know-how that is the difference between being rich or being poor.

Top 5 business books

The $100 Startup

Starting your own business is much easier today than it was before the world wide web. The internet has changed the way we communicate, work and socialise. It has disrupted industries, created new ones and enabled billions to connect across the world. Being online has meant everyone is able to access the wealth of information and online tools to help them build their dream business.

The $100 startup focuses on being able to start your own business with little or no money. It does sound like it’s easier said than done and the idea requires a lot of time and effort but starting small and ending up at a comfortable spot is certainly possible. The idea is that you can lose the shackles of your 9-5 and gain control of your life and do what you love. One of the great things about this book is that it gives you real examples of what small successful startups have done which provides you with some great insights and inspiration.

In a nutshell: Learn from people who have built a successful business for next to no money.

Top 5 business books

the 4-Hour Work Week

If we really think about it we aren’t spending money we are spending time. Time is the real currency as once you have spent it you cannot get it back. As most of us know we exchange time for money in the form of a job where we work for someone else. This work model satisfies most peoples needs but ultimately it comes with its limitations in the form of a salary, fixed hours, set holiday leave, limited flexibility etc. So what if we could earn money but not spend time doing it? This is the passive income model. With the 4-hour work week it explores the possibilities of working from anywhere and with minimal time spent you can enjoy your time how you want along with the benefits of a passive income.

In a nutshell: The blueprint to living more and working less.

Top 5 business books

Zero to One

In Zero to One, Peter Thiel offers his immense insight and experience as one of the the co-founders of PayPal and other successful ventures. In business it’s easy to replicate what others have already done by imitating and often replicating the success but in the long term this approach to business can stagnate innovation and ultimately leads to the creation of new ideas slowing to a halt. Thiel focuses on the idea that to truly innovate with ideas that will shape the future you need to make the shift from 0 to 1.  This is illustrated by not redoing the same ideas to the nth degree but by looking to take big enough steps forward to break new ground. The book encourages you to think big and discusses ways to navigate your startup to reach it’s true potential.

In a nutshell: Shape the future by building what nobody else has yet.

Top 5 business books

How to Win Friends and Influence People

A timeless book written by Dale Carnegie, published in 1936 still carries the same principles and advice on human relationships as it does to this day. Carnegie explores the way our behaviours, thinking and emotions affect the way we influence people and how we can conduct ourselves to foster better relationships in our business and personal lives. It is certainly one of the must read books if you are looking to broaden your opportunities and extend your network.

In a nutshell: Broaden your horizons and opportunities with timeless practical advice.



Looking for more? Browse our entrepreneurship books at www.hive.co.uk

A Day in the Life of Gabrielle Kent

As a full time computer games lecturer it’s difficult to find a whole day to write, so I tend to do this on weekends and holidays rather than weekday evenings. A typical day-job workday involves writing lectures on everything from games interfaces, to what makes a game fun to play. I usually teach a few classes per day and deliver a lecture to 200+ students. Between classes I organise elements of Animex, a large games and animation festival which I run at Teesside University.


A typical writing day, well, that’s quite a different story. At the start of a project I have to get out the house a lot and visit new places. All of this seems to help me develop my ideas and I’ll spend a few weeks scrawling ideas and story maps in lots of different colours on post-its and large sheets of paper. When this is finally complete, I create a chapter plan with a few sentences on what will happen in each individual chapter. Then I’m ready to begin the bulk of the work!

I mainly write at home and, because it is always during holidays from work, I have to do a lot of mental kicking to motivate myself to get on with it. I light a nice candle to help me focus, it has become a bit of a lucky ritual, then I put on some background music, nothing too exciting or I’d be up dancing and singing. I always start off writing at my desk in the spare bedroom, but being a huge fidget I move between the desk, the bed, and the floor at thirty minute intervals. I try to limit my access to the internet, but the fridge is a different matter, I make a lot of trips downstairs for tea and snacks.

I aim to write around 1500 words a day. Sometimes it’s a lot less, sometimes a lot more. I tend to follow my chapter plan at first, but the story usually takes on a life of its own at some point and carries me away with it. These deviations are always for the best, I love how my brain surprises me at regular intervals.

Now that I’m a bit more experienced as a writer I can trust myself more. When writing my first novel I tried to perfect everything straight away and it resulted in me getting stuck on a regular basis. Now I leave a little note in red for Future Gabrielle saying something like: ‘Write Alfie’s interaction with Artan here. Make it funny!’ It really speeds up the writing process, although when I do my first read through I do end up cursing Past Gabrielle on a regular basis.

I’m always more productive on rainy days. There’s something about rain pattering on the windows that makes me feel very creative. If I’m finding it difficult to focus, I go to a library and work there with good noise cancelling headphones. Parts of my books were written in libraries across the North East and North West. I actually typed the final pages of my third book in Stockton Central Library.

Towards publication a lot of my time is taken up with interviews and blog posts for magazines, bloggers and children’s book websites. I’ll also go on lots of trips to schools to talk about writing. This is great fun for me as I LOVE to meet my readers and to hear about what they think of my characters. Young readers are so full of ideas and so passionate about stories and characters, they inspire me to get straight back to my desk and start the whole process all over again.

You can get your copy of Alfie Bloom and the Secrets of Hexbridge Castle and Alfie Bloom and the Talisman Thief by Gabrielle Kent at Hive.

Alfie Bloom 2 cover hex

Spreading a Passion for Poetry – by Post!

As Father’s Day moves into view, what do you give a father who already has enough socks to fill every drawer in the house? The answer is poetry – poems about cricket, bicycles, gardening; poems about fathers and about fatherhood itself.  And also now, poems about cricket and war.


I’ve always loved reading poetry, but sometimes that isn’t an easy passion to share. Many people are afraid of it – perhaps they’ve been put off by studying poetry at school, where we’re told we have to know exactly what the poet is trying to tell us, or we feel it’s too difficult to understand. But many of the first books we read as children are written in rhyme, and we all know and love far more poetry than we realise – from nursery rhymes and nonsense to snatches of half-remembered verse. In times of crisis, or at the end of life when other memories recede, the verses we learned as children can still be called easily to mind – as proved by other poetry evangelists such as Deborah Alma, the Emergency Poet, who uses poetry in workshops with dementia sufferers.

At Candlestick Press, we’re passionate about bringing poetry to people in an age where everyone is short of time, but a quick fix of something touching and meaningful can make a big difference to your daily life. Our mission is to spread poetry far and wide, as well as getting people to send proper post again. It’s such a great – and increasingly unusual – pleasure to open a handwritten envelope and find something lovely inside. Our pamphlets are designed to be posted instead of a card (so they come complete with envelopes and bookmarks) and because each collection contains a handful of carefully selected poems, we believe people will enjoy dipping into them even if they might find a full anthology or collection daunting.

Our subjects are often suggested by readers, and Ten Poems about Cricket has definitely been published by popular demand.  It’s now flying off the press at just the moment that cricket balls are flying across village greens and sports fields.  Meanwhile, Ten War Poems coincides with the centenary year of the Battle of the Somme, one of the largest and bloodiest battles of World War I in which more than a million men were wounded or killed. Former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion has selected ten war poems that broaden the subject away from the familiar work of famous World War I poets such as Siegfried Sassoon, Isaac Rosenberg and Rupert Brooke, highlighting instead a range of voices from different countries, from ancient history to the present day. We’re incredibly moved by his selection and hope you will be too. poems2

Both publications continue our mission: to get poetry into the hands of people who love it, and also people who will love it but don’t know that yet. And we’re always on the lookout for inspiration for future pamphlets – so do tell us if there’s an enthusiasm of yours that should be marked with one of our publications!  All ideas very welcome.

Other Poetry titles from Candlestick Press include Five Nonsense Poems and Twelve Poems About Chickens.

Di Slaney, Candlestick Press (June 2016)

How To Look After Your Vinyl: A Simple Guide

Vinyl has a special place in most music lover’s hearts. The format has carried some of the world’s best loved music and artists to legendary status and has remained the purist’s choice amidst the wealth of new digital music technology.

Vinyl is enjoying a much loved revival with sales increasing 30% in 2015 and with the globally recognised Record Store Day vinyl certainly looks like it’s here to stay.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s

Adele - 21

Adele – 21

U2 - Boy

U2 – Boy

Madonna - Erotica

Madonna – Erotica

The classic vinyl format is being re-discovered by a new generation of music fans and to enjoy the analogue gems for years to come vinyl needs to be lovingly cared for. This is especially paramount for vinyl collectors as some copies can increase rapidly in value over the years, so taking care of your vinyl can be as important as maintaining a classic car!

20 Of The Most Valuable Records Ever [NME]

Top 50 Most Collectable Vinyl [The Telegraph]

So to help you keep you vinyl in mint condition here is some easy, straight-forward advice on how to look after your vinyl.

Vinyl Storage

So how do you look after your vinyl? The first step is to make sure it is stored correctly. This is key as vinyl is more likely to spend more time stored away than it played. Keeping vinyl stored in a clean, dry and humidity-free environment will ensure the it doesn’t warp, bend or collect dirt which will damage the vinyl and in some cases make it unplayable.

Foo Fighters - Sonic Highways

Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways

You need to make sure your vinyl is not leant on and is stored vertically. A well-built shelf or bookcase in which you can store blocks of around 15 with solid dividers will help keep the vinyl from leaning over. Again make sure it’s not by a window or heat source that can damage the vinyl over time.

Vinyl is best kept in its jacket and sleeve when not in use. This protects from unwanted scratches and dust which affects the quality of playback. Generally the inner sleeve should be the inexpensive white paper kind as this protects the vinyl better than the plastic ones which can over time permanently damage the vinyl.

You may choose to use additional plastic covers to help protect the jacket as this can wear and tear over time due to inserting/re-inserting the vinyl or removing/placing on the shelf.

Handling and Cleaning Vinyl

When handling vinyl care should be taken not to touch the playing surface but to handle the vinyl by the edges and inner label. This decreases the chance of scratching the surface and accumulating dirt and fingerprints.

When playing vinyl it’s advised that you use a lid on your record player (if it has one) to prevent dust and dirt collecting on the vinyl and the stylus.

Even with these simple vinyl care tips you are inevitably going to gain some dirt, dust or a fingerprint or two on your vinyl. You ideally want to avoid a build-up of grime as this will damage the stylus overt time.

This can be done with a vinyl brush to clear out the grooves of any stubborn dirt. You can also clean your vinyl with a mixture of distilled water and vinyl cleaning solution and then wipe the surface using a microfiber cloth to clear away any filth.

There are some other cleaning contraptions available that will deep clean your vinyl if you are more of a vinyl fanatic but they can be expensive and tend to need maintaining.

With the right care and attention vinyl can be a rewarding way to listen to music and with most favouring the physical format and nostalgia that is attached it should remain one of the most traditional ways of enjoying music.

You can view our range of top vinyl releases here – http://www.hive.co.uk/vinyl/bestsellers

Savour: Salads for All Seasons. See Salads in a new way! A great new Recipe Book


Forget all of your current pre-conceptions about Salads, this book will change all of that! It includes a huge variety of different recipes, for all seasons. Hot Salads, Cold Salads, get arty and creative and try something new.

Here is one we have chosen to wet your appetite…..

Crumbed Camembert, Apple, Mango, Salad Leaves and Radish…


What could be better than deep-fried crumbed cheese? Yum yum! Whether you use goats’ cheese, ricotta mixed with herbs and dried chilli and rolled into balls, mixed cheese scraps squashed together or, as here, Camembert, deep-frying it in this way is like having grilled (broiled) cheese on toast! Culinary purists may feel that combining a classic French cheese with mango is too odd but my Italian burrata with mango dressing (see page 138) will prove that mango is a great accompaniment to cheese. This works much better as a starter than a main as the cheese is very rich.


  • oil for frying
  • 1 ripe camembert (about 250g/9oz.), chilled, so it is firm enough to coat
  • 50g (1 ¾ oz./scant ½ cup) (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g (3½ oz./1 3 cups) breadcrumbs
  • 1 mango, peeled and sliced
  • 2 crisp eating apples, quartered and cored, then julienned
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 ½  tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp finely grated lime zest
  • 1 handful salad leaves (I used baby kale)


1.Heat 5cm (2in.) of oil in a medium pan to 180°C (350°F).

2. Cut the camembert into quarters. Toss in seasoned flour, coat with the beaten egg, then carefully coat with the breadcrumbs, making sure that the cheese is entirely coated. Return it to the fridge for at least 20 minutes to firm up.

3. Mix the mango, apples, radishes, honey, lime juice and lime zest together in a large bowl. As you toss it the honey will melt into the dressing. Add salt to taste.

4. As soon as you’re ready, deep-fry the cheese wedges until golden on all sides and drain on absorbent kitchen paper. If the cheese begins to ooze out of the coating into the hot oil then carefully remove it, but not until it’s golden.

5. To serve, place the salad leaves on four plates and spoon the mango salad on top. Place the deep-fried Camembert wedges on top, cut in half to allow the hot cheese to ooze over the salad. Eat while hot.

 Try this recipe and a whole lot more like it!

You can buy Savour by Peter Gordon on Hive here and collect from your local independent bookshop, or have delivery to your home with free standard UK delivery – whilst still supporting your local bookshop.

To see more about us and how your purchases on Hive benefit local independent bookshops, please click here.

Guest author blog: Melinda Salisbury on how she creates the world she writes.


One of the things I’m asked most often is how I went about building the world that The Sin Eater’s Daughter, and The Sleeping Prince, take place in.

And the answer is pretty simple: From the ground up. Somewhere near the beginning of the writing process, usually after I’ve decided on my characters, but before I’ve fleshed out the plot, I try to picture the physical setting of the story in my mind. I knew the world of the Sin Eater was a pseudo-European medieval kingdom, so society would be largely be based around the outdoors, and the land, for the most part.

So then I had to create an outdoors.

Was it a green place? Hilly? Flat? Rocky? Near the sea? I pictured the climate there, and the seasons. Thinking about these things helped me decide on what kind of plants and trees grew there. And those plants and trees determined what wildlife lived there, which impacted on the lives of the people. It decided whether they were farmers – and what they farmed – or fishermen, or hunters.

Of course, I write fantasy, so technically I could have palm trees in an arctic-style tundra, or polar bears in a rainforest. But what I wanted from my world was for it to feel like a real place, and the easiest way to do that was to ground it in a reality that my readers are familiar with.

I decided that if it were in our world, Lormere would be a very small country, around the size of Luxembourg. It would be roughly where Sweden is, high above sea level, in a mountainous region. Winters (though we don’t see them in Sin Eater) would be very harsh, summers comparatively mild and warm. The climate and landscape wouldn’t lend itself too well to most types of arable farming, and limited pastoral; game, goats and sheep would thrive, but cows and pigs wouldn’t. Because of this Lormere would have little primary industry, and little secondary too. Its money would mainly come from tithes owed by Tregellan, and taxes on citizens. And of course, it was ruled solely by a monarch, whose word was law, and who acted as the mouthpiece of the Gods of the land.

Tregellan, on the other hand, has thriving primary, secondary and tertiary industry, producing, creating and exporting grain, meat, fish and luxury goods to Lormere. Because Tregellan isn’t as high above sea-level as Lormere, it has more arable farmland and pasture for livestock, and also has accessible coastline for fishing. The climate is close to our maritime climate, making it warmer and wetter than Lormere, though still cold in winter.

Possibly most importantly, it’s also a democratic country, governed by an elected council, who came to power after the dethroning (and executing) of the former monarchy. In just one hundred years it’s gone from being a country like Lormere – ruled autocratically by non-elected officials – to being liberal and very concerned with learning and development. Whereas religion is hugely important in Lormere, and followed by all, Tregellan is secular, people who practice a faith are a rarity. Creating the religion in Lormere was really the crux of creating the world of the Sin Eater, because it’s the thing that ties the country to the people, and creates the conflict. But that’s an entirely different post, for another time.

It might seem like a lot of work, especially when, as in The Sin Eater’s Daughter, you see very little of the external world, but, in terms of continuing the series it’s been invaluable to know the terrain of the world I’m working in. And the differences between the two countries are very important in terms of how they both respond to the threat of the Sleeping Prince, and the ultimate outcome of the story.

Which will be revealed soon enough…

©Melinda Salisbury

You can purchase Melinda’s books at Hive here and collect from your local independent bookshop, or have delivery to your home with free standard UK delivery – whilst still supporting your local bookshop.

To see more about us and how your purchases on Hive benefit local independent bookshops, please click here.

Guest author blog: Crafting with Mason Jars by Hester van Overbeek


In the late summer of 2015 my publisher approached me about doing a book about Mason jars. To be honest initially I wasn’t very keen on the idea as how many interesting things can you do with a jar? But then I started my research and the ideas just kept coming, in the end I had a list of more then 50 things I could make!

I’ve always saved my glass jars once I’ve eaten all the food that’s inside them as they make great vases and tea light holders. I’m even known for buying my food depending on how pretty the jar is and that habit got even worse when working on this book. I scoured the supermarket aisles looking for unusually shaped jars, oversized ones and super small vessels not caring much about what was inside them. I must say I had some interesting meals while working on this book 😉

Page Spread 2.jpg

I’m a firm believer of using materials that you already have cause unless you live an amazing minimalistic lifestyle all of us have objects lying around that we don’t use anymore but they can look great after a little makeover. In my previous book Furniture Hacks I tackled the bigger objects like chairs, tables and wardrobes but for the new book I kept it a bit smaller by concentrating on the humble glass jar. That doesn’t mean I didn’t get my tools out though, there are still some woodworking projects in the book. One of my favourites is the reclaimed wooden solar light post for you garden, and I came up with a new version of the jam jar units your granddad might have had in his tools shed, mine is for storing your jewellery.

Before I started the Crafting with Mason Jars book I had never drilled holes in glass before, thinking it was too tricky to do but I can assure you after some experimenting it is super easy! Especially when you use the right tools. I used a rotary cutter, a great tool everybody should have in their DIY kit as it can do almost anything, with a diamond drill bit the rotary cutter makes drilling in glass super easy. The other thing is you have to work slow, not normally my forte but when working with glass being careful is the key. There are a lot of tips in the book on how to drill glass so you all can give it a try and turn your old milk bottles into lamps, a Mason jar into a bird feeder and I even show you how to make your own drink dispenser.

Page Spread 1.jpg

When you think of using Mason jars and jam jars in crafts you probably immediately think wedding but I wanted to show that the glass jar can be used in a more contemporary style as well. There are concrete projects in the book, a leather cuff to turn your jar into a coffee cup that wouldn’t look out of place at a campfire and Scandinavian style drawings for an etched jar and a paper vase cover. Every chapter also has a quick make, something you can put together without any tools and there are even some recipes in the book as the jar is a great vessel for food!

The book is photographed by James Gardiner and I had so much fun styling the shots with hand dyed linens, tree slabs and bright coloured flowers. The shoot days are definitely my favourite days in the whole book making process. We used my house as a back drop and shot in the amazing Little Stour Orchard that belongs to friends of mine. Being surrounded by apple trees, old barns and bright sunshine James and I almost thought we were on holiday! Keep a look out on my website for behind the scenes videos and for an exclusive tutorial of one of the books projects.

So pick up the Mason jars that are lining your pantry, the jams jars that are stashed away in your garage and the other glass containers that would normally go into the recycling bin and start crafting!

©Hester van Overbeek

You can purchase all of Hester’s books at Hive here and collect from your local independent bookshop, or have delivery to your home with free standard UK delivery – whilst still supporting your local bookshop.

To see more about us and how your purchases on Hive benefit local independent bookshops, please click here.