The Escape Manifesto – Discussion #10: What inspirational books or resources have helped you so far?

As you probably know by now, we are writing a book.

It’s called The Escape Manifesto. We are on deadline for October 15th – it’s looming fast!

We have an engaged group of 200 volunteers helping us with comments.

Our last book post was Discussion #9: The Travelator – so many on it, so many want to get off! Thank you for some great comments.

This week we’d like to ask you…

What books or resources have helped you so far in your career and life?

What have you read that has really helped you with finding an exciting job, starting a business, or going on a big adventure?

We’re building up a really comprehensive bibliography for The Escape Manifesto and we’d love your suggestions.

Books that have really helped me include…

And our favourite quote from all these books (courtesy of Chris Guillebeau):

“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.” Alan Keightley

I’d strongly recommend all of these for someone considering doing something different with their careers. Admittedly we left our jobs to build a start-up, so these have an entrepreneurial angle.

However, we are equally interested in (good) career-related books and epic inspirational adventure tomes.

Please share your favourites – the more the merrier.

All comments and ideas gratefully received.

This is our final book blog post – now I need to focus on processing all your feedback and ideas into something really worth reading, really worth spreading. Something that really helps people make their Escapes.

Wish me luck! Watch this space…

Have a great weekend and thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts.

Rob (@escroberto) & the rest of the Escape Team.


 Some late nights and early mornings heading my way…

  • http://www.packed-blog.co.uk Tessa Stuart

    I really enjoyed Screw Work Let’s Play by John S Williams – very good if you want to start a side project and see if you can grow it.

    • Team Esc

      Thanks Tessa – good addition. I also enjoyed it – for the focus on using a blog / social media / internet to build up something around a passion. Rob

  • Jennifer

    Sky Burial – by Xinran

    Might be slightly deviating from the sort of books you had in mind but its basically a story of one person’s insane journey through life. I started reading it on my commute and it started my daydream about travelling in Nepal…..

  • http://thefoodiegifthunter.co.uk Helen T

    My favourite is Shine: How to Survive & Thrive at Work by Chris Barez-Brown, so much so I’ve just given another copy as a gift today. I think it’s about more than just thriving at work, many of the ideas and challenges work for a fulfilling life all the time, not just 9 to 5. I was lucky to work with Chris nearly a decade ago and his enthusiasm for life has never left me. If that’s not an adventure, I’m not sure what is!

  • Phillipa

    Zero Limits is my favourite book as it is now what I live by. Being true to myself means that my business is a reflection of me and what I want to do and be. It’s more of a ‘life’ book than a strategy one but finding yourself enables you to enjoy life and create a world and business that fits around you.

  • Renan

    If there’s one book to read about travelling and inspiring a new way of living, “The way of the world” by a Swiss author named Nicolas Bouvier…

  • valentina adami

    I am going through “The PathFinder” by Rockport Institute, I find it useful to investigate about my attitudes, talents, abilities, etc. It is aimed at youngsters but it’s an interesting (and long) read even if you are an adult and look for a career shift.

  • Sophia

    “What color is your parachute” – it is very American to being with, but the second half is universally useful. It asks you questions to help you figure out which soft skills you are good at and starts you thinking about how to create a career around what you enjoy and do best.

    • http://www.thorstenstrauss.com thorsten strauss

      I second that.

      It is one of the few that reads like a mentor helping you on your journey. Full with great help (sadly American oriented)

  • Daniel

    I get much inspiration from tumblr blogs only with pictures :)

  • http://inspiringadventures.co.uk Richard Brownsdon

    It’s a good list you’ve got up there.

    Here are some from me:
    The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Steven Covey
    The Art of Happiness – Dalai Lama
    Screw Business as Usual – Richard Branson
    Start Something That Matters – Blake Mycoskie
    And I recommend the audio works of Tony Robbins if you are interested in personal development.

  • joanna roche

    The Tao of Leadership – John Heider
    Who Moved The Cheese – Spencer Johnson
    Anything by Tom Peters
    The Alchemist – Paulo Cohelo

    • http://www.thorstenstrauss.com thorsten strauss

      Why “Who moved my Cheese”?

      I have the book, am also a big Blanchard fan, but found this one to be really a bit simplistic and partially naive.

      Curious to hear what makes it so outstanding.

  • Jules Evans

    I really liked Clay Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus.

    Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations is an old fave of entrepreneurs (Dale Carnegie was very fond of it!)

    Was also inspired by Pierre Hadot’s Philosophy as a Way of Life

    and Emerson’s Essays – particularly ‘Self-Reliance’

    • Jules Evans

      And Steven Covey’s 7 Habits.

  • K. Lee

    The 4 Hour Workweek for sure, but also “Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It” and “Seven Day Weekend” – best book ever, if more companies ran that way people wouldn’t be trying so hard to ‘escape.’

  • http://inspiringadventures.co.uk Richard Brownsdon

    I’d be interested to hear if anyone has read and reviewed Chris Guillebeau’s $100 start-up or Reid Hoffman’s The Start-up of You ?

    Both on my wish list, but I haven’t read them yet.

    Just want to finish Steve Jobs biography and the Lean Start-up before I start a couple more!

  • Natasha

    Goes back a little (ok, a lot) but ‘On the Shortness of Life’ by Lucius Seneca is an incredible piece written from the Stoic perspective on the lunacy of working for ‘the man’ in order to maintain some fallacy of status…. and why we need to get busy – right now!

  • http://www.freshairbtn.co.uk/ Karen Macmillan

    Working Identity by Herminia Ibarra
    What Should I Do with my Life? by Po Bronson

  • http://www.thorstenstrauss.com thorsten strauss

    Maybe a negative example, but reading “21 dirty tricks at Work” (by Philipps and Gautrey) and knowing that this is really what is happening in big corporations, makes you want to start a “new life” and build a better organization.

    Sad truth (as told by a successful entrepreneur friend), even with the best corporate values and the most careful attention on HR, after a certain size, these games creep back into your organization.

    That for me is the biggest motivation to not build an empire but to keep it small, sharp, and smiling.

  • http://www.retireyoung.com.au Serena Star Leonard

    I loved Linchpin and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – and a more technical book – Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World has really had me kick it up a notch in the last few months (unfinished as yet!)

  • http://pinterest.com/rachiethomas/expand-your-mind/ Rach

    Malcolm Gladwell’s stuff is good but to get inspired to be courageous – ‘Whatever you think, think the opposite’ by Paul Arden… great for anyone who feels institutionalised…

  • http://www.gladpike.blogspot.com sara

    vagabonding by rolf potts.

    i read it and reread it and finally took a detour and moved overseas. and then took a year off to travel. it’s changed my life. my career path has departed enormously from its beginnings when i owned a house and worked every day in healthcare with a big student loan debt looming over my head. i have been most recently exploring ways to live simply on an island with my boyfriend.

  • mahjabeen

    a favourite book of mine, THE MONK WHO SOLD HIS FERRARI by sorry forgot the authors name !

  • http://josephratliff.com/blog/ Joseph Ratliff

    The Monk and the Riddle by Randy Komisar