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A Profitable Way To Multitask? Grab One Of These Money-Centric Beach Reads While You’re Grabbing Some Rays

Bobbi Rebell, CFP®  |  July 26, 2019

Summer reading doesn’t have to be daunting, boring — or assigned. These personal finance potboilers will help you profit from your downtime.

Relaxing with a summer book can be a great way to up your money game. Here are some great new money books that will get you dreaming big, living your best life, all while chilling out.

“Take the Leap. Change Your Career, Change Your Life” by Sara Bliss. 

This book focuses on stories from people who left a career they were pretty settled in, but they wanted more. There are some big names to learn from including Bobbi Brown, Barbara Corcoran and Simon Doonan. It’s a great beach read for business lessons because the stories are all very short — usually just a few pages — and you can read one, and then put it down and kind of mull it over while you soak in the sun.

Actionable Advice: “Partner with someone with opposite strengths advises Barbara Corcoran who went from real estate CEO to Shark Tank star says in the book. She points out how hard it is to be good at everything, so having different skill sets and interests can often be a winning combination. 

Cosmetics entrepreneur Bobbi Brown who, among other new ventures is now studying nutrition and running a hotel in New Jersey, tells readers: “Know when to try something new.” She points out that if everything is going wrong, you aren’t making money, and you aren’t getting good feedback, it may be a sign to pivot your idea and go for something new. 

The Value Add: The vast majority of people profiled in the book are making more money in their new and more fulfilling careers.

“The Remix. How to Lead and Succeed in the Multigenerational Workplace” by Lindsey Pollak

Did you know that there are now five generations in the workplace? This book’s title refers to the idea that at parties when DJs want to get everyone excited to dance — they play a remix because the younger guests know the new song but it is also familiar to the older guests. The next thing you know the dance floor is packed. Pollak loads the book with original research along with specific tips and tools including apps that everyone can adapt. The goal: Enjoy each other’s company at work (pun intended.)

Actionable Advice: Ask your boss to copy you on emails even if you’re not directly involved in a particular project. You can gain better insight into how things work beyond your current scope of work and will be better prepared for new opportunities. A similar strategy is to ask to sit in on meetings (meaning audit them) to better understand the context of your own work, and how it fits into the company’s overall goals. 

Pollak also suggests occasionally skipping written emails and sending quick informal video messages instead. They can be less tedious and more impactful. 

The Value Add: Each chapter ends with a recap of specific concepts so no need to take notes — just refer back to the list when you get back from the beach or wherever.

“Limitless. How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path and Live Your Best Life” by Laura Gassner Otting

This book veers a bit toward self-help, but in a down-to-earth way.  It doesn’t so much tell you what you need to change in your life to be happy, rather, it focuses more on how you can figure things out for yourself, as your life is now. As much as there is a cheerleader tone to this, it is balanced out by tough love. For example, being busy is not the same as getting results. That’s something I’ve personally been struggling with lately — so the author’s call for getting really honest with yourself resonated with me. 

Actionable Advice: Update your resume once a year. It will remind you of how your work matters, or it will show you that it doesn’t. List your accomplishments, not your tasks. Don’t write about the action, write about the results. Also, don’t discount work you did outside of your job title. 

Ask for sightlines. If a supervisor or a client asks you to do something that is not clear, don’t run around grasping to solve their vague request. Instead, ask for clarification about the purpose of the assignment. 

The Value Add: Gassner Otting is candid about her challenges as a mompreneur. The author started her company with a 6-week-old child. Why? Because that’s when an opportunity to take on her first client fell into her lap.  She seized the day. 

“Broke Millennial Takes on Investing. A beginners guide to leveling up your Money” by Erin Lowry

This is the book for everyone who has ever lingered in the business section of a bookstore, looking at the titles and feeling intimidated. Lowry takes ownership of the fact that her readers may know nothing about investing and will take her explanations down to the most basic level. These include the things we all pretend to know because we think we should. So for example, when she explains what asset allocation is, she uses the term risk tolerance but then takes the time to explain what that is, too. The information is nicely bite-sized when it needs to be, and there is nothing pretentious about the book.

Actionable Advice: Assign a goal-related name to your accounts. Instead of the random number the bank gives, change it to something like “Honeymoon South Africa 2019.” The next time you’re tempted to tap into the account for a different purpose, you’ll have a handy psychological block standing in the way. 

Also, make sure you have named beneficiaries for all your investment funds. This helps reduce confusion and tension for your loved ones after death, and also avoid the tedious and expensive probate process which puts a court in charge of the distribution of your estate. 

The Value Add: Lowry is very active on social media and holds regular AMA’s (ask me anything) so if you have follow up questions to the book, she is available to answer them.

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