THE INC. LIFE

4 Books by Asian Authors To Inspire You

Must-reads to help you with career, business, and life

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BY Pauline Mendoza - 14 Mar 2018

4 Books by Asian Authors To Inspire You

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

“Information is the strongest currency you own. And your ability to interpret and use that information is what makes you valuable,” writes entrepreneur and creative director Ron Gibori in his Inc. piece. “When studying the habits of successful people, I continuously came across one thing they all had in common: they all are well-read,” he says in another Inc. article.

That couldn’t be any truer as author Brian Tracy also points out, "If you read only one book per month, that will put you into the top 1% of income earners in our society. But if you read one book per week, 50 books per year, that will make you one of the best educated, smartest, most capable and highest paid people in your field. Regular reading will transform your life completely."

To get you started, the Asian region is by no means lacking in authors whose books will help you find inspiration in your start-up journey. Here are three of them:

1. “From Grit to Great” and “Fast Forward” by Jonathan Yabut

Jonathan Yabut is the season one winner of reality TV show, The Apprentice Asia. His Apprentice journey brought him to work as chief of staff for one year with AirAsia, reporting directly to Malaysian tycoon, Tony Fernandes. From his humble roots to rising to the top of corporate ranks to a flourishing career in marketing and entrepreneurship, Yabut writes about success that comes from grit in his autobiographical book, “From Grit to Great.”

Yabut is also busy touring different parts of the region for motivational speaking engagements covering topics on leadership, career, and the Gen Y workforce. In his book “Fast Forward: The Ultimate Career Guide For Millennials On The Move,” he writes personal stories on being a millennial who has gone through the bustle of the ever-competitive corporate world. Packed with tips and tricks, he divides the book into seven parts that cover the life of every employee: Finding A Job, Learning From Others, Loving A Boss That You Hate, Defeating Office Politics, Getting Promoted, Achieving Work-Life Balance, and Quitting and Finding Greener Pastures.

2. “Start, Love, Repeat: How To Stay In Love With Your Entrepreneur In A Crazy Start-up World” by Dorcas Cheng-Tozun

Interviews with over 70 entrepreneurial couples became the basis for Dorcas Cheng-Tozun’s book, “Start, Love, Repeat: How To Stay In Love With Your Entrepreneur In A Crazy Start-up World.”

“About three years ago, I hit a wall. I had been married to my entrepreneur husband for almost a decade, but things weren't getting easier for us. We struggled as much with balancing his business and our relationship as when we first married,” she writes in her Inc.com column.

She knew that they weren’t the only ones who are struggling in this aspect, so in her book she discusses the not-so glamorous world of being a significant other of a start-up entrepreneur, where boundaries of work and home disappear. But there’s always hope to make things work out as she uncovers strategies on how to manage difficulties as an entrepreneurial couple.

Cheng-Tozun is an award-winning writer and editor whose work has been published in the U.S. and in Asia. Having lived in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Kenya, she is now based in Silicon Valley. She has been married for twelve years with her entrepreneur husband Ned Tozun, co-founder of d.light.

3. “Never Give Up: Jack Ma In His Own Words” Edited by Suk Lee and Bob Song

This book contains over 200 quotes from Jack Ma on entrepreneurship, business values, innovation, management, and life—allowing readers to gain powerful insights right from the Chinese tycoon himself. Most of the quotes are translated directly from Chinese and were taken from press interviews and the like.

Ma’s rags-to-riches story is nothing short of inspirational. He started his first Internet company in 1999 when only a few Chinese people knew what the Internet was. As a former English teacher, he knew nothing about coding but proceeded with building a business in tech anyway. He is the founder of the e-commerce giant, Alibaba, which in 2014, set the highest record of IPO in history — a whopping $25 billion.

Ma’s words were compiled by publishing veterans Suk Lee and Bob Song.