Serenity Gibbons, Contributor, Forbes.com
I share insights gathered from purpose-driven entrepreneurs
A once-in-a-century global pandemic. Unprecedented strain on the global supply chain. Crushing inflation. Desperate labor shortages. Deadly heat waves and storms driven by worsening climate change. Europe’s first cross-border shooting war in 80 years.
The world has been through a lot already this decade, much of it unprecedented in living memory—inconceivable before it happened. It’s a humbling reminder that we can’t predict the future.
But we can prepare for it. Each of these books applies to a different aspect of life and business, but all are written with reluctant planners in mind—people who understand the importance of long-range planning but are too focused on the near term to get it done. Read them and find out why “hope for the best but prepare for the worst” isn’t just idle talk.
Tomer Rabinovich’s Ride the Amazon Wave: The Pro Seller's Guide to Private Label Success is essential reading for every entrepreneur, even those who don’t make their living on Amazon. Rabinovich tells his amazing success story: from deciding to quit his day job, to scaling his Amazon sales business, to creating a successful consulting business to teach others what he’s learned along the way.
Throughout his book, Rabinovich shows how important it is for business leaders to think tactically and plan strategically. You can’t achieve seven-figure sales on Amazon overnight, but it’s much more attainable when you plan for the next five years, not just the next five days.
The typical American worker reaches the peak of their earning power around age 50, with plenty of time left to go until retirement. Yet most Americans aren’t anywhere close to prepared for retirement by the time they turn 60. Many feel they have no choice but to continue working past “normal” retirement age, often into their 70s.
This isn’t all because of poor long-range planning or questionable financial decisions. Life happens. But in The Runway Decade: Building a Pre-Retirement Flight Plan in Your Fifties, veteran financial advisors Pete Bush and Bill Bush make a convincing argument that a long-term financial plan can make the difference between “just getting by” and “everything you need” by the time you’re ready to call it quits.
The Runway Decade is particularly apt for business owners in their fifties, who have to decide how they’ll transition out of day-to-day management—and possibly relinquish ownership—as they age. And each chapter comes with useful worksheets and fun exercises to demystify financial planning, so it’s great for people who don’t love counting dollars and cents.
Communication strategist Wesley Donehue knows all too well that a reputational crisis can strike at any time.
The bad news: You won’t know exactly what shape it’ll take until you’re in the thick of it, at which point it’s too late to make and execute a plan. You’ll have no choice but to react.
The good news: Donehue has helped businesses, political leaders, and global influencers navigate some of the biggest controversies and scandals in recent history.
Donehue shares much of what he’s learned over the years in Under Fire: 13 Rules for Surviving Cancel Culture and Other Crises. His book is an actionable road map to help business leaders, public figures, and regular people build a crisis management strategy before it’s necessary. Hopefully, you won’t ever need to dust off your plan, but you’ll be grateful you made it if trouble strikes.
You Can Anticipate The Future
None of the books on this list teach you how to predict the future. That’s impossible, at least for now.
Each of these books will improve your ability to anticipate and plan for the future, however. That’s nearly as valuable. People who are well-prepared for the future—in business and personal life—are better equipped to ride out the unexpected events that we know are coming our way. Even if we can’t say exactly what shape they’ll take.