My winter reading list

This could also be titled I Need to Read More. I have only tackled two books this winter, but they were good ones. If I was only able to choose two books to read over the winter, I would have still chosen these.

These books are definitely business books, but they have lessons and ideas for any aspect of life and not just business.

First would be Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard. Yvon Chouinard is the founder and owner of Patagonia clothing company. Before he even began making clothing he was a climbing bum making climbing gear to support his outdoor lifestyle. His one page mimeographed catalog featured a caveat telling his customers to not expect timely deliveries during climbing season. From this, he has built a clothing company that is consistently profitable, while also being a model environmentally conscious organization. His book includes a history of the company, and an outline of their business practices.

After Let My People Go Surfing, I read Raising the Bar by Gary Erickson, the founder and owner of Clif Bar. This book promotes the virtues of traveling the “white road” instead of the more heavily traveled “red road.” A prime example of this is when Gary turns down a 120 million dollar buyout deal that would have given him and his partner 60 million a piece. Even though this presented issues in the form of his partner wanting out of the business, the company going into debt, and the competition of larger firms, the “white road” of continued private ownership of the business provided for a fulfilling journey for everyone involved with clif bar. And like Patagonia, this company stands for environmental values, such as having all of their products be organic and vegetarian friendly.

I truly enjoyed these books for many reasons, but they primarily show that a company can survive and even thrive when integrating earth friendly practices throughout all of their business practices.

I encourage you to follow the links to these books and purchase them if you are looking for a good read.


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