In the past 10 years, I’ve made two big career leaps. I started working in advertising, then the nonprofit world and finally, doing creative consulting and copywriting. I love to work and always pour myself into whatever I’m doing. My colorful and varied work life has given me experience that’s totally invaluable. And I’ve learned a lot along the way about how I personally work best. For example: reporting to a cubicle from 9 am to 5 pm (and usually longer) is not for me. I did it for years—and found myself getting antsy and bored when I was waiting on approvals. So I know I work best with the freedom to make my own schedule. And the most ironic thing is: I actually work more hours now than I ever did before. But I don’t mind because I can choose to work. Having that freedom is totally invaluable to me. My career path has been (kinda) unconventional, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m so grateful to be able to do my own thing, work with awesome people and essentially, be my own boss. And I really believe these three books helped me get to where I’m at, so I wanted to pass them along in case you’re looking for some work inspiration.

Here’s the three books that changed the way I work:

Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard

I read this book during my first year out of college, and it really made me see that work doesn’t have to be this oppressive system. It’s written by the founder of Patagonia, and he has such an open and trusting attitude towards his employees. It’s all about having work-life balance, and how he believes the people on his team will be more productive if they have more freedom and flexibility to do things they enjoy, like surfing. This book really opened my eyes to the kind of work culture and day-to-day balance I want in my own life.

Get your copy here.

The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Tim is a genius and this book made me realize that I could change careers at any point—the only thing stopping me was my own fear. Obviously, a four hour work week sounds amazing, but his whole premise is about working smarter, not longer—and creating services and products that generate income without you. So, so interesting and I love the way he thinks!

Get your copy here.

Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie

I’m a huge fan of TOMS and this book gives wonderful insight into how the company was started and their business model. I love the 1 for 1 concept, and this is a super fun and easy read, with lots of wisdom.

Get your copy here.