This Entrepreneur Behind a Multi-Million Dollar Fashion Brand Found a Mentor in Books

Love, Bonito's co-founder Rachel Lim reads whenever she finds time, and employs the learnings in her work
This Entrepreneur Behind a Multi-Million Dollar Fashion Brand Found a Mentor in Books
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Former Features Editor, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific
4 min read

 

When Rachel Lim started womenswear label Love, Bonito, she didn’t have the guidance of a mentor. Books and
people taught her how to run a business. Her avid reading of business and management books paid off well. The
brand, which started as an online blogshop outfit, is now a full-fledged e-commerce site, with 17 retail outlets
in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia. The Forbes Asia “30 Under 30” alumni continues to read books whenever she finds time, and employs the learnings in her work.

She shares some of her favourites and the reason she likes them. 

Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family
by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia 

Bob Chapman, chief executive of Barry Wehmiller, a US $2 billion company, tells the story of his conversion from traditional management practices—using people as resources to help the company profit—to believing that the purpose of his company is to enhance the lives of the people the company touches, beginning with employees. “It is about living with an abundance mind-set: an abundance of patience, love, hope, and opportunity,” the authors read.

This is by far one of the best and most fundamental books on the topic. Every company is only as good as its most important asset—people.

Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't
by Jim Collins

When what you are deeply passionate about, what you can be best in the world at and what drives your economic engine come together, not only does your work move toward greatness, but so does your life. “You might gain that rare tranquility that comes from knowing that you’ve had a hand in creating something of intrinsic excellence that makes a contribution. You might even gain that deepest of all satisfactions: knowing that your
short time here on this earth has been well spent, and that it mattered,” writes the author.

I have read this book three times and each time, I get a different insight and perspective.

Leading
by Alex Ferguson

This book is full of anecdotes in management and leadership lessons by Sir Alex Ferguson as he looks back on his tenure as manager of the Manchester United club for 26 years. The book is an inspirational guide to leadership, arguably from the greatest football manager of all time. “The experience of defeat, or more particularly the manner in which a leader reacts to it, is an essential part of what makesa winner,” he writes.

I've been an Arsenal fan all my life and this makes this book by “rival” Alex Ferguson even more poignant. Growing up watching him lead Manchester United to success, and later the fall of the team after his departure, showed me even more the importance and impact of a leader.

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
By Simon Sinek

The author presents the idea that great leaders inspire others by putting the why (purpose) before the how (process), and the what (the product). “There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it. Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief, WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed
every morning? And WHY should anyone care?” he writes.

I bought the book after watching Sinek’s Ted Talk video, and this book has been instrumental in helping me
articulate and define the purpose of my work.

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