The #SummerofDECA Reading List

If you haven’t started reading a great book yet this summer, now is the time to start! Reading books that pertain to your career or personal interests during the summer is a great way for you to learn more and stay sharp during your time away from the classroom, as well as take your education into your own hands.

Plus, you can read just about anywhere during the summer! Whether it’s at the beach, on a long car ride, in a waiting room, or at night before bed, paging through a book is relaxing and pays off.

So, know that you know why you should read, and where you should read, it’s time to pick what you should read. Here is my #SummerofDECA Reading List, consisting of books I have read and plan to read that discuss career development, business and entrepreneurship.

The Start-up of You” by Reid Hoffman & Ben Casanocha

In this book, Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, explains how and why to apply the strategies of successful startups to your own professional career in order to build a network, capitalize on opportunities and succeed. What I liked about this book is that the authors provide deliverables (a task for the reader to complete) at the end of each chapter. Overall, they encourage readers to participate in a lot of informal networks and associations, because opportunities often arise from them. This type of philosophy, as you know, is a staple in DECA.

Favorite quote: “Invest in yourself, invest in your network, and invest in society. When you invest in all three, you have the best shot at reaching your highest professional potential. As important, you also have the best shot at changing the world.”

The $100 Startup” by Chris Guillebeau

The $100 Startup provides numerous examples of real people that have successfully taken their side projects and turned them into full-fledged businesses, while spending very little money to start (sometimes as little as $100, hence the title). This book is practical because it offers materials in-text and on the website ( for aspiring entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.

Favorite quote: “The easy way [to start a business] is to find out what people want and then find a way to give it to them.”

These next two books I haven’t read, but they are on my list because they have received high praise and are on topics relevant to future business leaders.

Lemonade Stand Economics” by Geof White

According to its website, Lemonade Stand Economics teaches high school and college students how to attain financial freedom and avoid student loan debt by not settling for minimum wage jobs, but instead working for themselves.

Promote Yourself: The New Rules of Career Success” by Dan Schwabel

The title sums it up pretty well. This book is about establishing your personal brand and how effective self-promotion can drive your career advancement. This book intrigued me because it claims to describe “the new rules” for career success, meaning things are not the same as they were 20, even 10 years ago; it’s a book made for the young professionals of the millennial generation.

Feel free to tweet at me @JacobDerry with books that you would add to the DECA Summer Reading List!

Follow Jacob on Twitter @JacobDerry.

Categories: Business, Career Advice, Chapter Development, Chapter Resources, Chapter Resources (Home Page Teaser), College Career Advice, Entrepreneurship, Job Advice, Leadership, Tips For Finding A Job