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BOOKS

The Giving Movement founder on the best business books around

Words by Rob Chilton

Dominic Nowell-Barnes lists the books that helped him develop his business – and his brain

During his early twenties, Dominic Nowell-Barnes worked flat out in e-commerce and came close to burnout. But after reading The 4-Hour Work Week, the Englishman took stock of his life and changed his outlook, beginning a journey that led him to launch The Giving Movement, a homegrown sustainable streetwear brand that he launched in Dubai during lockdown in April 2020. “I find this idea of constant personal development really exciting,” explains Nowell-Barnes. “I take pride in being a better version of myself every day, but I also recognise that I can’t be perfect all the time.” Now 31, he spoke to EDGAR about the books that help keep him centred.


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THE 4-HOUR WORK WEEK – TIMOTHY FERRISS

This book was intriguing to me because I thought maybe it had a secret that would help me still get the rewards and fulfilment but not work 70 hours a week. The book is about flipping the vision of what a successful entrepreneur is using concepts surrounding delegation and automation that can be implemented instantly. For example, I only check my email once in the morning, action what’s needed, and then I don’t look at my email again until the end of the day. This allows me to focus on something important, rather than working in reaction – that was a lightbulb moment for me.

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HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE – DALE CARNEGIE

This book taught me about persuasion, which is a difficult topic because where do you draw the line between good intention and manipulation? It contains simple ideas that subconsciously have an impact on people. For example, saying someone’s name during a conversation makes them feel important and valued; never fight fire with fire, step back and think rationally; put the other person’s needs first.

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THE 10X RULE – GRANT CARDONE 

This guy is a straight-talking motivational speaker whose concept says, whatever you are thinking, go 10 times bigger. It’s a simple principle and sounds like common sense but he believes that people set their expectations far too low. When I set out the plan for The Giving Movement I wanted to grow it into the biggest brand in the GCC. When you have that mindset, you make decisions differently and think more long term.

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IKIGAI – HÉCTOR GARCÍA & FRANCESC MIRALLE

Ikigai is a Japanese theory, which is what we based The Giving Movement on. It has four key points: do something you love, do something that the world needs, do something that you get paid for, do something that you love. This book taught me about finding balance and fulfilment.

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GET THE EDGE – TONY ROBBINS

The biggest lesson I learned from this book was that key things you do in the morning make you unbreakable for the day – Robbins calls it ‘the hour of power.’ Up until that point I was working in reaction to everything but this book is about understanding that you’re in control of your mind.

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THE CHIMP PARADOX – DR STEVE PETERS

What I took from this book is recognising that I have different things going on in my brain, and that’s okay. Steve Peters say that we have this chimp inside our head that jumps in and reacts. The book teaches us to think before saying something, and engage other parts of our brain.

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