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Most successful business owners tend to be avid readers. The thing is, there’s a lot out there you can read. So today I thought I would go ahead and share with you the business books I’ve been reading and that are on my “to read” list.
I’ll share what I love about each book. As well as what I don’t love and why think it’s worth the investment to buy or at least borrow from the library.
Remember you don’t have to spend a ton of money on business books, libraries can be good friends of yours. If a physical library is located really inconveniently for you, a lot of libraries now have all e-books and audiobooks that you can check out for free. I use the Libby app connected to my libraries and that way I’m able to check out ebooks.
Let’s dive in…
4 Hour Work Week
So one of the very first books that help change my mindset and to move me towards becoming self-employed and an entrepreneur was the 4 Hour Work Week. Now I’ve got to be honest, I don’t love everything in the book. But there is enough in the book to make it on this list.
4 Hour Work Week makes you reevaluate how you spend your time and what you spend it on. The book helps you think of different ways you could automate or find shortcuts. It really lets you know of different ways that you can build a business and a life for yourself that works for you, so you don’t have to stick with that 9-to-5 grind.
Another early business read of mine, long before I became self-employed, was the fantastic book turned Netflix series, #Girlboss.
Now since I read the book, the business in which the author built and wrote about has since gone bankrupt. You maybe wondering why should I read this book? Here is the thing, the author, Sofia Amarouso started this business when she was in her early 20s and built it into a multimillion dollar business.
Yes it went bust, but as she said herself, it was her first business and she got pretty far. So I think it’s really inspiring to see that anyone can be successful and everyone starts somewhere. Sure, the business may not last forever, but it’s somewhere to start and you’re gonna learn a lot along the way.
I think her attitude towards business is fantastic and her book, #GirlBoss, is just really entertaining. So I do recommend reading all of it despite the fact that NastyGal went bankrupt.
The War of Art
Another great book, ESPECIALLY if you are a creative entrepreneur is The War of Art. Now, you’ve likely heard of the book The Art of War, this book is completely different. The War of Art is really just a big old kick in the pants. It’s inspiration station, it’s a strong reminder why you do what you do and to keep going.
You’re going to read it and every couple pages be like, “oh my gosh that’s me” and you’re going to earmark and underline so many paragraphs and pages.
For me, it’s become what I turn to when I’m struggling and need that kick in the pants. It’ll get you back up after you’ve fallen. The War of Art helps me to keep going and keep working and to not stop working even when I don’t feel like working.
I continue to go pull out this book when I need a boost of motivation. I just flip to one of the many pages I’ve marked and read whatever I’ve underlined and immediately I’m more motivated.
12 Week Year
Now when writing this, I’ve just finished the book and barely started implementing The 12 Week Year. The reason I decided to read it and give it a shot was I’d heard so many good things about this book.
The premise is that setting annual goals is really hard. It’s difficult because maintaining the momentum for something for a whole year is just hard and usually results in lackluster results. So the idea with this book that you focus on 12 weeks at a time. You set your “long goal” to be accomplished in 12 weeks. Then you plan out the most important things you need to do to accomplish your goal. You only focus on what’s important for the 12 weeks to get to that goal. Keep in mind, the fact that 80% of results comes from 20% to work you do, it’s the 80/20 rule.
As for me, I’ve managed to read the book over a weekend and am currently in the second week of implementing. While it’s still early days, I can say that I’ve already seen some results and I really do think that I’ll hit my 12 Week Year goal, or at least I’ll come really close.
I’m really making myself focus on what’s most important. And you might be thinking yeah, but I already know to focus on. What’s most important is remembering that knowing and implementing are two very different things and this book helps you to figure out how you’re going to implement whatever plan you put in place.
This book is by Pat Flynn who is fantastic at building online businesses. He earns over six figures every single month.
His book, Will it Fly, walks you through step-by-step how to verify your business/product idea. That way you don’t spend a ton of time or money on something destined to fail.
It’s an easy read and with great stories as examples and just overall it’s very informational and educational.
Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days
This book gives you specific steps to take to get your side hustle started. Because many businesses started out as side hustles. However, you don’t have to want to go into running your own business full time in order to start side hustling.
The beauty of a side hustle is the ability to decide how much time you want to spend on it to earn some extra money.
If you’ve had an idea for a side hustle but don’t have a clue where to start to get it going, then this book, Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days, is your answer.
Being an entreprenuer is hard, it is so full of ups and downs many times in the same day….so I light book that lifts you up and reminds you that you are awesome is great.
This book isn’t actually written or geared towards entrepreneurs, but it’s authored by Lin Manuel Miranda, best known for creating Hamilton: An American Musical. He’s a creator as are entrepreneurs so a lot of the ups and downs are similar and the book is a great antidote when you catch yourself being too hard on yourself.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
I loved this book, it was such a fun read. It’s just realistic about how people think and act and take action and what you should really be focusing your time worrying about.
There’s a saying, that if it’s not gonna matter in five years don’t waste five minutes on it. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is kind of the living embodiment of that thing.
DotCom Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Company
Reading this book was straight up mind-blowing. It was like I had a new revelation and idea about what to do with my business with each turn of the page.
It was a very educational book for me and while I don’t necessarily use everything that’s outlined in the book, it has really helped me to think about the structure and goals of my business.
Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half The Time
Another productivity book, what can I say I love to be efficient and hate wasting time. I especially love it for the name as Scrum is a rugby term and I used to play.
Scrum is all about breaking down how to actually get projects done, because historically ghantt charts do not work, but scrum does.
It’s about knowing what’s being worked on right now, quickly identifying and bottlenecks, and knowing what’s on deck so you’re ready to tackle it when the time comes.
Business books can be a great way to grow and learn as an entrepreneur, they can offer new perspectives and lessons that you didn’t even know you were missing.
Even if you don’t end up loving a business book, chances are you’ll still have a least a handful of takeaways of things you want or don’t want to do.
Remember, you don’t have to bust your budget to read business books either, you can get free ebooks from most libraries and read straight from your phone, tablet, kindle, or computer.
My Business Books “To Read” List:
I’ve started this book but it seems to be something I pick up and put down, but so far it’s been great, a wonderful book to learn about writing copy.