Ongoing education is a crucial part of any budding entrepreneur’s journey. I have learnt also that it can be a very lonely journey too! Reading books written by entrepreneurs is the best way not only to keep abreast of changes in your industry but especially open your mind to new solutions and learn from the successes and setbacks of others who have walked your path. Below are five books that I would definitely add to a must-read list for every solopreneur, they are my the top of the crop!
1. Be a Free Range Human: Escape the 9-5, Create a Life You Love and Still Pay the Bills by Marianne Cantwell
This book is essential reading for anyone trying to escape the 9-to-5 job. Years ago, author Marianne Cantwell left the corporate world and later wrote this book about what she learnt along her journey. Today, Cantwell is the author of the popular Free Range Humans blog. She also runs a profitable life-direction course online. In Be a Free Range Human: Escape the 9-5, Create a Life You Love and Still Pay the Bills, you’ll learn how Cantwell succeeded – and how you can, too. I have learnt this book when working full time and it actually made me quit my full-time job! No regrets what so ever!:)
2. Start it Up. Why Running Your Own Business is Easier Than You think. By Luke Johnson
In this book, columnist and businessman Luke Johnson encourages entrepreneurs young and mature alike to use their experience and wisdom as their most effective weapon. “The veteran generation can take its revenge by going freelance and doing well in the self-employed world,” he writes. Even more seasoned entrepreneurs will appreciate the stark, direct advice presented in Johnson’s book.
3. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Eric Ries, entrepreneur and author of the successful blog Startup Lessons Learned, has experienced his fair share of failed business ventures. In The Lean Startup, Ries describes a startup as an “organisation dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty.” Whatever stage you’re in on your business startup journey, this book can provide valuable insights into how to build a sustainable, successful business in an unstable economic climate.
4. Eat that Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy
First published in 2001, “Eat That Frog” has been since updated to include new information from studies, profiles, stories and statistics on how to improve mental focus. In the book, you’ll find 21 practical steps to stop procrastinating and be more productive. Tracey’s advice is straight-forward: tackle the most challenging items on your to-do list early in the day, rather than delaying and letting them pile up. The tasks you find most challenging are the ones most likely to be put off until later, however they are the very tasks that can have the greatest net positive effect on your business and personal life. The book’s title is a reference to a famous quote by Mark Twain: “If you eat a frog first thing in the morning, that will probably be the worst thing you do all day.”
5. The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks.
Most of us believe we will finally be happy and satisfied with out lives when we achieve that specific goal, or receive that good news we’ve been anticipating, or find a romantic partner. When we achieve our goals, however, we often allow negative emotions to overtake us and lead us to engage in self-sabotaging behaviour. New York times bestselling author Gary Hendricks calls this roadblock to happiness the Upper Limit Problem. The big leap provides a simple yet thorough program for overcoming this barrier to success, happiness and fulfilment.
So this is my list of top 5 must-read books for aspiring solopreneurs. Which book would you add to this list? Or which book would you swap?