And if there’s another thing I love to do besides read, it’s share great books that I’ve read with people who’ll benefit from those books.
So let’s cut to the chase, shall we? Here are 14 books that I’m positive will benefit you on your solopreneurial journey.
Some are about marketing, some are about productivity, and some are just about designing the best possible life you can. Enjoy!
Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World by Tim Ferriss
Quick Overview: Tribe of Mentors is compiled of short Q&As with experts and over-achievers in fields as far-ranging as skateboarding, venture capital, cooking, and outdoor survival. Because each interviewee’s section is short, it’s easy to pick this book up when you have a free moment.
Smartcuts: The Breakthrough Power of Lateral Thinking by Shane Snow
Quick Overview: “Smartcuts” are unusual, often lateral career moves that allow someone to advance further and faster than they would in a more conventional career path. It may inspire you to try to find a few smartcuts of your own!
The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy by Chris Bailey
Quick Overview: The author spent a year of his life testing out various productivity techniques to report back on what worked and what didn’t. His method for presenting them and the exercises he offers for implanting them make it all very interesting and well worth spending some time reading.
Design the Life You Love: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Meaningful Future by Ayse Birsel
Quick Overview: Through a series of exercises, Ayse Birsel coaches you to view aspects of your life and your values from a few different frames of reference with the end goal of configuring a new life plan and philosophy.
10X Life by Adam Costa
Quick Overview: I’m a fan of life-improvement books in general, and this one makes for several quick hits of useful techniques. You’ll find that they’ll come in handing during your job hunt, but also throughout the rest of your life, as well.
The Small Big: Small Changes That Spark Influence by Steve Martin and Noah Goldstein
Quick Overview: This one is all about making small changes to a message or an approach that leads to a big influence. Remember, even if you’re marketing the perfect solution to a problem that a target audience needs solved, you still need to influence them to take action (and solve their own problems).
To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink
Quick Overview: Lots of people are afraid of “selling” or “being salesy.” Well, as Daniel Pink discusses, pretty much everything we do is sales is one way or another—but there are effective, helpful ways to do it and ineffective, “salesy” ways to do it
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Desires by Dan Ariely
Quick Overview: Dan Ariely goes into some fascinating studies about exactly when and how we act in utterly irrational ways. How does this affect you? Well, sometimes getting people to take action involves using this irrationality wisely and to your advantage.
The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
Quick Overview: No matter what you do, whether we’re talking about building a business or just changing cell phone carriers, you face obstacles. This book is how you can embrace obstacles and use them to make you a better, calmer, and overall happier person.
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Quick Overview: Lamott’s book was written primarily for writers, but the takeaways are useful for business owners, too. Some of her most insightful advice involves attacking projects one small piece at a time, creating “sh*tty first drafts” and using short assignments to get yourself going.
Influence by Robert B. Cialdini
Quick Overview: This must-read classic is all about how to make marketing more effective by utilizing any of six universal principles of persuasion. From social proof to commitment and consistency, the principles are time-tested ways to create marketing copy that makes people take action.
5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins
Quick Overview: As coach and speaker Mel Robbins says, “Motivation is complete garbage.” But if you can’t rely on motivation, what can you rely on? Her book is about an incredibly easy tactic you can use to get yourself to overcome procrastination and doubt to get down to work.
Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Quick Overview: This book explores how to change bad habits and create good ones and, as a writer, you can use it to eliminate project procrastination and the often-invoked but completely controllable “writer’s block.” And then, of course, you can put in place habits to build your business and improve your life.
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Quick Overview: This book introduces us to “resistance” — the force that appears whenever we attempt anything new or creative that takes us at all outside of our comfort zones. (Like, oh, building a business.) The second half of the book is about getting serious enough about your plans, your dreams, and yourself to sit your rear down and work, even when resistance comes up.
If you read any of these, be sure to let me know what you think! (And let me know if there are others you love that I should add to the list!)
→ Want a quicker (but just as useful) read? Get my FREE ebook with 22 pre-written responses for the trickiest interactions you’ll face. They found a typo? They’re questioning your prices? They want to cancel? Don’t try to craft the copy yourself…just copy and paste! Get the ebook now. ←
P.S. These are Amazon affiliate links. If you’re interested in learning more about the program, check it out here.