- Posted by Donna Amos
- On May 13, 2018
For years now, society has been striving to balance life and work. Professional advancement and business trips tend to steal energy from personal goals and values—and vice versa. Passion runs dry and burnout abounds. Enter Solopreneurship. These folks seem to have mastered the art of life-work balance. They set their own schedules, choose their own priorities, and chase down their own dreams.
But, like the old axiom reminds us, the power to choose how you spend your time comes with a great deal of responsibility. As you well know, the life of a solopreneur isn’t all success and golf and pedicures. Dreams must develop into actionable goals, failures must serve as lessons, and time must be managed wisely.
Fortunately, wisdom awaits. What follows is our list of the top ten books for solopreneurs to read. These are books that have given many folks the information and inspiration to take Solopreneurship to the next level. What are you waiting for? Click the titles for Amazon links so you can read up and get rolling!
“The Internet makes it possible for anyone to be 100 percent true to themselves and make serious cash by turning what they love most into their personal brand.”
A successful author, speaker, investor, and CEO, Gary Vaynerchuk calls himself a “serial entrepreneur.” In Crush It!, he shares how he used the internet and social media to develop his personal brand. This brief and invigorating book teaches solopreneurs how to take advantage of the World Wide Web to make their brands successful as well.
2. Will It Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money – Pat Flynn
“NASA has never launched a mission just because it ‘sounded like a good idea,’ and neither should you.”
Solopreneurs are idea people, and let’s face it, even good ideas are bound to fail sometimes. With his down-to-earth perspective and actionable steps, Pat Flynn’s Will It Fly? offers a tool kit for testing out your ideas to see whether they will fly or fail—before it costs you.
3. Be a Free Range Human: Escape the 9-5, Create a Life You Love and Still Pay the Bills – Marianne Cantwell
“You’re not building a business, you’re creating a life.”
Jam-packed with case studies, exercises, advice, and inspiration, Marianne Cantwell’s Be a Free Range Human is a proper field guide for solopreneurs. A career-shifter herself, Cantwell draws on personal experience to put together this step-by-step guide to taking the leap into Solopreneurship and finding success.
4. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results – Gary Keller with Jay Papasan
“When you want the absolute best chance to succeed at anything you want, your approach should always be the same. Go small.”
Possibly the greatest challenge for solopreneurs is learning how to prioritize. As your own boss (and your only employee), it can be tempting to chase down every opportunity, only to find you’ve spent too much time for too little payoff. Keller and Papasan have what you need. In The ONE Thing, they offer practical tools to cut through the clutter of your life and focus on what really matters most.
5. Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time – Brian Tracy
“You cannot eat every tadpole and frog in the pond, but you can eat the biggest and ugliest one, and that will be enough, at least for the time being.”
American humorist Mark Twain is supposed to have said that if you ate a live frog every morning, you could be confident that nothing worse would happen to you that day. Like all people, solopreneurs face the temptation to “save” their most difficult or intimidating tasks—the frogs, if you will—for later. In Eat That Frog!, Brian Tracy details 21 effective strategies for overcoming procrastination, making this a must-read primer on focus and productivity.
“Yes, but the main thing is that greatness is doable. Greatness is many, many individual feats, and each of them is doable.”
As we touched on with Will It Fly?, failure is a necessary part of a solopreneur’s success. But where Flynn demonstrates how to fail with fewer casualties, Angela Duckworth’s Grit reveals the importance of failing disastrously and getting back up again. Armed with interviews and neuroscience, Duckworth shares the psychology behind goal-setting, practicing effectively, and cultivating lifelong interest. Her careful blend of information and motivation make this a book every solopreneur should read.
“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”
Solopreneurs are inherently creative. Obviously, this results in a great deal of passion and pride in what we do, but it also means we are plagued by internal criticism, procrastination, perfectionism, and fear. The inspiring stories and helpful strategies Elizabeth Gilbert shares in Big Magic guide the reader to a newfound sense of confidence and a freedom to explore the full joy of living a creative life.
“Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.”
In the world of business, it’s easy to get bogged down in the numbers of profit and sustainability and market research. This is especially true for solopreneurs, where the success of the business or brand begins and ends with you. In this bestselling business parable, Burg and Mann reveal a seemingly counterintuitive secret: stratospheric success comes only when you focus on the value you give away. This brief and entertaining tale proposes five laws of success that will change the way you see your career as a solopreneur.
“Fascination has little to do with what you say, and everything to do with what you inspire others to say about your message.”
Solopreneurs, by definition, are the “little guys.” With less capital and fewer opportunities than your competition, you need to rely on a little something more to reach your market and sell your brand effectively. Fortunately, Sally Hogshead gives you what you need in Fascinate. Drawing on her research in the field of fascination, Hogshead explains how to apply her seven “Advantages” to help you stand out from the competition, attract dedicated fans, and build revenue.
10. The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life – Chris Guillebeau
“It’s better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of one you don’t.”
Here at number ten, after many books filled with tools and strategies that are essential for success as a solopreneur, we return to the reason for choosing this life in the first place. In The Happiness of Pursuit, Chris Guillebeau begins with the tenet that adventure holds the key to a life of meaning and passion. And that, of course, is what Solopreneurship is all about: the wild adventure of spending your life doing what matters to you. This book is filled with tips and tricks for going somewhere and enjoying the journey. But more than that, it’s a book filled with permission. So, get out there and pursue your adventure!
Well, there it is…
Our list of the top ten reads for solopreneurs in 2018. What do you think? We’d love to hear from you in the comments. If you’ve read any of these already, feel free to share how they impacted you; if you would add another book to the list, definitely let us know! Happy reading!