I got a text from my sister yesterday. She asked if I’ve read any good books lately. That’s like asking, “Are Doritos the loveliest of the loveliest chips on earth?” The answer is, obviously, YES.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I will make a commission, at no additional cost to you. Also, just a heads up: some of the books listed here have strong language.
So many books, so little time. It’s the story of my life. Thank goodness for the library. The library is one of my top 2, non-home favorite places on earth. The airport is the other. (The people watching.)
Anyway, in response to my sister’s question, naturally, I consulted my Kindle library as well as the “Previously Checked Out” list on our library’s website to see what I’ve read recently.
There were a lot of business books on my list. I read a ton of business books. I’m not so good at implementing them, but hey, I know a whole lot. I’m getting sidetracked.
Like no time in history
We are living in an unprecedented time, there is no doubt about that.
When it comes to business, the internet has lowered the barrier to entry, leveled the playing field, made entrepreneurialism easily accessible to just about anyone and has almost completely reduced the need for overhead and risk.
That is huge.
If someone with zero computer background or business experience can grow her own business and make significantly more income than she’s ever made in her life (that’s me), anyone can.
You just have to think differently. These are the books that helped me do just that.
My top picks
1. Rework by David Heinemeier Hansson. This is my favorite book about business in the internet age. It gave words to what I was observing and dabbling in already and I think it does a great job of explaining the paradigm shift needed in order to be successful.
2. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss. This is another book that made things make a whole lotta sense. I am so unlike Tim Ferriss in so many ways, but I really appreciate his completely out-of-the-box thinking. This book was mind-blowing for me.
3. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau. This book put practical wheels on my “business plan” although I hesitate to use that word because it sounds so MBA-ish and I am so not MBA-ish. (I started out as a business major in college and lasted all of one semester. Barely. It was way over my head. Those people are smart.) I’m FBSMP-ish and WI-ish. That stands for Fly By the Seat of My Pants and Wing It.
It’s hard to limit my list to three. So, here are more books that have helped me:
- The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. It sounds dry, but he makes a strong and interesting case for the lowly but powerful checklist.
- The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. You can start a successful business without a lot of money.
- The Dip by Seth Godin. To throw in the towel or not.
- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I can’t say I related to all of the book, but the basic premise was right on.
- Linchpin by Seth Godin. Are You Indispensable?
- 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Kruse. Some good nuggets here.
- Essentialism by Greg McKeown. What’s your ONE thing?
- Margin by Richard Swenson. Staying sane in an overloaded world.
- The Bootstrap VA by Lisa Morosky. An practical guide for anyone who wants to become a virtual assistant.
How I read
I rarely read physical books. I prefer digital books because my highlights and notes are saved and accessible, I can carry my entire library with me and reading on my phone at night (I use the Kindle App) is a lot less hassle than having to sit up, have the light on then turn it off when I’m done.
Where I get books (mostly free)
I don’t buy a lot of books. I prefer free whenever possible.
Library. I don’t know who invented checking out library books in ebook or audiobook format, but I will be forever grateful. I use the Libby app (iOS; Android version is here) with my local library. See if your U.S. library has this service here.
Free Kindle books. Here’s a list of Kindle Bestsellers. (Just make sure the Free tab is selected at the top of the page and the prices are $0.) Don’t miss free & cheap reads either. And if you have an Amazon Prime account you can choose one about-to-be-released book each month through Amazon First Reads.
Kindle Store. Of course I occasionally buy books from the Kindle store as well.
Are you interested in starting an online business?