If you’ve stepped out of the traditional workplace and started your own business in the last few years, you know the struggle of figuring out what you need to learn and how to implement it can feel overwhelming. Some days you may have a new motivation to start another side hustle. On other days, you may feel overwhelmed with the progress you’ve made or defeated in not reaching your goals. But it’s critical to your success to remember why you went into business for yourself – to improve your mental health, reconnect with your passions, spend more time with your family, and gain financial stability on your own terms. Luckily, you can learn from those who’ve succeeded in their business and decided to write a book about it. Here are 11 incredibly helpful books for freelancers and solopreneurs today:
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- Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
- The 80/20 Principle: The Secret To Achieving More With Less by Richard Koch
- Remote Work Is The Way: A Guide To Making The Most Of Our Office-Optional Future by Iwo Szapar
- Finance for the People: Getting a Grip on Your Finances by Paco De Leon
- How to Write Copy That Sells: The Step-By-Step System for More Sales, to More Customers, More Often by Ray Edwards
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
- The Self Care Prescription: Powerful Solutions to Manage Stress, Reduce Anxiety & Increase Wellbeing by Robyn Gobin, PhD
- Project Planner For Freelancers: 310 Projects + 11 Yearly Goals by Garota Legal
- The Minimalist Entrepreneur: How Great Founders Do More with Less by Sahil Lavingia
- Lower Your Taxes – Big Time! Small Business Wealth Building and Tax Reduction Secrets from an IRS Insider (2023-2024 Edition) by Sandy Botkin, CPA, Esq.
When you think of being an entrepreneur, the word ‘rest’ isn’t typically on the top ten of your to-do list. But prioritizing quality rest and personal health while growing your business has never been more vital. Whether you’re just beginning your entrepreneurial journey or have been building your empire for years, it can be challenging to balance work and rest. But resting your mind and body allows healing of the body, balance in your mind, and breakthroughs in creativity. Author Alex Soojung-Kim Pang explains how to stimulate, sustain, and balance your creativity. Alex gives excellent examples of how the greatest writers, scientists, and entrepreneurs found sparks of creativity for some of their most acclaimed work once they took time to rest. It’s a simple yet valuable read that will help you not feel guilty about resting more and working less while getting new ideas on incorporating more productivity and peace in every area of your life.
Big Magic is one of the most popular books for creatives in recent years – and for a good reason. Author Elizabeth Gilbert shares her love of creative thought and authentic living, why we all need to do things to step out of our limited societal roles, and how art is both a “crushing chore and a wonderful privilege” in the most divine way. Creativity isn’t only the traditional view of a painter, writer, singer, etc. It’s about the purpose inside you that expresses something new to the world. This book shares how creativity may never be an easy endeavor but should always be an interesting adventure. The bestselling Eat, Pray, Love author explains the artist’s addiction to suffering (imposter syndrome, overthinking, self-sabotage, etc.), how to break out of fear of failure and success, and the beauty of diving into your own inspiration journey to tap into your big magic.
This business classic is definitely one to have on your bookshelf to learn how to get more done…by doing less. The 80/20 principle outlines ways to use time correctly to help you with your business, personal life, and community. But what is it? Essentially, it is the rule that the minority of your efforts leads to the majority of your results in life. The 80 percent of what you achieve effectively comes from the 20 percent of the time you spend doing. If you’ve started your own business, you know that just the thought of that rule excites and terrifies you. If 20 percent of work leads to 80 percent of reward, then it’s not about how hard or long you choose to work – instead, it’s all about how you choose to work. Recommendations include becoming self-employed at an early age, working with high-value creators, selectively outsourcing where possible, and leveraging capital to increase wealth as you decrease workload. It’s a riveting book that’ll open your eyes and excite you to “start achieving more with less.”
There’s been an influx of discussion and opportunities on the freelance side of LinkedIn in recent years. Author Iwo Szapar is a remote working expert whose work includes traveling to over 15 countries and teaching companies like Walmart, ING Bank, and Pricewaterhouse Cooper how to have a more balanced workforce. The book discusses the benefits of remote work for employees like higher productivity rates, better innovative ideas, diverse communication skills, and better wages. This book is excellent for employees, employers, freelancers, solopreneurs, and anyone in between who wants to become more efficient and less stuck in where they decide to get work done.
Dealing with finances as a business owner – no matter how small your business is at the moment – can be the most stressful part of it all. Our upbringing, family, friends, and even the media shape our ideas around money. You may feel like talking about money raises your blood pressure or nonchalant about learning about taxes; however, if you plan to stay in business and scale profit, you need to spend time understanding, organizing, and planning out your financial systems. Author Paco De Leon shows you a practical and holistic approach to help you map out a system that works for you. She dives into using gratitude to change your thinking around money, rooting out unconscious limiting beliefs about money, untangling mental and emotional financial burdens, and breaking the cycle of debt to build wealth. If you’re ready to get a grip on your finances in your personal life and business, this is a phenomenal book to get started.
Honestly, copywriting makes the world go round. Don’t believe me? Think about the last item you bought, the last place you visited, the last thing you ate – now, think back to how you heard about it. Was it a commercial? An in-person or online ad? Social media? A blog post? In the store? You were convinced to buy or try something because of copywriting, regardless of where you learned about them. Touted as one of the best and most in-depth books on copywriting, How To Write Copy That Sells is a valuable read for anyone in business – not just copywriters. If you run a business, you need a marketing plan to get your products and services in front of those who need them. You can’t do that without knowing the words to communicate to help them find you. You’ll learn not to sound sales-y but be persuasive, create irresistible offers that clients and customers can’t resist, and improve your writing skills to work smarter (not harder).
You may not think of tidying up as a virtue in business, but what a difference it makes when you physically organize your space. Maintaining a structure of where things go – both in your physical workspace and digital one – can make all the difference in how you feel throughout your day. Marie Kondo, known as the queen of organization and the empress of domestic decluttering, has crafted a book focusing on clearing and preventing unnecessary clutter in your home, workspace, and even your car. Japanese culture is known for its focus on balance within one’s living space. As you build your business, you need structure and harmony in your space. If not, you may feel more anxious, less focused, and more likely to be unmotivated by being around so much disorganization. You can’t deny that one of the best feelings in the world is when you purge old things from your closet, throw out (or repurpose) unused items, clean every surface, and then organize your space in a way that makes you feel accomplished. Now, imagine starting your workday with that feeling.
You can’t run your business well if you aren’t feeling well. Self-care is not a reward for what you do. Instead, it should be a priority in how you live. Robyn L. Gobin is a licensed clinical psychologist, speaker, and mindfulness educator passionate about helping women prioritize their mental health and self-care. She has created a book with a fully mapped plan to improve your physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, career, and social health. You want to have a business that thrives, and you want to be able to enjoy it. Start by implementing the strategies in this book that focus on mindfulness, nutrition, rest, and balance.
If you don’t have a planner, you need to look into this one. The layout is great for keeping things organized but gives you more than a blank page with empty lines. You get 338 pages with markers at three months, six months, and one year to track progress and plan for success. The planner has space for reflection, business goals, client information, project scope, milestones, and other areas. This is one book where you get to create the content just by growing your business. Making plans should be simple, enjoyable, and practical – just like this planner.
I love minimalism – at least when it comes to operating my business. You have to strike a balance, but that doesn’t mean you have to take on everything at once. Embracing a minimalistic style in your entrepreneurship helps you build on quality, not quantity. Author Sahil Lavingia was an early employee of Pinterest before leaving to found his own success as the founder of Gumroad. He is an avid angel investor and knows what it takes to build a business from the ground up. In this book, you’ll get practical advice on finding your community, building trust with your audience, being mindful of money and energy, the rise of freelance, and how to “own a business without it owning you back.” You can stress less by focusing on what is valuable while minimizing what isn’t.
Taxes make me anxious, and I know I’m not alone. But it doesn’t have to anymore. When you learn how to do your taxes correctly for your business, you’ll be less likely to avoid doing them until the last minute on Tax Day. (Because we’ve all procrastinated – no judgment here!) Author Sandy Botkin, CPA, Esquire, shares her expertise in reducing your taxes and filing the best tax code for your business in this ninth edition of her best-selling book. You’ll learn about proper documentation, home-based business advice, new standard and itemized deductions, and the best ways to prep for the following year. The latest copy is available for pre-order and will launch on December 20, 2022 – just in time for a much less stressful tax season.