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Last Updated on April 10, 2023
Whether you want to start your own company or side hustle, become a full-time freelancer or blogger, create a part-time extra revenue stream, found a charitable business or anything in between, this collection of the 22 best books for an entrepreneur will give you a prime education and practical roadmap, all while getting your creative juices flowing!
If you’re an entrepreneur, writer, blogger, artist, anyone who dreams of starting your own business or side project – or if your simply interested in learning about how to create financial freedom regardless of your career path – this post is for you!
Starting a business or venturing out to become self-employed is scary. Almost 10 years ago, I quit my stable, salaried, safe job to become a full-time freelancer… right after the economy had tanked. Everyone, including my parents and boyfriend, thought I was crazy, but I ended up doubling my income in my first six months of freelancing. A year after that I was approaching six figures.
Never underestimate the power of a great book! Instead of learning the hard way, we can take advice from those who have forged the path before us and show us how it’s done. Why reinvent the wheel? You know what they say about if it ain’t broke.
Some of the books below taught me what I needed to know to get started as a freelancer and create independent wealth, while others are on my must-read list that have been recommended by mentors and other biz owners and #girlbosses I look up to.
You’re going to love these practical guides and revolutionary tactics presented in this roundup of groundbreaking books for entrepreneurs. The hardest part will be deciding where to start! Here is my roundup of the best books for an entrepreneur in 2023.
1) Smart Women Finish Rich
Smart Women Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Achieving Financial Security and Funding Your Dreams by financial advisor David Bach is one of my personal favorite books that has helped me understand my financial picture and what I can do to create financial freedom. It’s very inspiring to hear the stories of other women who have succeeded, and is a must-read for any young woman wanting to learn strategies to ensure her financial success!
2) Will Write for Food
Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Memoir, Recipes, and More by Dianne Jacobs is a one-stop resource for learning all about the different ways you can write about food, from blogging, to freelancing, recipe development and anything else you can imagine. It’s truly a complete guide on how to take your passion for food and turn it into an income!
3) Six-Figure Freelancing
Six-Figure Freelancing: The Writer’s Guide to Making More Money by Kelly James-Enger is one of my all-time favorite book recommendations for anyone interested in freelancing. It’s a brilliant, practical guide that has email templates, tips on how to phrase your communications, what to expect, breaks down numbers and much more. I was a full-time freelancer for almost 10 years and this book was a key resource for me when I started that journey!
4) The Anti 9-to-5 Guide
The Anti 9-to-5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube by Michelle Goodman is about starting any freelance career, not just writing. She shares helpful tips about productivity, working from home, taxes and other topics that anyone who is self-employed really needs to know.
5) The Millionaire Next Door
The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by William Danko and Thomas Stanley is a fascinating eye-opener into how to accumulate wealth and what traits all of America’s millionaires have in common. Based on decades of interviews and research studies, you’ll find out the seven simple rules for how to increase your wealth that contradicts the images we often see in the media (hint: the answer isn’t to make more money!). A great read for anyone wanting to learn how to increase your financial abundance!
6) Lean In
Ladies, this one is for you! Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg – COO of Facebook and presenter of this famous TED Talk “Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders” – is a compelling read about how we as women hold ourselves back in our careers, and encourages us with practical advice on how to up our game while having a fulfilling career. The message I took away from this book, and something I’ve always tried to practice in my career, is that you HAVE TO ask for what you want–nobody is just going to give it to you.
7) MONEY Master the Game
MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins is another must-read for anyone – entrepreneur or not! – interested in learning how to use our country’s financial structures to our benefit and create wealth. Robbins interviewed the top financial and investor gurus to find out their secrets, bust myths and make sense of our confusing financial systems. With practical advice anyone can apply, this inspiring book provides a financial education that will make you realize that financial freedom and wealth are, in fact, possible for anyone!
8) Start with Why
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek breaks down how the most influential leaders and movements take an approach opposite of the norm, explaining how people will only feel inspired and rally behind a product, company or cause when they feel connected to the WHY behind it. With the third most popular TED talk of all time with over 36 million views on this topic, Sinek’s book will connect you back to your purpose and driving force behind why what you’re doing really matters – perfect for anyone who has lost their gusto, or those who simply want to stay inspired.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown is for those of us who yearn to feel a simplicity in our lives where we can focus on what really matters, in the face of a world where a busy, overwhelmed and cluttered lifestyle has become the norm.
10) You Are a Bad Ass
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero is an in-your-face, hilarious book that will kick you in the butt and motivate you to stop making excuses and arguing for your limits. I really learned how much of our success is mental from Sincero, and how to adopt an attitude that will set you on the path to prosperity.
11) The 4-Hour Work Week
The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss is one of the most well-known books for entrepreneurs about how to live more and work less, with real-world tips for how to actually achieve your dream lifestyle. Read more about how my team uses Run Like Clockwork to work 4-hour days at SWS!
12) Bored & Brilliant
Bored & Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self by Manoush Zomorodi encourages us to reexamine our technology use in order to “do nothing” – in turn stoking our creativity, productivity and happiness.
13) 168 Hours
168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam teaches us how to get out of a time scarcity mindset and actually create the time – with ease! – to do what really matters.
14) Barking Up the Wrong Tree
Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success is (Mostly) Wrong by Eric Barker – a highly sought-after speaker and writer – is smart and funny, full of touching stories and scientific explanations of what really determines success and how anyone can achieve it.
15) The War of Art
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield is for anyone who struggles with resistance and an inner critical voice (read: almost all of us!). Taking an engaging, tough-love approach, Pressfield guides us on how to overcome our obstacles, which are often ourselves.
16) The $100 Startup
The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau is an inspiring, simple guide filled with applicable advice of how anyone can create an income outside of traditional employment and start a successful business.
17) The School of Greatness
The School of Greatness: A Real-World Guide to Living Bigger, Loving Deeper, and Leaving a Legacy by Lewis Howes is a refreshing synthesis of the tools, habits and strategies he’s learned from building his own multi-million dollar online business and interviewing hundreds of successful people on how to achieve “greatness”.
18) What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast
What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: And Two Other Short Guides to Achieving More at Work and Home by Laura Vanderkam is a succinct, easy read that will get you thinking about how you prioritize your day and motivate you to take action to increase your productivity and happiness!
19) Principles: Life and Work
In Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio – the founder of one of the most successful hedge funds in history – Dalio shares the unconventional approaches he’s taken in life and business to create radical success, built on foundations of transparency and truth.
20) Will it Fly?
Will it Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Idea so You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money by Pat Flynn – a revolutionary in the online entrepreneurial and marketing world – will show you exactly what you need to do before starting any business to make sure it will work, saving you money, time and hassle.
21) The ONE Thing
The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller has won numerous awards and been on countless best seller lists because the advice truly works. Keller teaches us how, by dedication and focus to just ONE thing, we will achieve better results, stay energized, build momentum and more – thus achieving the outcome we truly seek in any and all areas of our lives.
22) The Conquer Kit
The Conquer Kit: A Creative Business Planner for Women Entrepreneurs by Natalie MacNeil is a creative canvas for new businesses and business planning, in a fun workshop-style that will tap your creative genius.
What are your favorite best books for entrepreneurs and bloggers? Let us know in the comments below!
Check out our roundup of the best books for any entrepreneur, from topics like productivity to 4-day work weeks to financial freedom.
Almost 10 years ago, I quit my stable, salaried, safe job to become a full-time freelancer… right after the economy had tanked. Everyone, including my parents and boyfriend, thought I was crazy, but I ended up doubling my income in my first six months of freelancing. A year after that I was approaching six figures.
How? Never underestimate the power of a great book! Instead of learning the hard way, we can take advice from those who have forged the path before us and show us how it’s done. Why reinvent the wheel? You know what they say about if it ain’t broke.
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We are an LGBTQIA-affirming, interfaith-oriented, diverse organization. We are committed to social and environmental justice, including civil rights, dismantling systems of oppression like the Patriarchy, White Supremacy and Diet Culture. We believe Black Lives Matter.
Ahh, this is so inspiring! I want to read them ALL! I love Tony Robbins’ book, The Millionaire Next Door & Start With Why. I’ve heard parts of the 3 Hour Workweek. Highly recommend all of those too!
Awesome list! Now I want to read “Start with Why” thanks to you. I’ve seen a few of Simon’s talks and I like his ideas.
I think you might enjoy the 80/20 Principle. It’s such a thought provoking book!
Cool site! Thank you!
Thanks for sharing, Russ! Glad you enjoyed this list 🙂