Best Business & Personal-Growth Books for Creative Freelancers
I’ve been reading non-fiction business/marketing/productivity books solidly for the last few years now, and I’d love to recommend a few of my favourites!
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from going self employed and running your own business, it’s that education is key. You seriously have to enjoy learning if you want to build a business, because educating yourself is such a necessary thing to take yourself to the next level.
Reading books - non-fiction or fiction - not only teaches you new things, but also makes you a more interesting person. You have more to bring to the conversation because you are filled with more stories, anecdotes, facts and insights.
I am personally pretty obsessed with reading non-fiction right now. In 2017 and 2018 I read 1 book per month (it may not seem like a lot to some, but it was a lot for me!), and so far in 2019 I’ve already read 5 books and it’s not even March yet! I love finding new business/personal-growth book recommendations and adding them to my list.
Below are a few of my favourites, and I’ve included each of them for different reasons. You’ll notice I’ve been pretty honest as there were a few I was skeptical to add, but at the end of the day I have learned very useful lessons from each of them that I believe were worth the price and time!
My morning routine - Benjamin spall & Michael Xander
This is a really nice, easy-going little book to read that doesn’t require a huge amount of brain-power to absorb, but that leaves you feeling positive and motivated to get your life into gear and make the most of your mornings. The book is a collection of morning routines of various successful people, and is pretty interesting from a ‘being nosy’ perspective as well!
Profit first - Mike Michalowicz
Reading finance books may sound like Hell on Earth (trust me, I HATE numbers), but this book is honestly life-changing. I was recommended it by Olivia (thanks, girl) and now that I have started using the system in this book I honestly feel so much more confident about my self employed accounts and I feel way more positive about money! SO worth a read!
The Compound Effect - Darren Hardy
The amount of ideas I had while reading this book was crazy; it’s all about how doing small tasks and taking small steps towards goals each day can amount to huge things, and it’s full of awesome examples and even some science to show you how this concept works. There are loads of interesting activities to do throughout the book, and you can go away and download his worksheet print-outs if you want to do more as well.
The Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg
I chose to read this personal-growth book as I’m really interested in productivity, how habits are formed, and how to master willpower to achieve great things. With heaps of factual studies and science, Charles Duhigg digs deep into how we can use this biological knowledge to form positive habits and change our lives.
The Marshmallow Test - Walter Mischel
Ever hear the story of the 5 year old who was shown 1 marshmallow, and was told they could either have that marshmallow now OR they could get TWO marshmallows if they waited until the adult came back in the room? It’s a commonly referred to study about will-power and how our brains work to help us maintain self-control. The book is pretty much all science and case study facts, but super interesting from a psychological perspective!
Entrepreneurial you - Dorie Clark
I have fond memories of reading this book while sunbathing on a beach in Ibiza on our girl’s trip last Summer. I remember having to grab a pen and paper every two minutes because I was getting so many ideas of additional offerings and things I could do with my business. If you’re interested in creating more passive income streams in your business, this book is for you!
How to style your brand - Fiona Humberstone
This book is basically a bible for any brand designer, and I regularly find myself with clients who have read it as well, which means we can both speak the same language and refer to the same principals with ease. If you are interested in design and creating a memorable brand, I’d definitely recommend this book. There’s also a sequel which I’ll talk about below…
Brand Brilliance - Fiona Humberstone
…Fiona’s sequel to How To Style Your Brand is equally as wonderful. Designed as a large coffee table book with stunning imagery and a classy, inspirational feel, it’s just generally a lovely book to curl up with of an evening! But the substance is there too; it’s packed to the brim with useful ideas and tips for taking your brand and design one step further and really levelling up your business.
The Multi-hyphen Method - Emma Gannon
As I write this I am just finishing this book, but I loved all I’ve read so far! It’s all about why we should embrace being ‘multi-passionate’ people and having lots of different interests and projects going on in our lives. As someone who constantly has several projects and passions going on at one time, this book has really been speaking to me.
Oversubscribed - Daniel Priestley
Want to have people queuing up to work with you or buy from you? That is what this book is all about. How to make people love you and your business so much that they’re scrambling over each other to get what you’re offering. There are some super useful tips and ideas in here, and it definitely helps you to feel motivated too.
Launch - jeff walker
I actually hated reading this book.
You may therefore wonder why I’ve included it in this list, and I wasn’t sure I was going to BUT I did learn some useful tactics and formulas from this book that made reading it worthwhile. The content wasn’t the problem, it was the way it’s written. Jeff comes across as extremely egotistical and arrogant, and I couldn’t wait to be done with the book so that I could basically take the action steps and run away from his very annoying character…
I’m probably not selling it to you, but there is some very useful info on how to launch things in there!
This is Marketing - Seth Godin
This book got a LOT of hype last year; Seth Godin is a well-known marketing guru and I respect him a lot. The book didn’t quite live up to the extreme hype for me, as I think I was expecting more actionable tips & content throughout. However, I have included it here because Seth is incredibly intelligent and shares some very wise high-level insights into what branding & marketing really is.
It’s more of a thought-provoking book than anything else, and while it wasn’t what I was personally looking for, it definitely shows how insanely clever Seth is!
What are your favourite business or personal-growth books?
* All book links in this post are affiliate links, which means I get a small commission from Amazon if you purchase