Being a freelancer means running your own business.
When I first started freelance writing, my mindset revolved around how much money to charge per word and how many assignments I could pick up every month. However, as time passed, I realized that I was going about my freelance career all wrong—I needed to treat it like a business. After all, I had become an entrepreneur in every sense of the word, and if you’re like me, once you realize you need help with something, a book is always the best place to seek advice.
So I set out to the library, online, and my local bookstores. I took recommendations from peers and role models, and after several years of absorbing information, these 6 books have cemented themselves as pillars to my new understanding of what it means to be an entrepreneur.
If you’re looking for some insight into your own entrepreneurial pursuits, this list is for you:
1. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
You should know right off the bat that I’m a huge advocate for running.
So right away, when I came across this book—“Shoe Dog”— by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, I read it from cover to cover in a mad dash. And it’s not just for those who love running and sports history—Shoe Dog offers an incredible story of how one man’s passion and risk lead to creating one of the most impactful companies of all-time.
Knight shares his early life as a young man finding his way in the world. He expresses a profound love for his hometown, the athletes in his city, and chronicles his ups and downs as a young entrepreneur navigating the risky landscape of retail success.
2. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
Okay, so one more book about running, and then I’ll switch gears—I promise.
“What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” by Murakami is the ultimate book for writers who want to learn how to transform their passion into a successful routine. For most freelancers, they may wait to feel inspired or rely on clients to get them work, but Murakami presents the idea that a serious writer—a successful artist or creator—must be disciplined to achieve their goals. Not only that, but anyone who works from home also needs to take care of their personal health and well being!
This book provides you with the wisdom you need to remain patient and diligent with your work, and most of all, to appreciate the time you have to be creative and change the world.
3. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Believe it or not, I actually read this book as a kid, and to this day, I still follow the principles I’ve learned to ensure that money works for me—not the other way around.
Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad Poor Dad” details two perspectives of work ethic that breeds two different results. On one hand, the man who works hard and saves makes little progress, but the man who invests and leverages income to generate more revenue is the one who retires early. Kiyosaki explains this process through his own childhood experience, comparing the habits of his own dad to the father of one of his closest friends.
For anyone who’s tired of the rat race and wants to work smarter instead of harder, this is the book for you.
4. The Warren Buffet Way by Robert G. Hagstrom
Now, you don’t have to have an interest in stocks or securities to appreciate the wizardry of Warren Buffet. All you need is a passion for success and a willingness to dedicate yourself to what you love most.
Hagstrom’s “The Warren Buffet Way,” is a compelling overview of Buffet’s life and how he came to be the premier investor of the 21st century. Buffet goes into detail about how he chooses stocks, he explains the amount of work and study it takes to understand a business or industry, and he also reinforces the value in being humble with your success. For instance, he still lives in the first home he bought in Nebraska, which has appreciated multiple times over.
That’s what you’ll take away from reading this book—the long-term value of money and how to plan for the future.
5. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
I get that this book may be a little played out, but its principles still ring true to this day—anyone looking to move up the corporate ladder or forge meaningful connections on their own should learn them.
“How to Win Friends & Influence People” offers tons of practical lessons for success as a businessman or entrepreneur, but in my opinion, the greatest lesson is the idea of being proactive. Carnegie explains this process in terms of someone having a difficult boss at work. Rather than being reactive to their feedback or displeasure, you can change the outcome of circumstances by being proactive with your work ethic. The goal is to anticipate problems and reactions before they arise, and by doing so, you position yourself as a leader in the eyes of those who make important decisions.
That’s just one nugget of useful information this incredible book has to share.
6. John Fetzer: On a Handshake by Dan Ewald
Lastly, Dan Ewald’s biography of the late-great John Fetzer is a story of immense success and humbleness that goes unmatched.
John Fetzer was part owner of the Detroit Tigers baseball team in 1956. Within six years, he gained full ownership and spearheaded baseball’s national television contract— which is still a major source of revenue for the organization today. Of course, being a baseball fan may make this book more enjoyable, but the greatest takeaway is Fetzer’s dedication to excellence as a leader and role model for his community.
He also founded that Fetzer Institute in Kalamazoo, MI, which is a non-profit dedicated to the principles of love and forgiveness around the world.
Keep Growing with Fiverr
Don’t feel like you have to go out and read all of these books at once, but definitely choose one that you think can give you the greatest insight into your own life.
As a freelancer or business owner, it’s important to keep growing and learning, and along with these awesome books, don’t forget that Fiverr is here to help. We offer tons of opportunities to improve your skills and build your success. Check out our Learn from Fiverr courses here or you can chat with other entrepreneurs on our Fiverr forum.
Getting involved and staying productive is half the battle when it comes to your success, so use Fiverr to get your foot in the door.