2019 is already in full swing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan to read a few business books before the end of the year. Being a successful freelancer requires a solid plan and the right mindset. Here are 10 business books every freelancer should read to help them grow their business in 2019 and beyond.
1. Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss
Tim Ferriss is an entrepreneur and professional strategist. In Tools of Titans, he shares the stories of over 200 world-class performers he has interviewed and how they stay productive. By exploring the daily routines of business executives, celebrities, professional athletes and more, Ferriss illustrates what it takes to become a billionaire. Freelancers who struggle with productivity can get some actionable advice from this book.
2. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
If you’re hoping to scale your freelance business and one day run your own agency like I do mine, then The Hard Thing About Hard Things is for you. Horowitz is a big name in Silicon Valley, and uses anecdotes from his own career to help you navigate the difficulties of managing others (demotions, firings, etc.).
3. The Four Hour Workweek — Tim Ferriss
The Four Hour Workweek is a classic if you want to really reap the benefits of running a freelance business. In it, Ferriss illustrates how working online doesn’t have to be a one-man show. You can actually gain a competitive advantage by outsourcing tasks at little cost to you. Play all your cards right, and you could end up working mere hours a week.
4. The Content Trap: A Strategist’s Guide to Digital Change by Bharat Anand
The Content Trap explores the two major challenges that face businesses today: getting noticed and getting paid. As a freelancer, you can probably relate. Anand draws on stories of successful businesses around the world as well as the latest research in economics and marketing to offer important lessons to overcome these obstacles.
5. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
The E-Myth was first published in 1985 and has become a must-read for business success. It has since been updated for the modern business world. In it, Gerber cracks open a common myth: how entrepreneurs take advantage of technical knowledge to achieve success. Instead he suggests that entrepreneurial techniques are more important than technical expertise in the first place.
6. Here Comes Everyone: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky
Here Comes Everyone tackles a business game changer: crowdsourcing. Everything on the internet from Wikipedia to social media is open access, which is changing the way people do business. Freelancers need to heed Shirky’s message in this book and look for opportunities to make the most of the amplification of group effort online.
7. Remote by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Remote is about building functioning, profitable teams of people from around the globe. Written by the founders of 37 Signals and Basecamp, this book explores the pros and cons of remote working. As a freelancer, you can learn how to embrace communication and run a business with a widely distributed team.
8. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
One of the biggest challenges of freelancing is managing your income and expenses. It’s hard to tell how much you’ll earn month-to-month. The Richest Man in Babylon is a classic personal finance book that teaches you the secrets to success: pay yourself first and live within your means. Keep these concepts in mind with your clients and finances to succeed with freelancing.
9. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
Scatter brains have the hardest time succeeding at freelancing. You need to learn how to prioritize your work obligations and tackle them accordingly. This book can help with that. In Getting Things Done, Allen illustrates his strategy for getting the most work done in the smallest amount of time, all through structured analysis and sorting.
10. The Freelancer’s Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Have the Career of Your Dreams– On Your Terms by Sara Horowitz
As the founder of Freelancers Union, Sara Horowitz helps new freelancers get on the road to success all the time. The Freelancer’s Bible is a synthesis of her knowledge, offering practical advice on every aspect of the field. If you’re just starting out or want to get more organized as a freelancer, this book is for you.
Freelancing is a learning process. You always wish you knew before what it took you years to find out. But if you take some wisdom from the most successful people out there, you can avoid a lot of struggle.