My degree is in puppetry. Yes…puppetry. Falling into this entrepreneurial life of mine was purely an accident…a survival mechanism so that I wouldn’t starve while trying to get my next gig.
Since I wasn’t a big fan of college in the first place, after I graduated I had no desire to go back to learn how to run a business. So I did my best to figure out how to start a business on my own. Reading, attending small business functions, seminars, and spending way too much time on the search engines gave me a wide range of experience, knowledge, and resources to pull from.
To achieve any goal, it’s important to walk with those who have already been there. I’m sure you’ve encountered resistance from friends and family about working from home or starting your own business. It is possible. You just need to find what will work for you. If you’re not sure where to start, try reading a few books to expand your knowledgebase. Sign up for a few small business networking events through Soloprenerds.com, Meetup.com or your local Chamber of Commerce. Charlie “Tremendous” Jones once said: “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” Time to meet those people and read those books, don’t you think?
While I have many more on my shelves, here are some of the key books that have influenced me greatly over the years. Check them out from your local library, or get them through an indpendent bookseller…or of course, online at Amazon.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People–Stephen Covey
Begin with the end in mind…in anything that you do.
The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less – Richard Koch
80% of your results comes from 20% of your work. The rest of the time, you’re just wasting time.
Rich Dad’s Before You Quit Your Job: 10 Real-Life Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Building a Multimillion-Dollar Business–Robert Kiyosaki
A bit clinical, but this book outlines what you need to consider before cutting the cord into entrepreneurship.
Career Success without a Real Job: The Career Book for People Too Smart to Work in Corporations–Ernie Zelinski
Ernie is a guy after my own heart. A fun read helping you to break out of the 9-5 mindset.
Cashflow Quadrant–Robert Kiyosaki
I re-read this every year. It defines the 4 quadrants of making money: Employee, Self employed, Business owner and Investor and helps explain the importance of setting up a system to let your business run in your absence.
Celebritize Yourself – 1st Edition: The Three Step Method to Increase Your Visibility and Explode Your Business–Marsha Friedman
You are an expert. You are! This will help you figure out how to let the world in on the secret.
The Courage to be Rich: Creating a Life of Material and Spiritual Abundance–Suze Orman
Letting go of past ideas and teachings on money.
Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway–Susan Jeffers
This was required reading for an acting class I took. It has actionable steps, and has helped me put through my own fears and apprehensions.
Financial Peace Revisited–Dave Ramsey
If you’re going to be self-employed, you have to learn how to manage your money. This is an excellent course guiding you through the steps to become financially fit.
Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business–Jay Conrad Levinson
Way too many ideas on how to market your business cost-effectively.
How To Win Friends and Influence People–Dale Carnegie
A classic on interpersonal relationships.
Millionaire Next Door–Thomas J. Stanley
Not all millionaires have to have mansions, sportscars and fancy wardrobes. This book introduces “normal” people who have extraordinary income.
Multiple Streams of Income: How to Generate a Lifetime of Unlimited Wealth!–Robert Allen
A ton of information about random ways to make extra money.
Multiple Streams of Internet Income: How Ordinary People Make Extraordinary Money Online, 2nd Edition–Robert Allen
Also a ton of information about random ways to make extra money, focusing primarily online.
The One Minute Manager–Kenneth Blanchard
Short and sweet, it gives advice on business relationships when in a supervisory role.
Permission Marketing : Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers — Seth Godin
People are turned off by advertising. No one wants to be sold, so it’s imperative to get permission to contact your audience and over-deliver.
The Power of Focus–Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Les Hewitt
Great resource with actionable steps to increase productivity.
Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable–Includes new bonus chapter- Seth Godin
You don’t have to be bigger or even better, just unique.
Think and Grow Rich–Napoleon Hill
A classic that teaches you how your thoughts become things.
Wave 4: Network Marketing in the 21st Century — Richard Poe
Poe’s Wave series detials the backround and concept of Networking Marketing (Direct Sales, MLM, etc.) These books really made me understand the viable business model, and not cry “scam” at every opportunity out there.
Who Moved My Cheese? –Spencer Johnson
A great parable about being adaptable to any situation.
There are, of course, hundreds of other great business books to read. The main point is to start somewhere and open your mind to possibilities.
Think about all the extra money you could make by being a mystery shopper, starting your own business, or working from home for a legitimate company. Take control of your income and check out our LEARN page for a list of classes, books, and more!