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Summer Reading List for Entrepreneurs

Updated: Jul 27, 2019


Here we are in the lazy days of August, but if you’re like me, your mind is fast forwarding to the crazy days of November, and even a some back to school sales if you sell that sort of thing.

Here is a small list of books that I found to be unexpectedly helpful for inspiring me and keeping me on track to my to my business pursuits during these balmy days of summer.

Ok, I know what your thinking. This was written by a women born in the 1920’s (we think), never went to business school and build an empire of powder puffs. And that is exactly why you should read this book! Mary Kay Ash is a born sales woman with immense social skills, business smarts and the ambition to put it all together to build her make-up empire.

Her motto is God, Family and Work, and that is how she prioritized her life, and pretty much had the life/ balance thing down before every one else.

This book was written in 1981, and I’ve seen her words echoed in some more contemporary webinars, blogs and articles. Who hasn’t read an article about the importance of making lists? Mary Kay wrote an excerpt about Ivy Lee, and his 6 item to-do list. I follow Renae Christine of Cupcake Training and heard her repeat Mary Kay’s advice on taking on a large project, or in other words “how do you eat an elephant…”.

This is very readable, and a nice book to sit down to at the end of the day.

This is a book that found me. I bought this from Amazon by mistake , but after reading a few pages, I was hooked and really pleased by how different this book was from the rest of the typical bland entrepreneurial  books that pop up on Amazon’s suggested reading. This really is a book about doing things the way that you wish businesses would do for you. Having fun running a business, and serving a need in your community, which in this case is independent musicians and bands that could not or did not want to be on a large record label.

Derek Sivers writes about how he started a website in the late 1980’s to sell his band’s CDs. The business blossomed into something much bigger, CD Baby.

What I really enjoyed about this book is that Derek tells of his hands on experience of build his website from scratch with code, which he learned as he was creating the site, and forgoing a lot of the expenses of web designers (and not to mention the fun and learning experiences) of DIY.

Truly a renaissance man in the modern world of eCommerce this book is not to be missed.

I am a big Steven Pressfield fan. The first book I read of his The War of Art, and this book really changed the way I looked at being an artist. I always felt a little guilty and indulgent to sit down and do what I love, which is watercolor painting, but  Steven Pressfield is the Coach, the Drill Sargent, Personal Trainer that you wished you always had. He gives you permission to create and demands that you Do The Work (another one of his books) and fight the “resistance” that makes the artist or writer faces in the challenge to be creative.

I’m looking forward to getting his newest book, The Artist’s Journey, out on Amazon now.

I have not gotten through this whole book yet, but it’s the type of book where you can pick and choose what to read. The book is broken down into sections and there are the many interviews that Tim Ferris has done over the years since his book,  The 4 Hour Work Week.

The 4 Hour Work Week is what really started it all for me! I read this one a few years ago and it has shaped the way I look at being an entrepreneur. Tim goes though his experiences, and his quest for the life he really wanted to live, as opposed to the 9 to 5 grind.

I have to admit, I though it was going to be all bull-#$*&, but I kept reading and Tim does deliver as to how he did succeed with advice like AB testing, ads and more. I did read this a few years ago, so it’s a little foggy, and I really need to give it another read. I found this gem at a garage sale, so another example of a book finding me. Yay!

So there’s my reading list.  I hope you find this informative. Now go out and play, summer’s almost over!

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