Do you have an idea to turn your passion into a business?
With the affordable business tools available today, it’s now easier than ever to create a product and market it to the right audience. Anyone can become an entrepreneur by simply starting a blog, selling a book on Amazon, or opening an online store.
So it’s surprising to see that some people are still hesitant to dive into a business venture despite their big ideas.
If you’re one of these people, then maybe some guidance and motivation are all you need to finally push you into action.
Here are six must-reads, written by remarkable authors who are experts, not only in marketing, but also in creativity.
1. Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work – Steven Pressfield
If you’re not familiar with Steven Pressfield, he’s the author of Gates of Fire and The Legend of Bagger Vance, both of which became popular Hollywood films. In Turning Pro, Pressfield introduces the idea that becoming what you want to be is just a matter of changing your mindset.
Turning Pro is a close study of Pressfield’s own experience and struggles with making it big as a writer. While it is written primarily for writers, its lessons can apply to all other kinds of creative pursuits.
The message of this book is simple yet powerful:
- All you need to do to make things happen is to do it.
It’s very effective for pushing hesitant people to finally begin what they’ve always wanted to do.
“What happens when we turn pro is, we finally listen to that still, small voice inside our heads. At last, we find the courage to identify the secret dream or love or bliss that we have known all along was our passion, our calling, our destiny.”]
Chris Guillebeau is an author, blogger, and speaker who has visited all 193 countries in the world through travel hacking. In The $100 Startup, he collects stories of people from all over the world on how they’ve built successful empires with $100 or less.
This book will offer real-life insights from ordinary people who had a business idea, a few bucks, and a whole lot of determination.
This book is built on 50 case studies of actually successful businesses, so it’s not just Guillebeau writing about his own ideas on how to start a business.
“If you make your business about helping others, you’ll always have plenty of work.”]
3. Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World – Michael Hyatt
Anyone who has something to say needs a platform. This, according to business expert Michael Hyatt, is your way to reach others, help them with your expertise, and build an income stream that can sustain you for life.
Platform is a go-to resource for anyone hoping to make a presence online. It’s not just written for bloggers, it can be useful for anyone who wants to build a following, sell a product or service, or simply share a message.
This book is a reminder of what your purpose is in creating your platform. Is it to get rich or is it to help others by doing what you love? Hyatt makes it clear that the two end goals should go hand in hand. He tells you how to genuinely care for your audience so that they can trust you with a purchase.
“You will never see the full path. The important thing is to do the next right thing. What can you do today to move you toward your dream?” Michael Hyatt, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
4. Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable – Seth Godin
Is your business just like others or is it unforgettable? This is the premise of Seth Godin’s Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable.
Marketing expert Seth Godin writes about how to create a “purple cow” by finding your core market and making your product easy to get and share. This approach is how he marketed Purple Cow‘s first copies. He offered a free copy of the book to Fast Company subscribers (with only $5 for shipping).
After the Fast Company promo, he offered limited copies for sale on his website. At that time, it wasn’t sold on Amazon or anywhere else. Also, you needed to buy the book in sets of 12. According to Godin, one copy would go to the buyer and the other eleven could be given to the buyer’s friends. To make it truly remarkable, the books were all shipped in milk cartons.
Purple Cow‘s mantra is simple: Sell a remarkable product to a small group of people, market creatively, and let your product go mainstream.
“In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failing. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.”]
5. Steal Like An Artist – Austin Kleon
This book’s catchy and controversial title is enough to make you rethink the way you come up with ideas. Are you trying to be completely original or do you “borrow” from others?
In Steal Like An Artist, long-time artist Austin Kleon lists the ten things that most people don’t know about being creative.
One of those things is that it’s okay to borrow ideas from others. Kleon writes that nothing is original and that “every new idea is just a remix of one or more previous ideas.” This doesn’t mean that you plagiarize, but you should rather draw inspiration from others.
In a visually entertaining format, Kleon further discusses how to steal like an artist, stating that you need to know if something is worth stealing. As a writer, publisher, or entrepreneur, you can learn from successful people in your field and use it to shape your own success.
6. The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business – Josh Kaufman
One of the reasons why creative people don’t think of selling their work is because they don’t know the first thing about running a business. The Personal MBA will solve this dilemma. Here, author Josh Kaufman makes business principles easy to understand.
The Personal MBA discusses the basics of providing value for your customers, pricing your work, and scaling your revenue. There’s also a chapter dedicated to understanding how our minds work and how our own biases can affect business decisions.
Overall, this book is great for anyone who doesn’t have a business background but still wants to run a business.
How To Get Started
Books are great for information and encouragement, but in the end, the best motivation is your life story. Whether it’s finding your life’s purpose or providing for your family, it’s always important to have a driving force behind a business venture.
Another way to get things going is to start small. You don’t have to spend thousands on production or marketing. Like Seth Godin suggests, find or build a small following and offer them something that they would benefit from. It’s a great way to test your idea without too much risk.
Each book in this list focuses on different aspects of starting a business, from motivation to finances. No matter where you are in life, you’ll learn a thing or two from these books.
Read one or all of them and have the courage to finally make your dream a reality!
Have you read any of these books? What’s your review? Have another book that you find particularly motivating? Share it with us in the comments section!
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