8 must-read books if you want to ditch your 9-5 and build an online business
If you’re dreaming of going solo and building your own online business, there’s a few key books I’d recommend. These are all some of my personal favs and in one way or another, really helped me turn this online business into a success.
I look at books as a way to take an expert’s lifetimes-worth of knowledge and soak it all up, in a matter of days. The ultimate life hack, if you will.
You’ll notice there’s quite a few personal finance and business finance books in this mix.
Just creating an online business that looks good on Instagram is NOT my goal for you. My goal for you is for you to have a solid financial future and a profitable business.
And when you work for yourself, all the financial decisions and responsibility is on you alone, so sticking your head in the sand and hoping the finances will take care of themself is not a solid idea.
So, let’s get straight to it!
(Btw, all of the book links are affiliate links!)
1. You are a badass by Jen Sincero
You’re going to be hard-pressed to take on the world and kill it if your mind is constantly practicing its rather annoying habit of constantly telling you “you can’t do that,” or “No one is going to buy from you,” or “You don’t have a formal education in this, no one will take you seriously.”
If negative thoughts are popping up left and right, you need to read this.
Jen will have you feeling like a real badass that can take on anything life hands you, with a laugh along the way.
2. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
In order to make sure your new-found belief in yourself (from Jen’s book) stays put, it’ll be good to develop some habits. The Miracle Morning provides the game plan for just that.
I had heard of this book for ages and wondered what all the hype was about. When I read it, I got it.
Hal lays out a morning routine that is guaranteed to have you taking on your day from a place of calm and focus. Practice the Miracle Morning, and miracles will start happening in your life. Why? You decided they would.
Read it to find out why!
3. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
This first book about finances actually has nothing to do with financial strategy, investing, etc.
It’s all about making money. Lots of it. With your mind.
Yes, it sounds pretty woo-woo, but honestly, it works. If you don’t believe that you’re able to make money, you won’t. If you believe you can, you will.
As Ford said “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't – you're right.”
So in order to make money in your online business, you’ve gotta believe it first! And this book is the perfect starting place to help you get your mind around making money.
4. The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris
If you want some out-of-the-box ideas on running an online business that allows you to go live your life to the fullest, this is the book.
I mean, as you can tell from the title, Tim has some balls.
While I don’t use the business strategy he outlines in the book exactly, SO many of his ideas around running a business, productivity, and how we sabotage ourselves are spot on and are ideas I’m consistently working on improving upon in my own life and business.
He packs the book with some specific strategies and killer tips on how to work less, make more and create a full life. It’s a game changer.
5. Good to Great by Jim Collins
While I have 2 degrees, neither are in business. Regardless, I’m pretty sure reading this book is just as good as any business degree.
This book breaks down the commonalities of a number of businesses in different industries that beat their competition by a mile and the results are jaw-dropping. This book is so clear and the results are so interesting. You don’t need a fancy business degree to get what Jim talks about.
This book really breaks down super specifically exactly what the commonalities were between all of these different businesses that killed it.
There’s a lot of great takeaways from this book that you could absolutely implement in your own business!
6. Profit First by Mike Michalowicz
(First things first, try saying that last name 5 times fast 😂)
This book is allllll about the strategy of money and how we use money in our business, mostly, very irresponsibly. Mike has ran many businesses and found one thing to be true with his own business and those of many others.
Mike found that when entrepreneurs have an amazing month, they begin spending as if that month is their new normal. And with all businesses, revenue fluctuates significantly month to month, meaning often entrepreneurs put themselves in a real pickle of a financial situation by considering their best months to be their new normal.
Accountants will tell you to ‘look at your profit and loss statements’ but instead, to make financial decisions, entrepeneurs most often open up their bank balance and make decisions based on it.
It leads to a hell of a financial rollercoaster and often causes disaster in businesses.
Mike teaches how to create profit in your business, and the book is an easy laugh all the way through.
7. Millionaire Expat: How To Build Wealth Living Overseas by Andrew Hallam
When your home country isn’t your normal place of residence, finances, investing, setting up retirement savings, etc. gets a HECK of a lot harder.
(As if managing those things in your own country when working for yourself wasn’t hard enough.)
Anyways, while yes this is more complicated for us than for the average person, it’s not impossible. And it’s really important to get this right. (Have you ever been to a state-funded retirement home? I visited one as part of a college course, and honestly, there’s nothing to motivate you to save for the future like a look at one of those places.)
Millionaire Expat is written by a teacher who worked at international schools and switched countries every few years. He quickly learned how to manage his money between countries, and realized that his colleagues were pretty clueless in that department, so basically became a little financial advisor with his colleagues. He first wrote the Millionaire Teacher followed by the Millionaire Expat.
If you’ve done a whole lotta nothing when it comes to the stock market, retirement savings, investments, how much you’ll need down the road, etc. you need to give this a read.
It is the most practical personal finance book I’ve read yet, and best of all, it’s tailored to those of us who spend most of our lives living abroad.
8. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John C. Bogle
Financial advisors are in the business of making money… from the financial products they sell you. You should be in the business of saving your money for your retirement, not earning your financial advisor another year-end bonus.
Know that inherently yourself and your financial advisor have different interests. And the best way to not get hoodwinked, is to know what the heck you’re getting yourself into.
So, do not buy a financial product until you understand it and can clearly explain it to someone else.
If you want to get into investing in index funds (which, btw, you should really, really want to get into index funds - the book explains why), then this is by far the best book to explain both the financial industry, their tricks and the path you really want to follow.
This is not a light read, but an important one. So get out the highlighter, because if you follow the advice in the book, this $20 buy will pay for itself at least a thousand times over.
(Yes, I legitimately mean you could easily have $200,000 more to your name if you read this book and follow it’s advice.)