Solopreneur’s Reading List: Updated 2014

I’m a book lover.  Always have been.  I got it from my Dad who was a voracious reader.

These days I read most books with my ears (audio books on my iPhone) but I still love to hold a real book.  I haven’t tried out an eReader yet but I probably will one of these days.

Every week I find myself recommending a book to one of my coaching clients and this week I realized I should put together a reading list that I can refer people to.

These are books I’ve read myself and still have a copy of cuz I like to look back at them now and then.

I’ll share in the order that I read them:

Personality Plus (Florence Littauer)

When I first heard the term ‘personality type’ I wrinkled my nose.  I didn’t like the idea that anyone would try to ‘type’ me.  I discovered that knowing your personality types isn’t about putting you in a box, it’s about understanding yourself and others.

The author introduces four types: Choleric, Sanguine, Melancholy & Phlegmatic

I won’t even try to describe the types, there too much to say – I will tell you that there are positive and negative aspects to each.  Knowing what they are has helped me a great deal.  When I’m tired and cranky, the negative aspects rise to the surface.  When I get my rest and take care of myself, I can be a better me.

As a business owner, I’ve learned to spot the different personalities in others and it helps me know how to communicate with them.  That’s why this book is on my list here.

The Power of Focus (Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen & Les Hewitt)

That one can’t come as a surprise to anyone – I LOVE the topic of Focus and this book is where it started.

There are a ton of books on goal setting and I’ve read quite a few, but this has been my favorite.  The book guides you through creating a Master Plan, setting goals in several areas:  Financial, Business, Recreation, Health & Fitness, Relationships, Personal & Giving.

Too often we focus all of our efforts in one area and let everything else fall to pieces.

A major theme of the book is focusing on the positive (what you do well) and less on the negative (things you stink at).  This had a big impact on me because I always thought it was my job to conquer my shortcomings – to learn to do what was difficult for me.  As it turns out, banging your head on your keyboard is not a great use of your time and effort. When you turn your focus towards what you’re good at – you excel!

The Five Love Languages (Gary Chapman)

You probably think it’s strange that I’d include a book about love – but I’ve got a good reason.

I know a lot of folks who are in business for more than money.  They’re in it to get their love needs met and they don’t even realize it.  Because of this, they spend their time doing things that rarely lead to profits.

When you read this book, you’ll understand.  I promise!

The Power of Full Engagement ( Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz)

This book took away my nap time guilt forever and helped me establish a work schedule that maximizes my effectiveness. It teaches you to manage energy instead of time and that as it turns out is the key to getting a lot done.

I work when I’m at my best and only then. I follow my own unique schedule which includes sleeping in, taking long naps and working late at night. (Like right now, it’s 2am.)  I get out of the house on a regular basis, volunteering, swimming, hanging out with family, lollygagging, you name it – and I never, ever, stress about it.

Crush It! (Gary Vaynerchuk)

I listened to this one on my iPhone and got super fired up by it.

If you’re passionate about something you can share it and share it and share it – and Gary V makes you want to do it!

If you’ve felt stuck in a rut, like you’ve lost your voice, this one will help you get it back.

The Dip (Seth Godin)

What would any business reading list be without a Seth Godin book?

How many projects have you started and dropped before they brought in a profit? Did you give up too soon? How can you know?  The Dip will help you think it through and spot those situations you need to hold on through and those that you need to let go of.

Eat That Frog (Brian Tracy)

Some projects are so big and complex that they stop you dead in your tracks.  Or you don’t one a monster to tackle but you have a dozen little things to do and don’t know where to start.

Making a plan is a skill you can develop.  Prioritizing, organizing, scheduling – it’s overwhelming to everyone at first but this book teaches you ways to ‘eat that frog’ one bite at a time – starting with the biggest, ugliest frog on your list.

Ever since I read this one I’ve been visualizing little frogs to represent my project list.  This one’s big and nasty looking, that other one is kinda cute… LOL!

The Barefoot Executive (Carrie Wilkerson)

This one is on my list for it’s sheer inspiration value. I so enjoyed listening to it!

Carrie shares her own story and many others in and amongst great advice about building a business that suits you and your family.

The 10X Rule (Grant Cardone)

This is a book you have to be ready for.  If you’re just getting started, if you haven’t seen results yet – I’m going to tease you a bit and say to skip this book for now.  I say this because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to absorb his message several years ago.  Today though, I was very ready for it!

Grant will kick your behind and help you realize that effort is effort, so as long as you’re going to make an effort – make it big!

APE: How to Publish a Book (Guy Kawasaki)

I got to hear Guy speak in person about this book and couldn’t wait to read it.  I love how he crowd sourced the development of his book.  

He shares his entire process in the book and that’s personally my favorite take away.  

Expert Briefs: Blogging for Profit (Nicole Dean)

New bloggers and bloggers who know they’re not getting all they can from their efforts need to read this one.  Compiled from input from 26 different co-authors, it’s full of real world experience and tips on making a blog work for you.

I’m one of the co-authors by the way ;)

Drunk Tank Pink (Adam Alter)

Until you read this book (unless you have a psych degree) you will have no idea how easily we are all influenced by the strangest and simplest of things.  There’s a lot to learn and think about applying to our marketing tactics.


  1. says

    I’ve heard about the love languages book by Gary Chapman but have yet to read it. I would probably get more reading done if I did download them to my mp3 player.

    I don’t think I’ve ever read a Seth Godin book I didn’t like. The Dip is one I haven’t read so will give that one a read in the future.


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