The life of a freelancer, entrepreneur, or creative isn’t filled with company meetings or work reviews. You are on your own, so it is your job to keep yourself on the right path and in the right mindset. So make it a regular habit to fill you mind with inspiration to remain productive and empowered. Here are a inspiring books, blogs, and podcasts to get you started.
Entrepreneur on Fire (Podcast)
This is literally daily inspiration. Every single day John Lee Dumas publishes a new podcast where he interviews an entrepreneur. Listening to the success stories of other’s doesn’t leave you sitting there jealous and envious. Dumas pulls out the hard questions and asks each entrepreneur to discuss the struggles they experienced while rising to the top, which will help you feel like you can do it too.
“Every day I meet people who have so much to give but have been bullied enough or frightened enough to hold it back. It’s time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map.” If that line doesn’t make you want to read this book, I don’t know what will. In Linchipin, Seth Godin teaches you how to reach your highest potential by making yourself indispensable.
TEDTalks (Speaker Series)
Whenever you are craving new ideas, take twenty minutes and watch a TEDTalk. TEDTalks are a series of speeches and lectures that are recorded all over the world on topics from technology and entertainment to psychology, design, and entrepreneurship. A few of my favorites include:
- Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action
- Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius
- Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do
You can also get these on Netflix!
Even #BoyBosses can learn something from Nasty Gal’s founder Sohpia Amoruso. She started selling clothes on eBay from her apartment and built her way to a $100 million online fashion retailer with more than 350 employees. The best thing about the inspiring book #GirlBoss is that it shows you that on the path to your dreams, you don’t need to leave your personality or soul behind.
The Art of the Start (Book)
Guy Kawasaki knows a few things about the start up world. He is the managing director of Garage Technology Ventures based out of Silicon Valley and the chief evangelist of a little tool you have probably heard of in this training, Canva. He was responsible for marketing Macintosh computers back in the 80s and since then has worked with dozens of other start ups. In Art of the Start, he shares all of the knowledge he gained during that experience and gives actionable tips for how you can launch your own.
It’s pretty amazing what a good book can teach you. Steven Covey’s seven habits can teach you how to be more proactive, productive, positive, and powerful — which are essential habits when growing your own business. There are no excuses for not knowing how to cultivate the habits that will help you be the person and leader you want to be when inspiring books like this exists.
Marie TV (YouTube Channel)
Marie Forleo is the founder of the wildly successful online business program, B School. But signing up for her program isn’t the only way that you can tap into her educational and inspirational messages about how to change your life and the world. MarieTV, Marie’s YouTube Channel publishes weekly videos on topics from creativity, productivity, health and well-being, entrepreneurship, spirituality, technology, and philanthropy .
Having a hard time motivating yourself? Or are you struggling with motivating customers, employees, or contractors to move along with your plans? Let Daniel Pink guide you toward understanding how to get high-performance results out of yourself, your customers, and your employees. In Drive, Pink uses four decades of scientific research to explain what really motivates people to act. (And no, it’s not money.)
The Art of Work (Book)
Thanks to Amazon Prime, this book got here fast enough to make it in my list! I expected good things, but Jeff Goins exceeded my expectations with this book that is about finding your calling and living a life that will lead you to back to finding joy in your work. This is a brand new book and for a limited time, you can order his inspiring books and get access to extra bonuses.
This book looks at three of my favorite things: well-being, wisdom and wonder. Written by Huffington Post co-founder, president, and editor in chief Adrianna Huffington, Thrive challenges you to build a life that is centered on more than financial success. Filled with tips and advice on building your career, Thrive also explains how to remain centered and focused on the joys that really matter in life.
Getting More (Book)
Most people get into freelancing because they have a passion for the work or the final product. But no amount of passion or dedication to creating the final product will sell your product or service on it’s own. You need the tools to position your product in a way that will make others see its value and purchase it. In Getting More: How to Negotiate to Succeed in Work and Life, you will learn 12 strategies to help you sell yourself, your products, and your services while getting what you deserve in return.
“Online marketing advice so easy, you’ll think you’re cheating.” That is the opening line of Amy Porterfield’s podcast and I couldn’t agree more. Amy lays out online marketing tips, strategies, and advice so simple that you will leave every episode feeling inspired to get out there and do the work for yourself.
Written more than 70 years ago, the principles outlined in How to Win Friends and Influence People still stand true today. Trends and times may change but the tips that Dale Carnegie outline in this classic can still help you build important, lasting relationships and influence.
The Buffer Blog (Blog)
I read many blogs, but I only added one to this list. That’s because few blogs publish such consistently good content that it’s worth it to read every post. Buffer’s blog is the exception. Every post is extremely detailed and filled with actionable tips and tools to make yourself more productive, creative, and strategic.
Lean In (Book)
This is more than an addition on a list of inspiring books; it is a movement. Tired of seeing women hold themselves back from their true potential, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg gave a TEDTalk that encouraged woman to sit at the table and lean into the life they want. This book holds the power to inspire both men and women who aspire to claim the rights to their life.
The Accidental Creative (Book & Podcast)
Coming up with new ideas or solutions everyday can be exhausting. But it is work that is necessary. The Accidental Creative offers practices and strategies that will help you unlock brilliant ideas and keep your creative process flowing. Read the book and/or get weekly insights via the Accidental Creative Podcast.
David and Goliath (Book)
Ever feel like you are just too small to succeed? Everyone does. But this book shows that while everyone feels that way, not everyone lets that hold them back. David and Goliath looks at underdogs and misfits who stood up for the fight… and won.
Now, Discover Your Strengths (Book)
Work smarter, not harder. In other words, identify your strengths and discover what you are really great at. Then, spend time cultivating those talents and doing work that relies on those skills, instead of working on resolving weaknesses that will never make an impact on your life. This inspiring book will help you discover your unique talents and learn how to leverage them to get the most out of your business and your life.
The Promise of a Pencil (Book)
Adam Braun turned $25 into 200 schools that provide education for children across the world. This is a story about philanthropy and the power of giving back and shaping the world to be a better place — which is reason enough to give it a read. But it is also a book about pushing through obstacles, believing in your mission, and doing the work to create the life and business you have always wanted.
Delivering Happiness (Book)
As I wrote up this list, I found a common theme — live a life that is about more than money. No book says that quite like Delivering Happiness, which documents Tony Hsieh’s development of Zappos (a company he sold to Amazon for over $800 million.) Hsieh, who had previously sold his first start-up for $265 million, didn’t build Zappos for profit alone. He did it for passion, purpose, and of course, happiness.
The Power of Now (Book)
The last item on this list is one of my favorite inspiring books and feels like the perfect way to wrap up this post. Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now is about spirituality and breaking away from our analytical minds. It is a deep and thought provoking book unlike anything else in this list. I added it because it represents a very important message — get out of your head and get going.
The time is now.
Start building. Start growing. Start achieving.
What other inspiring books, podcasts, or resources do you love? Share your favorites in the comments below.
Ready to put your inspiration to work?
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