There are three main tasks for everybody who’s self-employed: First, you need to develop ideas. Then, you need to implement those ideas in order to market them. If you struggle with the first task, we can help! We plan at least 30 minutes a day to read different books. And yes, this applies to everyone in our team! Keep in mind that every problem you face has been solved before and someone has then written a book about it. Otto Von Bismarck said: “Every idiot can learn from his own experience. The trick is to learn from other people’s experiences.” Unfortunately, we have underestimated the power of this for far too long. Of course, it depends a lot on what exactly you read. But books not only contain an incredible amount of knowledge, the quiet moment of reading itself is a nice change from hectic and digital everyday life. Some books have particularly stuck in our minds because they have had a lasting impact on us professionally or privately. We have listed and briefly described our favorites for you here.
1. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
You should definitely read this book! Dale Carnegie manages like no other to convey how to communicate with people in order to get their attention and to leave a sympathetic impression. With many good examples, he creates aha moments throughout the book that have a lasting effect and stimulate thought. We have learned a lot about dealing with people and have only been recommending Carnegie’s book for years!
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”Dale Carnegie
2. This Is Marketing – Seth Godin
If you had to choose one marketing book, we would recommend “This Is Marketing” by Seth Godin. There is a reason why Godin is called the marketing guru and appears as the only author on this list twice. In “This Is Marketing” he explains with concrete examples how marketing has changed over the last few years and what you should pay attention to today. As a successful entrepreneur himself, he shows, among other things, that the current focus should not only be on the product, but on trust and the right positioning. Not without reason a bestseller!
“Selling ice cream on the beach in the summer is easy. Raising people’s expectations, engaging in their hopes and dreams, helping them see further—that’s the difficult work we signed up for.”Seth Godin
3. Company Of One – Paul Jarvis
A refreshing approach to entrepreneurship centered on staying small and avoiding growth – maximizing happiness, sustainability and profitability! Paul Jarvis left the corporate world when he realized that working in a high-pressure, high-profile world was not his idea of success. Instead, he now works for himself out of his home, and lives a much more rewarding and productive life. He no longer has to contend with an environment that constantly demands more productivity, more output and more growth. In Company of One, he explains how you can do the same, including: Planning to set up, determining desired revenues, keeping clients happy and, of course, doing all this on your own.
“If you are a company of one, your mind-set is to build your business around your life, not the other way around.”Paul Jarvis
4. The Infinite Game – Simon Sinek
In The Infinite Game, Sinek applies game theory to explore how great businesses achieve long-lasting success. He finds that building long-term value and healthy, enduring growth – that playing the infinite game – is the only thing that matters to your business. There are no fixed rules, no winners or losers, and competitors come and go. Using many practical examples, he shows how business players can break away from their finite mindset in order to create stronger and more innovative organizations and build a permanent basis of trust with their employees. Of course, with the aim of being successful on the field as long as possible.
“Infinite-minded leaders understand that “best” is not a permanent state. Instead, they strive to be “better.” “Better” suggests a journey of constant improvement and makes us feel like we are being invited to contribute our talents and energies to make progress in that journey.”Simon Sinek
5. Eat That Frog – Brian Tracy
There’s an old saying that if the first thing you do each morning is eat a live frog, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re done with the worst thing you’ll have to do all day. For Tracy, eating a frog is a metaphor for tackling your most challenging task—but also the one that can have the greatest positive impact on your life. Eat That Frog! shows you how to organize each day so you can zero in on these critical tasks and accomplish them efficiently and effectively.
“If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first. This is another way of saying that if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first.”Brian Tracy
6. Steal Like An Artist – Austin Kleon
Unlock your creativity! “Steal Like An Artist” is an inspiring guide to creativity in the digital age. It presents ten transformative principles that will help readers discover their artistic side and build a more creative life. Nothing is original, so embrace influence, school yourself through the work of others, remix and reimagine to discover your own path. Follow interests wherever they take you what feels like a hobby may turn into your life work. Forget the old cliché about writing what you know: Instead, write the book you want to read, make the movie you want to watch.
“The computer is really good for editing your ideas, and it’s really good for getting your ideas ready for publishing out into the world, butit’s not really good for generating ideas. There are too many opportunities to hit the delete key.”Austin Kleon
7. The One Thing – Gary Keller
How do you manage to get structure in the daily chaos and concentrate on the essentials? The New York Times best-selling authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan reveal how you can manage to reduce stress and get things sorted – with a clear focus on the most important thing: The One Thing. The book contains many valuable tips and lists to help you be more productive, get better results, and more easily achieve what you really want. We have been recommending this book for years!
“Make sure every day you do what matters most. When you know what matters most, everything makes sense. When you don’t know what matters most, anything makes sense.”Gary Keller
8. Ego Is The Enemy – Ryan Holiday
In “Ego is the Enemy”, Ryan Holiday shows us how and why ego is such a powerful internal opponent to be guarded against at all stages of our careers and lives, and that we can only create our best work when we identify, acknowledge and disarm its dangers. Drawing on an array of inspiring characters and narratives from literature, philosophy and history, the book explores the nature and dangers of ego to illustrate how you can be humble in your aspirations, gracious in your success and resilient in your failures.
“And that’s what is so insidious about talk. Anyone can talk about himself or herself. Even a child knows how to gossip and chatter. Most people are decent at hype and sales. So what is scarce and rare? Silence. The ability to deliberately keep yourself out of the conversation and subsist without its validation. Silence is the respite of the confident and the strong.”Ryan Holiday
9. Choose Yourself – James Altucher
The world is changing. Markets have crashed. Jobs have disappeared. Industries have been disrupted and are being remade before our eyes. Everything we aspired to for “security,” everything we thought was “safe,” no longer is: College. Employment. Retirement. Government. It’s all crumbling down. In every part of society, the middlemen are being pushed out of the picture. No longer is someone coming to hire you, to invest in your company, to sign you, to pick you. It’s on you to make the most important decision in your life: Choose Yourself.
“No matter who you are, no matter what you do, no matter who your audience is: 30 percent will love it, 30 percent will hate it, and 30 percent won’t care. Stick with the people who love you and don’t spend a single second on the rest. Life will be better that way.”James Altucher
10. All Marketers are Liars – Seth Godin
All marketers tell stories. And if they do it right, we believe them. We believe that wine tastes better in a $20 glass than a $1 glass. We believe that an $80,000 Porsche is vastly superior to a $36,000 Volkswagen that’s virtually the same car. We believe that $225 sneakers make our feet feel better—and look cooler—than a $25 brand. And believing it makes it true. As Seth Godin has taught hundreds of thousands of marketers and students around the world, great marketers don’t talk about features or even benefits. Instead, they tell a story—a story we want to believe, whether it’s factual or not. In a world where most people have an infinite number of choices and no time to make them, every organization is a marketer, and all marketing is about telling stories.
“If consumers have everything they need, there’s nothing left to buy except stuff that they want. And the reason they buy stuff they want is because of the way it makes them feel.”Seth Godin