Want to turn your passion into a profession? Your desires into dollars? Your yearnings into earnings? You get the picture.
I have always wanted to have my own business, which led me to starting a desktop publishing business and a creating a newsletter geared toward families more than a decade ago. I tried and failed, but I never stopped yearning to have a business. I wish I knew then what I knew now.
I am reading five books that have absolutely reshaped my vision for what a business is. For me, a business is not a storefront. It is an ability to earn money doing what I love, and it is going to be online.
In some upcoming posts, I will give you some insights into what is happening in my world regarding a business (spoiler alert: It ends with me writing Sunday School materials in the evenings while working as a full-time journalist during my days). But, let me share with you how these five books are transforming me.
- Timothy Ferriss: The 4-Hour Workweek: This book provides a wealth of information. It will have you reexamining your life and your work, and it will inspire you to think of a product or find something to sell online, but only after you test out your marketing. It will teach you how to automate parts of your business and deal only with those things that really need a decision from you. One of the most helpful things is how Ferriss links his readers with where to find things, where to buy things, where to get a designer, a celebrity endorsement and a manufacturer, if needed.
- Chris Guillebeau: The $100 Startup: Talk about an inspirational book. Guillebeau will teach you how to create a microbusiness, something small that will help you earn a decent living so you can have the lifestyle you always wanted. There is a lot of good practical advice about how to come up with a product (even if it is an informational product, ebook, DVD lessons, online courses, etc.), market it, test it, launch it and then start looking for the next big thing. This book and “The 4-Hour Workweek” will get you excited about going into business for yourself.
- Michael Hyatt: Platform: Get Noticed in a Busy World: I am a big fan of Michael Hyatt. He offers nothing but imminently practical tips and advice on his blog. I started this blog based on advice he posted. Hyatt will take you by the hand and demonstrate how to establish a platform, build an audience and engage your fans, followers and tribe. The man meticulously documents just about everything he does, which is good for us. He will show you how you can do it, but it will take time and effort. This is a must-have book.
- Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch: APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book: If you want to write books, then this is the book for you. Kawasaki and Welch will walk you through everything you need to know about writing the book, editing the book, designing the cover, marketing the book, promoting the book and selling the book as a self-publisher. I have already incorporated some of the tips the authors share. If you read this, then the likelihood of you ever seeking to have a book published in the traditional manner will go out the window.
- Mike Michalowicz: The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur: I must admit, I have not spent as much time with this book as with the others (bear in mind I am reading all of them at the same time, not one by one), and I purchased it solely on the strength of the reviews. The language can be coarse, but I am working my way through this. Part of the reason I bought it was this blurb in the description: “Which three sheets of paper you need to successfully launch, manage and grow your business.” While I wholeheartedly recommend books 1-4, I am not at the point of saying you need to get this one, but it is one that I have been reading.
There is a lot of overlap with these books in regard to content, but that is OK with me. I see it as reinforcing what I have learned and helping me understand it better.
But the true value of all of these books is that they have shown me how to determine whether a passion of mine is a viable business opportunity. It might not be.
If you have an inkling to start a business, then check these books out. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Disclosure: You should know, all of the above links are Amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase, then I will earn a small percentage. Depending upon the cost of the book, it could be anywhere between 40-60 cents.