Brennan Dunn

Agency owner and bootstrapper. Join 32k+ freelance consultants: http://doubleyourfreelancing.com @brennandunn

Just Fucking Ship

Just Fucking Ship

Written by my friend and colleague Amy Hoy, Just Fucking Ship is a short, actionable read on how to get started shipping your ideas and projects. Be it a new consulting offering, a book, a course, or a product, the lessons that she teaches in Just Fucking Ship are the same principles that helped me launch Double Your Freelancing Rate and grow my business.

The Brain Audit

The Brain Audit

“Why customers buy and why they don’t.” This is a must read for any consultant or business owner who writes proposals, sales pages, or marketing copy. In it, Sean D’Souza explains the ‘7 bags’ that you need to address for the reader before they’re ready to buy. I use Sean’s advice whenever I write a sales page.

The Positioning Manual

The Positioning Manual

One of the best books written on positioning for technical agencies (and consultants). (I had a conversation with Philip about positioning on my podcast, The Business of Freelancing that’s a great addition to reading the book)

Rob Walling

Lessons learned by a Solo Entrepreneur. http://www.GetDrip.com & http://www.HitTail.com. @robwalling

Made to Stick

Made to Stick

I’ve used lessons from this book on my blog, podcast, conference talks, marketing copy, and pretty much every means of communication I use on a regular basis.

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

The Snowball

I listened to the abridged version of this book; I heard it gives you the gyst (and even then, it’s 25+ hours). I was struck by how much Warren Buffett was committed to investing his way, for decades on end. No matter what other forces or opinions have come along, he has stuck to his approach for almost a lifetime.

The Sticking Point Solution

The Sticking Point Solution

Jay Abraham is a smart guy. I’ve liked anything he writes on marketing, and this is no exception. He has a way of writing about marketing that fills your head with new ideas that you can apply to your business right now. I love books that are so good they force me to take notes.

Brian Dean

Link Building. SEO. Content Marketing. Conversions. @backlinko

The Four Hour Workweek

Four Hour Work Week

This book took me from my parent’s basement to the 7 figure business I run today.
If you want to create a business that gives you MORE freedom and flexibility, Tim’s masterpiece is a must-read.

Buy on Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

How to be Idle

How to be Idle

Helped me learn that sitting around and relaxing is time well spent. Underrated gem.

Buy on Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Positioning

Positioning

Taught me the hard lesson that, for people to know why you’re different, you need to tell them. Repeatedly.

Buy on Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Martin Judd

Custom Software Development and consultancy for businesses of all sizes. @martin_judd

Crossing the Chasm

Crossing the Chasm

This is one of the first books I read when starting on the entrepreneurial path and it was a fantastic insight into the development of a software product within it’s market.

Buy on Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

The Four Steps to the Epiphany

The Four Steps to the Epiphany

Customer Development is a common term these days in the startup and bootstrapping world but I’d never heard of it before I read this book. Reading this opened my eyes to the power of building software that the customer wants rather than what I want to build.

Buy on Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Start Small, Stay Small

Start Small, Stay Small

This book really resonated with what my aspirations were for having a product business. The book provides actionable advice about how to get started with a small software product business.

Buy on Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Derek Sivers

Entrepreneur, programmer, avid student of life. @sivers

Awaken the Giant Within

Awaken the Giant Within

Permanently changed the way I think, starting at age 19, and ever since. The profound lesson is this: You can change how you feel or think. Most people think, “I can’t help the way I feel,” or “That’s just who I am.” But you can rewire your brain to anything that supports what you want from life. Everything is changeable. Fears, personality traits, long-held beliefs – you can change all of these if they’re not helping you live the life you want. I read this book at 19 on the advice of a mentor, and have read it again every few years since. A surprising amount of how I think and act is based on this book. I’m tempted to recommend other classics like “Think and Grow Rich”, but really most wisdom of all self-help books is contained in this one.

Buy on Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Stumbling Upon Happiness

Stumbling Upon Happiness

Brilliant Harvard psychology professor has studied happiness for decades, and shares his surprising factual findings. The profound lesson is this:  You are bad at predicting what will make you happy.  We all are.  You make huge decisions in life like where to live or work or what to buy, based on mistaken thinking.  We think a big house will make us happy, but people in big houses are often less happy, and people with long commutes are the unhappiest of all. We think an upgraded item (new sunglasses, car, computer) will make us happy because in the moment we’re comparing it to our current one.  But as soon as we upgrade, the comparison to the previous one disappears, and we realize it was only the comparison that made us happy.  The new norm does not.  Imagine a whole book filled with factual findings on what actually does make most people happy, what doesn’t, and proof that you’re not as different from most people as you think.  This had a profound impact on the decisions I’ve made in my life since.

Buy on Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

The Wisdom of Crowds

The Wisdom of Crowds

This is not as universal as my other recommendations.  It’s about the power of crowds, which matters a lot to me because I have a crowd.  Those without a crowd might not relate.  But the profound lesson is this:  Big diverse groups of people make better predictions and decisions than any one individual in the group.  This goes against the conventional wisdom of the superstar.  In a race, for example, the individual is better than the group average.  But that’s why it’s surprising that in markets, predictions, and decisions, the group average is better than any individual.  It’s the old saying, “Two brains are better than one,” multiplied.  So how does this affect our life?  Think of all the places in business where someone is getting a superstar salary.  Most high-paid superstar investment managers actually underperform the market average.  Most CEOs would be better off deferring to a board.  And we’d be better off trusting the collective book reviews on Amazon.

Buy on Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Nick Swan

Masters of Doom

Masters of Doom

I grew up playing Wolfenstein 3d, Doom,  Doom2, and Quake and so this book reminds me of my childhood. I always wanted to be a games programmer when I was younger, and reading this book rekindles those dreams! I have read this book 4 or 5 times!

Buy on Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Four Hour Work Week

Four Hour Work Week

The book that created a generation of travelling web entrepreneurs. Although I have not created a single person business that can run with 4 hours work a week – the ideas in the book always make me rethink why we are doing things a certain way, and if there is a better, less stressful way. Always on my desk and flicked through.

Buy on Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

The Naked Trader

The Naked Trader

I do not trust anybody else to manage my pension, nor do I want to invest in mutual funds and rely on others deciding where to invest my money. This book takes a sensible and straight forward approach to finding shares using the fundamentals and value investing approach.

Buy on Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk