7 non-boring business books you should read this year

Everyone wishes they read more. Small business owners in particular don’t have much time to squeeze in a new non-fiction, or even the latest bestselling beach read, but these 8 business bibles are essential.

Reading about other businesses and entrepreneurs is one of the best ways to get inspired, stay motivated, and see struggle from a different angle. These 7 books are must-reads for freelancers and small business owners, whether they’re just getting started or 10+ years into their career.


1. The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses, Eric Ries

According to Eric Ries, business failure can be stopped if you know what you’re looking for. The Lean Startup shows us how businesses like Google, Toyota, and Facebook have stayed successful by testing and cost-cutting.

Who needs to read it right now: Anyone running a business, or even just thinking about it.


2. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, Susan Cain

The loud, brash entrepreneurship model doesn’t work for everyone, and it’s not the only way to run a business. Susan Cain introduces us to successful leaders and business owners who like listening to other people and do their best work alone.

Who needs to read it right now: Business owners who don’t like or need the spotlight.


3. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, Ben Horowitz

The toughest business problems are usually the most unexpected. Horowitz (a big name in Silicon Valley) teaches you the things a business education won’t, from hiring and firing in the trickiest circumstances, to leading well when you don’t feel like leading.

Who needs to read it right now: Any business owner feeling a bit stretched.


4. Chillpreneur: The New Rules for Creating Success, Freedom, and Abundance on Your Terms, Denise Duffield-Thomas

Fed up of ‘rise and grind’ culture? So is Denise Duffield-Thomas, a self-confessed “lazy self-made millionaire”. Chillpreneur is about finding financial independence, learning to market yourself well, and running a self-sufficient business that works with your personality.

Who needs to read it right now: Freelancers who dream of working from the beach.


5. Company of One: Why Staying Small is the Next Big Thing for Business, Paul Jarvis

Paul Jarvis quit what was an outwardly successful corporate career to work for himself from home. Company of One is his simple guide to making a solo business work for you, from setting up to winning clients. This is the guide to doing it your way.

Who needs to read it right now: Aspiring freelancers who haven’t taken the full-time plunge just yet.


6. Money: A User’s Guide, Laura Whateley

Whateley’s book isn’t specifically written for a small business audience, but its advice is still ideal for anyone trying to be better with cash. Money concisely explains how to save, invest, and keep your relationship with finance nice and healthy.

Who needs to read it right now: Anyone at all. We can all be better with money!


7. How to Own the Room: Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking, Viv Groskop

Public speaking and presenting is up there with moving house and skydiving - very stressful. Groskop’s book helps you get over those limiting beliefs, speak well, and eventually own whatever room you walk into.

Who needs to read it right now: Business owners who cold sweat their way through presentations.


It doesn’t matter if you can only fit in 10 or 15 minutes of skim-reading a day, these books need to go on your wishlist. Written by some seriously smart business brains, they can help you be a better leader, make more money, and even work a little bit less...

Whichever book you end up reading, Solna can, in the meantime, take care of your invoices.  


Solna is the smart invoicing tool every freelancer needs. You can credit check your clients before you start working with them, send automated reminders, and get paid faster with payments powered by Stripe.

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