Reading books, and learning from the experience of others, is one of the fastest ways to get yourself from where you are to where you want to be!
Not to mention one of the most cost-effective!
We all know that they are tons of business books out there, but what about the best books for starting an online business?
No problem! There are definitely a smaller number of books that focus more on internet related businesses, however this number is increasing every day, with some brilliant ones that are a must-read before starting your online startup journey.
“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson – American Poet and Lecturer, Advocate for Individualism.
What We Expect from Books About Becoming an Online Entrepreneur?
So while books about business in general can provide us with inspiration, self-improvement tips and strategies, the online world is a completely different arena. As a result, we will need knowledge in a few different areas for it to be helpful and actionable in our venture.
These are some things that we should look for in the top online business books:
- Online Marketing – Marketing in the mobile and internet era is a completely different environment, where mass advertising and interruption no longer work. We need something different, something that captures the attention of an audience overwhelmed by information.
- Internet Tools – Nowadays, there are a multitude of tools available to help us get started with market research, building a website, or reaching out to our target audience. We need something that cuts through the clutter and points us in the right direction.
- A Blueprint or Methodology for Starting – Some people are more internet savvy than others, but we all need some form of blueprint to follow. Online methods are different, and often very fast to start without much (or any) capital at all.
So with these things in mind, let’s get into the list of books that will help and inspire you along your journey through the world of digital business!
Contents & Categories
To Help You Start
These are the top books to help you get started with your internet business endeavor.
They cover things like where to start, how to find your product or niche, useful tools and the basic considerations. The general idea is to start your venture as a micro-business and scale from there (if you need to).
Everybody’s goals are different, ranging from aims to build an online empire to a small side hustle to bring in some extra cash. Regardless, all things start small and from humble beginnings.
The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
“Life doesn’t have to be so damn hard. It really doesn’t. Most people, my past self included, have spent too much time convincing themselves that life has to be hard, a resignation to the 9-to-5 drudgery in exchange for (sometimes) relaxing weekends and the occasional keep-it-short-or-get-fired-vacation.”
This book is hilarious, packed full of actionable steps and challenges conventional assumptions all-in-one!
It provides a detailed blueprint with stories, case studies, and end-of-chapter actions for “finding your muse”, an internet based business designed to separate your time from your income.
The basic methodology includes:
- D = Definition – Define the basic assumptions of work, life and fear, then throw them out and release yourself into a world of location and time freedom.
- E = Elimination – Eliminate time wasters and useless information consumption, while maximizing output using the 80/20 principle.
- A = Automation – Learn how to create your “muse” (internet micro-business) and put in place systems that remove yourself from the equation.
- L = Liberation – Liberate yourself from the bounds of time and location, such as your 9-5 desk job, and fill in the time with whatever you dreamed of doing.
A definite must-read for anyone questioning the deferred life plan and wondering… is it really worth spending the best years of your life, trading your time for money, in something you’d rather not do?
The truth is, with hard work and a little restructuring of your life, you can have what retirement offers now. You can join the New Rich!
The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
“Imagine a life where all your time is spent on the things you want to do. Imagine giving your greatest attention to a project you create yourself, instead of working as a cog in a machine that exists to make other people rich.”
The book illustrates the concepts and methods from a selection of the best case studies, initially drawn from over 1500 real world examples, of people starting micro-businesses with little to no capital investment.
How? Through the tools available to us on the internet, providing extremely cost-effective ways to get your product, service and story out there for the world to see.
The book will help you distill good ideas from the bad ones, develop a great offer and tweak your business for success.
It has been done, all over the world, in many ways and by many people. Now it’s your turn!
Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk
“The Internet makes it possible for anyone to be 100 percent true to themselves and make serious cash by turning what they love most into their personal brand.”
The book will help you take what excites you and turn it into your personal brand.
- Find a Medium for Delivering Your Message (video, audio, text).
- Deliver Content on that Medium.
- Create a Community.
- Build the Community.
- Then Monetize.
Gary is an expert in the social media realm and this book will show you how you can turn your passion into a business, utilizing the tools of the internet and a whole lot of hustle!
Marketing via the internet is a whole new art, that is significantly different to traditional marketing methods.
These books will teach you how to market effectively in modern business where the story around your product or service, is much more important than the features or benefits provided.
Nowadays, interrupting our audience with mass advertising is a surefire way to get ignored. Let’s change this mindset and create a story, about our offering, that is authentic and remarkable.
All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin
“Either you’re going to tell stories that spread, or you will become irrelevant.”
This book teaches us the power of telling captivating and authentic stories about our products and services, instead of focusing on features or even benefits.
You need to tell a story that matches the world view of your target audience, because they are:
- More likely to pay attention.
- More likely to believe you.
- More likely to spread the word.
A true thought leader in marketing, Seth Godin’s book guides us to focus on what’s important for your audience. What’s your story? Now go and tell it!
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
“The social media revolution wrenched the keys to the cultural kingdom away from pundits and gatekeepers, giving ordinary people a voice.”
This book teaches you how to tell your story in a crowded social media industry, and do so in a format that is true to the social platform.
Remarkable social content can be created if it:
- Is Native to the Platform it is Being Delivered on – Enhances the experience of the platform.
- Doesn’t Interrupt People – Don’t affect your audience’s media experience.
- Doesn’t Make Demands Often – Give more than you take.
- Leverages Popular Culture – Deliver content that matters to your audience.
- Is Micro – Tiny bits of content that provides information, inspiration or commentary.
- Is Consistent – Keep your story and brand identity consistent.
Social media is one of the most cost-effective online marketing methods available. Which social platforms do your target audience hang out on, and what are you going to say to them?
Final Thoughts – Learning vs. Implementation
One of the key mistakes we often make, myself included, is simply reading and consuming a book, but not actually implementing it’s lessons.
Early in my journey I consumed a large numbers of books, and although I was learning, I wasn’t actioning the lessons as effectively as I should. It almost became a form of educational entertainment!
The key to progress in your business is action, so I challenge you to keep a good balance between learning and implementation. If we don’t learn, we don’t improve, but if we don’t implement, we don’t progress!
I hope this article has provided you with some great recommendations and inspiration to start your venture.
More books will be added as I come across them (I don’t add any book to this list unless I have read it myself). Please let me know if there are any other books you recommend? I’ll read them and add them to this article!
Are you ready!? Yes! Then get pumped, get inspired and let’s create a remarkable business!
There is no Motivator better than Progress, and there is no progress without Action – Tweet This
Let’s Do This!
Pick one book to start with.
Read it and implement the lessons.
Ask me any questions you might have.
Continue with your next book.
Do you have any other book recommendations that could help people start their online journey?