Best Business Beginner Books for Entrepreneurs and Freelancers

Starting a new online business in our modern tech driven world is easier than ever. The following books were carefully chosen for their proven principles and processes. The E-Myth Revisited is the only book referenced below that focuses on a physical business, but many of its principles still apply to online business.

I’ve created successful businesses over the years and had complete failures too. Looking back, failure comes down to one of two things: Making money was more important to me than serving people or I rushed into it. - Pat Flynn  

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To your success. Thank you.  

The 4-Hour Workweek book

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

This book provides a way to become your own boss with more freedom. "Ninety-nine percent of the people in the world are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think." Anticipate issues and consider "if...then" situational predecisions for interactions.  

1. Pick an affordably reachable niche.  

2. Brainstorm (do not invest in) products. Resell, license, or create a product.  

3. Micro-test your products  

The book provides many different ways to get ideas, and good advice for testing any idea. "To get an accurate indicator of commercial viability, don't ask people if they would buy- ask them to buy. The response to the second is the only one that matters." This ensures they are not just being nice and telling you what you want to hear.  

This book also provides a lot of links to good online resources.

Get The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

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Will It Fly book

Will It Fly: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don't Waste Your Time and Money

Will It Fly is a great book for business beginners, as it starts by running you through an exercise that helps align your ideas with your strengths and goals. This includes a task to find out what others think are your strengths.  

It provides mind mapping ideas and how to create a core message (your one page, one paragraph and one sentence). How to map a market (important places, people, and products), with some very practical online searching techniques. Then it walks you through creating a customer P.L.A.N. (problems, language, anecdotes, and needs). This is where Pat shows you more online search techniques to find the customer problems, language, anecdotes, and needs. 

Example, if you are interested in finding people's problems or needs in cryptocurrency, search a forum like…  

“How do I” site:  

You will get a list of questions people are asking about cryptocurrency. Narrow it all down to one idea and take it to the flight simulator. The book also provides validation tips and how to break it down and appreciate small wins.

Get Will It Fly by Pat Flynn

The E Myth Revisited book

The E Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It

This book is arguably the most popular book for physical small businesses. In his book, Michael touches on how most businesses are started by an individual technician with a marketable skill. He explains how a business needs a visionary (entrepreneur), an organizer (manager), and a technician (the person doing the real work).  

He also talks about how the business should not be the end, but a means to a primary aim of your life. How to turn your independent organization into more of a franchise model that focuses on systems and continually improves the systems.  

Some of the systems and strategies he covers includes a business development system, along with a management system. He also covers a marketing strategy based on your customer's demographics and psychographics. Then he provides a sales strategy, which he refers to as a soft systems strategy, with the three presentations needed. 

He explains in detail about how to create an operations manual to develop systems that make it easier for new people to understand what is expected of them.  

Get The EMyth Revisited by Michael Gerber

Expert Secrets book

Expert Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Creating a Mass Movement

The underground playbook for creating a mass movement of people who will pay for your advice. Expert Secrets does a great job at providing practical tips on creating a following. It points out there are three primary markets of health, relationships, and wealth. The book also explains how to narrow down the market to your niche.  

The book then explains the process of winning people over with the new opportunity, the vehicle for change, and the epiphany bridge. The epiphany bridge is a script that can work for any offer, based on the classic hero’s journey.  

The book explains objections fall into three categories, the new opportunity vehicle, their abilities (internal), and outside circumstances (external). It also provides ways to encourage people around the objections.  

The book provides a 'perfect webinar' or presentation, that has 55 possible slides including how to create a good title, rapport, the opportunity, the one thing, and the epiphany. It finishes with some good closes, funnels and scripts. This book is only available in a physical copy. 

Get Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson  

Launch book

Launch: An Internet Millionaire's Secret Formula to Sell Almost Anything Online

This book gives ordinary people (if there is such a thing) the insights to take skills they have and create an online business providing those skills for others. A great business book for beginners. The author Jeff Walker has a program devoted to help people "build a business you love" and "live the life of your dreams." It focuses on building a list of potential customers.  

"If you take NOTHING else from this book but an obsessive focus on building your list of clients and prospects, this book will still be worth 10,000 times what you paid for it."  

This book provides a great method for list building through finding valuable content others would pay for, creating an online course around it and using some of that valuable content in email marketing. The most important email marketing method being the sideways sales letter.  

Get Launch by Jeff Walker

Choose book

Choose: The Single Most Important Decision Before Starting Your Business

It is based on the author's experience in beginning many online businesses, and makes the case that selling education and expertise is the best business model.  

It provides a product grid with eleven different types of knowledge products put within four categories, product focused, client focused, membership focused, and event focused. The book also explains four types of entrepreneurs, mission, passion, opportunity, and undecided.  

The book then walks you through the process of brainstorming ideas, markets, and models, how to test markets, choose a market, and launch. It also references a great free online tool to test a market.

Get Choose by Ryan Levesque

More great book lists

Interested in the best digital marketing books, including the classic Building a StoryBrand?  

How about the best social media books, including some great overall social media books and good reads for specific Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or LinkedIn marketing success? 

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