UPDATED - DEC 30th, 2018.
“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” - Isaac Newton.
Building a digital business is a massive undertaking.
It’s so huge that 90% of people give up and, with head between shoulders, slink back to the ol’ familiar 9-to-5 grind and never poke their heads up again. Apparently it’s way easier to punch a clock than it is to grow wings and fly.
Because that’s what we’re talking about today, freedom.
It doesn’t matter what that business is. An app or software startup. Facebook/AdWords campaigns. Amazon FBA, authority blog, white hat affiliate or shadow-broker-affiliate peddling payday loans (y’all know who you are), or a services based business selling Sales Funnels (all the rage right now thanks in part to Russell Brunson and team)...
Every single one of these is a legit home-based business and every single one of them is hard work.
But the payoff can be huge: freedom from bosses, a business that scales, growing self respect.
The list goes on.
In this post I’m going to review the 7 best books for digital entrepreneurs that every aspiring online entrepreneur should read. You don’t have to read them all! But even one or two of these amazing books can make a huge impact on your journey. Pick one that feels right for your unique circumstances and start there. I'll be updating this post with new books as I read them! Feel free to offer suggestions in the comments.
How To Soak Up The Wisdom In These Entrepreneurship Books (For Best Impact)
Each of the books below are written by experts. They’ve poured heart, soul, and their entire lives into these books. They’ve mastered their little corner of the world and have reached saturation: a tipping point where it’s now time to give back and teach others what they know.
Don’t expect that you’re going to somehow “soak up success” by reading a book like this one time.
Instead, do this: breeze through the book in one sitting and bookmark (or underline, dog-ear, post-it note, whatever) every passage that stands out and take mental note of the really powerful stuff.
Then sit down and really read the book. Give it your full attention.
Go to town with your red pen. The goal now is to soak up as much as you can. Every journey is just a series of steps, and this is one.
So without further ado, and in no particular order, here’s 10 books every aspiring online entrepreneur should read.
1. Expert Secrets, By Russell Brunson
EXPERT SECRETS REVIEW| Reading Expert Secrets is a deep, deep dive into the mind of Russell Brunson, easily one of the most gifted marketers of the internet age. He gives it all away. With soul-bearing honesty he dives deep into his processes, strategies, tactics, and mindset for absolute online domination. Russell Brunson is the creator of Clickfunnels, the wildly successful turnkey landing page and sales funnel builder that’s become a must-have app for anyone selling anything online.
Seriously, I’m in awe of this book as well as it’s prequel, DotComSecrets. Don’t be fooled by the slightly cheesy titles, these books give you everything you need to know if you’re building an online audience and learning how to SELL online.
The fun thing about buying this book (it's FREE via my link, just pay shipping) is that you will immediately be exposed to some of the most ingenious online sales tactics and sales funnels. You will see upsells, webinars, downsells, order-bumps, tripwires, amazing copywriting, incredible email follow ups, and the whole shebang. So put your nerd hat on, grab a copy of the book at the link below, and prepare to have your mind opened to possibilities and depths with selling anything online that you’ve never guessed at in your wildest dreams.
I gave it 4.5 stars. This book is my TOP recommendation for anyone who wants to build a massive following of raving fans online (your “TRIBE”). Definitely pick up a copy of DotComSecrets as well.
2. DotCom Secrets, By Russel Brunson
DOTCOM SECRETS REVIEW | The prequel to Expert Secrets, DotCom Secrets is in no way an inferior first attempt by Russell Brunson. Where Expert Secrets does cover some of the same ground, it largely focuses on proven tactics for building a massive online audience, DotCom Secrets goes deeper into specific online selling tactics and sales funnels. This book goes deep into Russell’s specific strategies and tactics that he’s used to build many multi-million dollar online companies including Clickfunnels.
Clear explanations, easy to follow guides, well-written, and packed with insider knowledge, this book will leave you rabid to start your online business. When I first read this book I felt like I’d been given a glimpse into secret knowledge, and that is essentially what you’re getting with this book. Russell holds no punches, even with himself, and gives you the knowledge that took him a decade of failures and successes to earn.
I gave it 4 stars. This book is my TOP recommendation for anyone who wants to learn tried and true ways to sell anything online with sales funnels, opt-ins, webinars, etc. This is THE sales funnel playbook and easily understood by all skill levels.
If you’re unfamiliar with Clickfunnels, you can start a free 2 week free trial using my link here.
3. Blue Ocean Strategy, By Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY REVIEW | Blue Ocean Strategy is a bestselling book (over 3.5 million copies) that presents a new view on how to create a market for your products with less competition. The authors argue that most markets are so-called “red oceans”, too full of competition for most newcomers to find huge success without a massive advantage. In a red ocean market too many competitors are fighting over diminishing returns. The authors argue that marketers and entrepreneurs should seek out or create “blue oceans”, new markets or niches with less competition and therefore greater opportunity for selling.
This is an amazing book for anyone who is trying to uncover their own “niche”. Much of the prevailing wisdom on getting started as an entrepreneur centers around the concept of choosing your own niche and becoming the expert in that arena. Unfortunately, there’s not much wisdom on HOW to discover and dominate your niche, that’s where Blue Ocean Strategy comes in.
Key Takeaway from Blue Ocean Strategy: “The only way to beat the competition is to stop trying to beat the competition.”
I gave it 4 stars. This is my TOP recommendation for anyone looking to solidify their niche, understand their market, and find ways to differentiate themselves in a sea of competition.
The subheading really says it all on the cover: “How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant.”
"Blue Ocean Strategy is the most successful book on business master-planning in recent years." -- The Economist
4. The 4 Hour Work Week, By Tim Ferris
4 HOUR WORK WEEK REVIEW | This one’s probably on every entrepreneurship list from the last decade. And for good reason. Tim Ferris gives you the keys to a kingdom of diminishing workload and greater abundance, or at the least, a vision that it’s all possible. This book is a great starter book for anyone who wants to leverage the power of the new digital economy to create greater freedom for themselves. A note of caution, however: not everyone can simply read this book and suddenly create a freedom-filled Mai Tai sippin’ lifestyle where you make your money on a beach in the SE Asia somewhere.
But isn't it a beautiful dream? Just go with it and get some good ideas! 🙂
I like to think of this book as a way to open your eyes to possibilities beyond the 9-to-5. It's unlikely you're going to take the information within this book and cut out 36+ work hours from your week, but you may find a few tips and tricks in here to start trimming it down.
I gave this book 4 stars and it's my top recommendation for the "digital nomads" out there.
5. Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion, By Robert Cialdini
INFLUENCE, THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSUASION REVIEW |Understanding how to get people to say “YES” is key to digital marketing, sales, and entrepreneurship. Everything you do can come back to this. Every situation you’re in can be viewed as a negotiation. Do you want to get a subscribers email address? You need to get them to say yes. Hand over their credit card and make a sale? Get them to say yes. From micro-conversions to sales, everything is a negotiation and the main tool is persuasion.
Dr. Robert Cialdini is truly an expert in the psychology and science behind getting people to say yes. In this awesome book you’ll get tools and real practical tactics for becoming a better persuader, including the six universal principles to help you get more people to say YES to your business, product, ideas, and more.
I love any book that dives into human psychology and this one is perfect for entrepreneurs trying to figure out how to get their customers to become avid consumers.
I gave this book 4 stars!
6. Think And Grow Rich, By Napolean Hill
THINK AND GROW RICH REVIEW | Think and Grow Rich is truly a massively influential work (and a free download) in the realm of mindset and new-agey “new thought” and visualization practices. You may have seen a lot of books and movies on the so-called law of attraction and visualization and probably have a lot of skepticism. I don’t blame you, I do, too! However, my curiosity got the better of me some years ago and I’ve read many similar works including Think and Grow Rich. I can tell you that even if you DO NOT believe in this stuff - maybe especially if you do not believe in this - it could be extremely valuable to get out of your own damn head and comfort zone and give this a real, genuine look with an open mind.
Think and Grow Rich is based on the (kind nutty) idea that “Thoughts Become Things”... and while I myself am more of the empirical type and don't believe this for a moment, I found that the process of going through this thought system helped me to arrange my thinking towards my goals. Visualization IS a critical component to solving big problems and creating anything worthwhile. If you can see it, you can start working on it. This all crystalized for me in the next book on my list, The Master Key System (free).
4 stars for wackiness but it's free, so!
7. BONUS: The Master Key System, By Charles F. Haanel
THE MASTER KEY SYSTEM REVIEW | Last but certainly not least. The Master Key system, first published in 1912. This one’s a free download. Maybe you’ve heard a lot of noise out there about the Law of Attraction? Where most books barely skim the surface of this topic, MKS is probably one of the original sources and truly dives deep into the thinking behind this “thought system”. Most proponents of the Law of Attraction simply tell you to imagine what you want and it will come to you through a mystical force known as the Law of Attraction, a supposedly universal force that works by giving you things that you can invision, be they good or bad.
Master Key System takes this much further by explaining to you HOW this works and gives you the exact tools to tap into the power of creation via your subconscious. There’s nothing mystical at work here. It’s a step-by-step journey and for me has been transformational in work and life.
The format is really fun, it’s an easy read, and I guarantee it will add value to your process on some level.
5 stars because it's free and awesome! And slightly kooky 🙂
8. The Slight Edge, By Jeff Olson
THE SLIGHT EDGE BOOK REVIEW | "The Slight Edge, Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success," by Jeff Olson is my favorite new entrepreneur book as of Dec. 2018. This book is the book you need to read BEFORE all the other books on this list. It's about turning small habits into massive results through the power of compounding. Once you master the disciplines revealed in this book you will be much better equipped to get real results from other self help books. I honestly wish I'd read this book many years ago as the tactics it gives you can be utilized across all spectrums of your life to great reward. If you've been looking for a book to help you create a foundational mindset for success, look no further, The Slight Edge delivers the goods.
Now it's your turn...
I know that there are so many other books out there that are great resources for digital entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in general. That’s why I’ll be regularly updating this post as soon as I read new books 🙂
Feel free to send me your suggestions on which book I should pick up next for digital entrepreneurship.
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