Books, Books and More Books

After my sister and I boarded a London tour bus, we were joined by three college-aged women from the US. None of them seemed particularly interested in seeing the sights of London, but were busily discussing their next stop, Paris. “Are we going to see the Parthenon?” one of them asked. Her friends were a little fuzzy about that. My sister and I looked at one another and I’m guessing we were both thinking that these women must have been sleeping through geography class. What was even more surprising is that none of them seemed to be carrying a travel guide of any sort. Why, I wondered, would you spend the time and money to visit a new place and not invest $20 (or less) in a guidebook?

Likewise, why would you embark on the Joyfully Jobless Journey without guidebooks? Happily, there are numerous books available to help you on your way. Here are some personal favorites. Many of them are books I’ve read again and again. It’s a short list, but each title on it was carefully chosen because it’s exceptional.

Full Disclosure: The links on this page are ‘affiliate links’ that will earn me a referral commission if you click on them and buy them. However, that is NOT the reason I include them. I only recommend products and services I believe are of high quality, value and will benefit you in some way.

Seminar in a Sentence

Seminar in a Sentence

I’ve been collecting wise words for years and have gathered some of my favorites in a new little book called Seminar in a Sentence. You’ll find insights about the creative spirit, getting inspired, the problem with problems, taking risks, beginnings, the entrepreneurial spirit-and more.

While you won’t find any worn-out platitudes here, you may discover the right words at the right time on these pages. Some of them could become a new mantra; others can enlighten.

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Making a Living Without a Job

Making a Living Without a Job, revised edition: Winning Ways For Creating Work That You Love

by Barbara J. Winter Revised and updated with new information and massive resource section.

Order Your Autographed Copy Today: $16.00

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photoThe Gratitude Project

by Elinor Trier

Elinor Trier gathered all her short essays and paintings in a lovely book called The Gratitude Project. Eli says that even though some of her early paintings seem clumsy to her now, she decided to put them on display because she believe it’s important for people to see beginnings.

Since I was fortunate to be one of her early selections, I’ve known about this project for some time. However, the entire collection is truly inspiring. I urge you to get a copy for yourself and see what I’m talking about.

Start Something That Matters

by Blake Mycoski
It came as a big surprise to me that Blake Mycoskie’s shoe company, TOMS, is only five years old. Equally surprising is what a terrific handbook he’s written to pass along what he’s learned. While the TOMS’ story is an inspiring one, the real treasure in this book is the simplicity with which he shows us how to create our own enterprise that makes a difference and makes a profit. This is one of the best start-up manuals ever.

Do the Work

by Steven Pressfield

The second from Seth Godin’s Domino Project, packs a wallop as it urges the reader on from project idea to project completion. I’m still not sure how to describe this new treasure except to urge you to add it to your library. Like the earlier book, Do the Work is bound to be read more than once.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven PressfieldThe War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

by Steven Pressfield

Will help you identify—and overcome—the resistance that is holding you back. It’s also my candidate for Book of the Decade. Quite simply, the most profound explanation of resistance that I’ve seen.

Make the Impossible Possible: One Man's Crusade to Inspire Others to Dream Bigger and Achieve the Extraordinary by Bill StricklandMake the Impossible Possible: One Man’s Crusade to Inspire Others to Dream Bigger and Achieve the Extraordinary

by Bill Strickland

Art meets the entrepreneurial spirit and we all get inspired by the results.

Delivering Happiness

by Tony Hsieh

If you had lived in the neighborhood where Tony Hsieh grew up, you might have met an earnest little door to door salesman just discovering his entrepreneurial spirit. Now at the ripe old age of 36, Hseih shows us the path that took him from selling earthworms and photo buttons to running the success story known as Zappos.

Growing a Business, Paul HawkenGrowing a Business

by Paul Hawken

My longtime favorite book on creating a business that reflects personal values. Lots of nuts-and-bolts information interspersed with stories of entrepreneurial success.

Rubies in the Orchard

by Lynda Resnick

This may be the most readable marketing book ever written because Lynda Resnick has a terrific story and tells it brilliantly.

The Element

by Ken Robinson, Ph.D.

The subtitle is, “How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything.” What more do you need to know?

The Creative License: Giving Yourself Permission to Be the Artist You Truly Are by Danny Gregory The Creative License: Giving Yourself Permission to Be the Artist You Truly Are

by Danny Gregory

is a handbook for reviving dormant creative spirits. Equally inspiring is Gregory’s own story of what it took for him to make the transition from employee to entrepreneur.

Small is the New Big by Seth GodinSmall is the New Big

by Seth Godin

A collection of the prolific author’s blog postings. There’s not much rhyme or reason to the book, but it’s great fun to read since it’s full of good ideas and examples.

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World

by John Woods

The thrilling story of a corporate manager’s decision to found Room to Read and bring books to the children of the world.

A Whole New Mind by Daniel PinkA Whole New Mind

by Daniel Pink

Has the provocative subtitle Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. An insightful discussion of what it will take to succeed in a changing world.

U-Turn by Bruce GriersonU-Turn

by Bruce Grierson

Asks the question, “What if you woke up one morning and realized you were living the wrong life?” The author interviewed people who made that frustrating discovery—then boldly made a radical change.

Marketing That Matters by Chip Conley and Eric Friedenwaldl-FishmanMarketing That Matters

by Chip Conley and Eric Friedenwaldl-Fishman

Is a refreshingly sane approach to marketing for entrepreneurs who want to make a difference while making a living. Full of great ideas you can adapt.

The Big Moo edited by Seth Godin The Big Moo

edited by Seth Godin

Is a collection of essays by thirty top creative entrepreneurial thinkers. A perfect book to carry and read in waiting rooms or airports.

Write It Down, Make It Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser Write It Down, Make It Happen

by Henriette Anne Klauser

The best book I’ve read on setting and achieving goals.

The Tipping Point by Malcolm GladwellThe Tipping Point

by Malcolm Gladwell

A fascinating exploration of how an idea goes from obscurity to visibility. Every entrepreneur needs to know what a tipping point is and how to create it.

Business as Unusual by Anita RoddickBusiness as Unusual

by Anita Roddick

Shares the Body Shop founder’s visionary ideas about creating a business that is an agent of change.

Hershey by Michael D’Antonio Hershey

by Michael D’Antonio

Is a biography of the candy tycoon who may have been one of the country’s first social entrepreneurs. This one’s as much fun to read as a novel.

Shameless Exploitation: In Pursuit of the Common Good

by Paul Newman and A.E. Hotchner

Newman and his old friend Hotchner may have been accidental entrepreneurs, but they became model social entrepreneurs. This entertaining book tells their unlikely story.