If you feel lost and want the good shit, this is it:
Seth Godin – Read this blog every day or subscribe to the email if you’re going to forget. Seth writes short and insightful posts that incrementally start making you “business-woke”. I haven’t read all of his books; go for it if you want. I like the blog posts. Reading a Godin post and letting it marinate in my head before the work day is usually a great way to start.
Derek Sivers – That link goes to his blog. He started CDBaby, and I honestly don’t know what else he does, but his blog posts are as good as Seth’s. He also has a great short book called “Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur” which is absolutely worth owning. I’ve read it about 3 times already.
His recommend book list is stuff I’d also recommend.
Maybe I dig Sivers a lot because I think like him…hmm… A few posts ago, I mentioned that it takes me a long time to think through things, and I just noticed this post about how he’s a slow thinker. (If you’re a impulsive, in-the-moment extrovert, maybe Gary Vaynerchuk* – see bottom of post – is more your thing, but I think Sivers has tons to offer everyone.)
Jason Fried – That link is to his posts on his blog Signalvnoise. I don’t even know what to say – almost everything Jason shares about his business Basecamp feels counterintuitive and weird if you’re used to the usual startup/VC press rhetoric and advice. Don’t grow too fast. Stay small if that’s better. Make a profit!!! Etc.
I guess those don’t sound that weird, but after you’ve been indoctrinated into the church of startup, it’s refreshing to hear those things. Every business does not have to be Facebook.
Jason’s book “Rework” is similar to Sivers’ book, both in length and content, but I would also call it a must-read. I really need to read his other books.
Ryan Holiday – “Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator” is an eye opening book if you want to teach yourself to think outside of the box and feed our content hungry media what they want and help you, help them. His latest books, “The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph” and “Ego Is The Enemy” are sort of pop-stoicism for business. That is not a diss. They are easy to digest and provide a blueprint for getting through the ups and downs of running a business, and serve as a great introduction to learn more about Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, etc.
*Back to Gary Vaynerchuk – I think his latest youtube videos about flipping stuff for extra money and using that to build your businesses are really good. I think some of his marketing advice and insight on how to use platforms like snapchat and facebook are the best in the business. I’m just not an extrovert that is trying to “crush it” all the time, so all of his stuff is not for me. (update: so this winter 16/17 Gary started a Youtube series trying to build a business from scratch flipping things and I was pretty excited to see him walk the walk, but he quickly abandoned it because it was too hard. I would probably avoid his stuff, tbh).
OK, there’s actually a ton of other good shit. But if you need to start somewhere, start here.
I’m writing this post for myself, as well. Sometimes you get off track and you need to ground yourself and I know that I can’t go wrong following the wise advice of Godin, Sivers and Fried.
(links to books are amazon affiliate links)