Back in 2011 I shared my first resourceful reading list as I often get questioned on which books I pull my business influences from. Being an extremely voracious reader I continued in 2012 with a sequel article. And not slowing down with books I’m devouring here is my third annual Resourceful Reading List to assist you in developing your own ideas, business, venture or even for a little inspiration. Each book is linked to it’s Amazon listings for your convenience should you want to purchase any.

The Icarus Deception: How Far Will You Fly by Seth Godin
For anyone who has perused my lists before, it is no surprise that I am a Seth Godin nerd. Having read almost every print (and digital) book he has put out as well as keeping up with his daily marketing blog – I made sure to pick this book up shortly after it appeared in bookstores. As with most of Godin’s writings – this book is a kick in the pants encouragement for you to lead your career, not to chase it.

Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield
This is one of Steven’s follow-ups to his book The War of Art (featured on my Resourceful Reading List Part 2). Many people who attempt to do or create something forever get stuck in the realm of amateurism. But how does one break from that to turn pro? This book describes what one must sacrifice and overcome to make that transition.

Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki
I’ve featured quite a few of his books on my previous lists. In fact… any book of his I’ve read I’ve ended up featuring. This book was not disappointment in being The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition. The book is sizable at just under 500 pages; but you can easily pick and choose the chapters which are applicable to you. For myself; I had no real reason to learn about pitching to VCs – so I simply skimmed those sections. Then I pulled a tremendous amount from sections on starting a business, marketing, dealing with competitors and overall doing good work.

Free Agent Nation by Daniel H. Pink
I’ve been fascinated by the author’s journey from working as a speechwriter for Al Gore in the mid-late 90’s to his career into writing books on business, work and management. This book, which was published back in 2002 chronicles his own journey into being a Free Agent as well as showcases the stories of others who sought out to work for themselves. It is fascinating to explore how the landscape of the Free Agent Nation has changed in 11 years; which predictions have come true, what has improved and what free agents still struggle with. A very detailed and interesting read.

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
I have a growing list of things I wish I knew before I started my own business as a photographer. Austin Kleon was smart, wrote his down, put it into a book and now makes money from it. Perhaps I should have taken his advice from chapter 3: Write the Book You Want to Read. Pick it up to find the inspiration and tips to unlock your creativity.

So What? By Mark Magnacca
I used an expression whenever I talked to a colleague or client on a press release or marketing piece. I would say “what is the so what factor?” Meaning why should the recipient of this care about it? Not too long ago while perusing a bookstore at various business titles I came across a book with bold letters saying “So What?” I immediately purchased it and support Magnacca’s stance on How to Communicate What Really Matters to Your Audience.

Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk
To put it mildly; I’m obsessed with my work. I stay up late at night restless thinking of ideas and wake up early in the morning to quickly attempt to put them into action. This book addresses that endless passion and how to convert it into a business. It gives insights and techniques for business owner’s in the modern world to “cash in” on their passions.

Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins by Annette Simmons
I’ve presented on the importance of story and the ability to craft and communicate stories several times throughout the US. That foundation of story and sharing stories was one of the main sections in Daniel Pink’s book A Whole New Mind (profiled on my first resourceful reading list). In this book, the writer showcases how stories can be integrated into business communications.

Poke the Box by Seth Godin
Why not start and end the list with a Seth Godin book? This manifesto is part of Godin’s The Domino Project which is a series of pieces from various authors in the spirit of sharing new ideas and inspiring others. The book, Poke the Box, is your call to action to take control, shake up your life and encouragement for you to start doing whatever it is that you chose to spend your time doing.

Happy Reading!

James Patrick