2021 was truly a year for my career transformation. I have always wanted to work for myself or have my own business even before it was a thing. It's been a passion of mine since high school. So now that digital nomad-sim has started to become a norm and Covid has proved even to the biggest sceptics that ‘working from home’ is possible and in many cases, even better I've decided to finally end my 9-to-5 job suffering and embark on going fully freelance. It wasn’t an easy decision, I gathered experience for 2 years, read books, explored educational videos and listened to instructive podcasts. This all played a huge part in this decision, so I want to share with you the books and podcasts that helped me, and even more so, gave me the confidence to make this decision.
My 2021 theme of the year was all about entrepreneurship and working for myself. Gaining confidence and finally making the first big step towards the life I wish for professionally.
Here are the top 4 books I recommend to read in 2022 and a podcast that I believe will inspire you.
Also, I will add some of the books I kind of do not recommend reading and will give you a short breakdown so you do not waste your time. So if this is a theme you are currently interested in, here are my recommendations.
TOP 4 books to read in 2022
‘Slight Edge’ by Jeff Olson
This is the best book I have ever read, like not just in 2021, but ever! When you start reading it might feel a bit repetitive, BUT it works! By giving different examples and looking at the same thing from different perspectives it gives you a better understanding. So, rather than reading about top 10, top 5 or top 3 things to improve your life, business or anything else, you will be reading about the same principle over and over again, but it will work. I promise! It was such a life-changing book for me because it is so simple but so effective. I won’t spoil it for you and I won’t tell you what it is, I will let you discover it in your own way. Everyone who I have recommended the book is only giving positive feedback.
‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill
You will enjoy this book if you are aware of all the big billionaires in the USA during the 20th century. The ones that made history, and in some way have influenced the times we live in now. I was interested to read this book as Napoleon Hill took more than 20 years to put it together. It took many interviews over 20 years and I find it truly fascinating. In times when we expect everything instantly it was interesting to read a piece that took so long to create. From this book I understood that to do significant things, you need to make big decisions. You have to look past the sceptics and non-believers as they have always have been around and always will be, but all that matter is your vision and what you believe in. The book guided me to always believe in myself and the plans I have set, as it is truly only myself that is stopping me. If you need a bit of inspiration based on facts, this book is definitely for you.
‘Broke Millennial' by Erin Lowry
A must-read if you are in your twenties or even thirties because it will go two ways. Either you read every point and learn from it and I promise you will learn to manage your finances better. OR, like in my case, you will read it and view it as a checklist. You think you are great at money management, but are you? With anticipation, I was reading every point and honestly looked at my situation, have I covered it and after reading this book it gave me peace of mind that everything is ok and I am going towards the right path regarding money management and early retirement. Again, a few points were USA oriented, but still, even then, it allowed me to appreciate the European system and look at the European equivalent to make sure I am doing the right things. I found this book very easy to read.
‘Shoe Dog’ by Phil Knight
This was simply an inspirational story, I am so glad stumbled upon this book. If you like Nike and have a bit of an adventurous, travelling soul you will like this book. It is a biography of Phil Knight, the man who created ‘Nike’.
TOP podcast I recommend to listen in 2022
The Diary of a CEO by Steven Bartlett
At the beginning of 2022, his podcast has reached Episode 113 and they have become about the guest's stories and experiences. Incredible people, still worth listening to, but I want to bring your attention to his first episodes when he had incredible businessmen coming onto his show and talking about their experience in building, maintaining and selling their businesses. This of course comes with stories from their personal lives but what was particularly interesting to listen to was learning about their struggles and the big wins that went into building their enterprises. I learnt something from every episode and most importantly I got inspired and motivated. Some of the stories are simply incredible. The great thing about his programme is that you can listen to them online as podcasts but he also uploads a video version on YouTube.
Listen on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-diary-of-a-ceo-with-steven-bartlett/id1291423644
Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheDiaryOfACEO
Books to not waste time on
I am the type of person who has to finish the book. Even if I don’t like it or I don't find it beneficial, I simply have to. Otherwise, it will sit on my shelf judging me. So here are two books I read, but I only recommend them in specific occasions.
'Work from Wherever' by Lisa Messenger
I read the book because of her really, as I admire her as a person and what she has achieved. What she explained in the book was great but I just felt it was too early for me. I feel like this book is great for those who already are on that ‘working from everywhere journey’ and especially if you own a business and not a freelancer. So the book is great, just not for me as I am still at the beginning of my freelancing career. I recommend this book to those who have their own business but do not want to be stuck in one place. This book will give some good advice and great motivation to move your business to the next level and detach yourself from the standard office.
‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ by Robert Kiyosaki
This book is basically about how to avoid tax… in the USA! He continuously says how he bought a better property with the money he got from the first/previous property, BUT does not explain how he achieved the income for his first property. That was never explained!!! Which is a fundamental part of being able to relate to the book! How can us 'normal' people, hustling through life relate? My boyfriend is convinced he is a fraud, I think he is half-fraud. Not a massive fan of this book, but maybe I am the ‘poor dad’ not seeing the bigger picture?!
So this is a quick rundown of the best and worst books I read in 2021 and the podcast I have been listening to most of the time. I am sharing this with you, as the above top 4 books really did influence my life and decisions. I learnt something from each, so I do highly recommend them to anyone who is embarking on a new entrepreneurial / freelance career.
Good Luck and all the best in 2022!
For 2022 on my list I already have:
'The 4-Hour Workweek' by Tim Ferriss
'What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School' by Mark McCormack
'Life Leverage' by Rob Moore