Yes, it’s true that I left the corporate world to pursue a career as a writer entrepreneur. However, I did not do this on a whim. I spent over a year preparing.
How did I prepare? I spent some time laying the groundwork for my blog and generating followers, some writing content for the blog, and some developing a business plan. A lot of that time was also spent reading. I wanted to make sure that I was ready emotionally and financially.
If you’re thinking of following my lead and leaving corporate America to start a career as a writer entrepreneur or starting a similar online business, I highly recommend the following books. I’ve listed them in the order in which I believe they should be read. This does not mean the books at the beginning are any more important than those at the end. All are equally as important. I arranged them to lead you through your journey from the beginning to your ongoing success.
Do not… I repeat… do not just up and quit your job without a road map for your future. As good as you think it will feel to tell your boss to shove it, it won’t feel so good to be searching CareerBuilder for a new job 3 months later because you’re out of money and haven’t even finished your business plan.
In Quitter, Jon Acuff walks through the steps to help prepare yourself for making the leap. Acuff is engaging and entertaining in his writing. You’ll find yourself laughing and learning at the same time.
Quitter concludes with a thorough test to score whether or not you’re ready to quit your job. Use that test to determine what’s holding you back. Then build a plan to overcome any obstacles in your way.
One of the biggest obstacles people face to making the entrepreneurial leap is money. They either have no savings or are buried in debt. Often times, it’s both.
Through his 7 Baby Steps, Dave Ramsey walks readers through practical ways to overcome debt and build savings and eventually wealth. While the topic of money can be intimidating, Complete Guide to Money breaks down finances and investing in an easy to understand manner.
Complete Guide to Money is the handbook to Ramsey’s in-person Financial Peace University. Ideally, I recommend taking the class. However, if your church doesn’t offer FPU, it’s still a beneficial read.
You don’t have to be a Christian to read Complete Guide to Money. While there are some biblical principles mentioned, the majority of the book is sound financial advice that I haven’t found in the secular world.
As you begin to build your business plan, I suggest using Zig Ziglar’s classicBorn to Win as your handbook. In fact, you may notice that I frequently quote this book in my income reports. “You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.”
Ziglar walks readers through his three steps of Planning, Preparing, and Expecting to Win. You learn to not only develop your business plan, but also yourself (emotional, family, physical, etc).
Born to Win is so essential to your success that it just occurred to me that I haven’t re-read it in awhile!
There’s a reason why the online entrepreneurial world was abuzz with Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning a few months back. It works! The principals Elrod teaches through his S.A.V.E.R.S. techniques provide me with the daily inspiration I require to keep motivated.
After I implemented The Miracle Morning, I immediately saw a spike in my performance and results. I’m not a morning person either, but I am now. In fact, I look forward to waking up so I can prepare myself for another successful day.
Why it took me until the age of 36 to read Dale Carnegie’s classic is beyond me. There are so many situations in my professional career that could have been alleviated by knowing how to work better with those around me. I truly believe that I would have exited the corporate world with more money and from a higher position.
One might think that the lessons of How to Win Friends and Influence Others wouldn’t apply to a writer-entrepreneur since I spend the majority of my time writing, but they do. Here’s an example. I was having an issue with a difficult editor who didn’t quite understand the assignment. Instead of arguing with her, I applied the lesson “Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.”
It worked! The editor agreed I was right without me having to tell her.
I believe in How to Win Friends and Influence Others so much that each week I practice a principle from it.