10 Amazing Books for New Entrepreneurs

BooksForEtsyShopOwners

I really love to read. I love to read so much, that I actually worked at a library in college. It was amazing; when patrons didn’t need help (that’s what we called them, you know), I could read to my heart’s content. *sigh* I had an endless supply of books  and because I had to shelve them, I got first dibs when new ones came in. It remains one of my favorite jobs to this very day.

However, I’ve never been keen on reading business/self-improvement books, until I realized that I really wanted to start my own business. When  you couple that with the fact that I am a researcher at heart anyway, I started inhaling a ton of books in order to be the best entrepreneur I can be.

I found that this books were the most inspiring on my small business / Etsy Business Journey.

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Book Review: Business Boutique by Christy Wright

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Policy. All opinions here are strictly my own.

I have been waiting weeks for this book. Yes, I know it’s not as dramatic as saying I’ve waited months, but work with me here. 😉

I discovered it while visiting Dave Ramsey’s site; it was rather serendipitous, actually. I found it around the time I decided to finally open my Etsy Shop. Christy is a Ramsey Personality, and because of my great love for Dave Ramsey and Jon Acuff, I felt she was someone that I could trust. Dave is incredibly careful with who he brings into his business as a team member (you can read all about it in Entreleadership).  I immediately preordered on Amazon, and read a ridiculous amount of other books while I waited for its arrival. I am so, so happy to report that it did not disappoint.

Christy starts the book with sharing her life long love for horses. She ultimately paired passion with business in her 20’s when she rented a 40 acre farm and began boarding horses. She found that while conducting interviews for the book, women who owned their own businesses revealed they had always loved a particular hobby or activity that was now the center of their business. Crafters, bakers, gardeners…it all began with truly loving a topic or activity. She writes, “We love our craft or skill or idea – the business part is just a way to share our passion with others and make an income in the process.” This sentence is exactly when she sucked me in.  I also greatly appreciate the fact that it’s beautifully interwoven with scripture and speaks to women working in their God-given strengths.

The book covers four major tiers (just like a cake!) each with its own subtopics below it. The four major tiers she writes on include building a foundation, making it yours, getting the business up and running, and putting yourself out there. In truth, I wish this would have been out exactly when I decided to start my business. I feel like it could have saved me a lot of time and heartache. It breaks starting a business into much more manageable steps. Admittedly I’ve been feeling stressed the past few days, and reading Christy’s book has really helped me relax and refocus. She stresses taking things one step at a time, and as a go-getter, I am constantly forgetting that fact. And the most important piece to finishing this book: when you’re done, you will have all the pieces and parts you need for a cohesive business plan.

Christy’s voice comes through exceptionally clear, as if you’re speaking to a dear friend in the same room rather than just reading yet another business book. Many people (me included up until I started reading books of these sort) have a preconceived notion that business books are supposed to be cold and frumpy. Clearly, those people have not read this book. I simply could not put it down!

Additionally, to help you along the way, Christy offers some free resources as you’re working through the book. The Action Pages are the same as what’s at the end of each chapter. However, as a person who likes to keep their books “nice,” I greatly appreciate having it as a separate resource. Click here to get your Business Boutique action pages. On that same page, you can sign-up by email for the Quick Start Business Plan. Both of which I highly enjoyed and recommend.

If you’re a woman with a dream to start her own business or even if you already have a business of your own, I highly suggest you get a copy of this book.

For more awesome business book resources, check out my carefully curated Pinterest board here.

5 Ways to Get More Stuff Done Today

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. See my Disclosure Policy here.

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Between being a Wife, a Mom, a Full Time Employee at my day job, and a new Entrepreneur running a blog and a soon-to-be opening Etsy shop, I have to stay on top of my game.  Organization is key in doing this.

Here’s some things that I’ve found keep me on track and help me accomplish more:

1.) Putting Appointments and Important Reminders on my Calendar. I hate holding onto appointment cards and I especially hate forgetting to do things (which I have a tendency to do when things get hectic). For Mother’s Day a couple years ago, my husband bought me an Apple Watch – my appointments appear right on the face of my watch so I won’t forget. Which is perfect because I’m very visual. This even helps my husband because we share a family calendar, so he can see everything I add, too.

2.) To Do Lists. There’s something about checking an item off my to-do list that is satisfying and really gives me a sense of accomplishment. I find that when I put things down on a list and see them, I am much more likely to accomplish them. I’m a complete technology nerd, so I have To Do lists built right into my OneNote Notebook.

3.) Scrum Project Management. If you haven’t heard of Scrum, I am entirely too happy to introduce you! I highly recommend reading Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland. I have used Scrum for around 2-3 years now, and it’s still by far my favorite project management tool. I use it for both my day job and my Etsy Shop planning. The long story short is this: Create three columns on a chart, white board, Excel spreadsheet, whatever is easiest for you.  Title them To Do, Doing, and Done. Then, put tasks on a sticky note (or digital sticky note if you’re using Excel), place accordingly, and move when necessary. This will show you at a glance where everything stands and motivate you to get more done. If you don’t quite feel like making your own Scrum Board, Trello is a great management tool app and site.

4.) Don’t Be Afraid to Say No. When you’re overworked, overtasked, and reaching the end of your rope, there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying no. If saying no means you’re able to complete the other tasks on your plate in a more efficient manner, then you should by all means say no. Overextending yourself isn’t doing you any favors.

5.) Tackle the Hardest/Most Concentration Demanding Task of your Day FIRST. This summarizes the biggest takeaway from Brian Tracy’s book, Eat that Frog. I would also highly encourage that this time be completely uninterrupted. For example, on one of my days off,  I started my Adobe Illustrator Class in a Book, when I knew I wasn’t tired or pulled in many directions.

Bonus Tip: Cut Some Corners on Mundane Tasks Like Grocery Shopping. In effort to save money, we often do things that cost us more in the long run through time. One of these being grocery shopping. Check out Belinda’s post here on how she saves time grocery shopping.

So there you have it! That’s how I manage to juggle the many tasks I need to accomplish each day. But before you go, let me give you one bonus tip: give yourself grace. You can’t do it all at once, no matter how awesome you are. Be kind to yourself while you’re taking on the world.

Do you have any productivity tips? What’s your favorite?