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8 Vital Books for Independent Doers Everywhere!

August 3, 2022
Swaraa Lodha

The desire to have a successful career in our fast-paced world today can create stress for many Independent Doers like you. That stress is only intensified when you’re drowning in the countless pieces of content that float around and try to give all sorts of advice! And although creating a business, expanding a small company, and freelancing, all require immense strength and dedication, they also need guidance. That’s where we come in!  

For this week’s DO Blog, we’ve curated a list of the 8 must-read books for Independent Doers like you to get inspired and create stronger businesses!

1. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Ideation is important. But flexibility is vital.  

Eric Ries believes the same and discusses the *Lean* approach to leverage creativity and capital efficiently. Inspired by the process of lean manufacturing, this book showcases how startups and founders should prioritize building a powerful minimum viable product (MVP) and focus on customer feedback to shorten product development cycles and create a final product their customers will actually want to buy.  

Give it a read if you: Wish to save time, energy, and resources by creating a product that is useful for your consumers and will truly be utilized by them!  

Memorable Quote: “Lean thinking defines value as providing benefit to the customer; anything else is waste.”

Buy it here:

2. The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen

Innovation comes in many forms, and one of the most memorable ones: Disruptive. This book explains why many companies tend to miss waves of innovation and are taken over by adaptable competitors. Not only that, but it also describes the leadership and managerial mistakes many large companies made, leading to their dramatic failures. The main lesson is that it is okay to want to be traditional once in a while, but entrepreneurs must think out of the box to capitalize on the idea of disruptive innovation and thrive in a world that is constantly changing.  

Give it a read if you: Want to read about various large companies failing due to multiple small managerial mistakes and how you can avoid making the same ones in your business journey!

Memorable Quote: “But do you know what? Gravity doesn’t care! It will always pull things down, and I may as well plan on it.”

Buy it here:

3. Competing in the New World of Work by Keith Ferrazzi

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented challenges businesses faced and still continue to, this bestselling author discusses what the future of our organizations looks like. Given how brutal the pandemic has been for businesses and its owners, he discusses the change and the need to redefine our mindsets as well as missions to be successful in the post-pandemic world.

Give it a read if you: Are resilient and want to be inspired to make sure your business survives and becomes a stronger version of itself in (and after) the unprecedented time of COVID-19!

Memorable Quote: Never go “back” to work – only go forward to work.”

Buy it here:

4. Principles by Ray Dalio

Being one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and investors brings an incredible amount of stories to share. Through “Principles,” the author describes his decades-long journey in business and provides practical lessons and approaches to decision-making for achieving whatever one wants. He discusses the importance of research & development and data analytics while touching upon the importance of the mathematical aspect of business and how many founders tend to not pay attention to these details until it’s too late.  

Give it a read if you: Want to systemize your thought process, make decisions more analytically, and simplify your business practices!  

Memorable Quote: Pain + Reflection = Progress”

Buy it here:

5. Jugaad Innovation by Jaideep Prabhu and Navi Radjou

Although “Jugaad” is a Hindi term associated with quick fixes and their lack of sustainability, the authors questions why Jugaad is only about short-term solutions instead of being a path to breakthroughs.

Usually thought of as a “dirty solution,” the authors wish to bust the idea that being frugal and doing more with less is an idea that every business should include in their philosophy.    

Give it a read if you: Are interested in learning about approaches that encourage economical ideation and make your business more flexible and frugal!

Memorable Quote: “Seek opportunity in adversity, do more with less, think and act flexibly, keep it simple, include the margin and follow your heart.”

Buy it here:

6. The Business of Freelancing by Creatives at Work

Freelancers shouldn’t just survive. They should thrive. With this idea, The Business of Freelancing discusses how freelancers play pivotal roles in aiding other businesses and corporations whilst helping them manage their resources, talent, and deliverables better.  

Give it a read if you: Are a freelancer who wants to maximize their potential, learn how to position themselves in the hiring market, and leave a mark on the world!

Memorable Quote: “More projects and fewer budgets mean that selecting the right person for the right project is imperative to success”

Buy it here:

7. Measure what Matters by John Doerr

Through his experiences of doing business, John Doerr discusses stories and behind-the-scenes case students that showcase the importance of focus, agility, coordination to experience explosive growth. This book sheds light on how to collect accurate and relevant data to track progress and excel.  

Give it a read if you: Want to get a sneak peek at how a range of companies function and learn about managing expectations in our ever-accelerating world!

Memorable Quote: “Ideas are easy. Execution is everything.”

Buy it here:

8. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

Work less, live more. This idea is the foundation of “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss where he discusses how one should focus on work but more so on the way they work. This book provides a step-by-step guide and is a blueprint to becoming understanding of oneself and improving work styles. Although the style of writing and topics are fairly general, the book is an interesting read for freelancers as well as small business owners who do not want to slog away all their time just for work.

Give it a read if you: Remove unnecessary expenditure and stress from your life and become a holistically better version of yourself!  

Memorable Quote: “If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”

Buy it here:

That’s it for our list of the 8 vital books for Independent Doers!

Although reading may seem theoretical and time-consuming in the beginning, these 8 books will provide insights, lessons, and guidance for all doers, from founders to freelancers, and help you become better versions of yourself!  

So, get reading and level up your business!

Coming soon: 8 Essential Podcasts for Independent Doers Everywhere!

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