The Best Business Books for Creative Side-Hustlers

I’ve never been a great reader. I’m dyslexic so reading is neither relaxing or fun for me; it’s hard work. Occasionally I’ll fall into a novel that I have to stay up all night to finish, but that’s rare. Where I have found my reading mojo though, is in reading business books and memoirs. I like to feel I’m learning something from a book and picking up tools I can experiment with a put into action straight away.

The other game changer for my reading has been Audible. When I’m commuting or driving long distances I like to listen to audio books and my favourite podcasts, it means I can learn whilst on the go.

Growing a side-hustle is one of the biggest journeys of self-discovery you’ll embark on. But there are some incredible books out there that can give you a leg up on this rollercoaster journey. I’ve taken so much from business books over the last few years, so I wanted to share my favourites with you. Most of these are available on Audible as well as in print.

The Best Business Books for creatives with a side-hustle, reading for creative business owners, Books for growing a side-hustle, Books for solo entrepreneurs

Be a Free Range Human – Marianne Cantwell

This is the book that really got me thinking seriously about my side-hustle. It made me delve into what it was I really wanted to do with my life, not what I thought I should do. This book also inspired me to seek more freedom in my lifestyle. I’ve never been very good at working to the rules of a 9-5 office job and this book got me excited about the possibilities and opportunities that come from growing a side-hustle.

Rework – Jason Freid

This book is full of revelations about how the 9-5 corporate work week is completely outdated and how you can grow your own business with minimal investment and time. This book inspired me to just-start on the plans that were in my head and get prototyping. If you’re side-hustling this book is a great read for finding more efficient ways to build your business while revealing how outdated the 9-5 structure really is.  

There is a chance that this book will get you so fired up and frustrated with being stuck in a 9-5 that you’ll want to quit. It gave me the fire to focus on growing my side-hustle so that I could reduce my hours at work. 

The Little Black Book - Otegha Uwagba 

This book is known as the toolkit for working women but should also be named a reference guide for side-hustlers as well. The first section on maximising your productivity has loads of useful tips and tools to experiment with and there’s also lots in here on money and getting paid what you’re worth. It’s a short book packed with tips and tools that’s perfect for dipping into when you need a motivational pick me up.

The Multi-Hyphen Method - Emma Gannon

If you've been itching to convert your hobby into a career, or your side-hustle into a start up, then The Multi-Hyphen Method is a great place to start. This book dives into how our working world is changing and how you can use this to your advantage in creating a varied, multi-hyphen career.

Blue book in crumpled sheets - reading in bed

Playing Big – Tara Mohr

This book is just the loveliest and relevant for every female out there. Tara shares her coaching methods for helping women play bigger in their work and lives. There are so many wise words in here and lots of exercises that will help you understand where your fears are really coming from and how to approach them more objectively.

I also love the concept of finding your inner mentor that Tara talks through in the book. I’ve been referring to my inner mentor more and more recently, it’s such a powerful tool for finding the wisdom and answers you already have inside you.  

Being Boss – Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon

I discovered this book before I had really got into the Being Boss podcast (which I now wouldn’t miss). Emily and Kathleen are a pair of business bad asses who have lots of wisdom to share when it comes to building a successful and sustainable business based on their own experiences.

In this book they share the tools and strategies that they use in their own businesses and what they’ve learned from interviewing tons of other business owners and experts on their podcast Being Boss.

Heart and Hustle - Patricia Bright

I’m currently reading this book so I’ll report back shortly with my thoughts. I’m intrigued by the sections on side-hustling, something I always love to hear other people’s thoughts on, so I’m refusing to be put off by the ‘hustle-y’ title and diving in to see what I can learn - I’ll report back.

An Edited Life - Anna Newton

I LOVE this book. It's not strictly a business book but it does have a work section within it. In a nutshell if you fancy getting your sh*t together in all areas of your life and getting more organised in general, get-this-book. My copy is stuffed with posit notes and I have this book to thank for streamlining the domestic side of my life.

Style Your Brand - Fiona Humberstone

Not only is this book completely beautiful but it also demystifies the basic principles behind business branding. The book takes you through figuring out which season or seasons your business falls into, a really simple concept that helps to make all of the tricky brand stuff like picking fonts and colours for your brand style a whole load easier. 

Open book on a sofa covered in blankets and cushions

You Are a Badass at Making Money – Jen Sincero

We all have baggage and different stories we tell ourselves when it comes to money. This will help you change your mindset around money and give you renewed confidence to start charging your worth.  

With journaling exercises throughout, this book is full of practical exercises that can uncover your money blocks and get you thinking about money in a whole different way. 

Why I’m no Longer Talking to White People About Race - Reni Eddo-Lodge

Not strictly a business book but an essential read. As business owners we have a responsibility to consider inclusivity and diversity in the work that we do as well in how we live our lives. This book educated me massively on the issues around race, inclusivity and representation. This book got me thinking about how I can make inclusivity and resresentation more of a priority in my business.

The Year of Less – Cait Flanders

Ok this isn’t strictly a business book but it got me thinking about the benefits of simplicity when it comes to life and business. Whether it’s decluttering your wardrobe or reducing the number of products in your online shop, simplicity in all areas of our lives, including business can help to clear our minds create more focus. 

Do Less, Get More - Sháá Wasmund

This is another one that I haven’t finished yet but the title immediately jumped out at me because my philosophy is all about doing less and focussing on just the tasks that really matter so I have a feeling I’ll really connect with this book. I’ll report back when I’ve finished reading.

The lifechanging magic of not giving a f**k

This book is such a goodie for side-hustlers, after all when you’re growing a creative business and don’t have bags of time there’s an awful to start not giving a f**k about. The comments you get from colleagues when you miss work drinks for the fourth time, the fear that comes with putting yourself out there, missing the wedding of an old school friend who you never really liked anyway.

I really recommend listening it on Audible to get the full hilarity of the book coming through. This book has some genuinely brilliant wisdom to share as well as being hilarious at the same time. 



I hope you’ve found a few books in there to add to your reading/ listening list. If there’s a business book YOU love that isn’t on my list please let me know what I should be adding to my reading list over on Instagram, looking forward to hearing your recommendations. Happy reading/ listening.

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The Best Books for growing a Side-Hustle, reading for side-hustlers, Books on growing a creative business, Best business books