Published on

12 Essential Reads for Aspiring Tech Solopreneurs


As the new year rolls in, I always find myself getting pumped up for a fresh start and a new set of goals. It's the perfect time for solopreneurs like us to sketch out our learning and growth plans. In the ever-changing, fast-paced world of solopreneurship, keeping up means you need more than tech smarts. You've got to have that entrepreneurial spirit, a good grasp of business, and be ready to bring your innovative ideas to life.

This year, I'm inviting you on a reading journey with me – a new book each month. These aren't just any books, they're ones that have left a big mark on my own path. They're more than typical reads, some are so good I revisit them every year.

With that said, it's been almost 14 years since I've read some of these books, so I'll also be re-reading each of these throughout the year. As I do this, I plan on reflecting on my own journey, and sharing my thoughts on how I think each book played a role in my personal development.

Here's my list of books (in no particular order):

Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff

This book by Jon Acuff is easily one of my all-time favorite reads. I highly recommend the audiobook because Jon's off-script humor adds so much value. As someone who grapples with perfectionism, I find myself revisiting this book yearly. It's packed with insights that resonate deeply, offering practical advice on pushing past perfection to complete your projects.

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

It might seem cliché to include 'The Lean Startup' since it's on nearly every recommended list, but it's a must-read for good reason. Eric Ries's ideas felt revolutionary, and now they're almost second nature in the startup world. It's a testament to how well he captured the essence of agile and efficient startup methodologies.

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

This was one of the first "business books" I read and it fundamentally shifted my perspective on entrepreneurship. It debunked my earlier belief that an MBA was necessary for business success. Chris Guillebeau's emphasis on starting lean and resourceful was really eye-opening at the time, although now it's just common knowledge.

Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore

Geoffrey Moore is, in my opinion, one of the brightest minds in business writing. 'Crossing the Chasm' is a staple in startup circles for a reason. Moore's insights into market dynamics and product adoption are as relevant today as they were at publication.

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

While I often disagree with the authors' views on Twitter, 'Rework' is undeniably a great book. It really changed my view on work and productivity. It's a great example of how a book can significantly influence your professional philosophy.

Deep Work by Cal Newport

In today's world, we're surrounded by distractions that constantly prevent us from finishing our goals. Cal Newport's rules for deep, concentrated work are similar to the approaches of 'Finish' and 'Atomic Habits', making it a must-read if you truly want to achieve your goals.

The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business by Josh Kaufman

Josh Kaufman's book was a game-changer for me, providing a comprehensive business education without the hefty price tag of an MBA. Its approachable content is a great primer for understanding business fundamentals. I just noticed they released a 10-year anniversary edition, which makes me feel old, and is a good reminder that I should re-read this book. Maybe this time I'll finally understand what EBITA means.

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Another obvious choice that is on every list, but it's really hard to leave this one off. 'Atomic Habits' impressed me with its clear and straightforward approach to habit formation. The section on rebounding from habit failures resonated with me, particularly in maintaining momentum in my personal and professional endeavors.

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp

As a software developer, has become my natural way of approaching everything in my life. This book applies that mindset to broader problem-solving. It’s a refreshing take on tackling big challenges in manageable, time-boxed segments.

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Another classic that I couldn't leave off the list! Simon Sinek's 'Start With Why' poses an essential question for any entrepreneur or leader. My favorite part of this book is its core question of, "Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others?"

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Steven Pressfield's work, particularly 'The War of Art', has been a regular on my yearly reading list. His unique approach to tackling resistance and embracing our creative muse is compelling. For anyone struggling with self-doubt or procrastination, this is a must-read. Also, don't miss out on his other works, like 'Turning Pro'.

The 10% Entrepreneur: Live Your Startup Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job by Patrick J. McGinnis

This book is a fantastic read for those balancing a full-time job with entrepreneurial aspirations. It reinforces the idea that you can nurture your solopreneurial ventures while maintaining the stability of a 9-5 job, a concept I wholeheartedly endorse.

If you want to read along with me, I've created a Goodreads list with all the books. I'll also be posting my thoughts on each book as I read them, so stay tuned for more!