In case you didn’t know, you’re as much an entrepreneur as you are an independent musician. The two are synonyms and many are catching up with the fact. Just think about it: you have to make your own schedule, budget, network, get sponsors, plan your marketing, sell units, and grow your brand awareness. Your music career IS a business. That’s good news for you because you can literally apply the same rules and principles that entrepreneurs live by to further your music progress. While there is a myriad of awesome business books, today we’re presenting you the top 5 self-help books you should read as an independent artist to get into that powerful, go-getter state of mind.
5. Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins.
Tony Robbins is pretty much the poster boy for self-help. Or should we say man given that the motivational speaker and businessman is now 61 years old. Worth today $500 million as per Forbes, Anthony Jay Robbins has had quite an incredible and awe-inspiring life since he was a boy. He ran away from home at 17, he was overweight, he worked as a janitor, he was broke, he didn’t go to college, he came from an unstable home, in short, he was like all of us, if not in a worse position than many. And yet, now he’s friends with the top-tier celebrities in the world and is the go-to person for billionaires and millionaires when hitting a dead-end. He even impressed the likes of Oprah.
The now-classic Awaken The Giant Within boasts a 4.1 rating on Goodreads and a 4 from our team. The book is a good introduction to self-help if you are seeking to warm up your drive. It’s a very easy read, there is plenty of common knowledge and unique nuggets emphasized in ways and manners to help you cement it into your memory. An excerpt we live by: “Enjoy making decisions. You must know that in any moment a decision you make can change the course of your life forever: the very next person you stand behind in line or sit next to on an airplane, the very next phone call you make or receive, the very next movie you see or book you read or page you turn could be the one single thing that causes the floodgates to open, and all of the things that you’ve been waiting for to fall into place. If you really want your life to be passionate, you need to live with this attitude of expectancy.”
4. How To Win Friends & Influence People (In The Digital Age) by Dale Carnegie and Associates
Dale Carnegie was born into a poor family of farmers in Maryville, Missouri. The young boy enjoyed public speaking and joined his school’s debate team but not before waking up at 3 AM to feed the pigs and animals around the house. Growing up he sold everything, from correspondence to soap bars, bacon, lard, and other items of interest at that time. After pursuing additional courses and education, out of which one included attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, by 1914, he was earning $500 (about $12900 today) on a weekly basis. In 1936, Simon & Schuster published How to Win Friends and Influence People. The book was a bestseller from its debut reaching five sold million copies in 31 languages by the time of the author’s death, and there had been 450,000 graduates of his Dale Carnegie Institute. It has been stated in the book that he had critiqued over 150,000 speeches in his participation in the adult education movement of the time.
The original book is a must-read for sure but we’re interested in the updated version that is custom-tailored for our times and needs. For example look how you could apply this in supporting online your fellow artists: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming more interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” As you’d say: FACTS. Bonus quote: “When we attempt to use criticism to win an argument, to make a point, or to incite change, we are taking two steps backward.” The book stands at a 3.9 rating on Goodreads and a 4.1 from our team.
3. The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
Charles Duhigg, the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for a series of 10 articles on the business practices of Apple and other technology companies, has only published two books so far but my oh my what books did he bring to the world! The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business and Smarter Faster Better. Our favorite, The Power of Habit, has spent over THREE years on The New York Times‘s bestseller lists.
This book, one of the most fascinating works available on the market that will prove to you just how vital it is that you develop beneficial daily habits and routines, is a game-changer and a mind-blower. Because truly, you will never succeed in ANY field unless you adjust your daily dos and don’ts to help you in your professional and personal quest. A quote that will clearly depict why we often mention in our articles that the independent artist should take care of their physical health and work out regularly: “Typically, people who exercise, start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. Exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.” Your music career will directly benefit from the self-discipline you’ll have developed if you’ll start working out as part of your daily routine. And this is just ONE of the hundreds of revelations you’ll encounter when reading this exceptional book. The Power of Habit stands at a 4.1 rating on Goodreads and a 4.5 from our team.
2. The Success Principles by Jack Canfield.
The author, Jack Canfield is 77 years old, he’s been around for longer than most of us, and he holds a Guinness World Record for having SEVEN books on the New York Times best-seller list at the same time. In 2006 Canfield was featured in the well-known movie directed by Rhonda Byrne, The Secret. He’s also the co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, which has more than 250 titles and 500 million copies in print in over 40 languages.
The best-selling author comprised an incredible amount of knowledge in this book. All of the principles are accompanied by real-life examples to help you, the reader, comprehend the pragmatic use of the lesson Jack is trying to convey. One excerpt from The Success Principles that we love, will remind you, the indie artist, in your very uncommon path that you’re not alone: “It’s not always going to be easy. Sometimes you are going to have to persist in the face of obstacles – unseen obstacles – that no amount of planning or forethought could have predicted. Sometimes, you’ll encounter what seems like overwhelming odds. And sometimes, the universe will test your commitment to the goal you’re pursuing. The going may be hard, requiring you to refuse to give up while you learn new lessons, develop new parts of yourself, and make difficult decisions.” The Success Principles boasts a 4.2 rating on Goodreads and a 4.7 from our team.
1. The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy.
The 77-year-old Canadian-American self-development author has consulted more than 1,000 companies and addressed more than 5,000,000 people in 5,000 talks and seminars throughout the US, Canada, and 70 other countries worldwide. He reportedly addresses more than 250,000 people each year. Brian also speaks 4 languages and has studied, researched, written, and spoken for 30 years in the fields of economics, history, business, philosophy, and psychology.
According to the official Brian Tracy website, the author penned over 70 books. But our top favorite that is highly pragmatical and an absolute eye-opener is The Psychology of Selling. Well yes! You have to sell your music and your image except that mainstream media doesn’t train artists to think from this perspective. Let’s take an excerpt from the book and see how you can apply it to your field: “There are many different reasons why someone may buy your product or service. What you must appreciate is that people buy for their reasons, not for yours. One of the biggest mistakes amateur salespeople make is asking people to buy for their own personal reasons, not for the reasons that actually motivate the customer to take action.” Now peep this when we apply this knowledge to music: “There are many different reasons why someone may buy your music or message. What you must appreciate is that people listen to music for their reasons, not for yours. One of the biggest mistakes amateur musicians make is asking people to follow them for their own personal reasons, not for the reasons that actually motivate the public to engage with the music and brand.” That’s literally the breakdown of why you need a brand statement, a strong bio, and a unique selling pitch for your brand on the music market. Best part? The entire book is filled with applicable strategies that you can start implementing as you read. The Psychology Of Selling stands at a 4 rating on Goodreads and a 4.9 from our team.
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