Here I share some of my favourite books, podcasts and resources that have either benefited me as a freelancer, or have shaped my values and who I am as a person. I’ve explained the basics of each resource and why it’s useful. Whether you’re starting your freelance journey, or you’re just looking to diversify your knowledge and learn more about a particular topic – I hope this page inspires you!
You can also follow me on my Instagram page dedicated to books: @recommendthatbook
This page is a constant work in progress, and will be updated as time goes on!
Little black book
I had this book bought for me in August 2018 as a birthday present, as my friends knew that freelancing was something I wanted to take seriously. This book is amazing – short, sweet and has tangible takeaways that can improve your working life as a creative.
It’s quite literally pocket sized, so I pretty much take it everywhere I go. It stayed with me whilst I was travelling and it’s one of those books that I think has really helped me be a better freelancer!
I know what you’re thinking – how is a book on periods going to help me become a better businessperson/writer/creative/etc. I felt the same before reading this book, but being self employed and not having a boss was a huge eye opener.
My emotions were pretty much ruling my life and reading this book changed my approach to work, and my mental health. It’s an inclusive book that I personally think can be read by anybody and you’d benefit from it. It’s enabled me as a freelancer to structure my months appropriately, understand my hormones and not burn myself out.
think and grow rich
This is one of the first books I read when I worked in sales, and is pretty similar to The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. As much as I love The Secret, I think Napoleon Hill’s book is just that little bit better.
It does what it says on the tin. It’s about the law of attraction and how you can actionably manifest a better lifestyle for yourself. We used to include it as a part of our probation criteria when I worked in Recruitment, and if you’re lacking motivation and struggling to have a positive mindset – I urge you to give this a read.
Dealing with stress
Deliciously Ella – Podcast
For those who have never had the pleasure of following Deliciously Ella on Instagram or listened to her podcasts, she is probably one of my favourite people to listen to.
I’m not Vegan, nor do I plan to be any time soon*, but I was drawn to her mostly because of the topics she covers on her podcast. She always has interesting guests and each subject is well thought out and executed. I hate wasting my time listening to waffle, and she released one on dealing with stress which I found particularly helpful.
You can listen to it here.
*As of October 2020 I’m eating my words, and now Vegan.
THe Infinite game
Although this book isn’t 100% applicable to being a freelancer per se, it’s a great book that talks about leadership, growing sustainable teams and building trust. Sinek is someone that I’ve always found inspirational, and there are a lot of key takeaways in here about the importance of patience, how to build trust in teams and ultimately get the best out of the people you’re working with.
I’ve recommended this book to a few of my clients before, particularly if they have never managed freelancers in the past. If you’re a freelancer, or simply starting out on your journey, this is a great book to make yourself aware of what a good leader looks like, and also how to spot a toxic workplace (or client).
start now, get perfect later
I bought this book as it was highly recommended by Amazon based on other books I’d purchased, and I’m glad that I dived into it. Although a lot of the principles are fairly basic, it’s a book that I would recommend to people who are looking to a) boost their motivation, b) get organised, and c) improve their mindset.
If you consider yourself a perfectionist or a Type A personality, and you struggle with imposter syndrome and never feeling as though your work is good enough – this is definitely for you. It’s one of those books you can go back to and reference constantly.
A bit of optimism
Podcast – Simon Sinek
I started listening to this podcast towards the end of 2020, as I felt that a lot of content out there was purely focused on the pandemic caused by Coronavirus and it was exhausting. Already a fan of Simon Sinek, it was a no brainer to take a listen to these.
He articulates everything he talks about – no matter how sad – with optimism. Although I think it’s important to listen to raw and thought-provoking podcasts, it’s nice to have short bursts of positivity whenever I listen to Sinek.
Women don’t owe you pretty
I was surprised at how much I took away from this book in a ‘business’ or ‘commercial’ sense, particularly as I don’t think it was Florence’s intention to do this. This is an interesting read both for men and women as it’s a feminist book, therefore a positive commentary on equality whilst covering a number of topics.
Being a freelancer is mentally taxing at times, and the misogyny (both from men AND women) is still very prevalent when you’re trying to win projects. This book gave me a lot of extra information on how to deal with characters like this in my personal life, but also it can be applied to how I do business with clients. It’s important that clients respect you, pay you what you deserve and make you feel valued.
why i’m no longer talking to white people about race
This was a particularly eye-opening book for me as a freelancer, as during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement it became very obvious to me that I wasn’t educated nor equipped to write about particular topics.
It also gave me inspiration on how I could potentially make a difference, even though I’m not embedded into any organisations permanently.
It’s important that as a freelancer I uphold my values, and if clients are looking to write content on D&I, or talk about their D&I initiative in any way – I facilitate those conversations with other experts aside from myself.
Finally, it also taught me a lot that I should have known beforehand, and it’s important that as a freelance creative you make a conscious effort to use your privilege to uplift and facilitate introductions for others in the industry who face prejudice every day, whether this is conscious or unconscious.
Podcast – Venetia La Manna
I love listening to podcasts that are about a range of topics, not only because it allows me to stay up to date with trends, but also gives me the opportunity to think about other topics and industries that I’d like to be involved in.
I love this podcast by Venetia La Manna, and overall feel as though in a world of “infuencers” and social media, she is a positive light in a somewhat dark online world. She’s an activist, Vegan and overall someone who I learn from constantly. Her ethics and approach when working with brands has given me a lot of inspiration as to how I like to work with my clients.
She’s one of the very few people on the internet who isn’t preachy about veganism, and actually educates her followers and listeners on so many topics that she’s passionate about!