Continuous learning is key to a thriving business. To excel, the most successful business folks push through our ever-changing environment by constantly exposing themselves to new skills and ideas.
There is an abundance of resources available, both online and in your local bookstore or library, to help you pull ahead. So dust off your reading glasses and pull up a big comfy chair; we asked some of Upwork’s employees and freelancers to share their favorite business books and why they like them.
“I don’t read a lot of traditional business books, but in the personal development space I highly recommend ‘The Happiness Advantage’ by Shawn Achor. It’s not an airy fairy, woo woo ‘find yourself and find enlightenment’ kind of book (although I do love those, too). It’s a really scientific (yet funny) book about happiness and how it affects everything in our lives, especially our work. [It also describes] how to find our own brand of happiness in a completely real-world, actionable, practical way. Shawn Achor’s TED talk is pretty great to get an idea of what the book is like.”
– Radhika Basuthakur, Freelance Social Media Expert
“’The 4-Hour Workweek’ by Timothy Ferriss. It has very practical ideas on how we can simplify and be more efficient in both our professional and personal lives. I read the book well before joining Upwork, and it certainly made me a believer in how freelance marketplaces like Upwork will help revolutionize how we work and operate on a day-to-day basis.”
– Chandhini Balakrishnan, Category Manager
“Tim Ferriss’ ‘4-Hour Work Week’. There are so many nuggets of lifehacking awesomeness in that book. It’s not cut and dry either. It has a really personal voice that you can relate to and nothing feels too lofty and far away from accomplishing.”
– Alvin Ding, Marketing Manager
“My favorite business book is ‘StrengthsFinder 2.0’ by Tom Rath. I used to spend time trying to find ways to overcome my weaknesses because that’s what we’re taught to do. This book helped me pivot my focus to developing my strengths and coming to terms with the fact that no one can be great at everything.”
– Lindo Lo, Premium Talent Program Manager
“Getting Things Done, it simplifies the tasks.”
– Oleksandr Drach, Freelance Service Reliability Engineer
“‘The Art of the Start’ (recently updated/re-released) is an actionable, to-the-point guide to presenting ideas with purpose and clarity. It’s a crash course in testing and running a business of any size—particularly a startup. It won’t all be 100% relevant to everyone, but anyone can learn from Kawasaki’s advice. Whether you’re promoting a business or yourself, ‘The Art of Pitching’ (chapter 6) is a must read.”
– Amy Sept, Writer and Managing Editor of the Upwork Blog