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My Ultimate Reading List for Creative Entrepreneurs 🌈💪

Are you creative? And an (aspiring) entrepreneur? Then these books could be life-changing as they have been for me. I wish I’d have known about them much earlier on in my journey. They are listed in the order I would read them, so starting with Steal Like an Artist, then So Good They Can’t Ignore you, et cetera. Enjoy!

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list steal like an artist austin kleon marc rodan

Steal Like an Artist

Austin Kleon

“10 Things nobody told you about being creative.” A super short read with 10 incredibly valuable lessons for creative individuals and entrepreneurs. Since it’s written by “a writer who draws”, I recommend reading over listening for this one.

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list So good they can't ignore you cal newport marc rodan (1)

So Good They Can't Ignore You

Cal Newport

“Why skills trump passion in the quest for work you love.” How to shape your career path by building rare and valuable skills rather than pursuing your passion. This book changed the way I look at my career and finding work I love.

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list anything you want derek sivers marc rodan

Anything You Want

Derek Sivers

“40 Lessons for a new kind of entrepreneur.” A practical and down-to-earth book about building a business in a way that just makes sense, for you, and for your customers. It’s a short one, but you’ll want to revisit the many lessons again and again.  

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list a whole new mind daniel pink marc rodan

A Whole New Mind

Daniel H. Pink

“Why right-brainers will rule the future.” Creativity is often associated with being right-brained. In a world that seems driven by left-brain thinking, I sometimes feel like I’m at a disadvantage. This book, by the writer of Drive, helped me go all-in on my right-brain skillset.

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list creative confidence tom david kelley marc rodan

Creative Confidence

Tom & David Kelley

“Unleashing the creative potential within us all.” Creative confidence is the belief that everyone is creative, and that creativity isn’t the capacity to draw or compose or sculpt, but a way of approaching the world. This book, by the founder of IDEO and his brother, will help you maximise your creative potential.

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list big magic elizabeth gilbert marc rodan

Big Magic

Elizabeth Gilbert

“Creative living beyond fear.” This book by the writer of Eat, Pray, Love is such a fun read. Besides that it will be a feast of recognition for any creative person, it answers the question on how to live creatively. It’s the ultimate permission slip many of us need to get out there and just create.

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list anything you want derek sivers marc rodan

The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho

“A fable about following your dream.” While the story in this book is fictional, it’s full of valuable lessons about life and following your dreams. Not every lesson will be obvious, but I’m sure that this book will inspire you to truly follow your own dreams and make the most of your life.

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list who moved my cheese dr spencer johnson marc rodan

Who Moved My Cheese?

Dr Spencer Johnson

“An amazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life.” The second and final fiction books on this list takes less than an hour to read and it’s about 4 mice, a maze and cheese. You will no doubt recognise yourself in some of the mice and make better choices in life as a result.

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list how will you measure your life clayton christensen marc rodan

How Will You Measure Your Life?

Clayton Christensen

This book helps you figure out how to spend your life feeling both happy and fulfilled. As an entrepreneur you may be tempted to focus on your career, but what about your relationships and personal well-being? This book helps you zoom out and create a life that you truly want. Bonus: there are some great business lessons in this one too!

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list the war of art steven pressfield marc rodan

The War of Art

Steven Pressfield

“Break through the blocks and win your inner creative battles.” What if you feel super inspired to create, but… it just doesn’t happen? This book helps you overcome procrastination and any other form of inner resistance. 

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list the obstacle is the way ryan holiday marc rodan 2

The Obstacle is the Way

Ryan Holiday

“The ancient art of turning adversity into advantage.” Taking a Stoic mindset when it comes to problems that both life and business throw at you can be incredibly helpful. In fact, it can enable you to turn any obstacle into an opportunity. 

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list mastery robert greene marc rodan


Robert Greene

This book is a great follow-up to So Good They Can’t Ignore You. It explains proven steps that famous masters — such as Einstein Darwin and Da Vinci — took to achieve mastery in their field. The steps are simple, yet powerful. But the amazing stories and examples in this book make it one to remember.

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list show your work austin kleon marc rodan

Show Your Work!

Austin Kleon

“10 Ways to share your creativity and get discovered.” The second book by Austin Kleon on this list and possibly my favourite of all. This book is the reason why I started this website and why you’re reading this at all. I love the lessons, the style and the length. I’m sure I’ll keep revisiting it for many years to come.

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list rework jason fried david heinemeier hansson marc rodan


Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

 This book is all about doing what everyone else isn’t. It’s unconventional business advice, which is right up my alley. There are a lot of lessons in here. Too many maybe. But some will resonate and make you want to take action… your way.

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list the emyth revisited michael gerber marc rodan

The E-Myth Revisited

Michael E. Gerber

“Why most small businesses don’t work and what to do about it.” The cover may look uninspiring, but this book is actually super fun to read and an absolute must for any entrepreneur. With great stories and examples, it helps you understand the value of building systems — even if your business is small. 

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list the 4 hour work week workweek timothy ferris marc rodan

The 4-Hour Work Week

Timothy Ferris

“Escape the 9-5, live anywhere and join the new rich.” This book inspired me to look at my time and income differently. Rather than exchanging your hours for money, you can build systems that make money for you. Tim Ferris provides you with the tools and insights to make that happen.

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list rich dad poor dad robert kiyosaki marc rodan

Rich Dad Poor Dad

Robert T. Kiyosaki

“What the rich teach their kids about money – that the poor and middle class do not!” This book helped me realise the importance of investing through a simple story about two dads. It’s great inspiration to start making your money work for you instead of the other way around. 

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list profit first mike michalowicz marc rodan

Profit First

Mike Michalowicz

“A simple system to transform any business from cash-eating monster to money-making machine.” As a creative person, I don’t feel driven by profit. Rather, I want to create amazing products and services for my clients. Still, this practical book helped me put the systems in place to focus on money enough to be creative and run a successful business.

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list purple cow seth godin marc rodan

Purple Cow

 Seth Godin

“Transform your business by being remarkable.” Even though Seth Godin wrote many great marketing books that are well-worth a read, this is my favourite. It’s not the most actionable book, but the core message resonates so deeply with me that I can’t help but love it. For a long time already, it has inspired me to stand out and go be that “purple cow”.

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list own your weird jason zook marc rodan

Own Your Weird

Jason Zook

“An oddly effective way for finding happiness in work, life, and love.” This guy wore t-shirts for a living, he sold his last name twice, then he even sold his entire future. He may not have as big a name as some of the writers on this list, but when it comes to being a creative entrepreneur and having your shit together… it’s Jason Zook.

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list contagious jonah berger marc rodan


Jonah Berger

“Why things catch on.” If you want to go one step further than being remarkable, this is a nice book to start with. Jonah analysed hundreds of contagious messages, products and ideas and shares the same 6 “ingredients” that were often at work in all of these. Use them to craft your own contagious content and go viral.

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list building a storybrand david miller marc rodan

Building a StoryBrand

Donald Miller

“Clarify your message so customers will listen.” This books uses the same principles that successful movies and TV shows apply to tell a great story. Being a creative, it feels amazing to think about my businesses in terms of the Lukes, Darth Vaders and Yodas of this world. Tip: if you liked this book, read Donald’s Marketing Made Simple as a more practical follow-up.

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list creativity inc ed catmull marc rodan

Creativity, Inc.

Ed Catmull

“Overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration.” When it comes to creativity, I feel that Pixar is in a league of its own. This book allows you to learn from Pixar’s founder as he explains how they built a company culture that unlocks creativity, which you can apply in your own organisation. It is also a nice lead-in to the final book on this list.

books for creative entrepreneurs reading list steve jobs the exclusive biography walter isaacson marc rodan

Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography

Walter Isaacson

By far the longest book on here, but also incredibly fascinating. Honest and detailed biographies like this one have the power to inspire us in an entirely different way. This one allows you to get into the mind of one of our generation’s most influential creative entrepreneurs. And the fact that that’s even possible is incredible.

💡 Do you have suggestions for this reading list? Send me a message.