100 books like Launch

By Jeff Walker,

Here are 100 books that Launch fans have personally recommended if you like Launch. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Artpreneur: The Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Sustainable Living from Your Creativity

Stephanie Blanchard

From my list on running a creative small business.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer who is drawn to entrepreneurs, especially those with creative businesses; they inspire me. I launched a freelance writing business in 2014, but I’ve always wanted to work for a magazine. One day, it finally occurred to me to combine my interests and start a magazine about creative entrepreneurs! I have interviewed over 100 creative entrepreneurs for my magazine. I created this list because I think it can help others interested in starting a creative business.

Stephanie's book list on running a creative small business

Stephanie Blanchard Why did Stephanie love this book?

Since I write about artist entrepreneurs for my job, I wanted to learn about how an artist can go from creating art to creating art and selling it. So, I picked up this book.

I love how the author drew from her experiences as a Wall Street analyst and successful art business owner. Schulman provides an actionable guide for launching and maintaining a creative business.

This book inspired me to take action in my own business and made me believe that success is possible no matter the field.  

By Miriam Schulman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Artpreneur as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A step-by-step guide for creatives to transform your passion into a profitable business.

Whether you're a musician, photographer, painter, writer, dancer, singer, or any other creative with aspirations of making a living from your art, this is the perfect time to turn your creative ideas into a sustainable business. With gatekeepers no longer controlling the market, anyone with a laptop and a dream can make a thriving living from their creativity.

This is the definitive sales and marketing playbook for anyone looking to make a living from their art. Each page provides the inspiration and practical steps you need to…


Book cover of How Creativity Rules the World: The Art and Business of Turning Your Ideas into Gold

Stephanie Blanchard

From my list on running a creative small business.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer who is drawn to entrepreneurs, especially those with creative businesses; they inspire me. I launched a freelance writing business in 2014, but I’ve always wanted to work for a magazine. One day, it finally occurred to me to combine my interests and start a magazine about creative entrepreneurs! I have interviewed over 100 creative entrepreneurs for my magazine. I created this list because I think it can help others interested in starting a creative business.

Stephanie's book list on running a creative small business

Stephanie Blanchard Why did Stephanie love this book?

This book demonstrates that anyone can be creative, regardless of their background, profession, or society’s definition of a creative person.

Even though the examples in the book are largely artists’ stories, Brito presents them in a way that I can apply to my career. The book inspires me to explore new ways of thinking and problem-solving. What resonated with me the most were the examples of artists who faced setbacks but transformed their approaches, ultimately achieving success.

The book also delves into the stories of well-known entrepreneurs who pivoted, providing me with inspiration for sticking with an entrepreneurial project when it gets challenging.

By Maria Brito,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Creativity Rules the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Entrepreneurship Category

Learn to make creativity work for your career.

Anyone, regardless of who you are or what you do, can cultivate the habits, actions, and attitudes that inspire creativity and innovation.

There has never been a more crucial time than now to develop your creativity and your ability to innovate. Coming up with original ideas of value is today's most precious skill.

How Creativity Rules the World shows that, despite contrary beliefs, creativity can be taught and learned by anyone. Creativity is an inexhaustible resource that is the key to thriving in the…


Book cover of The Right-brain Business Plan: A Creative, Visual Map for Success

Stephanie Blanchard

From my list on running a creative small business.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer who is drawn to entrepreneurs, especially those with creative businesses; they inspire me. I launched a freelance writing business in 2014, but I’ve always wanted to work for a magazine. One day, it finally occurred to me to combine my interests and start a magazine about creative entrepreneurs! I have interviewed over 100 creative entrepreneurs for my magazine. I created this list because I think it can help others interested in starting a creative business.

Stephanie's book list on running a creative small business

Stephanie Blanchard Why did Stephanie love this book?

Writing a business plan is a daunting task, no matter if you’re left or right-brain dominant. I needed a tool to kickstart the process.

Since I’m in a creative field, I decided to check out this book. I liked how the exercises in this book made writing a business plan more interesting and, dare I say, fun. The book helped me uncover my unique strengths, and I drew from them to write my business plan.

By Jennifer Lee, Kate Prentiss (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Right-brain Business Plan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Turn Passionate Ideas into Profitable Enterprises

Do you dream of making a living doing what you love but find the process of creating a viable business plan like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole? Jennifer Lee knows what it’s like to make the entrepreneurial leap — and how to do it successfully. The key is using, rather than stifling, imagination and intuition. Lee’s illustrated, colorful worksheets and step-by-step instructions are playful yet practical, transforming drudgery into joy. They’ll enable you to define your vision and nail down plans for funding, marketing, networking, and long-term strategy.

Discover…


Book cover of A Short Guide to a Happy Life

Stephanie Blanchard

From my list on running a creative small business.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer who is drawn to entrepreneurs, especially those with creative businesses; they inspire me. I launched a freelance writing business in 2014, but I’ve always wanted to work for a magazine. One day, it finally occurred to me to combine my interests and start a magazine about creative entrepreneurs! I have interviewed over 100 creative entrepreneurs for my magazine. I created this list because I think it can help others interested in starting a creative business.

Stephanie's book list on running a creative small business

Stephanie Blanchard Why did Stephanie love this book?

A dear friend gave me this book many years ago. I am recommending this book because choosing to be a creative entrepreneur is an unconventional career path. I chose entrepreneurship because it felt true to who I am, not because it’s going to make me rich and that’s off the beaten path.

This book resonates with me because it reminds me to prioritize love, gratitude, and the pursuit of my passions in work and life.

By Anna Quindlen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Short Guide to a Happy Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times bestselling author Anna Quindlen’s classic reflection on a meaningful life makes a perfect gift for any occasion.

“Life is made of moments, small pieces of silver amidst long stretches of tedium. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won’t happen. We have to teach ourselves now to live, really live . . . to love the journey, not the destination.”

In this treasure of a book, Anna Quindlen, the bestselling novelist and columnist, reflects on what it takes…


Book cover of The E-Myth Revisited

Kevin Stansfield Author Of The BIG Dipper: How to Survive the Rollercoaster Ride of Business Ownership

From my list on helping build a great business.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been around businesses most of my life. Both my parents ran them, and as an accountant and business coach, I have helped many grow and be successful. I have also seen many businesses fail, including my father’s, and so I have been passionate about what it takes to build a successful business for many years. I am constantly on the lookout for great authors who have been through a journey and learn from their successes and failures. It was hard to select only 5 books in this review as I have read so many, but I hope that you find these as useful as I have.

Kevin's book list on helping build a great business

Kevin Stansfield Why did Kevin love this book?

In this book, Gerber discusses three types of business owners: the Entrepreneur, the Manager, and the Technician.

I have seen all three of these types in real life, and I agree with Gerber that 80% of businesses are run by technicians. I also agree that this type can struggle the most to build a profitable business that works without them. But unlike many other books, Gerber also gives ideas on what to do about it, which I loved. From putting in systems and processes to building a great team, the book got better and more engaging the more you read.

By Michael E. Gerber,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The E-Myth Revisited as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

E-Myth \ 'e-,'mith\ n 1: the entrepreneurial myth: the myth that most people who start small businesses are entrepreneurs 2: the fatal assumption that an individual who understands the technical work of a business can successfully run a business that does that technical work Voted #1 business book by Inc. 500 CEOs. An instant classic, this revised and updated edition of the phenomenal bestseller dispels the myths about starting your own business. Small business consultant and author Michael E. Gerber, with sharp insight gained from years of experience, points out how common assumptions, expectations, and even technical expertise can get…


Book cover of Trajectory: Startup – Ideation to Product/Market Fit

Paul A. Swegle Author Of Startup Law and Fundraising for Entrepreneurs and Startup Advisors

From my list on startup success from someone with startup wins.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have worked with startups since 2000, when I joined ShareBuilder, ultimately sold to Capital One in a $9.5 billion deal – one of my five successful startup exits to date. I am currently an officer of seven startups. Startups drive global job creation and problem-solving innovation. But 90% fail, often for preventable reasons. I am helping entrepreneurs beat those odds. I wrote Startup Law and Fundraising to help entrepreneurs build on a solid foundation, avoid common legal and regulatory mistakes, and fund their vision. My books are used globally in law and MBA schools, and I speak constantly on entrepreneurship-related topics, including recently to groups in Istanbul, Ramallah, and Tehran. 

Paul's book list on startup success from someone with startup wins

Paul A. Swegle Why did Paul love this book?

I love Dave Parker’s book, Trajectory: Startup – Ideation to Product/Market Fit, because it provides a clear, but detailed roadmap to guide entrepreneurs through and over all of the necessary steps and obstacles to entrepreneurial success. The nature and degree of the best practices and practical insights laid out in Trajectory: Startup is somewhat similar, but even more granular, to that found in my own book but for the business side of things instead of the legal, governance, or regulatory side.

There is a lot of intellectual and procedural handholding in these pages, including checklists, to-do lists, and template forms for gathering and analyzing research and data, that first-time entrepreneurs will find indispensable and that even experienced entrepreneurs will find illuminating and useful. In the book’s Introduction, Parker summarizes what he hopes to help aspiring entrepreneurs do: create value with your product or service; decide on primary and secondary…

By Dave Parker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Trajectory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Listed #1 in "The 13 Best Business Books of 2021" by HubSpot

Have a startup idea? Want to launch it fast?

People often spend years on working on startup ideas that fail-and they could have known long before, had they asked the hard questions earlier. Five-time tech founder Dave Parker has been there, and in Trajectory: Startup he offers a path to get you from ideation to launch and revenue in just six months.

With a track record of starting companies from scratch, raising both angel and venture capital, and participating in eight exits as founder, operator, and board member,…


Book cover of The Numbers Business: How to grow a successful cloud accountancy practice

Heather Smith Author Of Xero For Dummies

From my list on small business owners.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Heather Smith and I love writing. I love Accounting and AccounTech. I gratefully sit at the Ikigai inflection point, where my profession, passion, vocation, and mission intersect, and I can use my explanation skills to empower others in the accounting industry. Ikigai is a Japanese concept referring to something that gives a person a sense of purpose, a reason for living. Believing Accountants don't save lives, Accountants save livelihoods; I use my superpower of explanation to educate the accounting profession about accounting technology and modern accounting practices. I do this through many channels including my latest book Xero for Dummies, 5th edition. 

Heather's book list on small business owners

Heather Smith Why did Heather love this book?

Della has a way of simply explaining what’s practically needed to run a modern practice. Like Della, I’ve built a modern practice and she has laid the steps to start and thrive in a clean and easy-to-follow manner. Hudson's writing style is engaging and accessible, making it easy to understand and apply the concepts presented. With personal anecdotes and asides littering the narrative, the book reads like a quiet meeting between friends over a nice cup of tea. Overall, The Numbers Business is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to build a successful cloud accounting practice.

By Della Hudson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Numbers Business as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the manual every qualified accountancy professional needs to read before setting up their own practice. Having applied her corporate experience to building a modern cloud accountancy practice, Della Hudson presents her road map to help you to do the same. Here, she shares her hard-earned knowledge so that other accountancy professionals can grow their own successful, scaleable and even sellable businesses. This book is a road map that will help a qualified professional to: start a successful business from scratch with no personal or business contacts; move from the kitchen table to an office space; recruit and train…


Book cover of Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business

Stu Heinecke Author Of How to Grow Your Business Like a Weed: A Complete Strategy for Unstoppable Growth

From my list on to ignite a creative entrepreneurial spirit.

Why am I passionate about this?

Throughout my oddly circuitous career, my mission has always been to help clients grow their businesses. Along the way, I’ve come up with some pretty useful insights and innovations. I mixed cartoons (I’m also one of the WSJ cartoonists) with direct marketing and created a new genre that broke many response records. Then I wrote How to Get a Meeting with Anyone, which helped readers drastically improve their sales results (and was named one of the top 64 sales books of all time). And now, How to Grow Your Business Like a Weed adapts nature’s ultimate growth model for business use, to produce explosive, sustainable growth. 

Stu's book list on to ignite a creative entrepreneurial spirit

Stu Heinecke Why did Stu love this book?

Jay Conrad Levinson is one of my heroes. His first book, Guerrella Marketing, released when he was in his 50s, and went on to sell more copies than any other marketing book in history. A legendary creative genius from the ad world, he was teaching a class on impromptu, clever marketing tactics when his students (which included Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison) begged Jay to write the book that became the bestseller. Jay’s amazing book shows what’s possible when you apply lots of creativity and audacity to any marketing challenge. If you’ve read my earlier book, you’ll see plenty of Jay’s influence, starting with his foreword.

By Jay Conrad Levinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Guerrilla Marketing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

The book that started the guerilla marketing revolution, expanded and completely updated for the twenty-first century.

Jay Levinson's Guerrilla Marketing revolutionized marketing strategies for the small-business owner with his take-no-prisoners approach to finding clients. Based on hundreds of solid and effective ideas, Levinson’s philosophy has given birth to a new way of learning about market share and how to gain it. In this completely updated and expanded fourth edition, Levinson offers a new arsenal of weaponry for small-business success including strategies for marketing on the internet (explaining when and precisely how to use it); tips for using new…


Book cover of Making a Living Without a Job: Winning Ways for Creating Work That You Love

Tama J. Kieves Author Of This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love

From my list on to help you stay true to yourself and your calling.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am moved by the deepest potential in all of us. Having graduated from Harvard Law School and working as an unfilled attorney, I finally left everything to follow my true desire to write. So, I know how vital it is to have support for our inspiration instead of our fears. That’s why I’ve written 5 books to champion visionary minds, creative souls, freedom junkies, and more. And as a TEDx speaker and USA Today featured visionary career coach, I am always reading for my own growth and for my students. I recommend these books because they helped me to trust in greater possibilities. I hope they support your dreams. 

Tama's book list on to help you stay true to yourself and your calling

Tama J. Kieves Why did Tama love this book?

I recommend this book because it’s a crayon box of creative and practical ideas and insights. This is a great read for someone who wants to be entrepreneurial, l but isn’t yet in the I-have-to-dominate-the-market-and-own-Silicon-Valley- stage. I guess I’d call it approachable entrepreneurship. The author gives you ideas for how to be “joyfully jobless” including multiple profit centers and marketing on a shoestring. I love authors who can give you creative hope, no-nonsense ideas, and specific creative ideas like “find all the ways to put raspberry and chocolate together.”    

By Barbara Winter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Making a Living Without a Job as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For all of the millions of Americans who are out of work, soon to be out of work, or wishing to be freed from unrewarding work—here is the must-have book that will show you how you can make a living by working when, where, and how you want.

Newly revised and updated, Barbara J. Winter’s guide to successful self-employment is now more relevant than ever before. Drawing on the techniques and ideas of her popular seminars as well as her own thirty years of business expertise and that of other successful entrepreneurs, Winter offers the practical, proven way to launch…


Book cover of Finish Big: How Great Entrepreneurs Exit Their Companies on Top

John F. Dini Author Of Your Exit Map: Navigating the Boomer Bust

From my list on business owners planning a transition.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a coach to business owners for the last 25 years, with a concentration on exit planning for the last twelve. During that time I have personally worked with over 500 owners. I’ve written 4 books on the subject, two of which were award winners. I’ve seen so many owners who built excellent businesses, but are stymied by how to leave them without deserting their employees and customers. Almost two-thirds of business owners over 60 years old have no plan for the transition of their businesses. I am on a mission to fix that.

John's book list on business owners planning a transition

John F. Dini Why did John love this book?

Bo Burlingham is an original editor for Inc. Magazine, leading that publication from its founding in Boston through its acquisition and relocation to New York CIty. This collection of “real life” exiting stories is entertaining and a quick read. The subjects are actual business owners, although most had middle-market companies that attract far more interest than the average Main Street (Under $3,000,000 value) businesses. As the author says, “No two exits are exactly alike.” 

By Bo Burlingham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Finish Big as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bo Burlingham, the bestselling author of Small Giants, returns with Finish Big, an original guide to exiting your company successfully and gracefully.

"Finish Big is for all those founder/leaders who want to do more than take...it is for the ones who want to leave something behind." Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last

"Practical and profound, fast-moving and thought-provoking, masterful in its clear prose and compelling stories- Bo Burlingham has once again done a tremendous service in deploying his craft." Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and co-author of Built to Last and Great by…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in small business, entrepreneurs, and management?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about small business, entrepreneurs, and management.

Small Business Explore 28 books about small business
Entrepreneurs Explore 287 books about entrepreneurs
Management Explore 138 books about management