Leland’s Reading List is an eclectic collection of inspiring and educational books on various topics that I found relevant for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small business leaders. We stand on the shoulders of giants. See what these thought leaders have to say and change your mind.

Mastery – Robert Greene

Mastery is probably one of the best books I’ve read about establishing yourself as an expert in your field. The book is evidence-based, includes real-life examples, contemporary and historical, and is eminently readable. Expertise differentiates you from the crowd to get the recognition, clients, and fees that make freelancing sustainable.

The Upside of Stress – Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.

Stress is misunderstood. Constructive stress is what motivates us to learn, achieve, even get up in the morning, while extreme stress is indeed harmful. What differentiates the two? Mindset. Paradoxically, research shows that mindset significantly affects how our bodies react to stress. We can turn toxic stress into a powerful energizer. I admit that I believed “stress kills,” but Kelly convinced me to change my mindset. It works. Give this book a read.

Fooled by Randomness – Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Ph.D.

Our brains are wired to oversimplify decision-making for fight or flight situations, so we fail to understand modern problems as statistical probabilities. Our strong desire to see the world in deterministic terms rather than appreciate the importance that randomness plays in outcomes throughout life. Randomness plays a far more significant role in success than we are wont to believe.

Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One – Jenny Blake

Entrepreneurial DNA – Joe Abraham

Entrepreneurs are not all the same! Joe developed a practical and straightforward classification system for understanding what type of entrepreneur you are. Knowing that will help you leverage your strengths and build the team you need to succeed. Enlightening to this innovator.

Business Model Generation – Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur