Nick Disabato wrote a great blog post on how he took a break in client work.
“So I did that. I’m beginning my third week of consulting for the most unforgivingly critical client I could ever hope to take on: me. And I’m treating myself like I’m actually a client.”
I’ve done the same thing twice this year (now being the second intermission), and the effect has been fantastic both times. Once in a blue moon every professional needs to take a remote look at his goals and positioning.
Each of my intermissions has started with devouring quite a few books. I so much enjoy taking time and immersing into self-development resources! There’s no venture that can do well without proper research.
Blogs and books can provide fantastic hands-on instructions, as well as generally inspire and set the mood for taking particular actions. For the latter, I really enjoy reading things by Seth Godin (books as well as blog posts). All his writing is very encouraging and calls everyone to discover their inner creative genius, embrace it and ship creative things.
Another interesting thing is as you discover new books, you also discover entire communities that tend to form around the authors: learn about their products, businesses, peers, read blogs, listen to podcasts. That itself is a great way to explore and join different circles of the Internet.
In terms of business information, two great books really helped me to define my path:
In fact, I did way more reading and research, but these were key sources of both inspiration and practical advice.
The Blueprint (Sell Yourself Online) helped a lot with my online presence as a consultant, and various content marketing activities. Brennan Dunn offers plenty of hands-on advice, and also packages his book with actual word-by-word scripts and materials. I didn’t feel like employing any of the templates directly, but they certainly served as guidelines while I created strategy, content and design for my own website.
Authority was a key point that defined my decision to write my own book. Nathan Barry has a very clear and pleasant manner while laying out his thoughts and instructions. The main value of the book is that he makes the entire self-publishing process look very understandable and manageable. Not that it looks easy, but at least very possible with a certain amount of persistence.
As I already decided to write a book on UI design, I bought and read several other books that were previously published in the same field.
You could say that these books are “competitors,” but it’s absolutely not true: they just address a similar target audience. The better the books we have out in the market, the better it is for the industry. It helps to raise the quality bar for all authors. It encourages a professional approach to self-publishing. It also helps to shape and educate the audience in terms of content, pricing and general attitude.
Here are a few books for you to consider:
It was very important to know what other authors had to offer, and how they packed it up into a digital edition. I also needed to go through the entire process of buying and reading a design book, and do so repeatedly, so when the time came, I would be positive of how I wanted to create similar experience for my own readers.
The above books also served as case studies in multiple blog posts on self-publishing.
Besides, I am incredibly curious of what others do in the field of writing (both for general business advice and for particular professional fields). So getting a digital book is almost a no-brainer to me now. After all, how significant is $30 in the general scheme of things when it offers an opportunity to dive into the head of another respected persona?
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