If you're stretched too thin, you're not alone. Thousands of others have gone through the startup gauntlet and lived to tell the tale. You can get back on track, but to do so, you might need help from people who have been there, done that.
I love to read books with new ideas that change the way I see a challenge. Check out these books to regain your entrepreneurial mojo:
1. From Underdog to Bulldog by Candler Cook
In a modern-day Rudy story, Candler Cook talks about how he achieved his lifelong dream to play college football for the University of Georgia, despite being the fourth-string quarterback in high school. This is the perfect read for anyone facing steep odds -- it reminded me of rebounding from a $3 million loss.
2. Inheriting Chaos with Compassion by Jennifer Luzzatto
After the death of her husband and her sister, Jennifer Luzzatto created a guide on what to do after a loved one's passing and how to make a plan for the new normal. Entrepreneurship challenges can feel intensely chaotic, and Luzzatto's experiences speak directly to anyone searching for guidance. After watching another entrepreneur struggle with the loss of a parent while building a company, I understand how important it is to address every aspect of a leader's life.
3. Song Journey by Mark Cawley
Mark Cawley taps his decades of experience to create a step-by-step guide for anyone with the itch to write a song. Sprinkled with firsthand stories about opening for Fleetwood Mac and collaborating with Peter Frampton and Tina Turner, this book shares insights from someone who knows his industry inside and out.
I push myself to seek out creatives at conferences so I can "borrow" a different perspective on my work. This book felt like talking to one more.
4. The Abundance Codes by Regan Hillyer and Juan Pablo Barahona
Popular personal development methods are outdated and fail to tap what people really need. In The Abundance Codes, Regan Hillyer and Juan Pablo Barahona teach readers how to tap their boundless potential using nine key lessons to unlock abundance. If you're struggling to juggle life's demands with your business's needs, read this book to reset. Adding a regular jiujitsu practice helped me, but this also helped reframe how I manage competing demands.
5. Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop
Speaking of feeling the pressures of the world, wouldn't it be nice to cut the slack and focus on what really matters? Gary John Bishop's narrative of empowerment offers seven ideas to help anyone with self-doubt overcome the negative and embrace a positive, lucrative future.
In a cutthroat arena where only the strong survive, every entrepreneur needs that kind of confidence. Having lost everything and started over, this book reminded me why I continue to do what I do, despite the odds.
6. Broad Band by Claire L. Evans
This book from Vice reporter Claire Evans walks readers through the oft-overlooked role women played in the development of today's tech ecosystem. As more women take the entrepreneurial driver's seat, her narrative highlights those who paved the way.
Evans' work provides a fierce reminder that women have always been on the cutting edge. As more women have been added to panels and conference lineups, I've sought out their perspectives. This gives you insight into why this is just now common.
7. Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven
After his 2014 speech at the University of Texas at Austin went viral, Admiral William H. McRaven discovered people were starving for simple, practical advice to be better. His book covers the 10 principles he learned during his days as a Navy SEAL.
If your challenges seem too great, Admiral McRaven's book can help you regain clarity. A friend of mine juggled building his business while shuttering another, and it was overwhelming. This book helped him take things one day at a time without losing hope.
8. Clockwork by Mike Michalowicz
Your business is a collection of systems. Some are well-defined and support your business's growth; some aren't. Mike Michalowicz's book walks you through identifying -- and improving -- the one system that's most important to your business's success. I used this book to streamline my weekly podcast to make producing it easier. I then used "Clockwork" to improve my financials, inbox and calendar.
Entrepreneurship often involves thrilling highs and devastating lows. For those in the midst of a setback, others' experiences and insights can lead them back to success. Being an entrepreneur is often just as much about getting back up as it is about learning to take punches in the first place.