Nick Loper, Chief Side-Hustler at Side Hustle Nation, on How Books Improve Business Mindsets
Nick Loper is the Chief Side-Hustler at Side Hustle Nation, a community and resource for part-time aspiring entrepreneurs. Nick has been making a living online for a long time, and now he’s helping others who want to build something they care about outside of their 9-5 jobs.
A lifelong student in the game of business, Nick also played the corporate game, climbing up the ladder, until he realized he wanted out in order to build his own ladder. Since then, he’s built websites, written books, worked from all corners of the globe and coached aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs.
In his podcast and books, Nick covers all aspects of starting a business and making money, from self-publishing to coaching, software development, Amazon FBA, affiliate marketing, and more. The common theme is helping readers build a side hustle that will add a little more financial freedom and security to their lives.
We reached out to Nick, eager to find out what books helped him along his entrepreneurial journey and what he learned from them. Here’s what we found out:
What’s your favorite book and why? Business and non-business, if possible.
Business – the one I refer people to the most is probably The Go-Giver, which is about being genuinely helpful first without any expectation of reward. I started my first real business for the noble goal of making money, and by luck, it worked out. Afterward I started several others that flopped. Why? They just weren’t that helpful. When I read this, it really solidified a shift in thinking to an attitude of creating truly helpful resources and worrying about the money second. And that strategy has been working much better!
Was there a moment, specifically, when something you read in a book helped you? Can you tell me about it?
In The E-Myth Revisited, I remember this distinct realization that I’d built myself another job, not a business. That book got me really excited about creating systems and processes in place and delegating as much work as I could. Letting go wasn’t an overnight thing, and it’s something I still struggle with, but the message of working ON the business instead of IN it was something I was able to run with right away.
What books had the biggest impact on you? (perhaps changed the way you see things, dramatically changed your career path)
One of the most important ones that comes to mind is somewhat cliche: Rich Dad Poor Dad. My roommate recommended it to me in college and it was one of the first “business books” I read. It hammered home the idea of buying or building assets instead of liabilities or “stuff”, investing for cash flow, and freeing yourself from the rat race when your business or investment income exceeded your expenses. Pretty simple, but powerful for my impressionable 19-year old mind!
What five books would you recommend to youngsters interested in your professional path? Why? (no number limit here)
I’m interested in finding out more about your reading habits. How often do you read? In what format?
I’m reading much more now that I have a Kindle. Not having to physically turn pages is a big bonus since most of my reading is done at night in bed or in the early morning holding my son. I don’t read every night but probably 3 or 4 nights a week try and get at least a chapter in.
Do you take notes or have any other technique for conquering the torrent of information?
I use the highlight or bookmark tools in Kindle so I can go back and revisit the sections I thought were most important. When I’m done I’ll go back and see what actions I need to take based on those.
How do you choose what books to read next?
Usually recommendations from friends, peers, or family. Or what the library has available for digital checkout.
Do you prioritize the books recommended by certain people? Is there anyone that you consider a book-recommendations guru?
Last question: what book are you currently reading and what are you expecting to gain from it?
I just finished Building a StoryBrand, and need to fill in the worksheets and re-think my homepage as a result. That’s the mark of a good business book — homework!
Links where you can follow Nick Loper or find out more about his projects:
- Side Hustle Nation
- Connect with Nick @ Twitter | LinkedIn
- Nick’s speech @ TEDxLivermore: The entrepreneurial generation
All books mentioned by Nick Loper in this interview:
- The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg, John David Mann
- Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
- Ball Four by Jim Bouton
- The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
- The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime by MJ DeMarco
- The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss
- The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness by Jeff Olson
- The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class by Keith Cameron Smith
- Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller