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‘5 books that got me started’

When people think of what it takes to start a business, words like “struggle” and “stressful” come to mind. But it was the rewriting of this narrative that allowed me to succeed as an entrepreneur.

I have always been a shy and anxious person. But in 2020, I made an effort to rewire my mindset and started my Excel training side hustle, Miss Excel, by posting a TikTok video of me dancing in front of an Excel sheet.

My passion for teaching people how to use Excel kicked in — and by February 2021, I was making enough money to quit my 9-to-5 job and grow my business full-time.

Since integrating Miss Excel into a software training company, I have generated over $1 million in revenue. Ninety-five percent of that comes from passive income course sales. At one point, I even made $100,000 in sales – in just one day.

Overcoming my fears and taking that leap allowed me to work around 15 hours a week and spend the rest of my time traveling. Here are five books that got me started by building my confidence and developing my entrepreneurial spirit:

1. “Dot Com Secrets: The Underground Manual to Growing Your Online Business With Sales Funnels”

By Russell Brunson

This is a tactical guide to building a digital selling business. Russell Brunson, founder of software company ClickFunnels, has helped entrepreneurs sell millions of dollars worth of products and services.

I used the strategies outlined in his book to develop lead generation techniques and sales funnels that allow my online courses to sell without extra work on my part and generate passive income.

2. “You’re Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living a Great Life”

By Jen Sincero

Written by success coach Jen Sincero, this book helped me identify my self-limiting beliefs, so I could deconstruct them and build my confidence enough to run my own business.

The fun little chapters of relatable stories, the wise advice and the simple exercises gave me a feeling of motivation and inspiration.

3. “Twelve and a Half: Harnessing the Emotional Ingredients for Business Success”

By Gary Vaynerchuk

With honesty and humility, best-selling author, co-founder of Resy and investor Gary Vaynerchuk outlines the most important business skills and includes practical advice on how to develop them.

This book is an excellent starting point for entrepreneurs to identify opportunities for personal growth fueled by deep self-exploration.

4. “Quantum Success: 7 Essential Laws for a Fulfilling, Joyful, and Prosperous Relationship with Work and Money”

By Christy Whitman

Life Coach Christy Whitman shares a 10-step plan on how to build strong internal relationships with professional contacts, create a culture of appreciation for those in your network, and magnetize future relationships and opportunities.

Applying the principles in this book has helped me attract opportunities — from press spots to corporate sponsorships — and grow my business with inbound leads instead of paying for advertising.

5. “Think and grow rich”

By Napoleon Hill

This book is an inspiring classic that has sold over 100 million copies. It shares the wisdom of over 500 of America’s most successful individuals, grouped into 13 principles for success.

The case studies in this book gave me the inspiration I needed to pursue my dream, while the mindset guidance gave me the tools.

Kat Norton teaches Microsoft Excel to individuals, businesses and educational institutions. Since launch Miss Excel in 2020, she grew up ICT Tac and instagram audience to over one million followers.

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