6 Must-Read Books for Artistic Success

Icon’s Industry Advisor Nik Cherwink shares six inspirational books that offer advice on artistic success. Learn essential knowledge that will help you develop as an artist in the music business.

Artistic Success

1. Path to Artistic Success

The pursuit of a successful career in the music business is an exciting journey filled with many ups and downs. It takes an incredible amount of hard work to establish yourself in this industry. Countless hours need to be spent in the studio, marketing your brand, playing shows and building your team. But just as much work (if not MORE) needs to be done on yourself. Learning to understand yourself better will enable you to accomplish goals and reach your full potential as an artist.

Success is 80% psychology, 20% mechanics. Tony Robbins

The following list of books provide some great tools that will assist in developing a powerful mindset and a creative edge:

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People | Stephen Covey

This is the first self-help book I ever read, and I can honestly say it changed my life. The first chapter alone changed my life. Each lesson teaches profound ways of thinking and behaving that will help you thrive in your business and personal relationships. It also explains how to truly become a “highly effective” person. Only by mastering our internal world can we achieve greatness and fulfillment in our external world. This book shows you how to do just that.

If I really want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing over which I have control – myself. Steven Covey

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2. Think and Grow Rich | Napoleon Hill

This was the second book that made a profound impact on the way I see and interact with the world. It teaches about the “law of attraction” (though it doesn’t use those words) and explains a step-by-step system to manifest what you desire most in life. Napoleon Hill spent 25 years studying and interviewing the most successful people in the world to find the common thread between their philosophies. This book explains and explains those philosophies. Think and Grow Rich is is a must-read!

Set your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass. Napoleon Hill

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3. Love Is The Killer App | Tim Sanders

I received a copy of this book from Jake Udell, an incredible manager, and marketing genius. He helped launch the careers of Krewella, Zhu, Gallant, and others with his powerhouse team at TH3RD BRAIN. Jake truly lives the principles described in this book. He is what Tim Sanders considers to be a “lovecat,” someone who openly shares their knowledge, network, and compassion to authentically build stronger friendships with the people they do business with. Sure, you can be a shark and make it to the top. However, only a lovecat will experience true happiness and fulfillment when they get there.

Those of us who use love as a point of differentiation in business will separate ourselves from our competitors just as world-class runners separate themselves from the rest of the pack trailing behind them. Tim Sanders

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4. The Slight Edge | Jeff Olson

This book was given to me by White Light, an Icon Online student that I mentored (gotta love when the student becomes the teacher). It discusses how the small, seemingly insignificant choices we make every day shapes our destiny. This often forgotten truth is wise knowledge. For example, making your bed, saving your money, and choosing healthy food options may seem like simple common sense decisions. But having the discipline to actually DO these little things every day has a compound effect that ultimately determines the quality of your life. My favorite tip he suggests is to read ten pages of something inspirational every day, a short investment of time that will positively wire your brain for success.

Focusing on the actions is not enough because it’s the attitude behind the actions that keep those actions in place. Jeff Olson

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5. The Artist’s Way | Julia Cameron

The Artist’s Way is a popular book that covers the topic of creativity, and for a good reason. This 12-week workbook takes a spiritual approach to help you further explore and activate your creativity. It offers powerful exercises and questions that will take you deep, so don’t expect to read through this one like a regular book. You’ll need to roll up your sleeves and get to work, like doing daily Morning Pages and taking yourself on a weekly “artist date.”

In order to do something well, we must first be willing to do it badly. Julia Cameron

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6. The War of Art | Steven Pressfield

As an ex-marine, Steven Pressfield takes a straightforward approach to tackle creativity. He personifies the “resistance” we experience when taking on work. This guidance is an inevitable part of the process that everybody has to deal with in life. The book also shares some fairly simple advice: STFU, sit down and get to work. If you’re looking for a healthy dose of inspiration to help you push through those rough patches, then this is your book. It’s a quick read as well, and should only take a couple of days to get through. Plus, you can always go back and revisit when you need it.

The artist wears combat boots. Steven Pressfield

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