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The Books that Helped Vincent Pugliese, Author & Professional Photographer, Turn from Employee to Business Owner

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“Bracingly honest, direct and powerful―here are useful lessons from the trenches” – this is Seth Godin’s review of Vincent Pugliese‘s recently released book, “Freelance to Freedom“.

At the age of 32, Vincent and his wife, Elizabeth, had low-paying photography jobs, struggling with debt, and a baby on the way. In less than four years, they were debt free and turned their undervalued skills into a business.

“Freelance to Freedom”, his book, hit the shelves on January 2nd and documents their story to financial independent. It’s split in two parts: the first half has all the details about their story, every struggle, from start to finish. The second half covers how anyone else can apply their lessons and create their own side business in order to achieve financial, time and life freedom.

Before becoming an author, Vincent has been an award-winning professional sports and documentary photographer. For more than two decades he has photographed all high profile sporting and news events, from Super Bowls to the World Series, NHL Final, NBA Conference Finals, The Kentucky Derby, Wrestlemania, and more. He has a Bachelor Degree in Communication from Ohio University.

He runs Elizabeth Vincent Photography together with his wife, where they offer photography services.

When he’s not with his family or working, Vincent coaches entrepreneurs and freelancers on how to design a life of freedom.

That being said, all that’s left for you to do is enjoy Vincent’s inspiring list of reads!

Estimated reading time for this interview is 8 minutes. If you'd rather listen to it, you can do it on iTunes, Google Play or Stitcher.

What’s your favorite book and why? Business and non-business, if possible.

This is tough! It’s like asking which kid is my favorite! I truly think it depends on the time of my life, and what I am going through at that point. All of the books in my answer to question #3 have been my favorites at different points. I’ve also read books that would be a favorite, but I wasn’t read for their message at that point. I’ll give you a lame answer, my favorite book is one that isn’t written yet, and it’s the greatest points and stories of all of my favorite books!

Was there a moment, specifically, when something you read in a book helped you? Can you tell me about it?

When I was reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Kiyosaki described the difference between how employees are taxed and how business owners are taxed. I immediately saw a $20,000 difference in what I would have brought home the previous year. At that point, $20,000 was a really big deal!! It was the moment that I realized that I needed to stop being an employee and start being a business owner.

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What books had the biggest impact on you? (perhaps changed the way you see things, dramatically changed your career path)

I’ve listed a few of them below, but Linchpin by Seth Godin, The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, and Rich Dad, Poor Dad had immediate effects on my life.

What books would you recommend to young people to be prepared for the future workplaces? Why? (no number limit here)

So many! So many by Seth Godin (Linchpin, The Icarus Deception, Purple Cow), Essentialism by Greg McKeown, Deep Work by Cal Newport, The Choice by Og Mandino, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, No More Dreaded Mondays and 48 Days To The Work You Love by Dan Miller, The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran, Will It Fly by Pat Flynn, The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews, QBQ by John Miller, The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. Wow, there are so many more, but that’s a start.

I’m interested in finding out more about your reading habits. How often do you read? In what format?

First off, I prefer physical books. It just feels right to me. I struggle getting engaged with digital reading. Until the tour, I would read every day. It’s been a struggle, because we are out of sync in that way. I’m not complaining about it, it’s just different right now. But usually, I am reading at least an hour every day.

How do you make time for reading?

Being on the road with family, it’s harder than ever. But I try to read in the morning or before bed, so I wake up and go to sleep with my best mindset.

Do you take notes or have any other technique for conquering the torrent of information?

I’m so bad at taking notes! It’s just not the way I learn well. I can read a book, or listen to a speech, and I look for 1-3 main takeaways that I can use to really enhance my life. I find that when I take notes, I lose the opportunity to brainstorm about what I am learning. But I’m weird, so you might want to be careful of that advice! 🙂

How do you choose what books to read next?

I choose my next books based on recommendations from others who I trust that will fit what my main goals are at that time.

Do you prioritize the books recommended by certain people? Is there anyone that you consider a book-recommendations guru?

Not really. I believe that I can learn something from everyone. So I try to stay open minded, while leaning towards recommendations from people I know and trust.

What book are you currently reading and what are you expecting to gain from it?

Mastermind Dinners by Jayson Gaignard. I’m always looking for ways to make my mastermind groups and community better and better.

Most successful people give the advice “follow your passion”. What would you recommend to someone who’s very young and not yet aware of their passion? Where should they begin their professional journey?

I say that nobody is going to pay you for your passion. But when you can find a way to use your passion to help someone else the way they need to be helped, you are onto something.

Even though most people are aware that “overnight success usually takes 10 years”, they are still looking for shortcuts and “latest hacks”. What are three common mistakes made by freelancers / solopreneurs?

1- They don’t know how to delay gratification.
2- They think they can do it all themselves without learning from people who have felt their pain and know how to teach it.
3- They consume way too much content and become overwhelmed.

On your Freedom Thank You book tour you are doing the opposite of what’s considered to be “best practice”: while most authors have huge gatherings with readers, you insisted on having intimate get-togethers with one friend, or a few. What other “opposite” promotion techniques are you experimenting with?

I live in the “opposites”! I generally see what the “hot” trends are, and I don’t do them. I have not done Facebook lives at all, even though everyone says I have to. I believe we are besieged by content, but scarcity is overlooked in building a business. I keep hearing that people are “intrigued” by my business model. I’m not sure exactly why, but I think it’s because I don’t do what others do, but still get results. I don’t look to “scale”. I focus on relationships, but in the real sense. There are many more, but that’s a start! Ironically enough, I started the survey by answering the last question first! 🙂

Links where you can follow Vincent Pugliese or find out more about his projects:

All books mentioned by Vincent in this interview:

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