Skip to main content

Our cookie policy


We use cookies to give you the best possible experience of our website. If you continue, we'll assume you're happy for your web browser to receive all cookies from our website. See our cookie policy for more information on cookies and how to manage them.

  • image alt
    image alt

    Entrepreneurs recommend: Inspiration and motivation resources

    Apps, books and resources to inspire your small business

    Like this articleLike this articleLike this articleLike this article

    It takes a lot to be a successful entrepreneur. You need drive, determination and above all, inspiration to make it work.

    But where do entrepreneurs get their inspiration?

    We asked real entrepreneurs for the go-to resources they use day to day to help inspire and motivate their small businesses.

    From the best motivational books to the top inspirational talks and podcasts, take a look at their recommendations* below.




    Podcasts are undergoing something of a revival lately, with more and more influential bloggers and business experts using this platform than ever before. For small businesses and entrepreneurs, podcasts can be a great source of inspiration and motivation, from speakers to get you in the right frame of mind to online tutorials and business advice and general business ideas.

    How Great Leaders Inspire Action by Simon Synek

    An inspiring talk by Simon Synek about what separates leaders from everyone else, from Apple to Martin Luther King to the Wright Brothers.

    View the talk

    “This talk teaches you to work out why you do something, then how. All great businesses, people and organizations have a powerful purpose. They understand why they do what they do.”

    - Gary Smith, Business Consultant
    The Gary Smith Partnership | LinkedIn

    Seth Godin Startup School

    Seth Godin runs through the basics of what you need to do to become a successful startup business.

    Listen here

    “Useful tips to help think about what type of client you’re after, how to position your services and not falling into traps like cutting your prices to try and make short terms sales.”

    - Simon Preece, Social Media Consultant
    SLP Consulting Ltd | Twitter

    TED Talks

    Influential speakers give short, powerful and inspiring talks on a wide variety of topics in 18 minutes or less.

    More about TED

    "I listen to Ted Talks and people like Gary Vee and Tony Robbins on a daily basis to motivate and inspire me in my business. They've helped me with widening my mind and creativity. Nothing is impossible."

    - Sandip Shembi, Artist
    Art by San B | Twitter




    Self-help books are nothing new, and for businesses and entrepreneurs in particular, there’s usually section a whole section devoted to business titles at your local bookstore. If you’re an entrepreneur constantly on the go with no time to get lost in a good book, audiobooks are becoming an increasingly popular way to get the motivation you need when you’re on the move.

    The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes

    Chet Holmes offers his business management tips: don’t try to master a thousand different business strategies – zero in on the small areas that make the big difference.

    More details

    “Ideas like the ‘100 dream clients’ are great for helping you focus on being more effective at making sales – something I was wary of when I started.”

    - Simon Preece, Social Media Consultant
    SLP Consulting Ltd | Twitter

    Think and Grow Rich! by Napoleon Hill

    An influential 1937 self-improvement book describing the 16 “laws” to achieving success.

    Find out more

    “The Bible of becoming successful. I live my life by this book. A great place to start from.”

    - Sandip Shembi, Artist
    Art by San B | Twitter




    From booking a taxi to paying a bill, there’s an app for just about everything. And if you’re looking for inspiration and motivation for your business, guess what? There’s an app for that too. Check out the top apps for inspiration as recommended by our entrepreneurs.


    Extensive music library offering streaming from desktop or mobile devices.


    “I use Spotify every day to help me get motivated and focus on writing. I tend to listen to chillout, downtempo and ambient playlists to really get in the zone.”

    - Derek Howie, Copywriter
    Howie Writes | Twitter


    An online mood board. Pin your inspiration or practical ideas for personal or business life.


    “A visual poster board where you can pin sources of inspiration. Invaluable for storing ideas and creative thoughts in a visual manner.”

    - Ally Clark, Photographer
    Giddy Aunt Photos | Facebook


    App which lets you keep track of your cycling and walking activities in one place.

    See more

    "It's a strange recommendation for businesses, but it's important to keep fit when you're busy. Strava tracks your steps or pedal strokes and allows you to compare them with everyone else.”

    - Gary Smith, Business Consultant
    The Gary Smith Partnership | LinkedIn




    We’ve all got our go-to sites that we check every day for news, entertainment or social media, and there’s countless websites out there for business advice too. But what sites do our entrepreneurs recommend to help their businesses day in and day out?

    Smashing Magazine

    Website for designers and developers featuring code examples, latest trends, design and graphics.

    Visit Smashing Magazine

    “This site helps me keep ahead with current trends and keep up to date with the industry.”

    - Mark Chambers, Software Developer
    Marksy Development Ltd | Twitter


    Online tutorials covering photoshop techniques for professionals.

    View on YouTube

    “Wonderful videos to show you all those photoshop tips and techniques that I need in my business. Things I didn’t know and things I knew but had forgotten!”

    - Ally Clark, Photographer
    Giddy Aunt Photos | Facebook

    Fro Knows Photo

    YouTube series focusing on photography inspiration and reviews. Fro tests the equipment, gives tips and advices about photography.

    View on YouTube

    "This series helps me to decide on the best equipment purchases for my photography business."

    - Natalia Slepokur, Photography
    Slepokur Photography | Facebook

    Productivity and time managementProductivity and time management

    Productivity and
    time management

    Time's tickin'

    Finance and administrationFinance and administration

    Finance and

    Make it rain

    Marketing and brandingMarketing and branding

    Marketing and

    Shout about it
  • Running a business isn't easy – protecting it is

    Not every entrepreneur is the same, so why should your insurance be?

    We know one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to business insurance. That’s why, with AXA, you can tailor your cover to meet your needs. Get a quote online and you’ll also save 10%.

    Find out more about insurance for entrepreneurs

  • *All recommendations are from third party sources. AXA is not affiliated with any resources mentioned in their article and takes no responsibility for the information provided by third party sources.