ICBA Blog

6 Gig-Themed Books and Podcasts You Need Now

For independent contractor inspo and wisdom, put these on your “to-read” and “to-listen” lists

We’ve curated a selection of the most noteworthy books covering the gig economy to hit stands recently. Plus, we’ve found a few podcasts that are getting the topic right, as well. From a journalist’s deep-dive into the future of work to an entrepreneur’s show about serious hustle, our assortment has something for everyone.

Gigged: The End of the Job and the Future of Work

In Gigged, Journalist Sarah Kessler explores the growing trend of on-demand work and what it means for the workers who make their own hours and knit an income together with various types of jobs. This eye-opening look at the gig economy takes us into the day-to-day lives of various giggers and freelancers. Independent contractors everywhere will recognize their story here and why it needs to be told. This book does not bash the move away from traditional salaried jobs. What it does instead, through thoughtful storytelling and meticulous academic research, is give gig workers a voice about their aspirations and triumphs along with their worries, issues, and needs. It’s a conversation starter about what “the future of work” needs from society.

Mind Your Business: A Workbook to Grow Your Creative Passion into a Full-Time Gig

Maybe you already do creative freelance work full-time as a graphic designer, content writer, or artisan maker. Or perhaps you do that as a side-hustle while also taking on part-time work or gig jobs. Either way, the Mind Your Business workbook can help you take your creative pursuit to the next level. Through worksheets and other artfully crafted content, author Ilana Griffo teaches readers how to set rates, plan timelines, craft contracts, and hone their brands. Four years ago, Griffo left a full-time job as an art director to pour her energy into her own design studio. As a six-figure entrepreneur, she’s the perfect mentor for other creatives looking to turn their creativity into cashflow.

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive

One of the most talked-about books of 2019 so far is Maid, by Stephanie Land. Although her memoir isn’t centered around the gig economy, it does raise themes about it. When she became a young single mother, Land found herself with few resources to make ends meet, so she turned to landscaping and cleaning homes to provide for her daughter. Land’s experiences highlight the need for protections and safety nets for gig workers and their families. Her tale of fortitude in the face of tough circumstances lends insight and inspiration.

The Small Business Tax Savings Podcast

Filing taxes as an independent contractor can be about as fun as getting your teeth pulled. But one thing that can make the process go a little smoother is learning the tidbits small business owners need to know. The Small Business Tax Savings Podcast provides bite-sized tips that can help you get better at bookkeeping, managing cashflow, and going after deductions. If you don’t consider yourself a small business, it’s time to start. Even if you’re working solely on your own as a freelancer or gig worker, you’re running your own ship. Arm yourself with all the info you can before the next tax season.

Hustle to Freedom

Tune in to the Hustle to Freedom podcast for inspiration from fellow hustlers. Ryan Helms interviews independent contractors from a wide range of fields on how they launched their entrepreneurial endeavors. His guests have done everything from beekeeping to trading stocks, all independently. Helms originally created The Side Hustle Journal to fund his own path to freedom from the nine-to-five grind. The podcast followed as a way to grow an audience and network for his product and to give other independent contractors a voice and community, as well.

The Thriving Artist

The Thriving Artist podcast debunks the “starving artist” concept. Indeed you can make money with visual art and treat your creative work as a business. Daniel DiGriz hosts the show, interviewing collectors, gallery owners, art industry experts, and of course working artists. The podcast, a production of the Clark Hulings Fund for Artists, covers sales strategy, contracts, the intersection of art and the gig economy, branding, and revenue stream generation.