If you’re like most business owners, you probably spend more time working in your business than on it. That’s not the way to stay competitive, however. If you don’t lift your head up once in a while to see the bigger picture, you could be missing out on everything from business opportunities to smart new ways to do work. Enter newsletters. Done well, they’re efficient and effective–that is, they cut through the bluster and more often than not help you see your own business in a new meaningful way.
To find the very best ones, Inc. put out a call on Twitter for business owners’ top picks. With the exception of Inc. This Morning and Today’s 5 Must Reads, the following recommendations are not only jam-packed with information devoted to helping you stay one step ahead of the competition but are also mindful of your time. And they’re all free to subscribe.
1. 21 Hats
“21 Hats,” founded by longtime journalist Loren Feldman, is a daily email newsletter that combines articles, interviews, and insights with the most important news of the day for business owners. In addition to news, the letter often features interesting stories written by business owners themselves, about the struggles, hopes, trials, and tribulations of what it’s like to run their own company.
2. Milk Road
Crypto is one of the most volatile and least understood emerging categories, so it’s best to attempt to figure this out posthaste. To aid your quest, check out “Milk Road,” a Substack by writers and crypto enthusiasts Shaan Puri and Ben Levy. The kitschy newsletter, which started in 2021, describes itself as “your smart, no bs friend who tells you about the most interesting stuff going on in crypto” and touches on topics like investing trends, NFTs, and technology. And it delivers. For instance, this week, the newsletter discussed the latest in Web3 tech and data around the largest metaverse land sale in history.
Inc. columnist Bill Murphy Jr. started his Substack “Understandably” in 2019. The daily email newsletter is dedicated to “great stories, history, and promoting understanding among people who sometimes don’t have a lot in common.” It is really for anyone ambitious in their lives and careers, but business owners are uniquely positioned to benefit. With history lessons, psychology studies, and thoughts on the biggest business names in the country, it’s great for unsolicited commentary on a little bit of everything.
4. The Hustle
Owned by CRM platform HubSpot, “The Hustle” is a daily business newsletter for people who hate boring newsletters. With quirky reported stores such as the product strategy behind hotel soap, why gas stations don’t make money from selling gas, and why thinking about inflation leads to more inflation, you’ll always learn something new or read an unexpected hot take on a popular topic.
5. The Daily Upside
“The Daily Upside” was founded in 2019 by a team of former investment bankers, scholars, and journalists, with the intention to share its knowledge about smart investing before the market opens every day. It nixes confusing jargon to provide clear and concise news that can be read in only five minutes, and it’s useful for anyone–even the most novice investors. For business owners, it’s a great way to keep track of the latest business trends and the strategies some of the most prominent businesses in the county use to get ahead.
6. Where’s Your Ed At
The founder and CEO of media-relations company EZPR, Ed Zitron, launched his own Substack called “Where’s Your Ed At” in 2019, and writes hot takes each week on workplace culture, business trends, and technology. The writer, who’s published pieces for Business Insider, The Atlantic, and yes, Inc., most recently touched on why employees’ mental health struggles often come from negative company cultures, and what businesses should do to fix them.