Having a creative business that I run online, and through bricks and mortar galleries has been a dream come true for me. I started off as a hobby artist, painting pictures for friends and literally giving them away; but then began to understand that I could make money from my hobby. It was a slow process at first because there was lots I didn't understand about running a business, but over the last year or so I've immersed myself in the world of Creative Business and seen things really take off. The other surprising thing is that it's been a lot of fun. Learning about business need not be a boring affair, it can be exciting and enriching and with the right kind of tools, your business can soar.
I've made a list of creative business books that have really helped me on my journey and I thought I'd share them with you here, to help you with yours.
The $100 Startup
This book is the kahunas of my stash of biz books. Absolutely one of the best I've laid my hands on. Chris Guillebeau writes in an open and honest way, and he tells it like it is. He tells you what your customers need, he strips away the mystery of running a business and shares his wisdom and experience wholeheartedly. When I read this, I had several big "a-haaaa" moments! I've implemented several of his strategies to my own business already and seen a huge difference. Well worth a read, will have you bursting with creative enthusiasm and inspiration after the first few pages.
The Firestarter Sessions
Danielle LaPorte is a woman who knows business. She is dynamic, funny (I laughed out loud during this book), she's straight talking, she will help to reconnect you to with your passion, she will show you how to create success. Packed with quotes from inspiring and well known individuals, there are also work sheets tailored to guide and clarify. It's life changing.
The Right Brain Business Plan
This is a wonderfully inspiring business book; it's pretty hands on in some aspects as you're encouraged to make things to help you see your business goals more clearly. There are also colourful worksheets guaranteed to inspire and help you and your biz stand out from the crowd. Using a right brain approach to business, Jennifer Lee breaks down the barriers of traditional biz coaching into a fun, joyful journey for you.
The Handmade Marketplace
Find out how to sell your stuff locally, globally and online. Discover how to price your work, how to set up shop on the internet, understand marketing and competition. Learn about selling, at local fairs and online emporiums - Kari Chapin gives you the nitty gritty on what it takes to run a creative business, even down to tips and tricks on photographing your stuff and telling the world about what you do.
Turn Your Talent into a Business
Written by business guru Emma Jones, this book explains how to turn your talent into a fully functional business. It's packed with case studies from people who have successfully done this which is both inspiring and informative. Emma also tells you how to make money from what you do (beyond selling to your circle of family and friends), how to promote your stuff, get a professional image and manage your finances.
Anyone Can Do It
I've put this book in the list, not because it's a How To biz guide, but because Duncan Bannatyne's story is so inspiring. It tells how he started from the bottom, with literally nothing and worked his way up to owning a multi million pound business empire; I couldn't put it down! When we read how others have done it - people from ordinary backgrounds with no qualifications and so on, we start to see that anything is possible. We can do whatever we put our minds to.
These books are all personal recommendations that have helped me enormously - and I continue to read different biz books because it's a subject that I really, truly enjoy - I never thought I would - but I do! I love that there is so much to learn, and how one simple step has the ability to change the whole direction of your business and see it expand beyond expectation.
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