Running your own business is a constant learning experience, and I'm always looking for new ways to learn and grow. I've read a number of books for creative entrepreneurs this past year that really inspired me, and I wanted to pass them along to you. Whether you've been freelancing for years, or are just thinking about starting your own business, these seven titles are definitely worth a look. I've found them all to be extremely helpful, and they've shaped my business strategies for the upcoming year. Pick one up for yourself, or as a gift for the budding entrepreneur in your life. Have you read any of these books? I'd love to know what you think. What books would you recommend? Keep reading to see my recommendations for seven great books for creative entrepreneurs:
1. Creative, Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco and Joy Deangdeelert Cho
This is a great place to begin if you are thinking about starting your own freelance business. It tells you everything you need to know to get started, and the writing style is conversational and easy to follow. The information is well-organized, and the design is clean and simple. The book also features a number of interviews with successful freelancers, and is packed with plenty of helpful advice and resources.
2. Blog Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho
This book is a companion to Creative Inc, and was written by Joy Cho, the founder of successful design blog OhJoy!. It really opened my eyes to the world of blogging, and the potential opportunities that are available online. It features inspiring interviews with bloggers and business owners who share tips on how to use your blog to build community and grow your business.
3. Tribes by Seth Godin
Tribes really changed my perspective on how we do business. It talks about marketing and leadership in terms of tribal communities, and gives exciting examples of how the internet has created new opportunities for bigger and more diverse tribal groups to form.
4. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
This much talked-about book by Facebook COO highlights the challenges women face in the workplace today, and is full of practical, empowering advice. It's a quick, easy read and I definitely recommend it for both men and women. To be honest, I was a little naive about the gender biases that still exist so strongly in our culture today. And now that I see things more clearly, I'm riled up! Women, and the work we do, have been undervalued for too long. It definitely motivated me to start leaning in, and speaking up for more equality.
5. Linchpin by Seth Godin
The world of business is changing rapidly, and old power structures are collapsing as technology creates new ways of doing business. It's a time of fear and uncertainty, as many companies are trying to squeeze the humanity out of every transaction. But you have a choice. Will you be a cog in a machine, clinging to the old rule books? Or will you be a linchpin - a human being who is unique, and indispensable? This book definitely inspired me to rethink how I want to grow my business. Instead of following other people's rules, it's up to me to write the script.
6. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
Author Brene Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston, and has spent the past thirteen years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. This book is a must-read for everyone in your community - teachers, parents, and business leaders alike. It has definitely shifted my perspective on leadership, and what we should expect from our leaders. I believe our organizations will be stronger if we allow more space for open communication, and we all have the freedom and courage to ask for help.
7. The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
Omg, I can't even begin to tell you how much I am loving this book. In fact, I'm planning to dedicate an entire blog post to it in the near future. But for now, I will say that it is a really insightful and transformative book, and it might just change your life. It's a 12-week course, it involves a lot of journaling, and it's all about finding your creative path in a modern world. If you're a frustrated artist, or you've never even considered yourself an artist at all, you must give this a shot. It's changed my perspective on EVERYTHING, and helped to remove a lot of the creative blocks I didn't even realize I had.