There’s never been a better time to start a business as a creative. That might seem like a crazy statement given the economic headwinds we’re currently facing. But at the same time, creativity and design are taking center stage in an increasingly connected post-pandemic world. With the right idea and a lot of hard work, there’s every reason you can benefit from it.
There is also another way of looking at it. If you’re a creative professional working on a salary basis or on a temporary freelance contract, you don’t have much latitude in how much you earn. And since no one knows where inflation will go in the next few years, your standard of living could drop significantly.
However, when you start your own business, you put yourself back in the driver’s seat. The more successful you are, the more income you can earn. There is technically no upper limit for this.
It’s a huge step, of course, and it takes a lot of courage and determination to pull it off. One thing that can help you get to the right place is a good book, especially one written by someone who has been there and can share all the hard lessons learned along the way.
With that in mind, here are our top picks from the latest business books, each covering a different aspect of becoming a creative entrepreneur. We’ve also provided links to buy them through Bookshop.org, which supports independent bookstores. Note that we don’t make any money from this ourselves; We just like the idea of supporting other creative businesses.
Do you want to come up with great ideas? Then throw out logic and throw away rationality, says Ogilvy advertising legend Rory Sutherland. This may sound counterintuitive, but in this, his first book, the author brings together his branding, lessons from behavioral science, and a slew of stunning anecdotes to put meat on those bones.
In doing so, he argues that economists, corporations, and governments have got it all wrong: We are not rational beings making logical decisions based on evidence. Instead, the big day-to-day problems we face could very well be solved with less logical thinking. It’s almighty, thought-provoking stuff.
No one is born a great writer: you can only become one with perseverance and practice. However, there are simple techniques you can use to get there faster. This book introduces the best of them and explains how you can use them to create compelling copy for digital media, branding, advertising, direct marketing, retail, catalogs, corporate magazines, internal communications, and some aspects of social media.
This fully updated third edition features new interviews, case studies and illustrated examples of award-winning campaigns and communications. And through a series of exercises, it guides you through step-by-step processes that can help you write your own content quickly and effectively.
How many talented creatives are held back by impostor syndrome? In our experience, there are quite a few. But this empowering, practical guide can help you overcome it, fight negative thoughts, and succeed in your goals.
A sought-after motivational speaker and self-confidence coach, Tiwalola Ogunlesi founded her company with the sole purpose of getting women to love themselves. Here she guides readers to become the most uncompromising and unstoppable version of themselves. Unlike some similar books, it’s not full of empty words and motivational babble, but rather packed with practical tips and real-life stories from everyday women. Of course, men will also find a lot to learn here.
We’re all going to die, and we don’t have much time left to achieve our goals. Hence the modern obsession with productivity and the goal of getting the maximum number of things done in a given amount of time. This is a gospel that Oliver Burkeman used to preach, but then he realized it was self-defeating. For example, tips and tricks that help you get to zero faster mean you answer more emails — which means you get even more emails in reply.
Then, in Four Thousand Weeks, the author takes a different tack, arguing that it really is you tilt to have everything. Instead, he asks us to stop seeing time as a resource to be plundered and to find a different approach to life, one that’s more about living in the moment and enjoying the little things. If you ever feel like you don’t have enough time to get everything done, and especially if it makes you panic, reading this book will help you see your whole life in a different light.
It’s great to have a mentor. But if not, then this book is meant to act as the next best thing: a “mentor in a box.” In it, tech guru Tony Fadell explains all of those lessons he’s learned the hard way. He spent the first ten years of his career failing spectacularly and the next 20 years building some of the most impactful devices in history: the iPod, the iPhone, and the Nest Learning Thermostat.
However, Tony doesn’t follow the standard Silicon Valley credo of radically reinventing everything. Instead, he keeps things simple. He simply tells you what works and gives you exactly what you need to make things worth making. Unorthodox reading indeed, but one that is far more practical and helpful than most how-to business books.
Starting your own business can be a daunting business, so the more advice you get from those who have done it themselves, the better. Written by the co-founders of Entrepreneur First (EF), this guide features a foreword by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman. It’s full of essential guides and advice to get you started.
The book takes you from the initial decision, through the process of selecting and developing an idea and team, to raising capital and working with VCs and angel investors. You’ll also hear advice from some of the world’s best investors and entrepreneurs who have built some of the most iconic tech companies of our time.