7 Books Every Creative Entrepreneur Should Read

I've been in love with reading and books since my childhood. I have tons of books and still cherish some childhood favorites (The Secret Garden anyone?). This summer I have read quite a lot and boy, it's been a ride. Sometimes laughing, sometimes crying... A lot of motivation, self-reflection, healing, aha-moments.

As a creative entrepreneur and freelancer, life is full of ups and downs. You have self-limiting thoughts, you think you aren't enough, aren't good enough, you should know more, better, differently, you should know everything and be perfect, and should be in the flow all the time.

Forget it. Read these seven books for creative entrepreneurs.

7 Books for Creative Entrepreneurs
7 books every creative entrepreneur should read - Big Magic

Love, love, love this woman's insights into the creative process. One would think a highly successful writer doesn't have problems with writing and inspiration, that she always knows the next step and she has no obstacles and fights. What a mistake!

Liz says everybody has creativity buried deep within that gets better with practice. She fights perfectionism, and shares some revolutionary thoughts like authenticity is better than originality. She also gives you ideas on how to fight your fear.

Reading this book is like reading a fairy tale and a documentary at the same time - love how realistic she is with making a living on writing (or any creative job).  A must-read for everybody (not only creatives!). (+1 for the gorgeous cover!)

Favorite quote (I could quote half of the book :D):

"Let people have their opinions. More than that--let people love their opinions, just as you and I are in love with ours. But never delude yourself into believing that you require someone else's blessing (or even their comprehension) in order to make your own creative work. And always remember that people's judgments about you are none of your business." -- Elizabeth Gilbert: Big Magic
Daring Greatly - books for creative entrepreneurs

If you liked Liz Gilbert's thoughts on how to fight fear and the downs of being a creative, then dive deep into Brené Brown's Daring Greatly.

This book examines the mechanisms of the human soul and behavior from a much wider perspective, and if you read and follow Brené's advice (or just let her words influence you), not only you but your environment (colleagues, friends, family) can benefit from it.

As a creative, one has to accept that she will make mistakes on the way - Brené shows how to get over them, admit your vulnerability and still love yourself. Again, I have a lot of favorite quotes, now I chose a couple of sentences about perfectionism.

"Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving for excellence. Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth. Perfectionism is a defensive move. It’s the belief that if we do things perfectly and look perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame." -- Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
7 books every creative fempreneur should read: Show Your Work

If you found Ms. Brown's book hard to read, it's time for Austin's little book. Show Your Work! encourages you to (what a surprise! :)) share your work online. Not only the end result but also the process.

This is how you can get followers (or even clients) and feedback. You can find your voice only by using it, and even if you're an amateur (who else isn't in this rapidly changing world?), you can improve with practice. Share what you love, share your story and people will love you for it.

Favorite quote:

"Words matter. Artists love to trot out the tired line, “My work speaks for itself,” but the truth is, our work doesn’t speak for itself.
Human beings want to know where things came from, how they were made, and who made them. The stories you tell about the work you do have a huge effect on how people feel and what they understand about your work, and how people feel and what they understand about your work effects how they value it."
-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered
7 books for creative entrepreneurs

In need of some soul food? Read this book at bedtime so you can get up the next day on the right road.

I'm sure Oprah doesn't need any introduction. She has made history with her talk show and as a self-made woman, her name is known not only in the US but also all over the world.

In a collection of essays, Oprah is sharing her views on living a fulfilling life, becoming recognized and a better person, embracing mistakes, working hard and the courage to chase our dreams, love and gratitude, choices to which we are exposed, fighting our fears and values for which it is worth fighting for.

Favorite quote:

"I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint - and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you." -- Oprah Winfrey: What I Know For Sure

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Creativity, Inc. - books for creative entrepreneurs

There might come a moment when you don't want or can't do it alone. You need a team to grow your biz and you need to become a leader.

Then, it's time to learn from one of the world’s most loved filmmakers, the founders of Pixar and see what it takes to create and promote an environment that fosters creativity and problem solving.

You might say this book isn't for solopreneurs or freelancers, but I always like to learn from people who have achieved something (you can translate this as success), and I think biographies and books like this are extremely helpful to get the right mindset to follow them.

Favorite quote (for the moment):

"What makes Pixar special is that we acknowledge we will always have problems, many of them hidden from our view; that we work hard to uncover these problems, even if doing so means making ourselves uncomfortable; and that, when we come across a problem, we marshal all of our energies to solve it. This, more than any elaborate party or turreted workstation, is why I love coming to work in the morning. It is what motivates me and gives me a definite sense of mission." -- Ed Catmull-Amy Wallace: Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
girlboss cover - books for fempreneurs

Witty and not a girl power book at all.

Sophia, sharing her story of how she left the lows of her life behind, targets younger readers, such as recent high school and college graduates, but even for an experienced professional, #GIRLBOSS can be a refreshing, entertaining read among the sea of dry personal development books and business reads.

As an inspiration bomb, this book suggests that no matter where you come from,  what you have behind you and what your environment is like, with hard work and perseverance, you can be successful.

You only have tobelieve in yourself and work hard.

Favorite quote:

"Each time you make a good decision or do something nice or take care of yourself; each time you show up to work and work hard and do your best at everything you can do, you’re planting seeds for a life that you can only hope will grow beyond your wildest dreams. Take care of the little things—even the little things that you hate—and treat them as promises to your own future. Soon you’ll see that fortune favors the bold who get shit done." -- Sophia Amoruso: #GirlBoss
Monique Melton: EntrepreFriendships

Today fighting a lonely battle can be way too overwhelming. You need company on your way: someone who understands your insecurity, asks helping questions and values the way to success.

Monique is a brand strategist. In her brand new book, EntrepreFriendships, she shares the steps on how to make more meaningful business connections, earn greater opportunities and develop real biz relationships.

Do you have a BizBestie who supports you and you can support? If not, this book is a must, especially if you're an introvert like me.

Favorite quote:

"You don't have to be lonely and isolated while you build your business." -- Monique Melton: EntrepreFriendships: Step-by-Step Guide to Make More Meaningful Connections, Earn Greater Business Opportunities, and Develop Real Business Relationships

Have you read any of these books? What are your favorite books as a creative entrepreneur? Share them in a comment!

xo,
Annamari