Happy Monday afternoon, friends! I had this awesome goal of writing earlier in the day, but I was volunteering so I think it's a valid excuse. But what better time to relax, drink a nice cuppa (of whatever you prefer) and read about good books than now?
I did some research before I went into this business idea because I wanted to do my best and I wanted to learn from people who had done it the best. I referenced a lot of books and articles, but these three have helped me out the most. I know these could be a huge help for other creatives wanting to start their own business and improve how they market themselves. Plus, they've all taught me to work it - work what I have, work my butt off and work on taking care of myself and my legacy.
1. Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk
This one was a life changer for me. Gary Vaynerchuk has this passion for business, life and values like no one I've read before. It's his passion that has carried him through the struggles of starting small and propelled him to multimillion dollar success. It was especially encouraging to see another online business thrive like his and in such a hard-working, honorable way. His philosophy is to choose love - go after your passion, what makes your heart beat to work on every day - but also to build it up so that it's sustainable in the long run. He relays information like a motivational speaker, but gives you relevant action steps in the process. I loved his chapter on choosing your platform. It helped me to narrow down which social media sites I needed to jump on and how I could market myself in each.
I think the word that bests describes the theme is the only word in chapter nine, "the best marketing strategy ever" - CARE. Not only care about your business, but also your audience. Care about them as individuals, as consumers and as people not unlike yourself who are seeking high quality products and services. Also, care for your passion. Don't let it blow away in the wind and leave a trail of regrets behind. Let people know who you are and what you have to offer, and don't stop at a dream.
2. How to Make Money using Etsy by Timothy Adam
As the title suggests, this one focuses on turning an online creative space into a business and building your Etsy craft into something profitable. This book was my Merriam-Webster for terms, tricks of the trade and talented people who had taken the same routes as me as far as platforms and mediums of work. I was able to find a ton of writers whose blogs I referenced when starting this one! I'm on my second comb-through of this read. It has so much to offer new "Etsians" (as Adam calls them) including a road map for creating your own account.
My favorite chapter was chapter seven, "Handmade Blogging Essentials" - it featured top tips for starting a handmade business and interviews from the most successful bloggers on the web. This was so fun for me as I love picking people's brains about their philosophies and values (although it sounds creepy, it's super helpful for building your identity). I'll most likely be referencing this and Crush It! every day until I have a good grip on what I'm doing!
3. Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
It seems like old news that I would pick this book up again, but it's been an amazing teacher of strong, biblical boundaries I should be making between my work and personal life. Last year, I had a problem with blurring my work with my free time and it slowly took over everything. It didn't bring me success when I was studying for five hours a day because I wasn't taking care of myself in between. I wasn't learning or succeeding - not what I was going for at all. I decided to listen to this book's advice and take it to heart, and it's been wonderful. I've learned I can work extra time on a project or post, but I need to take breaks so I can spend my time more wisely. And, as the authors are psychologists and theologians, there are spiritual and psychological truths that fuel their advice.
They also discuss subjects beyond business, like relationships with your family, significant other, kids (if you're there yet) and even yourself. It's made me a happier and stronger person to explore topics that I never knew would be so important to my daily life. Ah, the sweet bliss of making your life your own. It's so rich that you'll have to read yourself to take it all in. I highly suggest it.
I hope this was helpful for you or, at least, kept you awake through your cuppa. I know these books have been great reads for me! Catch me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at any time and let me know which books have been changing your life ;)