1) The book, The E-Myth (Revisited): Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
This book has completely blown the lid off of the way I think about my business. Michael Gerber teaches you how important it is to work ON your business, and not just IN your business. The way he guides you through his strategic process to better the company you're creating is absolutely priceless. If you take anything out of this post, it should be to READ THIS BOOK!
He really pushes you to think deeply about your goals in life, so it’s certainly not something you can breeze through. I’m a huge fan of audiobooks, but I specifically gave myself days to go through each chapter. Make sure you give yourself time to stop and think after every major question he asks you. I just ordered myself a hard copy, so I can go back, highlight and take notes!
2) The Rising Tide Society: Strategic Planning for Small Businesses Guide
What started as local meet-ups for creative business owners has grown to meetings all across the globe and a thriving Facebook community. Want to know more about SEO? Can’t decide on your three logo ideas? Have a question about your camera lens, or adobe programs? This is your place to be! (Perfect example: these beautiful new headshots, like the one at the top, by AR White Photography, whom I met through RTS). This group has enabled thousands of creative business owners to bounce ideas off of other creative entrepreneurs (which is especially invaluable for those of us who work by ourselves day in and day out). Rising Tide is a living library of educational resources by creatives for creatives.
This year, the Rising Tide Society released a free “Strategic Planning for Small Businesses” guide that helped me really nail down my goals for each year, quarter, month and week. I have never been more prepared in my life! Do yourself a favor… click here to download this guide and seriously answer EVERY question they ask. I filled about 30 pages, writing down all my answers. I’ve never been more aware of my goals, and it feels incredibly empowering!
- Thrive by Design: Business, Marketing and Lifestyle Strategies for YOUR Jewelry Brand to Flourish and Thrive - with Tracy Matthews
While this podcast is mainly meant for jewelry designers, most of what she discusses can be applied to any artist trying to make a profit from their designs. She interviews everyone from business gurus, content creators, successful designers, and anyone else that can help your creative business grow. She is so encouraging, and so filled with energy that it’s my go-to podcast when I’m in a slump! She wakes me up, gets my head out of the sand, and encourages me to crush it every day!
- Perceived Value - with Sarah Rachel Brown
Ever wonder how that designer got through school and started their business, all while paying for rent, art supplies, school and equipment? So does Sarah Rachel Brown! She gets down to the nitty gritty and asks artists of all mediums what it took to get there- and how much it all cost! Transparency is one of my biggest values, so this podcast really checks all the boxes for me! Get ready, 'cause SRB is about to be your new best friend. Happy listening!
- How I Built This - with Guy Raz
This NPR podcast was introduced to me by painter Rachel Alvarez, a fellow creative entrepreneur whose friendship started in the land of social media, and blossomed finally at our first Rising Tide Society meeting! Guy Raz interviews innovators and entrepreneurs who have created some of the most massively successful companies in the world. It’s so nice to hear their stories of humble beginnings, the successes and the failures that got them to where they are today.