5 Books to Cultivate Your Small Creative Business

I love reading, and I especially adore reading physical books. When I was in elementary school, I was the kid who would sneakily read my book after bedtime, snuggled beneath the covers with a flashlight and my latest book in hand.

I crave books. The weight in my hands; the feel of the smooth, cool covers; the crinkle when you turn the page.

As a small business owner with no formal business background, I am constantly on the hunt for a good book to read to help me better understand how to run it.

Over the years I have read more business books for creative entrepreneurs than I can remember.

They have taught me important skills and lessons that would have cost me a pretty penny to learn in business school. Whether you are just starting out or have been immersed in your creative business for some time, here are the top five books that I have found to be most helpful.


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5 Books Every Creative Entrepreneur Should Read

1. The Right-Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee

If you are like most creative entrepreneurs, you hear “business plan” and it makes you want to cover your ears while singing “la la la” at the top of your lungs. Sounds scary, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be! In fact, Jennifer Lee makes business planning downright fun with her artistic and interactive approach to setting up one for your creative business.

2. Working for Yourself: Law & Taxes for Independent Contractors, Freelancers & Consultants by Stephen Fishman, JD

This might not sound like the most interesting book, but it is actually a really easy and surprisingly enjoyable read, given the topic at hand. This book breaks down all major aspects of running a small business, from the different legal entities and what’s right for your business to trademarking to record keeping. It is a great reference book and helped me to put together a to-do list of things I needed to do for my business.

3. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

This book was fantastic and will get you thinking about not just what you do and how you do it, but the why behind it. Sinek’s big takeaway from doing case studies on truly successful businesses is that rather than focusing on the first two their messaging focuses on the reason behind why it is why they do what they do. You will start to look at your business and how your market in an entirely new light.

4. Craft, Inc: Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Business by Meg Mateo Ilasco

Ah, a book specifically about starting and owning a craft businesses. Each chapter includes an interview with a different successful craft business owner and then follows up with a specific topic covered in the interview, from legal entities to marketing. Not only is it a beautiful book to look through, but it gives a great baseline understanding of business topics, particularly those that apply to craft businesses.

5. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Hadley

Ok, what does writing have to do with making jewelry? Everything! Selling online involves a surprising amount of copy, from crafting compelling product descriptions to writing captivating e-mails. This book is an extremely useful guide provides actionable tips for improving your writing. (This is one of those books you’ll want to have on hand!)

What books have you found to be helpful in starting or growing your small business?