As I’ve written here before, I will be losing my job at the end of October. This is not a bad thing because it has given me the opportunity to really think about what I want to do next. And what I really want to do is get off the career ladder and focus on what I love to do the most – write. I’ve been working in the PR field for over nine years now and I’ve moved into a management role. Aside from having my own office, this hasn’t proven to be very much fun. I spend my time managing others to do the tasks that attracted me to the career in the first place.
So, I’m seriously considering going it alone as a freelance writer. Focus on what I do best and lose the office politics (or most of it anyway). The only problem is that I don’t know very much about running a business, promoting myself or attracting clients. As with every challenge in my life, I responded by making a trip to the library and bookstore. Thankfully, there are lots of resources to guide you through the process of creating a business and many focus on female entrepreneurs.
From the library, I picked up Real You Incorporated: Eight Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs by Kaira Sturdivant Rouda. This book focuses on identifying your unique strengths to create a brand for yourself and your business that is real and authentic. The book features numerous questions to guide you through identifying your brand and many inspiring stories about successful female entrepreneurs.
From my bookshelf, I pulled The SEED Handbook (Sustainable Enterprise and Empowerment Dynamics) by Lynne Franks. I bought this book several years ago when I was between jobs, but didn’t have the guts at the time to have a go at freelancing. This book covers some of the same ground as Real You Incorporated, but from a different angle. Franks focuses on developing courage, honing your intuition and incorporating sustainability, values and ethics in your business. I’m really attracted to establishing a business that is ethical to its core. I can personally attest that sometimes public relations is used to massage the truth. I’ve never been involved in anything that was truly a lie, but not entirely truthful. I attended journalism school and I’ve always been really attracted to the notion of journalism as the “fifth estate,” speaking for those who voices can’t be heard and exposing the truth. Needless to say, my professional life has been at odds with my personal beliefs on several occasions.
My next choice is The Boss of You: Everything a Woman Needs to Know to Start, Run and Maintain Her Own Business by Lauren Bacon and Emira Mears. These two ladies run a successful web development company. This book provides practical advice on developing a business plan, financing, marketing and growing your business. I can see that I’ll be consulting this book often.
Last, I picked up The 30-Second Commute: A non-fiction comedy about writing and working from home by Stephanie Dickison. This book isn’t a guide to creating a freelance business, but is a funny and smart “memoir” about a freelance writer. It looks like it will be a lot of fun to read.
Do you know any good books to guide someone through creating their own creative business?