8 Must Read Books For The Creative Entrepreneur

Expansion or Bust

Many have ideas to create a thriving business and to expand on creativity, in hopes to create stability, independence, and fulfillment. With that desire rooted in creative passions coupled with information and action. One is inspired and propelled towards their expansion and manifestation of goals. Nothing has been more beneficial than the continuous knowledge found in the many books that have inspired, empowered and given me unbounded clarity.

Below is a list of some of my favorite books that I would recommend as “must” reads for the creative entrepreneur.

60% brilliant, 40% obvious and 100% worth reading

Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” is about more than getting rich: it’s about getting what you want. And while his no-bullshit insights come with a liberal dose of craziness, his overarching philosophy is spot-on. Hill’s recipe boils down to this: to get what you want you must 1) desire, 2) believe, 3) act, and 4) persist.

This is one of my favorite books and was the catalyst in my journey to pursue my creative passions. I have read it 3 times and have post its, and notes all over the book. I recommend this book to anyone creative or not! This is a classic for all.

Often called the greatest self-help book of all-time, As a Man Thinketh reveals how our thoughts determine our character, circumstances, health, appearance, and achievements. The choice is ours: either master our thoughts to create the life we want or remain mired in frustration and failure.


Unlock creativity by “stealing” from the community of other movers and shakers. Now, in an even more forward-thinking and necessary book, he shows how to take that critical next step on a creative journey―getting known.

Show Your Work! is about why generosity trumps genius. It’s about getting findable, about using the network instead of wasting time “networking.”

For centuries the myth of the starving artist has dominated our culture, seeping into the minds of creative people and stifling their pursuits. But the truth is that the world’s most successful artists did not starve. In fact they capitalized on the power of their creative strength. In Real Artists Don’t Starve, Jeff Goins debunks the myth of the starving artist by unveiling the ideas that created it and replacing them with 14 rules for artists to thrive.

The definitive, must-have guide to pursuing an art career— In this revised artists learn how to tackle a host of new challenges. How do you diversify income streams to sustain a healthy art practice? How can you find an alternative to the gallery system? How do you review a license agreement? What are digital marketing best practices?  An important resource for gallerists, dealers, art consultants, artist-oriented organizations, and artists alike, Art/Work is the resource that all creative entrepreneurs in the art world turn to for advice.

Great book by Austin Kleon. Easy to read and fun. Often times we create pressure to be new different and “original to define ourselves in ways unique to us. This book brings a playful perspective to the context of being an artist. One that shifts from pressure to freedom by creating a space where you feel free to play and create as you so see fit. Because nothing is original, and its okay to steal if you do it like an artist.

To be honest, haven’t read it yet but it’s next on my list as Fear is a basis of many limitations we create that hinder us from creating to our fullest potential.

Embrace your curiosity and let go of needless suffering. Gilbert shows us how to tackle what we most love and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

Mastery by Robert Greene is a powerful work. One I recommend to anyone who has that desire to fulfill the “there is something I’m meant to do in this life” within. I first heard Mastery on Audible and decided to reread it because it’s so full of exciting and clarifying contexts. Greene brings up the greats throughout times and those of modern innovation to bring us to a point of observation and reverse engineering. You will uncover that they were just like you. If not almost exactly in the early stages. It was their ability to achieve “mastery” that sets them apart from the majority. Few commit to mastery and those who do create an impact that echoes beyond self but into humanity as a whole. This book shows you the keys you need to unlock the mastery within you.

There you have it,  although most of us have finished school it’s of great value to keep learning, growing and expanding.

We all are on our own journey. To have the courage to push past fears, doubts, pressures of social dogma and all of the other noise that silences our inner creatives is the greatest gift you can give your self and humanity as a whole.

Got a book recommendation? Let us know in the comments below.

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