Review: The Creative Entrepreneur

Recently I've had a growing interest in finding books that help creatives grow their own business. They seem to be few and far between. I reviewed Craft, Inc. last year and found it a great resource for starting your own business. However, while it covered many aspects of running a business, I found that it wasn't good for actually teaching you how to set-up and create your own business from conception to reality. Enter Lisa Sonora Beam and The Creative Entrepreneur. Billed as a "DIY Visual Guidebook for Making Business Ideas Real", this book not only teaches readers the fundamentals of building a business to match their creative dream, but it presents the core business concepts in a way that makes them easy for creative personalities to understand.

The Creative Entrepreneur developed out of workshops that Beam created and offered "creatives" who wanted to take their craft and turn them into viable business opportunities. She does not believe that artists need to starve in order to succeed. This book is her legacy; it shows artists that they, too, can grasp business concepts that turn their artistic visions into concrete and functioning business plans—no matter what they are. At first glance, this book looks more like an art technique book than a business fundamentals primer. Don't let the shiny fool you; The Creative Entrepreneur packs an informative punch. Beam introduces the book by explaining how the visual journalling process aides in the process of business creation. She encourages readers to follow along with the exercises in this book, just as if they were sitting in on one of her workshops.

The rest of the book explains and shows examples for various business concepts that are key to uncovering exactly what form your artsy business will become. Beam helps you explore your strengths, develop a vision and goals plan, and set SMART goals for yourself. She also helps you overcome your fears. By exposing them, Beam helps you to minimize and remedy them so they don’t distract you from attaining your successful goals. At every step of the way she presents the information in easy-to-digest bites that also include plenty of fun exercises, journalling prompts, and examples from people who have already gone through her process.

The Creative Entrepreneur helps you lay the foundation for your business. But that's about as far as the material in the book goes. She quickly glosses over the idea of promotional materials that could help your business expand and get noticed, but she doesn't cover how to obtain licenses, or networking with other entrepreneurs and suppliers. Therefore, I wouldn't consider this book as the "all inclusive" text for creatives looking to go into business for themselves. Instead, I see this as a companion to Craft, Inc. which delves into the daily business running aspects in greater detail.

I loved this book. There's so much good information in it that I think it's valuable for anyone to read through. I especially loved her breakdown on the left brain/right brain and the information on SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). While I'm not ready to create a business out of my bookbinding just yet, I know that the information and exercises are things I can use to help propel and transform my writing life into something more. I recommend The Creative Entrepreneur to any writer, artist, or crafter who desires to do more with their art, or just become more attuned to what you can offer the rest of the world. Even if you're not interested in operating your own business, this book gives you a lot to think about on assessing your creative strengths and weaknesses. The Creative Entrepreneur retails for $19.99 and is published by Quarry Press. You can also visit the book's website for more information on Lisa Sonora Beam and her workshops.

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Yes please

Great review, and exactly the encouragement I need to finally press BUY at my amazon wish list where this book is high up right now. thanks!

I can recommend another great book for artist and creative people that is called I'd rather be in the studio! written by Alyson B. Stanfield.
It's all about marketing and finding ways to keep your "brand" going once you've started out with blogging, newsletter, shows etc.

My review if you haven't read the book is here.

I too wish there would be lots of more books like this one. We do need them!

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my creative blog and my homepage ihanna.nu

Fancy that..

I just started reading Alyson's book... so I'll have a review of that soonish.
Glad you liked this review on The Creative Entrepreneur. :)

/innowen