9 Books To Increase Your Artistic Value
Building a sustainable money-making career or business can be hard for artists. The most successful people are usually ones hungry for knowledge. They're the ones that learn as much as they can - questioning everything, striving for answers, and continuously re-evaluating their paths.
Here are 9 essential books that offer strategies towards making more money and improving your service as an artist. We've found the main theme across all business-oriented advice is to not focus on yourself, but your client.
1. Outliers: The Story of Success
by Malcolm Gladwell
Outliers is a fascinating exploration of psychology and culture, and why those play a huge part in success. It taught us that talent isn't more important than life experience and applying smart techniques. The meaning of success is redefined and seemingly huge goals become totally attainable after reading this book.
This book also explores the famed, easy to remember, 10,000 hour rule - the idea that you can become an expert at whatever you do by the time you reach 10,000+ hours of intentional practice.
2. Steve Jobs
by Walter Isaacson
We took a lot from the mindset Steve Jobs had about making quality products. This Jobs-approved biography is a fun and dramatic exploration of the way Apple became the purveyor of the most influential products in the world. There's a lot of gold in the way he inspired positive growth, cleanly minimal products, and the love for innovation.
This one explores the journey of Ed Catmull, President of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation Studios. He wrote this book to teach others his findings on great management style and company culture. The coolest thing we got out of this was their idea of the "Braintrust" - a group of trusted people that give candid constructive criticism. They "(a) make you think smarter and (b) put lots of solutions on the table in a short amount of time." Catmull offers a lot of clarity for those interested in learning more about managing a successful group of creators.
4. Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success
by Adam Grant
This totally changed our mindset around. Before, we were careful about sharing our strategies with others. After reading this, there's nothing we want to do more than to help anyone we can. That's the powerful confidence-boosting information Give and Take offers. And yes, we have noticed that helping others drives success. It's worth a read if you want to know more about empowering yourself and others.
5. How To Win Friends and Influence People
by Dale Carnegie
One of the best books out there for people skills. Carnegie dives right into the way people think and interact. You'll learn the best ways to smoothly maneuver our people-filled world in a fair manner.
6. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
by Robert Cialdini
Psychologist Robert Cialdini took on odd jobs that depend on persuading others (door-to-door sales, car sales, telemarketer, etc.) and wrote a book about it. In it are techniques these professional persuaders use to get what they want. It shows us what makes people do the things they do (like buy something we don't need), and how you can use that in a fair and healthy way (while also learning to recognize when someone is using these techniques against you).
7. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
by Malcolm Gladwell
Another from Malcolm Gladwell - this book explores ideas, trends, and social behavior. The topics in this book indirectly helped us realize what the next trends were in film music and other industries of interest. We think anything that keeps us looking towards the future is worth studying.
8. The Business Wealth Builders: Accelerating Business Growth, Maximizing Profits, and Creating Wealth
by Phil Symchych & Alan Weiss
The contents are in the title. A helpful book on building and scaling up a money-making business. It's especially insightful on what strategies are going to make you money, and which might not.
Here's a great point from the chapter on Strategy:
If your company is growing purely by organic customer demand, you are not growing fast enough. Your company will grow faster and more profitably if your culture is based on proactively offering your customers ideas on how they can be more successful. That's the essence of strategic growth.
We like it because it shows an obvious connection between your success and the people you serve.
9. The New One Minute Manager
by Ken Blanchard
The techniques in this book opened our eyes to effective teamwork. It taught us how to interact with our newcomers so they're working at top efficiency. And from there, trusting them to independently achieve their goals without excessive or unnecessary communication. But it also encourages everyone to actively ask questions if something is unclear. Essentially, it offers a well-rounded management technique that every single team member can use.
To quote Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs: "A properly run company can spawn innovation far more than any single creative individual."