The Business of Creativity: Top 3 Must-Read Books

As a creative, agency owner or entrepreneur trying to level up my business game, I’ve rounded up my top three book recommendations for improving the business side of creativity. Whether you’re looking to establish a sustainable creative business, differentiate your product, create a scalable business model, or simply streamline your focus, these books will have you covered.

“Win Without Pitching” by Blair Enns.

First on the list is “Win Without Pitching” by Blair Enns. Enns, with half a lifetime of real-world agency experience, offers a distilled version of complex economic theories to help you reimagine your creative business. This book will offer up golden nuggets to help you implement and change the way you think about having a sustainable creative business. I’d describe it as “word for word one of the most valuable books I’ve ever read.”

Quote: We must choose a focus, then articulate that focus via a consistent claim of expertise and finally, we must work to add the missing skills, capabilities and processes necessary to support our new claim

”Built to Sell” by John Warrillow

Next up is “Built to Sell” – a narrative story about a struggling marketing agency that transitions into a successful and scalable product-based business. The book details how to create a differentiated product, establish a recurring revenue stream, create a culture of high-value employees, and develop a scalable business model.

Quote: If you want your business to be profitable, enjoy fat margins, and thrive without you, you need to stop responding to RFPs and start carving out your own one of-a-kind product or service.

“The One Thing” by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan

Last but not least, “The One Thing” urges readers to streamline their focus and create fewer, but more impactful actions. The book details the continuous process of distilling what you do and how you do it. I think this process is “fractal” – you can only get closer to the truth, but never fully reach it. The book keeps hammering home its point and will have you nodding in agreement.

Quote: The majority of what you want will come from the minority of what you do. Extraordinary results are disproportionately created by fewer actions than most realize.

In conclusion, these three books come highly recommended. They will teach you to focus on what matters, create a sustainable business model, differentiate your product, and streamline your workload for greater success. These books will help you focus your business, stand out from the crowd, and achieve greater success as a creative entrepreneur.