My favorite books for feminist creative business owners (Ed. 1)
Originally I had planned a different post for this week, but as I am currently dealing with the loss of a family member (not unexpected, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easier) I didn’t feel like I could do my planned topic (How to communicate with your customers) justice. Plus, I honestly just felt like writing about something lighter, something that made me happy.
Reading was one of my first loves, and it will always be where I get a lot of my inspiration from. I’ve put together a short list of my favourite books for Creative Bosses - some feminist literature, some business literature, some biographies, some I read last year, others in the years before - and I hope it inspires you to go to your library, pick one (or two, or all) of them up and plan in some down-time just for you and your book!
This book by Jason Fried (the man behind 37signals turned Basecamp) chronicles his experience in building his own business and - more importantly - distills his most important learnings. Among others: Why bigger is not always better; yes, you can absolutely love your work and get enough sleep; How to find what you love to do. If you're asking yourself whether a big corporation is really the best organizational and business model out there or if there might be merit in staying small, pick this up.
Customer first. Always first. Tony Hsieh - the founder of Zappos - shares the story behind the company and his own personal path from being very profit- (and money-) focused to understanding how much the customer and ultimately the purpose of what you do matters. A great and fast read to get a good understanding of how you can make customer focus work in all facets of your business! Near and dear to my heart, because our customers are everything for our small businesses.
My go-to resource to explain what feminism is. This short and sweet write up of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED talk is everything and should be on everyone's bookshelf, desk, in every handbag and every curriculum.
This essay collection by Roxane Gay was one of my first forays into feminist literature in 2015, and I keep coming back to it. Sharp observations without fear of speaking the truth and an eye for how to not be bitter, but make the world a better place while addressing the nagging questions in the back of our head (aka "Am I a feminist even though..."). Highly recommended.
My first read in 2017 - and I couldn't put this down. It's an essay collection by SciFi author Kameron Hurley who dissects pop culture and story telling unlike anyone else. From True Detective to GamerGate, her texts touch on a lot of things that have caught my (and I think your) attention in the last years - plus, they explain to us in sharp, no-bullshit language why the language we use is important and how story telling influences our view on what is possible for us as women and what isn't.
I finished this book - Cheryl Strayed's account of walking the Pacific Crest Trail - as the first one in 2015 and I still can't stop thinking about it. It made me want to walk the PCT (which is still a dream!) and think about how we can overcome even the greatest obstacles life throws at us. It's gripping, wild, relentless, and I loved every second of it.
Katharine Graham's biography is one of the rare accounts of a full life of a woman. Starting from early marriage, it tells the journey of how she became the extraordinary publisher of the Washington Post and how life was in that position - and that in a time where numbers of women in powerful positions were minuscule. Must read if you're into biographies of successful women! (Feel free to skip ahead to the first problems in her marriage, after that it gets REALLY good.)
How to perservere in times where there is almost no hope, how to pull through years and years of darkness - Salman Rushdie's biography detailing his time under the fatwa is everything you need right now if you're looking for an example how to deal with hopelessness and darkness. Plus, it's beautifully written.
I have big reading plans for 2017 - among others, I finally want to read Big Magic, a little bit more fiction, and a lot more feminist literature. Tell me - what are your favourite books? I’d love to add them to my reading list!