5 books that will inspire my work and life this year
Oh, January… that month full of return receipts, new year’s resolution lists and gym subscriptions. I won’t tell you how to stick to your goals throughout the year (although this topic was on my brainstorming list for possible blog posts). I’ve learned that to accomplish your goals, you need to do more than reading a blog post… instead, I am sharing with you 5 books that will inspire my year.
Yes, some of them are directly related to some of my personal and professional goals. But what I found most interesting about them is the story behind. The story of the people who wrote them and how these stories can also inspire you. Here we go!
When I started Indigo Craft Room, I thought I will be making books all day long. But no, this is not how a small business works. As an entrepreneur, you are much more than a maker. You are also an accountant, marketer, customer service agent and a longer list of other professions.
Improving your skills and knowledge in all areas of your business is a must-have. Even if you can afford to have a team of professionals doing that work for you. As the head of that team, you should (at least a little bit) know what they are talking about.
I came across this TED Talk where Emilie Wapnick explains why some of us don’t have one true calling. Meaning not all of us wanted to be a doctor since we were 5 years old and we ended up leading the surgery plant at a big hospital. Listening to that talk was like finding my personal El Dorado. Because I always feel “weird” when people ask me what I do for a living… my resumé and skill set are as colourful as my marbled papers and even now that I have my own business, explaining to others what I do is kind of a difficult journey.
So I needed to read her book How to be everything: A guide for those who (still) don’t know what they want to be when they grow up.
Reading this book is helping me to win more clarity about my goals, but also providing me an extra amount of self-confidence and knowledge. Because it’s fine to be a multipotentialite: “a person with many interests and creative pursuits”.
Emilie runs an online community for multipotentialites and next to her book, she also has lots of articles on her blog, casting all the troubles us multipotentialites struggle with and the best tools and skill sets to work on it and say proudly to the world: I am a multipotentialite!
As the real multipotentialite that I am, I enjoy working on several projects at the time and in different fields as well. What I like from being my own boss at Indigo Craft Room is that I get to be part of the whole process. As I said before, I am not just a maker, but an accountant, a marketer and a customer service agent among others.
Marketing is for sure a field I am very interested in and I love to spend time writing my blog, social media posts and of course the Indigo Newsletter!
I have been sending a monthly newsletter to my subscribers (hello, you!) for a year now. And like many of you, I am also subscribed to dozens of newsletters. And although I do open and read most of them, I don’t love all of them.
David Hieatt showcases his own example in Do Open: How a simple email newsletter can transform your business (and it can). He is one of the founders of Hiut Denim Co., a small jeans brand and The Do Book Company (what an inspirational catalogue they have!)
I loved this pocket book: it won my heart with its aesthetic design. But the book isn’t just well designed. David Hieatt talks about the importance of giving value to your customers and subscribers. And not just the kind of value measured with discount codes and freebies (which are also nice to have from time to time). But value meaning inspiration and respect. Because people are opening their (digital) doors for you and give you their most valued and precious possession: their time.
If there is any marketer or entrepreneur out there, get a copy of this book and start re-thinking your newsletter strategy.
You know my motto: #creativitymakesyouhappy. So never stop learning and creating!
I got my two crafts books that were standing on my wishlist and what a gift! Not just delightful edited, but so many ideas and inspiration for a crafty weekend.
You can never have enough books about making books. Because there are so many different ways of making books as people in the industry are.
Highly recommended for any book lover or bookbinder to be. You will find step-by-step tutorials for making stitch binding books and concertinas among others. The London Center for Book Arts is an artist-run, open-access studio located in London, UK. They organize workshops and run an online shop as well. If you happen to be in London, definitely pay a visit to them!
But if you are in the Netherlands and you prefer to learn how to make your own books in person, check out my workshop agenda for dates on upcoming bookbinding courses!
Everything you always wanted to know about crafts. Be warned: this book is pretty heavy! 😀
I got myself the Spanish edition, whose cover by the way, is much more colourful than the original English version.
In about 400 pages, the authors showcase more than 30 craft techniques, with dozens of step-by-step projects and inspiration from more than 150 artists. I said it, The Craft Companion is huge!
Printed in full colour, it includes hundreds of pictures and detailed illustrations from all the crafts you can imagine: embroidery, macramé, clay, print, dye, bookbinding, marble, upcycle… now you understand why I needed this book, right?
Last year I had set myself the goal to live more zero waste. Oh boy, what a difficult task! This is the best example of that kind of (foolish) unrealistic resolutions we set at the beginning of the year. So of course, I ended 2019 feeling very bad about not being more conscious with the environment and not reaching my zero waste goal. What can I say… beginner’s mistake?
I accepted that this isn’t a realistic goal for me… right now. But every small step I give onwards is worth it. So, this year I may start changing my habits in the kitchen. Not by only stopping to buy food packed in plastic, but by eating better and consuming in a more conscious and sustainable way.
My sister thought about it and gave me the book Being Biotiful for my birthday. Unfortunately, it seems that the book is just available in Spanish at the moment. But I am pretty sure you will find a similar book in your mother tongue.
The book is all about healthy batch cooking. I am not a fan of cooking, but I hope I can do better this year 😀
No matter if you are an entrepreneur, a marketer, a creative person or just someone who is looking to live a happy, creative and sustainable life, I hope you got some extra inspiration for your new year’s goals or whatever you do, learn or improve in 2020!