Self help and business books for creatives

9:27 AM

If you are a creative person, and by that I do not mean you are good at artistic things but have a creative mind, chances are you realised a long time ago that conventional things are either not working for you, or plain old boring.

Chances are you were that kid in school who could not abide by conventions, hated rules, and constantly found ways to escape the box people would want you to stay in.
If you aren't yet sure where you stand on this whole creative mind thing, or if you "qualify, this blog post is for you.

If you are an "out of the closet" creative soul and have been toying about doing your own thing, or already walking the less travelled path of being your own boss, these are the books that should be on your shelves, nightstand or coffee table (whatever works for you) :

I constantly read new books, and when it comes to self help and business I have read quite a few of them over the years, and I keep adding to my list constantly.
The books above are a mix of already read many times books and currently still reading books that pretty much have earned a place of honor in my bedroom shelf (Yes I do most of my reading in bed, preferably at night).

Just for fun, and because it might help inspire some of you guys, I decided to share them with you, and tell you why I like them.

But before I do, let me first tell you that my choices are also guided by YEARS of practicing the law of attraction, visualisation, and positive thinking. I started as a teenager listening to my parents' Sophrology audio tape, later I took an evening class on the same topic, along with practicing meditation at home.
I am a firm believer that your focus determines your reality, and what you cast out is what you get.

Oh and just one last thing before we dive in, the links  below are Amazon affiliate links, this means that if you purchase anything after clicking them, I get paid a commission at no extra cost to you whatsoever.

The art of creative thinking

This pretty little hardcover book is one I found in a bookstore when I was not looking for it. Call it an impulse buy if you'd like. I think it was just the book calling me. 

What I love about this book is that it has no beginning and no end. You can start reading it from anywhere and let the trail of thoughts and idea carry you for as far as you want. 
In many a way it reads a lot like those "make your own story" books I read as a kid. You know, the type that ask you to decide how the story should progress and based on your choice ask you to skip to a certain page.
This book has many small chapters that are actually individual, inspiring stories of famous and less famous people and how they tackled certain obstacles in a creative way to rise above it. I love opening that book at random whenever I feel like reading something but don't have a lot of time. 

Warning to people who like convention, this book might not be for you, and you might feel very unsettled being told to skip to another page after reading one story. But you still have the option to read it cover to cover too. 

The secret - The power

This book is by the same author who wrote the bestselling "The Secret" and elaborates a bit further on the "Law of Attraction". 

The power is all about harnessing the power and energy of LOVE, and by it I do not mean the whole read heart and pink teddy bear Valentine's Day love, or the whole relationship and lust thing. 
This is about the universal love that applies to everything, if you are uncomfortable with the term "love" (and you shouldn't) replace it with "positive energy" because it is about one and the same thing. 

As you must probably know by now is that I am a big believer when it comes to positive thinking and harnessing the power of love. 
Why? Simply because it has shown tremendous results to me. But I practiced this long before I even knew it had a name, unconsciously, and I have probably years of practice. 

This book is a good reminder when I feel a bit low, or tensed and never fail to inspire me, and you can apply to any area of your life, personal, or professional. When you hit a low on your creative journey and business, this is good pick me up to have around. 

The Magic

Still by the same author, this book is focusing more on gratitude and how to live a grateful life. 
I read it before I read the power, and learned a lot from it, including the power that there is in keeping a gratitude diary

The book is a 28 days program to create a better you and unleash magic (not the witchy spell kind). If you are a complete beginner to the Law of Attraction and the power of gratitude, it is strongly recommended you consistently go through each and every day of it. 
Each day is giving you an assignement, and allows you to reflect on something specific. Reading the chapter for the day takes 10 minutes, and each assignments are short enough that it won't take much time. It's about consciously remember to be grateful for what you have, down to the most basic : Good Health. It's about remembering to say thank you for little things in your everyday life and putting an end to a spiral of negative thoughts before it becomes a problem. 

Like it is the case with the power, it is a book I love having around to leaf through when I catch myself brewing dark clouds.
I also learned that saying thanks for the things that are yet to come does work too and apply this technique regularly. 

Real Artists don't starve

This book is for you if you believe in the too widely accepted myth that being successful as an artist is all about luck, rather than hard work and doing the right thing. 

Fess up! Wether you are an artist or not you probably did or are still thinking that some people are born under a lucky star and with a special talent that has been bestowed upon then at birth. 
This book should prove you wrong once and for all, and if you are a creative person, you might like me realise that you let the myth hinder you. 

I learned a lot, and even identified quite a few mistakes I made due to that horrid social conditioning that want all artist to either pray for luck or spend their life in the shadows...starving. 

Two of said mistakes of mine being : 

- The starving Artist wait to be noticed. The thriving Artist cultivates patrons. 
- The starving Artist does his work in private. The thriving Artist practice in public.
                                                                               (Jeff Goins - Real Artists don't starve)

So if you are on a creative business path, please READ THIS BOOK, I am sure you will find out at least one mistake you've been doing all your life and is hindering your success. 

She means business

This book is yet another one that found me when I was not really looking for it. And by not exactly, I meant I was in the business section of a bookstore in South Mumbai (Kitab Khana if you must know). Back then I was checking if they had "#Girlboss" by Sophie Sophia Amoruso, the lady that founded Nasty Gal and whose life story is now a Netflix Original series.

As it turned out they didn't have that book I was looking for, so determined to go home with a new business book for entrepreneurs I just sat down, closed my eyes, and visualised myself getting the book I needed. 
When I opened them a few seconds later, this book was right in front of me on the shelf. I never heard of it, never heard of the author, or even heard of her business, I didn't even know what that book was about. 

This above is probably one of the many example of the Law of Attraction at play in my life if you ask me.

This is a book I am still in process of reading, mostly because this is a step by step book with tasks and challenges to get you where you need to be as an entrepreneur. 
It starts with having the right mindset and harnessing the power of positive thinking (see I am not the only one for who it works). The book walks you through different steps and processes to grow yourself and your brand. 

It also, and that it very important, does not gloss over the fact that you will have pitfalls, moments of doubts and despair, and gives you tips to overcome your own mental and emotional shortcomings. She calls the pessimistic  inner voices in your head "The negative committee" and stress how important it is to learn to shut them up and keep going. 

The power of your subconscious mind

This book is a fairly old book, as it has been originally published in 1963. Its author, Joseph Murphy was both a religious man, a New Thought minister AND held a PhD in Psychology. 

This book is about the principle of the Law of Attraction, but in a more rational package. It is a great book to start with if you are a skeptic. Because of Murphy's expertise in the field of psychology it can give you a better insight on how this whole positive thinking business works on the mind. 
The notion of conscious and subconscious mind coexisting is an established fact in the field of both psychiatry and psychology, and this book not only explain how and why, it also teaches you how to program yourself to make your subconscious receptive to new ideas. 

A fact I learned in my time of taking sophrology class, believe it or not, it is absolutely possible to program your mind for success. 
In fact, mental conditioning is something you cannot really escape. Wether you like it or not, you are being conditioned to think a certain way, follow certain social rules, and act accordingly every day, since birth. 
If your parents told you "You can't make a living being an artist" day in and day out and urged you to take a safer career, you'll end up having to break that belief if you still want to be an artist later in life (Which the book "Real Artists don't starve" aims to do).

The same works if you want to overcome a fear or phobia, you need to mentally condition yourself not to be scared. 

Even if I accept, the principle of the LoA (Law of Attraction), I still love this book, and read bits of it regularly to remind my conscious mind that I am in charge, and that it is overreacting at time (Stop it voice of misjudged reason!).

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  1. Anonymous9:58 AM

    The only motivational book that i read was "you can win" by shiv khera. A friend of mine gave it to me. Shiv khera is a famous motivational speaker. The book was surprisingly lucid and easy. The only problem i found was "one size fits all". It over simplified a lot of things. Like sprituality it is motivation made easy. Each individual's cultural, social and economic backgound is different. Most of these motivational speakers at least in india come from a particular socio economic class, so they appeal to that class. This motivation business is definately class based in india. These people come from privieleged background.

    I would rather be inspired by the life of someone like arunachalam murugantham. This semi literate man built a cheap machine to produce sanitary pads for rural women since he could not bear to see his wife in distress in those days. He overcome economic, educational and religious obstacles to achieve something incredible. That's one motivational story. This is a story anyone can relate to anywhere in the world.

    I may be wrong but i believe that people who bring change in society are more worth emulating.


    1. We all bring a change to one level or another, it's just that not everybody relate as you said.
      What interest me in any entrepreneur, is not how or who they impact as much as how strong their drive is.
      Passion is what drives people to do things, and I am as much in awe of a guy such as Murugantham for his drive to make women's lives better than I am in awe of lets say Nina Lekhi who is the lady who built the Baggit brand from a small home business when she was a college drop out and is now at the head of a multi-crore business (her biography is awesome by the way).

      Every single successful person on the planet, be it at a small scale or a large scale have two things in common : passion and grit aka determination. That is what moves the world and makes a difference.

      When I was kid there was a French song from a singer Jean-Jacques Goldman that I loved listening to : Il changeait la vie.

      It translates as "He changed lives", the song tells the story of a teach, shoemaker and a "nobody" playing music, and goes on saying that through their passions, and dedication to their repective craft and through a lot of sweat they changed people's lives in their own unique way.
      A teacher who thought education is for everyone, a shoemaker that makes shoes that make people feel their lives are less heavy to carry, and an artist that moved souls and inspired people by putting his own soul into music.

      To me this is what being inspired is all about.

    2. Anonymous8:15 PM

      There is a new movie called "padman" based on the life of arunachalam. Quiet inspiring.

      I have a bone to pick with these professional motivational speakers. They tell people to folllow their heart after they have build enough fortune to last a lifetime while doing the same very things for years which they now forbid people to do. Their confidence comes from their previous success. They just had a change of heart sometime in their sucessful careers just like that.

      The same thing happens with new age spritual gurus. They talk about renouncing the world living in mansions. If he is preaching in hindi he is most definately fraud. If he preaching in english he is definately genuine.

      You just need to wear good clothes and speak fluent english. I think i can do that.


    3. I don't know what motivational speakers you are talking about really. One that promise you the world and moon without lifting a finger is definitely a fraud, that or the person who interpreted it as "easy" is naive.

      The fact and I will repeat a thousand million time if I have to, is that you CANNOT be successful at anything if you don't put your heart and soul into it. It doesn't mean it is effortless, it doesn't mean you will have it easy, but it means you will live a life free of personal regret.

      If you aren't passionate about what you do, the chance of giving up at the first obstacle is monumental, and obstacles, frustrations and set backs are the lot of every successful entrepreneur in the world.

      See I am a believer in the Law of Attraction, it worked for me countless time. And when I catch myself going down a slope of negativity, I stop and remember to be be grateful about what I have and all the things that are yet to come.
      That however does NOT mean I can sit on my bum and do nothing to get toward that future I want.
      The difference is that I KNOW I'll get there, and that is enough for me. The when and how is not relevant, the only thing that matters is how I can change my mindset to help me get there.

      From a Law of attraction point of view, I'll say you should be very careful before condemning those who have wealth or how they acquired it, this is negative thinking, and what you cast out, is what you get back. Resentment doesn't get you anywhere but down a path or bitterness.


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