Season 4 – epiBLOG 11:

Welcome to The UnCloseted Professor’s Book and Learn Corner for September! Instead of focusing on one book this month, I wanted to share the general importance of reading self-help books for entrepreneurial artists.

There are a million + books on “how to do this” and “how to do that…” It can feel overwhelming at times, but what’s most important is that you find books that help to keep you motivated during discouraging career moments, books that help you to actually learn and apply new skills, and those that help you to polish old ones.

Today’s topic is on making your own personal commitment to reading books that help to move your career forward.

Tip #1: Make the Commitment

If you haven’t started reading self-help books at this point, take the time to choose when you would like to get started… and simply get started. There’s never a need to wait on the perfect time in your life to do something that is worthwhile. You can make a commitment to read one book a month or one every two months. It’s completely up to you. Decide on what’s right for you and what you know that you can realistically handle within your schedule. Maybe you’re capable of reading four books a year. It doesn’t matter what that number is, as long as you’re reading. As many of you already know, sometimes there is down time when you aren’t receiving as much business as you would like to be. Instead of sulking about it, you can increase the amount of time that you read, in addition to increasing your marketing efforts to get more business. Keeping your commitment with reading will be a habit that will spill over into other aspects of your life and career.

Tip #2: Choose “Feel-Good” Books

There are going to be times when a client wants to “wait” indefinitely before moving forward with your product and/or service. There will be other times when a potential client simply wants to work with someone else who is less expensive… or for whatever the reason is that they give you. These moments can be mentally challenging. We can’t always jump into a car and drive to a nearby professional development seminar to get out of our funk. Sometimes all we have is our ability to pick up a book and to vicariously live through the triumphant experience of the author in order to make ourselves feel better. These types of self-help books help you to be rejuvenated and re-motivated so that you don’t slow down your momentum within your career or give up on your art altogether in the face of adversity. They help to keep us on track when the road gets bumpy and attempts to throw us off course.

Tip #3: Choose “How-To” Books

These books are usually specific to your particular field of interest. Culinary, interior design, fashion design, filmmaking, writing, sculpting, painting, game design, graphic design, acting, music, etc. There are a lot of fields that fall under the umbrella known as art. I definitely recommend you find the latest and greatest books in your field in order to remain current and to polish the skills that you have. It’s never too late to learn a more effective way of performing a certain task. This may be information that can expand your knowledge and foundation in order to increase business and/or increase your ability to be able to interact and connect with your clients, casting directors, producers, publishers, and people in general. Seek out these books and absorb what you can from them. There are also other “how to” books that can fall into categories like organization and time management. If these are challenges that you’re experiencing, find and read books on these topics. The whole purpose of self-help books is for you to improve personally, professionally, emotionally, or spiritually, depending on what you’re seeking.

Today’s LESSON is to be keep an open mind that is ready to absorb information in the written word.

FUN ASSIGNMENT: Go to Amazon.com or to your local Barnes & Noble and make a list of books that you would like to read over the next year. This list can change based on you growing and evolving as an artist, but with this list you will at least have material to get started.

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