Running your own business is pretty great. You get to call the shots, choose the people you work with, and do the kind of work that makes you proud. You also get to be the accountant, the project manager, the janitor, the IT person, and the sales person. That’s a lot of freaking hats to balance on one head that really just wants to create beautiful things. Good thing you have all that grit.
Here’s what I know about running your own joint: it can only grow if you can let some things go and get help where you need it. There are things that are wholly dependent on you (goal setting, building a culture and team for example) and there are things best left to professionals so you can focus on what you need to do to conquer the world.
There are some excellent resources out there, following are some of my favs:
Biz Birthday Bash – a super duo with a brilliant podcast and resources for “Making Biz Strategy a Piece of Cake for Paper People.” They have some free resources and some you can buy, including an A to Z directory of providers.
Lisa Congden – if you want to hone your craft or learn something new from an amazing illustrator/designer, check out these classes. You can also listen to The Lisa Congden Sessions on Apple Podcasts. I’m a major LC fangirl, she’s a boss.
Steve Morris – an agency builder, a brand aficionado and next level thinker in our industry. I have the privilege of calling him a friend and mentor and I never get tired of reading his writing about creating a beautiful business and brand. This links to his blog if you’re looking for inspiration from a giant in the branding field.
David Baker – a consultant and guru to creative firms. I hired him a thousand years ago to analyze my agency and help me fix it. He did, to the tune of over $150,000 of additional revenue the following year without hiring more people or working more hours. He’s a somewhat surly, no BS smarty who has helped thousands of creative firms realize their potential. Go to the insights section of his website, I promise you’ll learn something there.
LinkedIn/Learning – If you haven’t spent much time on LinkedIn, you may not know that have TONS of excellent courses in business, design, illustration, and whatever else you want to learn. You can start with a free month and if you want to continue you’ll have to sign up for the $19.99 monthly subscription fee. I learned some mad Photoshop and Premiere Pro tricks through LI.
StationeryHQ.com – if you need something printed and shipped straight to your customer, because, duh.