Hanna Lisa Haferkamp is a coach for creative business owners, project bag designer and co-founder of the independent knitwear publisher making stories. She loves knitting, writing, and working with other female creatives on making this world a better place. If you’re curious, you can find out more about her on her website, Etsy, and Instagram.Today she shares three motivational books that have helped her in her craft business journey.
Hanna Lisa Haferkamp. Photo courtesy Jill de Dieuleveult.
I’ve always been a reader. Fiction, business books, comics – throw it my way and I would read it. Recently though, I started to notice that I keep coming back to a few books that crossed my path since I started my own business one and a half years ago. They inspire a lot of my work, and I hope they’ll inspire you too!
ReWork by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
This book hurts – in a good way. It tells you all the uncomfortable truths like “good enough is fine” and “your estimates suck”.
It also tells you that you don’t need to take the “normal” way to build a business for granted. Why does everything need to be fast, and shiny, and growing? Isn’t it also possible to build a sustainable, long-lasting business slower, by not working crazy hours, with decent hiring conditions and a loving company culture?
This is precisely why I keep coming back to the book time and again. It reminds me that building a business in a mindful, slow way can be successful, and it shows me how when I don’t know where to go.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
You probably know Liz Gilbert from her bestselling books. She’s wonderful – but despite that I wasn’t too fond of Big Magic at first. The first half of the book – the part where she talks about ideas floating in space, if you’ve read it – felt too “woo-woo” for me.
But then. Then Liz pulls out all the stops and makes you underline every second sentence. She talks about creativity and how to keep it alive, she questions the tale of the suffering artist and teaches us that we deserve to feel happy when we make art. She gives us permission to change and evolve and trust in that creativity comes back to us every single time we think we have lost it.
And last, but very certainly not least, she tells us that we need to put our work out there without feeling ashamed, without explaining, without apologizing. A much needed reminder sometimes and one of the key reasons I keep this book on my desk!
The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley
Last and this year’s political climate – on both sides of the Atlantic – made me angry, and kicked me into action. Running your own business allows you the freedom to make decisions based on your values – and Kameron Hurley’s book helped me define how exactly my feminist values fit into my business.
Her background as a science fiction and fantasy writer informs this fantastic collection of essays that focuses on how women are portrayed and addressed in pop culture. Most importantly, Kameron taught me two things:
1) We all tell stories. We tell stories through the way we live, we write and we talk – especially when we are in a position of visibility like most of us creative business owners are in these ages of Social Media.
2) How we tell stories matters. Who we include, how we talk about them, which title we give them. Stories are a representation of how we perceive our reality – and a powerful instrument to change it, too.
Combine that with a refreshing dose of realism and you suddenly realize how much power you actually have when you use your voice.
I can only encourage you to go pick one (or two, or all) of them up at your local library or bookstore. They made me rethink my own creative practice and business, and I highly recommend them!