We know that it can be hard not only to progress in your career, but even to know what kind of progress you want to make. Arielle Eckstut is a literary agent, author, and entrepreneur who identified her goals and progressed her career. She found that passion and income aren’t mutually exclusive, and that with a little tweaking, she could love her job. Here, she shares the five most useful books she turned to for advice while getting started.
“What do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” wrote the poet Mary Oliver. That was a question I didn’t know how to answer for a long time.
I started my career as a literary agent—helping others make their dreams of writing a book come true. But I learned that I wanted to do more than take care of other people’s careers and nurture other people’s passions: I wanted to be creating just like my clients were, and to remember my own particular passions.
So I began to create. Before beginning the second edition of my third book, I pursued another dream—to become a designer and successful entrepreneur. I co-founded a company called LittleMissMatched, which began by selling socks that don’t match in packs of three. LittleMissMatched is now a multi-million dollar company producing everything from apparel to bedding to furniture to toys.
I am so lucky to have had so many different career experiences. But you know what? I couldn’t have done what I did without the help of many, many books. So I’ve put together a list to help you figure out what’s next on your path as you dream big to make the most of your one wild and precious life.
1. The Artist in the Office: How To Creatively Survive and Thrive Seven Days a Week
by Summer Pierre
Sometimes it simply isn’t possible to pursue your passions as your main source of income. Enter The Artist in the Office, a fun, illustrated book that will have you feeling a-ok with what you do for money while inspiring you to be the artist you are at heart.
2. Mommy Millionaire: How I Turned My Kitchen Table Idea into a Million Dollars and How You Can, Too!
By Kim Lavine
I became a mom five years into being an entrepreneur, and while the demands of being a new parent while engaged in a start-up were challenging (okay, hellish), I learned what parents bring to the workplace: empathy, creativity and fabulous time management. I also got to know stay-at-home and work-from-home parents, who often abounded with ideas but didn’t have the resources to make those ideas a reality. Mommy Millionaire, part guide and part memoir, solves that dilemma.
3. The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and On-Line
by Kari Chapin
If you are a crafty lady and want to make your living (or at least supplement your living), this practical and prettily designed book is for you. The Handmade Marketplace shows you how to price your goods, how to photograph them appealingly, how to tell at craft fairs, and even how to leverage Etsy and other online venues.
4. ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income
by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett
Written by two full-time professional bloggers, ProBlogger gives you the step-by-step instructions you need to blog successfully: Where you fit into the blogosphere, how to earn revenue, and how to optimize your blog through social media and advertising. They also discuss the power of niches and essential blogging tools that are often overlooked.
5. The Essential Guide To Getting Your Book Published
by Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry
If I may toot my own book’s horn, this nuts-and-bolts guide demystifies every step of the publishing process, and includes new information on social media, e-books, and self publishing (if you so choose). The Essential Guide also contains interviews with hundreds of publishing insiders, so you know that the advice you’re getting comes from people who have been there, done that…and written books!
Tell us in the comments: Which books helped you get where you are today? Any?