I like reviews. I don’t really care about the corporate blurb, I want to know what the consumers think. And sometimes, I come across something that’s so good, it’s worth my while to write my own review. So today, I’d like to introduce you to “My Creative Side Business – The insightful guide to turning your side projects into a full-time creative business” (#MCSB on social media), by Monika Kanokova.
Enter stage left: A creative freelancer
I know Monika from many years ago. We went to the same design university, I taught on one of her seminars. Fast-forward several years, neither of us is actually practicing the discipline we studied back then, but in many ways the roles have reversed. I am now the one being taught, and I have learned a great deal from this book.
Monika is one of those people whose feet never touch the ground. From her social media feeds, I can’t imagine her sitting still anywhere for any particular amount of time. A prolific networker, she thrives on making connections in the world of small creative businesses and startups. My Creative Side Business (MCSB) is her second self-published, kickstarter-funded book on creative entrepreneurialism. And it really is pretty damn good.
How Side Projects become Businesses
Based on a series of interviews with successful designers, photographers and creators, MCSB explores the road to success behind each of the interviewees. Monika specifically asks the question that’s on the mind of everyone thinking about starting out in the creative industries: How do you survive financially as a freelancer?
The answers to this question are as creative as the people featured in the book. In essence, it boils down to having multiple income streams, but it’s a real eye opener to learn what strategies people come up with to achieve this. In a world full of high-flying but vague rhetoric about the merits of entrepreneurialism and self-employment, this book offers intelligent and actionable advice. I consider it a must read for anyone thinking about making their side project into something bigger.
Creative Girl Power
One reason why this book is such a triumph is that Monika communicates with interviewees and readers on an incredibly human level. Everything seems relaxed, personal, friendly, and above all, achievable. Each interview is summed up with an insight of her own. She shares the stories of some very successful people but leaves you with the impression that these people are also just that – people. And if they can do it, so can I. That’s at least how I felt after I finished reading it.
This book is a success story of creative entrepreneurialism and a celebration of self publishing. Further, it is at the same time a homage to other creative business ideas and a guide to survival and success in the creative world of freelance business. It also specifically celebrates successful women in the creative industry everywhere in the world.
photo credits (c) M Kanokova