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book review: when talent isn't enough

When Talent Isn't Enough


When I went to college to learn graphic design, I was excited about the opportunity to do creative things. Sure, there's important guidelines to follow when having things printed and estimating the time it takes to do a job and so on, but I was looking for a creative job. Originally, I planned to find a job working for a more traditional company or firm, but I ended up freelancing. And what could be better than working for myself and choosing exactly what kinds of things I would create?

In the process of freelancing, I started a blog. And that led to creating new sorts of things. And that led to new streams of income for projects that seem to be even more creative than what I expected back in my college days. I still do freelance graphic design, but slowly, I've felt that God has been creating the perfect work for me. I love it.

But all that I do is a business.

This blog is crafty and personal, but it connects to my business. There's a whole lot that I could go into here about that, and someday, maybe I will. But this post is about a book that I wish I had a while back. You see, running a business, even a dream job, blogging, stitching, playing with felt, personal sort of business, is still business. And that requires some different kinds of thinking.

a few tools of the trade

When Talent Isn't Enough is a book for people like me, and quite possibly people like you. It's an overview of the things to bear in mind when you're running a creative business. It covers topics like legal matters, finances, advertising, working with clients, setting boundaries (oh, how I need this one!), and starting your business while you're still working a regular job.

There's so much good information here. It's the kind of book that you can read start to finish, or look at a chapter or two that address what you're struggling with at the moment. The author, Kristin Fischer, has compiled findings from many excellent sources, plus shared the knowledge she's gained in years of working on her own. There's questions and answers with creative folks and "must reads" through the eleven chapters.

Not everything will apply to every creative business. For example, if you're an Etsy seller, you aren't likely to need contracts for your work, unless you do a lot of bigger custom jobs. But things like tracking expenses, filing taxes, and tips and resources to do that? Those of us who are spreadsheet-impaired can learn a lot!

If you have a small business and are still trying to figure it out, When Talent Isn't Enough is a great place to get a good range of information. And if you are just thinking about jumping in to working for yourself, know that it won't always be easy and not every part of the work is fun, but there are books and websites and more that will help you get it all going!

To help get you started, I have the pleasure of giving away an extra copy of When Talent Isn't Enough! Enter with Rafflecopter below, and you could be the lucky winner! This giveaway is open to international readers, but be aware that some information in the book may not apply to all countries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: I received two copies of When Talent Isn't Enough (one to keep and one to share) in exchange for a blog post. All opinions are my own.

76 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great book - will definitely add it to my "to-read" list, whether I win this copy or not :)

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  2. This book sounds wonderful!! I have been thinking a little lately about starting an etsy shop, or even dabbling in designing some stitchery and/or sewing patterns ... this sounds like an ideal book to read, and something to add to my "to read list", as Liz has said, whether I win a copy or not *smile*

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  3. This sounds like just the book for me. I'm working hard at the moment to bring all the various strands of my creative practise and crafty endeavours altogether into a business plan. I could really use the advice right now. You can find more about me here www.cherryandcinnamon.com

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  4. On a good day I like to think I have a business, on a bad day I feel like I really have no idea - adding this one to my amazon wish list as we type. Cx

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  5. thank you for the review and the chance to win Kathy

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  6. looks like an interesting read!

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  7. Thats a great book! This is probbably first time I enter any giveaway, but even if I don't win it, I'll purchase it for sure.

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  8. Sounds like something that can be very useful for my creative future!

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  9. This looks like a great read. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  10. Seems like a good read. This would be a sweet win.

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  11. I've been hesitantly considering an Etsy shop as well, for so long. Looks like an interesting and helpful read.

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  12. sounds like the kind of book i need!

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  13. I am starting my blog, still in the planning but I would love to know more about the book.

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  14. Tracey11:30 AM

    I need to start a blog and some social media sites for my tutoring business, which is great, but I'd love to do something more creatively-oriented. I left crafting and creating but I'm just a very slow crafter. Either way, I'd love to read this book!

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  15. Andrea11:43 AM

    This sounds like such a useful book! I'm 19, entering college, running an online store and trying to establish a successful blog. I've been looking for a book like this to help me out with all the things I don't know!

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  16. I could really use some motivation in the form of a how-to book!
    emmevon(at)gmail(dot)com

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  17. Hi! what a great idea to read this book! I don't have a business... but I have a blog of my handmade things and would like to know better about a business! Thanks for the giving. :)

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  18. Sounds like a great book! I will definitely check it out!

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  19. Well I love the way you are doing your business here... you are definitely doing something right! Looks like a great book, I will keep my eye out for it!

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  20. This book sounds like a great resource. I have an Etsy shop, but really have no idea what I am doing.

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  21. I NEED THIS BOOK!!! :)

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  22. Anonymous1:32 PM

    Just now thinking of starting a crochet business with a friend. I'm a list maker and organization freak and she is more of a free spirit ;) I think this book could help us both!

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  23. planning to start one on ETSY with soap and other crafty things but in due time!

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  24. That looks like a book I need! Great giveaway.

    Heather M.

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  25. What a great looking book. I'd love to win!

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  26. Looks like a book I need to read!

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  27. Wow, this is just what I need! I am trying to start up my small craft business, but am absolutely overwhelmed by all of the details, and wishing I had some sort of manual! I'd love to win this book!

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  28. I'm just getting back into business mode after taking a couple years away from my home based crafty venture. Would love to have this book to help me along.

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  29. I don't have a business, I would like to start one, but all the businessy parts of running my own creative business scare the pants off me, because I'm clueless! I could really use a book like this! :)

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  30. I started a new Etsy store about a year ago called The Felt Nook. Since I was laid off from my full time job a month ago, I have been able to dedicate a lot more time to my business. I sell a variety of hand-embroidered felt items including lots of plush owl keychains! This book would be very helpful to me:)

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  31. I've been thinking of opening an Etsy shop, but I don't quite know where to start. This sounds like the book I need. Thank you for the chance.

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  32. I've been thinking for a long time about starting a creative business. But I've never been sure about how to go about it, or if it would even be worth my time. This book sounds like the best way for me to move forward with my creative plans!

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  33. I opened my Etsy shop a little over a year ago. It can be hard to manage all the "left brain" business things when you are driven so much by the creative "right brain." This book sounds like it'll help with that. I'd love to win it, but I'll add it to my Amazon wish list just in case I don't.

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  34. i dont have a business and in my head I dream of it but I'm too afraid to leave the secure 9-5er. I hope to one day ditch the chicken coop for something i'm passionate about. Can't wait to read the book

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  35. Just a tiny etsy shop. But I hope to expand it someday.

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  36. My husband is establishing his website, so he can go and do talks in schools and teach children about Australian Animals, caring for wildlife and that everyone has the ability to draw. He is very gifted and talented and creative, so this book is just what he needs for the 'business side', thanks for your review!!!

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  37. As a freelance musician I'm constantly working to become a better performer, but I sure could use some help becoming a better business person!

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  38. I'm also a graphic designer and currently my Etsy and blog are at a stand still, this book might be just what I need.

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  39. Anonymous9:21 PM

    I plan to open an Etsy shop this summer I hope!

    margaretannegibb@yahoo.com

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  40. I am definitely planning to start my own business at some point soon. I'm still not 100% sure what this will look like but will definitely include creativity as that is what makes me happy. I plan to design patterns. I love such a variety of crafts so I hope to design for all the different crafts I do as I love them all. Thank you for the chance to win this book :-)

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  41. I'm a freelancer, and I pretty much keep track of stuff only in my head... not really a good thing. Looks like I'm going to need this book!

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  42. Looks like a good read. I'm currently getting things ready to start a business and this book looks like it could be very helpful. Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

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  43. Sounds like the book I need to read! I haven't started my business but I think this would be giving me the insight I need prior to starting! :)

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  44. Every day the ideia of making my own business grows and I truly need to know where to start!

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  45. Kirstin7:01 AM

    I work full time and spend a lot of time driving in my job when I day dream about working for myself and not having to spend a lot of time driving!!!
    Maybe I need to start on concrete plans and this would be a good place to start!

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  46. I have a rough business plan for my creative business, and currently work full-time. I spend 3 hours in the car going back and forth to a job that, to me, is merely a paycheck. I long for the day that I can open my business and finally have my dream job. Great giveaway - thanks for the book recommendation!

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  47. Sounds like a great book! Yes, I help my mom run her Etsy shop, where she sells handmade knit and crochet items. This book would be a great resource, thanks for the giveaway!

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  48. This sounds like a very interesting read, thanks for the chance to win!

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  49. I make and sell my own handmade books, but I want to grow the business some.

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  50. I've thought about opening an online quilt shop for a while now but I'm not a big risk taker normally. We'll see what the future holds!

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  51. A book just for me! I would love to win this :).

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  52. I have always wanted to start my own business. I struggle to find the line between business and pleasure! I think this book is exactly what I didn't know I needed.

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  53. In the last few years I've been dreaming of starting my own business and living a creative lifestyle. This book sounds like it has a wealth of useful information!

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  54. I've recently started a portrait photography business and this book would really be helpful!

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  55. This book would be so helpful for my husband! Me too, but more him...he's been struggling between finding a job and deciding to just freelance....

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  56. I don't have business.. Just ideas I'm not sure if something might come out of them..

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  57. Rachel5:56 PM

    adding this book to my wish list! I hope it's not too late to apply the wisdom from this book to my new venture!

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  58. I have an Etsy shop selling invitations and stationery, and I would love to win this book!

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  59. This would be very helpful to me—sometimes I feel as if I'm floundering about in my business, and with limited time due to health issues, that's not good at all! Will be adding the book to my wish list, though, too. ;)

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  60. I am also a design student with a small startup making dolls! This would be great for me!

    // sarah
    Bring More Yarn

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  61. I would love this book! I hope to be a fashion designer someday, with my own clothing line. That would be awesome. Thanks for the chance to win!

    Sam

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  62. Sounds like a great book with lots of helpful info....I'm sure it would love to come live with me by the beach in Australia...thanks for the chance to enter :)

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  63. This sounds really interesting, thanks for the review & chance to win a copy. I always dream of being able to make a living creating but I need focus, business sense, etc etc etc...

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  64. I would love this! I totally need this pep talk more often than not :) I'm trying hard to start takin my little business more seriously! bowandarrowart.etsy.com Thanks for sharing :)

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  65. I love to crochet - I make a lot of amigurumi and headbands and such. My family is always trying to get me to sell them - this would be a great way to start off on the right foot!

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  66. someday I'd love to open my own crafting business!

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  67. I plan to open an Etsy shop this summer and I'm still in the research phase. Sounds like this book would be a big help!

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  68. sounds like a useful book. hooray for a giveaway!

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  69. I have been thinking about starting my own business selling hand crafted items and would love any help I can get. This book sounds like a great resource. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

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  70. I have a Dawanda store, but it isn't really working. I'm having a hard time promoting myself (I don't want to be too pushy), but I would really become a bit more serious about this store. I have two more years as a student ahead and the extra income would be really nice!

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  72. I've been looking for a book like this...I work a full time job and also like to create things as well. I've been looking for a way to get my foot into selling what I make while cutting back on the job that I do have and this sounds like the book to help. I love being creative and I hope to be able to showcase that soon :-)

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  73. Just the book I need to read! =)
    I still have my day job but have a registered business now on the side.

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  74. Now that I'm teaching I have a business but I would certainly like to expand into patterns!

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