This post is for people who are in the same situation I was in just a few months ago. Dissatisfied with what you do for a living, you have a yearning to do something more fulfilling with your life, but you either don’t know what it is you want to do, you don’t know where to start, or you just don’t think it’s even possible. In short, you need help.
Also, I’m guessing you might not have a ton of spare money to splash out on courses and coaching, or at least you won’t if you plan on quitting your job any time soon!
So I’ve put together a list of some resources which I have read over the last six months, and which have helped me get through the times when I’ve doubted I can make it on my own.
Whether you need specific advice on how to make a living as an artist, help with discovering exactly what you want to do, or you just need reassurance that being self-employed isn’t a mug’s game, there will be something here for you.
Best of all, they are all completely free!
(Note: After two of the free guides, I have provided my recommendations for further reading from the same authors. If you buy the products I’ve recommended after clicking on those links, I get a share of the cover price. Just letting you know, in case you’re not comfortable with that kind of thing, but I assure you, those books are gold!)
So take a look, see if anything grabs your interest, and let me know what you think in the comments below.
1. 7 Keys to Discovering Your Passion
by Jonathan Mead
This is a great place to start if you are stuck in a boring job, you have an aching desire to do something more fulfilling with your life, but you really don’t know exactly what it is you want to do.
In this short guide, Jonathan Mead offers 7 simple steps you can take to help you find out what you’re really passionate about. By the time you’ve finished reading, you should have a much clearer idea of what you want to do with your life, and be more motivated to start living the life you want!
2. The Undeclared For Life Manifesto
by Emilie Wapnick
Another great resource for those of us who want to work for ourselves, but haven’t quite figured out what that will look like yet.
Emilie wrote this manifesto for people with multiple interests and talents (whom she calls ‘multipotentialites’), after coming to the conclusion that you don’t have to specialise in a single field, and it’s perfectly possible to design a lifestyle and a career that revolves around all of your skills and hobbies.
The book contains a ton of useful advice to guide you through defining who you are and what you want your life to be like, as well as tips on how you can finance your multipotentialite lifestyle, and the skills you’ll need along the way.
Further Reading – Renaissance Business
If you loved The Undeclared For Life Manifesto and want to take things to the next level, you need to check out Emilie’s other book, Renaissance Business, which will guide you step-by-step through the process of creating a business around your multipotentiality. Highly recommended for all creative types who can’t decide what they want to be.
3. 279 Days to Overnight Success
by Chris Guillebeau
In this inspirational free report, Chris documents how he became a full-time writer in 279 days, as well as sharing tips for avoiding nay-sayers, building traffic, and his views on Google AdSense (it sucks).
You may need to adapt Chris’ advice to your own personal situation, but if you’re interested in building your own career doing what you love doing, then you’ll finish this book feeling like it’s a lot more realistic than you first thought.
Further Reading – The Unconventional Guide to Art & Money
The book dispels the myth of the starving artist, and then guides you through everything you need to know about making money from your art without having to rely on endorsements from outsiders.
4. 18 Months, 2 Blogs, 6 Figures
by Corbett Barr
In a similar way to #3, Corbett Barr outlines how he left his well-paid corporate job and developed his own business from scratch, based around his two blogs, which now earn him a six-figure income.
Another very inspiring read, one of the key take-aways for me is that you don’t have to be an expert on a subject before you can create compelling content that people will love.
5. Eleven Tips for Success for Fine Artists
by Aletta de Wal
These great tips really get into the details of what it takes to be a successful artist, from clarifying your artistic voice and artistic direction, to investing in your business skills and learning about applicable laws and tax requirements.
You have to subscribe to the free Ezine to download the 11 tips, but if you want to be an artist, then that Ezine is probably something you’ll benefit from too.
6. How to Be Creative
by Hugh McLeod
If you feel like your artistic passion has been slowly dying, and you are wanting to reclaim your creativity, Hugh McLeod’s excellent free eBook is full of great advice to inspire you and get your creative juices flowing again.
As Hugh says – “doing something seriously creative is one of the most amazing experiences one can have, in this or any other lifetime”.
7. How to Be a Starving Artist
by Elgin Bolling
If you do the exact opposite of everything suggested in this book, then you will be well on your way to success as an artist.
8. Zero Hour Work Week
by Jonathan Mead
This one is again more for inspiration than artistic advice. Jonathan describes his journey to “getting paid to be me”, and reveals why the world needs you to do what you love.
You may have heard about the 4-hour work week. Well Jonathan Mead has a zero-hour work week. That’s not to say that he just louges about all day doing nothing. The disctinction is that he loves what he does, so it doesn’t feel like work at all. Sounds good eh?
After publishing this article, several other awesome free guides came to my attention, which I feel are also worthy of a mention:
9. The Tower
by Chris Guillebeau
Another awesome manifesto from Chris, who really should be charging for this stuff! The Tower is all about the concepts of urgency and legacy. “How can we incorporate creative work and the desire to build something into our routine? What truly matters?”
10. Unleash The Beast
by Steff Metal
Subtitled Releasing Your Inner Creative Monster, this is a very refreshing guide for those of us who have always been told we need to grow up and stop dreaming.
There’s some great insight into turning your hobby into a career, as well as ten quick tips to unleash your creativity beast. Well worth a read!
11. Take This Job And Shove It
by Tyler Tervooren
This is a great guide for people who are on the verge of taking the leap into self-employment, but need to save some money to tide them over as they make the transition.
There’s some great advice in here about different imaginitive ways to save money, as well as tips on things like how to deal with different reactions from your family.
Other Suggestions Welcome
I hope you found something in this list that inspired you to take the next step toward your creative career.
Obviously, there are tons of eBooks out there, and I’m sure there are other great guides that I just haven’t come across yet, so if you know of any similar free resources that you found particularly valuable, I would love to hear about them.
Did you find any of these free guides inspring? Please share your thoughts in the comments below, along with any other suggestions you may have.