"Artists [...] tend to have a horror of the mechanics of business. Terms like 'cashflow forecasts', 'spreadsheets', and ' VAT returns' stir up feelings of, at best, boredom, and at worst, pure terror."
I must tell you, I can't remember the last time I laughed this much while reading a book!
If you're an entrepreneur yourself, you will most certainly feel the same way.
And if you're thinking of starting a business, believe these stories to be universally true and memorize these pieces of advice, as they are genuinely useful.
Why was this read so funny, might you ask?
Tom Hodgkinson, the author, learned how to run a business the hard way – by doing it.
He started as a writer, working a couple hours a day. Then decided to run a bookshop, a cafe and a school. Working fourteen-hour days, he found himself buried in paperwork, shouting at staff and asking himself if maybe he bit more than he could chew.
Now, that's a plot that sounds very, very familiar! :)
At times it felt as if I was reading my own words.
Plus, the writing itself is hillarious. The entire book is basically a mix of practical pieces of advice and laugh-out-loud anecdotes. And it covers most aspects of a small business, as seen straight up from the 'Contents' page.
Not familiar with business terms? No worries.
Some examples are laid down in such a way that the book could have easily been titled 'Business for Dummies'. But I guess that was already publised, anyway.
"For example, if the ingredients of a pizza, the dough, sauce, cheese and other toppings cost $1 and the pizza is sold for $10, the gross profit is $9. In percentage terms, the gross profit margin is 90 per cent. "
A bohemian himself, the author perfectly understands why artists might find it hard to build up their own business. But gives plenty of great ideas on how to make that happen.
"We don't want to be bourgeois. We want to be artists, poets, musicians. [...] We want to take acid and dance round the bonfire in ecstatic oblivion with topless hippie chicks and chaps.
But I know from experience that the neglect of record-keeping will lead to chaos and poverty, and then you'll have no money to be bohemian."
That's part of the chapter about the importance of learning how to be an accountant, in order to be able to talk to an accountant.
If only we would've had this kind of an approach in business school! :)
Now, even if I could talk about this book for days, I will go practice something that I am not yet mastering:
See you next week!