This book is based on workshops I give on business planning, many as part of the Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Enterprise. For some 12 years, the workshops and follow up one-to-one sessions have been increasingly popular, in part I think because I don’t try to persuade creative people to become businesswomen or men in the traditional mould. Rather, my aim is to equip them with enough insight and know-how so they can be business-like when they need to be, and thus continue doing what they love – and make a good living from it.
Who Needs a Proper Job Anyway? follows the same theme, adding a little more detail as to context, intention and meaning, all delivered with a pinch of what I like to call “business anarchy”, because in my view the way we’ve been doing business has to change now, to stop exploiting and to start caring.
As someone possibly already engaged with the world outside College – or about to be – the reader will need to consider to what extent they will be actively co-creating our collective future, so there is a brief overview of some of the challenges ahead: energy shortage, climate change, pollution, water wars, food scarcity, leaving something of the planet intact for future generations, and the continuing rich:poor divide as the Earth’s population looks set to hit 9 billion in a few years’ time. The challenge is made: how will your business or project address these issues and grasp the opportunities they undoubtedly present?
Having provided a context, the book goes on to consider our relationship with money, the reasons we work, and the vital role of creativity in an increasingly mechanised world. It considers the realities (and impacts on us) of The Job, a recent phenomenon established to serve the “dark satanic mills” of the Industrial Revolution; it suggests alternatives, including the portfolio career, now known as a /career.
The main body of the book deals with setting up a creative, innovative and/or entrepreneurial business or project, based very much on a Business Plan approach. Business Plans are often preoccupied with beating “the competition”, penetrating markets, defending positions, and other adversarial approaches to making millions, using language redolent of a war zone. My approach is different. It starts by looking at what real needs are out there, how we could satisfy them, and balances inspiration and imagination on the one hand, with deliverability and robust business sense on the other. Both are essential if we are to establish an enterprise that enables us to continue our passion, successfully and sustainably!
Who Needs a Proper Job Anyway? considers what the reader brings to the world, the real nature of marketing, effective ways of connecting with identified markets, the logistics – nitty gritty – of running a business, working out costs and the revenue needed to cover them, timetabling, and financial management. Finally, it discusses attitudes, self-management, how it feels to be doing this stuff, looking after yourself in the hurly burly of business, and the great value of curiosity.
Fundamentally, Who Needs a Proper Job Anyway? is aimed at those who are prepared to challenge the status quo, to abandon convention, and to harness their unique talents and passions to making a difference on a planet in distress. By way of encouragement, there are case studies of those who continue to do what they love most and find fulfilment and purpose in so doing.
There is a Foreword by Arnold Schwartzman OBE, Oscar-winning film director and designer, and an endorsement by Vivienne Westwood. I am currently looking for the right publisher for this unique book.