The start-up manual for creative entrepreneurs
Attitudes to how and where we work have been on a generational change driven by technological advancements, but this shift is likely to pick up pace in a post-pandemic environment. The 9-to-5 office routine is failing and falling out of fashion, the universal one-size-fits-all model of yesteryear is being ushered to the exit in favor of more dynamic styles driven by personal fulfillment. Alongside Courier, we explore the new era of entrepreneurs and today's progressive start-up culture.
Work Better. Live Smarter. Be Happier. captures the changing face of creative culture around the world and decodes the entrepreneurial mindset turning dreams into reality. From those leading a team to the ones steering a solo spaceship, this title profiles 25 entrepreneurs from various fields who reveal how they got started and found their genius spot. The profiles are divided into five chapters which include getting started in fashion, food and drink, media, retail, and homeware.
Alongside these personal case studies, the book also unpacks the art of doing it yourself. Everything you need or want to know is descriptively packaged, including how to lay the groundwork, control the cash flow, nurture your community, work remotely, and how to lead and network.
To many the goal is simple: Leave the corporate world behind and take control of your destiny. Jeff Taylor, Editor-in-Chief at Courier asks: "How free are you? How free are you to live the life you want to live? To spend your days earning a living doing something you enjoy? To structure your hours in the manner that suits you best? To take holidays and spend more time with family and friends?" Taylor founded Courier to show how anyone has the power to lead a life on their terms and how to pursue a dream or idea.
How does one leap from agency to building something your way? This book tells the story of dozens of inspiring individuals from all walks of life who decided to follow a new path. Breaking down the assumption that more money leads to happiness, they show that a better quality of life can be realized through a more satisfying work balance with the freedom to make decisions. Each profile offers insight into personal businesses, brands, or ideas—giving a personal portrayal into entrepreneurial journeys and the current climate in their field.
Gautam Sinha, the founder of leatherware brand Nappa Dori, explores materials and growth in his feature. He says, "Young brands (today) are “sustainable” due to financial constraints." This is why many small businesses rely on local supply chains and growth, an approach that the mainstream sustainability movement is now championing. "I was trying to preserve the sustainability of the business itself. We focused on slow production and limited runs and didn’t procure more than we could produce. All of that has now become essential for the world." Sinha's focus is what made him connect with an audience, but also staying ahead of the sustainability curve in fashion.
When it comes to finding your voice in an ocean of brands and content, determining the principles of your vision helps define your personality. This is often what originally sparked your curiosity. In the book, Éva Goicochea talks about vibrators, lube, and orgasms with the same carefree ease she has when talking about her dogs, local bookstores, and museums. And that’s the whole point of Maude, the "modern intimacy" brand she launched in 2018 with the aim of destigmatizing sexual health and redefining sexual wellness as a form of self-care. By creating a range of gender-neutral, age-inclusive products that don’t look garish on bathroom shelves, Goicochea is on a journey to normalize sex and the discussion around it. "Sex is human and people have it throughout their lives," she says. "It’s something people increasingly want to talk about."
Arguably the most crucial lesson taught is financing and managing cash flow. "In the beginning, we weren’t keeping accounts and had no idea what we were spending," says Joey Lit of Free The Youth. "There was all this hype and demand, but in the background, we were figuring out how to be a business." Financial knowledge is what can transcend an idea into a vision, and then a brand into a way of life. Individuals, collectives, and young brands are establishing new working cultures that put personal fulfillment and ideals at the center of their lives. Reviewing lessons learned from ventures alongside insight provided by Courier, Work Better. Live Smarter. Be Happier. acts as the modern encyclopedia for anyone wanting to pursue a dream in the creative fields.
Learn how to start a business and read stories from people who made the career leap through Work Better. Live Smarter. Be Happier., available from April 15. Header image by Free The Youth.