Punk Rock Entrepreneur: Running a Business Without Losing Your Values by Caroline Moore (Microcosm Publishing)

PunkRockEntrepreneur-CarolineMoorePunk Rock Entrepreneur: Running a Business Without Losing Your Values
By Caroline Moore
(Microcosm Publishing)

This book draws a parallel between creating a moderately successful punk rock band and that of running a business. You can learn a lot about starting, building and maintaining your own small business from the punk rock band paradigm, from figuring things out in your own way, working with what you have, thinking outside the norm, networking, establishing meaningful connections, and giving back to the community.

This book does not have a whole lot in the way of brass tacks, but it does have can-do DIY inspiration mixed with helpings of harsh reality. And while “self-help” implies something that many would dismiss as a joke, I do view this as a self-help book of sorts: a piece of empowerment, a challenge, and a kick in the pants to follow a dream, or at least do what you want for work with balanced doses of realism and positivity.

Moore is a self-employed photographer today. Like many, if not most, she found work doing something outside her degree (the degree being in graphic design). While working her normal job to pay bills, she built up her photography business using what she had on hand, investing in gear, putting herself out there, doing work she preferred (e.g. band photos) balanced with work that paid but that she still enjoyed doing (e.g. weddings), until it slowly became more and more steady and she achieved lucrative self-employment.

Instead of being a book of traditional business advice such dressing to impress and what to say at an interview, it encourages you to start a business, be realistic about it, be true to yourself, and make it work. There are no easy outs here. She stresses hard work and discipline to make things work. She also advises trying out new things which may be of no immediate return on the time investment or even an outright failure, in which case, you will learn from the practice and your mistake. Hardly new advice, but perhaps it is better absorbed from an aesthetic peer.

It touches on “thinking outside the box” without mentioning that particular cliché as well as working outside the system, although not so much in an underground black market way, but more in a working outside “the norm,” at times circumventing conventional wisdom with different ways to work, distribute, and promote, get things done in an ethical way, and work with what have to you get what you want done.

Moore writes with an almost conversational tone, like a friend relating her views and advice, with anecdotes to illustrate her point and make it easier to wrap your head around it.