Hello from your favorite interior design VA! I am so excited that this is becoming a "thing" and more people are aware of VA's like me. The latest buzz inspired me to share some of my favorite books for business with you. These books inspired me in one way or another to start my business and then to niche into virtual design assisting. Enjoy!
Where to even start with this one? First of all, as you can see by the cover, this book has some awesome illustrations by Virginia Johnson. Her style perfectly illustrates the advice of Deborah. Do yourself a favor and check out Virginia's website, she has a book of her own, a shop with adorable scarves and tunics, and more about her art! One of the biggest things that inspired me about this book was the clear cut advice from Deborah. She covers all the bases of decorating and how to make your house a home. This book inspired me not only to make my own house a georgeous, cozy, and welcoming place, but also to help others achieve this. I bought this book before starting my business, and have referred back to it many times since then.
After reading book #1, this book quickly came upon my radar. Another great guide to decorating with steps to follow. The greatest takeaway from this book for me was how important process is. Of course I learned this in design school, but it's always great to see that confirmed when you start reading books for "real life" and not just school text books. There is so much inspiration in this book, but for me what stood out was the way they created a space with a confident feel or vibe, and everything that goes into making that stand out.
Once I knew I wanted to start my own business, I did a lot of research on branding. The first branding book I read was The Brand Gap. It is a short and quick read packed with great advice. He talks about the emotional connection to branding, how important trust is with the brand. This really stood out to me at the time when I thought about all of the brands that I am fiercely loyal to. There are only a handful, and that is because time and time over the brand has gained my trust with an exceptional product or service. Reading this book made me realize how much I wanted myself and my personality associated with my brand. He talks about the key to bridging the brand gap and making the left brain and right brain work together for your brand. I am a very right brained individual, so this was a great reminder for me to remember the strategic and analytical side of business, not just the creative and emotional side. I am still working on this!
After starting my business, I ordered this book to really narrow my niche and figure out where to take things. I had heard great things about this book and knew that it would be helpful. This book covers a lot on visibility and it's importance in this business. The biggest thing that inspired me was the idea of setting yourself apart from others. What makes you stand out? The market is crowded but there is only one you, and it's important to make yourself visible as the front of your brand. I could go on and on, but to sum it up this book really forced me to take a hard look at my business and how to make significant improvements. This book, along with lots of other research, lead me to niche into the virtual design assisting business.
This last book on my list ironically was found at a Goodwill several years back. It was one of the first books I read upon thinking about starting my own business back in 2014. Of course I did not start my business then, but I took on side projects to start gaining experience on my own outside of my job. When I first read this book, it was inspiring to read Kevin's journey from Assistant Brand Manager of Mary Quant to the now CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi. He talks about how each job he held in between molded him into the CEO he is now. I could totally relate at the time, because I was still laying the groundwork for my own journey. Of course I still am, but I feel that I am now on my path and back then I just didn't know what it was yet. Fast forward to today, and this book has even more significance to my aspirations. I am re-reading this again because one of my goals is to have another stream of income aside from my assistant services. I am still at the very forefront of this particular goal, but I know this book will help me with that. He firmly believes that the future of branding lies in love. I totally agree and highly recommend this read!
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