With the end of the year upon us, many of us creatives are racing to finish open projects. And the promise on the other side? A sweet break from the grind and a clear mind for the new year.

What are you going to do with your time away from projects?

If you’re like me, a day or two of decompression will suffice and then the itch to stay productive starts to creep in. With most other businesses closed for the holidays, this opens up the opportunity for me to pursue my own personal growth instead of project-based work.

It may be cliché, but working on the business and not just in the business is an important—and often overlooked—element to the technician-turned-business owner (with which I identify).

Below is a list of my favorite books, podcasts, and educational courses that I encourage you to check out in order to leverage your time when the world is taking a collective breather.

Books | Audiobooks

There’s something about being able to highlight and mark up a book with stream-of-consciousness notes that keeps me engaged and open to new ideas. With so much of my professional and personal life tied to a screen, a good old fashioned book somehow just brings a new perspective and frame of mind that keeps me invested. If you’re not able to sit down and turn some pages IRL, most libraries have free access to audiobooks through apps like Hoopla or Cloud Library. Check them out, you’ll be surprised how many books you can access for free once you’ve signed up with your local library.

Herding Tigers | Todd Henry

It’s rare to find books specifically written for leaders of creative businesses, so I was super excited to find Todd’s newest book. Some of my team and I read through this one together and we all loved it! Herding Tigers is full of hyper-applicable, easy-to-implement, and enjoyable-to-read guidance for leaders of creative teams. Plus, it’s got a great (and free!) workbook for you to get clear on how you’re going to translate what you learn into your business operations.

Never Split the Difference | Chris Voss

Now this one is really intriguing. I would never have imagined that there would be so much cross-over between the high-stakes negotiation tactics that an FBI investigator uses, and the business world. This book has been a fascinating dive into the mental gymnastics and subtle tactics behind both internal and external conversations business owners face daily.

Get to Aha! | Andy Cunningham

Never underestimate the power of perception when it comes to how your brand exists in the marketplace. Andy enlightens readers to get to their “Aha” moment when they realize the optimal positioning and messaging to support their business. Identifying a brand’s key differentiators, voice, and core values are a few of the early and easiest to apply principles found in this easy and enjoyable read.


I find myself most commonly listening to podcasts on my drive to work. They’re a great resource to get your mind centered around a theme for the day – often one you may not have considered in relation to your business.

EntreLeadership | Ramsey Solutions

Some of the most profound insights, inspiration, and growth can come from applying principles learned outside of one’s specific discipline. I’ve found Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership podcast to be just that. Guests span the spectrum of the business world, and topics constantly speak to applicable challenges entrepreneurs and business leaders face at some point in their careers. This podcast has also lead me to some really powerful books, including all of the ones on this list!

Scaling Creative | Scott McKenna

While EntreLeadership can tend to focus on large businesses, Scott McKenna’s Scaling Creative podcast provides a more boots-on-the-ground perspective on how to win at running a small business. What we love about Scott is that he doesn’t hold back. He gives his perspective and findings from being well-immersed in this industry, having encountered tons of formative situations. I always appreciate Scott’s willingness to offer real, unfiltered advice to help his business-owner peers succeed. Knowing Scott personally, he’s always been an open book when it comes to sharing his knowledge, and his podcast reflects that beautifully.

Studio Sherpas | Ryan Koral

If you’re looking for a podcast that will speak to you directly as the business owner of a video production company, it doesn’t get much more niche than Studio Sherpas. The Sherpas podcast hosts guests from video businesses operating in tons of diverse markets. Each episode is carefully and appropriately themed to address the most specific concerns and challenges that video professionals face in today’s evolving business world. From building a successful creative team, to achieving a regret-free life and business, there’s tons of amazing content. Plus, they offer some great products and courses to help grow their listeners to become fellow sherpas.

Educational Courses

If you’ve got a little more time on your hands and you’re able to sit comfortably at a computer, give these educational courses a shot. With e-learning resources like Udemy or Masterclass on the scene, learning classroom-style is more accessible than ever.

Wedding Film Framework | Matt Johnson

If you’re a wedding filmmaker and you haven’t watched a Matt Johnson video to learn how to tune your drone or export your Instagram videos, you’re a rare breed! Now Premiere Pro users can access Matt’s comprehensive editing course that covers ingesting, exporting, and everything in-between! Check out what we loved about Matt’s course to get an idea of what you can expect.

FCPX Masterclass | White in Revery

We hear filmmakers continuously rave about White in Revery’s color grading or emotional narratives. Want to get an even closer look into how Calen and Kristine create their magic? For you Final Cut Pro X editors out there, look no further than White in Revery’s Masterclass on their editing process. While the benefits of this course are nearly innumerable, we detail the top 5 reasons we think this course absolutely rocks.

Audio Mixing for Wedding Filmmakers | Archaius Creative

We’re excited to officially launch a course we’ve been cooking up for a while now, so we couldn’t resist including it! Audio Mixing can often be a daunting maze of sliders and dials for the self-taught filmmaker. This course was designed specifically to bring the most powerful audio filters, processors, and plugins within reach and empower editors to combat the most common mixing challenges in wedding filmmaking.

Obviously, all of these options are considerable time investments regardless of when they fall during the year. If you’re struggling to keep up with your workload and pouring time into books or educational courses is a luxury you’re not yet enjoying, hit us up!

We’re quite literally in the business of giving filmmakers back their time. And if you haven’t worked with us before, we want to encourage you to taste sweet relief in a time that’s meant to be enjoyed with family and friends, not alone stuck behind a computer screen.

If you have worked with us before, you know how freeing it is to stay ahead of the curve with your projects. Think ahead now and commit to 2020 being the year of thriving, not just surviving. Reach out and ask about our new pre-booking opportunities so know you’re set up for success before next year even starts.

Happy holidays and keep creating!