A friendly, funny, practical guide for creatives and entrepreneurs, written by a four-time Emmy award-winning and two-time Grammy-nominated composer-guitarist-producer who has worked with Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Jerry Garcia, Lana Del Rey, and Krishna Das, among many others. Also a beloved and highly regarded Buddhist teacher, David teaches readers how to integrate their creative process with their spiritual practice and livelihood.
“How do I make a living doing what I love?”
“Am I a sellout as an artist if I want to be successful?”
“How do I integrate my spiritual principles with the art of running a business? And actually, um, how do I run a business?”
Wondering how to reconcile your calling with your need to make a living wage, or what to do once your art starts selling, or how to achieve success in your field, or what it even means to be successful? David Nichtern offers his lived, learned experience as an entrepreneur, musician, and Buddhist teacher to first help you figure out what “success” means to you and then show you how to get there. He offers advice on the creative process and principles of business and ethics—everything from “listen to the muse!” to “protect your intellectual property!”—and provides mindfulness exercises to help you integrate inspiration and aspiration, vocation and avocation—to go from surviving to thriving.
Whether you’re a baker trying to grow from the farmer’s market to a brick-and-mortar or a CEO exploring how taking care of your employees can be the same as taking care of your business—if you’re trying to align your spiritual, creative, and financial pursuits and discover what it means to truly live well, this book is for you.
In this profound, delightful work, Nichtern (Awakening from the Daydream), a Buddhist teacher and professional guitarist, humorously explores balancing one's spirituality with earning a living. Nichtern bases his advice on the "threefold logic" of "view, practice, and action" that was integral to the teachings of Ch gyam Trungpa Rinpoche (Nichtern's mentor and a teacher of Kagyu Buddhism). He starts with a brief discussion of the basics of Buddhism ("the OS for Enlightened Living") before explaining his basic principles of business centered on defining and "clarifying offering." He stresses that being able to easily work with others is the key to personal and professional fulfillment. With anecdotes and examples of heroes who embody the ethos of "focus and simplicity" (such as the Dalai Lama and Steve Jobs), Nichtern explores how being comfortable with failure and difficulty can be a boon to creativity. Addressing "creatives and entrepreneurs," Nichtern also offers a brief introduction to meditation practices, workplace mindfulness tips, and strategies for "motoring energy" and clarifying one's strengths. Readers new to Buddhism will find a welcoming introduction to basic Buddhist tenets, and any general reader working in a creative field will relish Nichtern's helpful tips on sustaining a long-term artistic practice.