Book Review: Big Magic

Oct 13 2015

by Alesya Opelt

Big Magic - Elizabeth Gilbert
Warning: This review is going to be over the top.  But let me clear, it’s not a paid endorsement.  I’m not giving you an affiliate link to purchase the book.  And Elizabeth Gilbert is not a friend of mine.  Sadly.

Big Magic is the best business book I’ve read all year.  Even thought it’s not a business book.  Regardless you need to go read it and apply many of your business efforts right now.  It deals with the number one thing holding many of us back – fear.

And if you think you’re not a “creative” because you don’t paint, sculpt, write books or live in Brooklyn?  I used to think the same thing.  Then I realized anyone who creates something – ie your sales PowerPoint, an Instagram post or an elevator pitch – is a Creative.  You don’t have to wear all black and beanie to get the title.

Right now I’m getting ready to launch a whole new look and product collection for my business, Alesya Bags.  Before past launches I’ve actually made myself ill in the process.  Because I was scared.  Scared of what people would say, think and do once they clicked on my website.  (I mean, good lord.)  Thanks to Big Magic I’ve been able to let most of this go.  My favorite points from the book:

Your Business is Not Your Baby:  How many times have you thought this? Or told someone this?  I’m guilty myself.  Whatever you create is something wonderful.  But once you get it out into the world you can let it go. It’s certainly not anywhere near a human child. 

Shit Sandwich:  Gilbert says if you love your creative pursuit, you’ll deal with the bad things that come with it.  This was liberating for me.  I always feel like if something negative comes along in my business – a client complaint, a delay, a mistake – it meant I was doing something wrong.  Untrue.  Every vocation has a shit sandwich, you just have to pick your favorite flavor.

You Don’t Have to Save the World:  Not everything you do has to be for the greater good.  Your business can by just that – your business.  You can help others through donations to charitable organizations or volunteer time.  Seems obvious, but hard to see when you’re trying to “do the right thing” in all areas of your life.

If I haven’t convinced you to download the book, find more from Elizabeth Gilbert in  these interviews:
Elizabeth Gilbert on Marie TV on Fear, Authenticity and Big Magic
The Etsy Blog: Elizabeth Gilbert Has a New Book
PopSugar: You’ll Want to Be Best Friends With Elizabeth Gilbert After Ready This Interview

Tweet me @Alesya once you read the book.  Let me know if you feel lighter and are having more fun.  I am!


Alesya Opelt View More Blog Posts from this Author

I know some women only work because they have to, but I’d actually flip that around and say that I have to work. Because I truly love it. Work is simply my favorite thing. In fact, I’ve been working since I was 14, obsessed with the idea of getting something important done.

My first job was as a page at the Adrian Public Library in Michigan. After college, I started my career at a search engine company in Silicon Valley. I moved to London for a time, and ultimately became VP of Marketing for a technology company.

Based on what I’ve told you, it may be no surprise that my favorite shows are Shark Tank and The Profit. It’s my Appointment Television

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