Book Impression: Burn Your Portfolio by Michael Janda
January 19, 2015

Okay, I’m going to say it. This. Is. The. Best. Book. I. Have. Ever. Read. Seriously, it’s the most amazing and most insightful book, with lots and lots answers to questions, that every designer is asking himself (well, at least I was asking myself these questions too many times).

I mean, tell me the title of the book, where somebody told you how to calculate your hourly rate properly. Or show me the book where someone explained how to write proper emails — should I include “Hi, John. How are you doing this wonderful day?” on top of my message or not; what should I write when sending the first design comps to the client; what should I write when a project is successfully ended; should I reply to an email immediately or can I wait some time. What is a “red flag” and how do you avoid blowing up your project. Why you should never talk bad about your clients and why you should never give your client “homework”. All these questions, and much more, are answered here. Every idea in this book is explained with a real story from the author's life, which makes it easy to understand, easy to read and easy to tell to your design friends.

This book is the practical book that I (and I can tell with a 99% probability that you too) was always looking for. There is a ton of books out there, that tell you how to be more productive, more creative, how to communicate better, how to eat better, how to sleep better, how to play better with your cat and don’t forget to feed it. Yeah, these books are fine, and some of them are amazing too. But this book is different. It has answers to simple daily questions and the author is totally right when saying, that the book is about Stuff they don’t teach you in design school, but should”.

The style of the illustrations is amazing. The style of writing is simple, funny and understandable. The chapters are short, easy to read, and grouped thematically together.

I would pay many, many dollars to someone who would recommend me this book, back at the time, when I was starting my design career. And honestly, this book should be included as a must-read on many freelance websites. Because it tells you how to be a better freelancer, designer, manager and accountant in so many ways.

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