When I started both of my businesses, first an E-Commerce site in the Interior Design space, and then Creative Thursday, I was fortunate to have mentors to guide and reassure me through those early stages. It takes so much focus, energy and faith to get something new off the ground.
In my first business I learned how to write a business plan and actually had one in place because I needed it to approach potential investors. For Creative Thursday, I chose a different approach - partly due to the fact that I didn't know I could have a plan as an artist? I mean when I started, most people still thought you were lucky to sell your work as an artist, let alone make a living.
In both businesses I've hustled and created the majority of my own opportunities. Early on in Creative Thursday I was also fortunate to have a couple of "lucky breaks" that helped put me on the map as an Emerging Artist and a voice as a Creative Entrepreneur. I would also say the "lucky breaks" had more to do with good timing, than luck. And they also had to do with learning how to recognize the opportunity as it was happening, and run with it!
Everyone can have a lucky break, but what about afterwards, can you sustain it?
Even with the help of early mentors, I wasn't really prepared for what it takes to stay in business, to have longevity within an economy and technical landscape that is changing at rapid fire speed, one that is shifting every time we think we have it figured out.
When I wrote my first business plan, I remember addressing what kind of business I envisioned right alongside my exit strategy. While it seems awkward to think about how you might "end" your business before you've even begun, it's a vital step, because it is going to give you clues about what happens in between.
What I see on the teaching landscape today is a lot of excitement and education about beginnings, and who doesn't love the start of something new? however I'm not seeing enough courses addressing a fundamental, must have skill before you ever begin, organization and the desire to build something that lasts. How do you evolve and stay standing well after lucky breaks and changing trends. It takes the same focus, energy and faith to stay as it does to start.
This is my introduction announcing my plans to teach again in 2016!
But first I'm re-opening the class I taught last fall and making it available as a download for a limited time to those of you who missed it. To all of the students planning to join me for upcoming classes this year, I recommend starting with Permission to Be first as it will give you a solid overview and foundation which we will build upon in 2016. Also, all Permission to Be Students will have first access to the next sessions as soon as registration opens.
Here's to LUCK + LONGEVITY and a lot of fun and more ease along the way. That's my idea of business success.