FEED THE BIRD
The hardest part about being an artist is learning how to make money. You can learn how to use a camera, create a beautiful painting or craft a story but what good are those skills if you can’t afford to live. Passion alone can’t put food on your table or buy you a house...or can it?
Trying to make a living doing what I love kicked off my evolution as an entrepreneur. Here are 3 things I’ve learned along my journey that I hope helps you find your path.
Closed mouths don’t get fed.
Being an introvert, this was a hard one for me to learn. I’ve had to step out of my comfort zone and be resourceful in creating a network and manufacturing opportunities. The strategy is not about talking to everybody possible but in creating quality relationships and genuinely connecting with people. You have to figure out who you are and where you want to go as an artist. Once you’ve answered those questions, you can align yourself with the how.
Here’s an example. In the beginning of my career I had no portfolio at all. I would apply for jobs and they didn’t care about where I graduated from or what I studied in college. People wanted to see what I was capable of doing. So I set out to build a photography portfolio by hitting up local publications in order to get into concerts and events for free. I was willing to trade experience for a portfolio and this is what kick started my career. Through those experiences I was able to build a network of ambitious, talented, and hardworking people who would each play their part in helping me get to where I am today. (And have an amazing time doing it)
No Strengths, no weaknesses.
You can’t start a company alone. Or maybe you can, but I wouldn’t want to. Founding an efficient company takes teamwork and various skill sets. You have to know when to lead with your strengths but also be willing to take a step back in areas where you are weak. Trying to do everything yourself will only lead to a burnout. Having a team whose skill sets compliment each other will make sure there are no chinks in the armour. Finding good business partners is hard, but it is possible. You just have to make sure to keep your eyes open.
Game recognize Game.
Trusting your instinct is something you must do. You must be willing to be wrong in order to learn a lesson and must be willing to take that risk to find out if you are right. The cumulative effect that this will have as you navigate your way through reading people and evaluating opportunities is extremely valuable. Scars from failed ideas allow you to reflect on how to get better from moving forward. Victories from gambling on yourself will only validate the path you are on. Learning how to use my unique experiences in failing and succeeding has allowed me to recognize what it takes to truly take hold of a great opportunity, how to value the people I work with and how to make sure that the bird stays fed.