Peace Signs

Thursday, April 21, 2016

My Creative Business Journey

My days have mostly been spent listening to videos, taking notes, going to online workshops and making plans for my business future. I always say I am a creative by nature but I do have a bit of a business side too. I don't let that part of me out very often and mostly it's administrative skills gone dormant just from working in offices since I was 19 years old up until my last office job in 2009. I have learned the way to use time management by some of the most successful businesses there is. I worked for Educational Testing Service, Disney Studios, a large insurance company, a computer company, Yellow Book. Within those walls, a great resource of information was there for the picking. Sadly, I never saw the need to extend my knowledge while there to learn the business side of business. But happily, I DID learn how to manage my time, what to expect from my brain when it comes to retention, how long to study or listen to videos before taking time away to do other things.

One of the things that happened a few days ago was that I realized Kickstarter is not the right venue for me for my crowdfunding needs. When the time comes to make a decent video showing the studio and classes at work in the next few years, I might go to that site to help fund it.

I am going the "normal" route at the moment, by staying inside the box and doing what is suggested on the SBA website. Small Business Association's links and resources are almost all free and taking some advice from a site whose only function is to help those in business, seems like a good place to start. Again. I did go there 6 years ago and did start the process I'm doing once more now. Things have changed so much, I can't pick up where I left off. It's time to start fresh!

I am assuming I won't qualify for any traditional loans and so I didn't attempt to apply for any. At the moment I am taking a course on financing and gearing myself up for the initial leap to see if there is something that suits my needs. The hard parts will always be having no or very little collateral that they see as worthy. I have thousands of dollars in mosaics I could use for collateral if someone would see this art collection as collateral. That would be awesome! The other hard part is trying to prove I don't really need the loan in order to succeed.

A business executive from one of the well-known companies I worked for and who has long since passed, told us that you have to show lenders you don't need them and make them see why they need you. His advice: believe in whatever it is you are trying to get funded with all your heart and really sell it. Stay compassionate and focused on why it is the best thing ever. It's great advice, not just for business loans but for job interviews and other work-related things. I know how to dazzle. I've done dinner theatre. If I could use jazz hands while explaining why I DO need their money, I would be all set. Nothing will happen, I don't think, without much in the way of finances. Had I known 10 years ago when I started, that this would be the passion that consumes my every waking minute (and many dreams), I'd have done a few things differently.

I truly believe this studio workshop would not only be the best fun ever for me, it would be fun for my community and the surrounding ones as well. I hope that mindset is enough for some magic to happen. I need magic and miracles.

Having done business for 10+ years in one form or another on mosaics and art through online venues and almost always on a table or most recently my bed, the thought that I could actually have a whole room that's just dedicated studio space ... well ... imagine what I could do! That dream has to blossom and grow because I will never stop making mosaics. Working in a 13' x 10' room for close to 6 years proves I have the desire needed to make the dream come true. I'm running out of room, honestly. But I love them so much. This relationship is stronger than ever.

I made a video (not very good but okay for the first attempt) over the weekend and shared it on my Facebook page and on my personal profile. I uploaded it to YouTube so I could refer back to it often. I'm going to share it here, because I think it's important to get over my fear, take the leap, and lets face it, I have to start somewhere. Doing these videos as often as I can, talking and sharing and getting clear on what I want to see for the future, is part of the process. At some point, I will be in front of the video. I am very self-conscious about my appearance these day having no teeth (no dazzling smile for this gal!) and losing so much confidence over the years. These videos should help raise my self-confidence and grow my self-esteem. Truly, my self-esteem isn't low as far as creating mosaics and other art goes but I'm not ready to share all of me just yet. As I do them and get used to the idea, I will share more of me as time goes on. Patience, my friends.

Here ya go. It's a little over 4 minutes long. The next should be shorter. I still find ways to ramble. A script might help curb that.

I haven't given up on crowdfunding and am only starting my research and thoughts on ways to generate interest. It is definite that those that give will get something in return. Local folks will get the chance to come take a mosaics class, those from a far distance will get a mosaic made by me.

I have used before to help receive the computer I am sharing all of these things today. I received almost enough to buy a fairly cheap computer and my family added a bit of cash to it to get this little wonder of a machine. It holds my life and my work and I love it and care for it every day. Not even kidding. I make sure it runs smoothly and now, maybe 4 years later, it is STILL working. Good for me. I believe I should use that site again once I have a handle on what I'll need for advertising and supplies. It might help, anyway, to have it running for me nonstop to help with costs in the future should I need an extra boost for unforeseen things. I don't know what the future will bring, but I know every fiber in my being is tingling with excitement. With help, I can make this exciting adventure come to life!

There is lots to think about. Lots to do. Lots to learn. And the vision boards continue to inspire me! Focusing on the reason I'm working so hard and truly out of my comfort zone (like with the video) is to give myself space to grow! The photo on the top right of this vision board is a collage I made from the classes I taught in 2010-2011. As you can see there are all ages represented in the 4 classes I shared in this collage. Happy people. Some weren't sure they could do it. I assured them they could. And they left after 2-4 weeks (depending on the class) excited to try more! Doing that again in my own studio workshop would be so cool. And offering them more so they could come back to play and get into the "zone" with their own "zen time" would be even cooler.

"I will give myself space to grow."

Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!~Cindy, EarthMotherMosaics