Mindvalley is an amazing company. With its' only business plan scratched on the back of a napkin, Vishen Lakhiani has learned a lot about striking out on your own as an enterpreneur.
Like Vishen, I don't advocate (and never will) going into massive amounts of debt, right off, to get your project on the road. If your bottom line is worrying about whether you're going to be able to repay the money you owe, you're not going to put your thoughts or energy where they're needed the most -- coming up with ways to draw people to you and innovating new products. The more people that are drawn to you or hear about you, the more likely that they will be interested in what you're doing and demonstrate that with paying you.
To start your own business, either in the creative field or not, it doesn't require a lot of money. It does require what I call "hustle." "Hustle"(see this post) is going out into the world and making yourself known. This could also be known as "marketing." That is where your energy should be spent -- in coming up with what you want to sell / do, then getting it into peoples' minds. You could also call it "grassroots marketing."
Hustle is going to work to your advantage and I'm going to tell you why. When you begin your hustle, you embark on a new journey. You start dreaming up new and exciting ways (that might be uniquely yours) to tell the public you're there. And, since it may be avenues people have never tried before, the system doesn't have "fail-safes" in place to keep you from achieving your goal.
When you first start out, it feels like you're in a world full of "no." "No, you can't just dwaddle around and do art all day." "No, no one's going to want to buy that." "No. It's impossible. It's never been done before." Well, GOOD! That means that there's less to fight against.
Get creative and get your butt movin'. My stickers and sticker boxes (explained in this post) were 100% a lightning-flash idea. I knew that people dropped business cards in coffee shops and the like. That was common and a good start, but how about bulletin boards? I didn't want to put just one sticker up. I wanted to be able to reach as people as possible who came to the bulletin board.
This is the absolute truth. I was thinking about this bulletin board / sticker thing and holding the stickers in my hand. My eyes wandered around my bedroom and happened to see the box of graham crackers that was sitting on my nightstand. The idea popped into my head and the rest is Visionary History!
No matter what you've got going on, you can always get the word out there. Use a free blogging site. Create a Facebook page for your project and share the link around the internet. Trust your instincts. If something in your gut says "Do it," then go do it. Market in crazy ways. Rent billboards! I'd love to see a creative project advertised on a billboard. I'm tired of viewing car dealership and warehouse store ads! See if there's a local radio station you can get on and talk about what you're doing. What about your local paper? Call them and see if they'd be interested in running an article on you. Put tear-off tab signs in local businesses (with the owners' permission, of course).
I encourage you all, my dears, to continue to grow, to expand and to be absolutely 100% joyful in your expanding endeavors.
Until next time, remember that we're all visionaries. We just have to figure out where we excel.
Love to All,
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