Introduction to Creative/Manager/Entrepreneur
So, we're gonna start the section by talking about the many hats that we wear. Now, on break, I kind of felt like, (exhales) this is probably gonna be the meatiest section of the day, and saying this as a vegetarian, it scares me a little, I'm not gonna lie, because we're talking about tough things. We're talking about things that we prefer to kind of sweep under the rug, right, but let's just kind of just go into it, see what we can take from it and apply as quickly as possible to our business. In an earlier lesson, I talked about how I was ridiculed for the things I posted online, and people did criticize my photos, but one thing that also kind of hit me out of left field was that people were also criticizing the things that I had injected in regards to my personal life. So, I talked about where I went on vacation, and my dog, and my family, and it seemed to annoy people. In fact, I think it really irked a lot of people. Basically, who cares about your personal life; and what does th...
at have anything to do with photography? And to a large degree, I understand why they would say those things. If I took a step back, I'm like, "I get why you're saying that.", but here's the thing, I stopped caring. I get why they would say that, and I get why they would think like that, but I didn't have to think like them. And the reason why my business was quickly separated from the rest was because I didn't think like them, and what they definitely missed was that though they thought, and perceived, it as being an egocentric and self-centered type of promotion, it was done with strategy. Eleven years later, I can tell you that the strategy works. So, in a particularly heated conversation online, people were saying words, that I was talentless, I was egocentric, and I was more concerned with making money than I was making art. Those words hurt my feelings, and this is not like, "Oh. Poor Jasmine", no it was what it was, and then you just move past it; but here's the thing, I knew that if I wanted to survive, I would have to compartmentalize my life and my business. So, I quickly divided out different things. I am this thing at this moment, and I am this thing; I am a daughter, I am a wife, I am a friend, I am a photographer, I am an entrepreneur. And the more divisions I created with those, the more hats that I distinctly wore, the less the criticism, in various pockets, hurt. And I didn't have a real strategy as to why I was doing that, it was sheerly a defense mechanism. I wasn't just creative, and I wasn't just an entrepreneur. I realized that because I wore a mix of hats, in all capacities, personal and professional, this is what made my business survive. And so often the thing that I see is people staunchly wearing their, "I am a creator", "I am an artist", "I am a producer" hat, and that's fine and wonderful, but the minute you get a chink, or the minute that hat falls off; or the minute the hat becomes too small or too big you start losing and basing your identity on one thing. And for the past 11 years, I have seen artists, vastly talented, who simply shut their doors. Over use of 11 years, I see this cycle of every three to four years of people who are so wildly talented, far more talented than me, shut their doors. According to Forbes, eight out of ten businesses fail in 18 months; and this begs the question of why. For years, I had compartmentalized my business, right, in order for me to survive, I was gonna create a defense mechanism, and that was the thing that made my business last. In a way, for better of for worse, I said, "You can't hurt me because I'm focusing on being more than one thing. You think I'm talentless as a photographer? Well, hey I'm a really good daughter. You think I'm talentless as an entrepreneur? Hey, I'm a really good photographer.". I could just, what ever you can at me with, I'm so much better at things you're not better at, so here we go; let's go head to head with this. Now, the clear break up of my roles empowered me, and I firmly believe that a clear break up of roles will empower you; I wasn't focused on becoming more artistic, I wasn't focused on becoming the strongest entrepreneur, I was focused on all of those things doing them the best I possibly could. Now, I was a planner; I was customer support; I was a album shipping fulfiller; I was photographer; I was email; I was accountant, I basically did it all. I wasn't one thing, I was many. And, most small businesses are started by people who think and know that they're good at something. No, I believe that most of us, doesn't all of us, but most of us in this room became good at something, wanted to become good at something, and as a result of being good at that thing you started a business; so you want to keep on doing this, so let's use a few examples. So, let's say Jimmy lost 50 pounds, and now he's helped other friends lose 50 pounds and get in shape. Well, Jimmy wants to be a fitness professional. Clara, well, Clara makes cakes for her family and her friends, and every holiday people are like, "Clara, we need your cakes.", so Clara wants to become a baker. Sophia's friends love her photos. They're like, "Oh, Sophia your Instagram photos are so great. Sophia, can our family pose for your photos?", and then people are saying, "Sophia we don't want to pay for your photos, but you should really be getting paid for your photos.", so then what does Sophia wanna do? Sophia wants to start a business. We see this happen; now, you might be the best personal trainer, and you might bake the best cakes, and you might even take the best photos, but running a business based solely on your talent of that one thing is entirely different. So, if you want to run a profitable business, if you want to have people who are ardent supporters of what you do, and listen to what you have to offer, my question then becomes, do you want to take your business to the next level? Do you want to say, "Hey, I'm good at this thing. I help other people. I got to a certain point, and now I don't know where to go next."? Well, good this is where I want you to be, and this is where I'm going to help you. I strongly believe that my PowerPoint isn't to take everybody to a certain point. My PowerPoint, where I feel like I am the strongest, is I take businesses of various sizes, and help them get to the next level. I don't guarantee you a million dollar profit in a year. I help you take your business where it currently is now to where you want it to go on a yearly cycle. What can I do for you, this is where we are now. So, regardless of where we are in this room, of all different disciplines, of all different social followings and sizes, we're gonna simply take it to the next level; so, let's fast forward to 2016 when I was reading a book called The E-Myth by Michael Gerber. Now, I'm not very much a crier. I probably on the outside look like I have a black heart like I was a tin man, I was like, "There's a tear escaping me.", so I read this book, and it's a business book, and a few chapters in, I started getting a little teary eyed, and I started getting a little bit teary eyed because Michael Gerber clearly identifies three roles in this book that every business owner should possess. Technician, manager, and entrepreneur, so here was somebody I had been doing, at this point... the point of me reading the book, I had been a business owner for 10 years, and here was somebody with the most popular book, business book, ever printed that I had never read clearly identified three roles, and as I was going through these roles, he was talking about why those roles are what make businesses survive; and I was reading it, and I thought, "My God. Somebody who's smart; somebody who's articulate verbalized why my business succeeded when I was coming at it as a point of a defense mechanism. You can't hurt me, you can't hurt me, you can't hurt me.", and he was saying that the thing that you were doing to protect yourself is the thing that made your business survive, and I was like, "Dang it. Yes, thank you." Now I feel empowered and bold, and to talk about people in this same way. Now he is going to talk to his tribe about it a certain way, and I'm going to talk about it to my tribe in a certain way; so one thing that'll definitely clearly talk about is you'll see that he uses words, technician, manager, and entrepreneur. I don't really feel like I come from a technician style world, or the verbiage; I strongly identify with a creator because the people who I resonate with, are people who are making, and creating, and writing, and publishing. Do I think lawyers and doctors could benefit from the things I'm saying? Sure, but that's not really where I'm going. I'm going specifically for creators. Now, it's not because your personal training wasn't the best, and it's not because your cakes weren't delicious, or your photos weren't beautiful it simply means that you were really good at one thing, and not so great at running a business, so if you want a business that succeeds, you have to get better at running a business; and that's a very difficult concept to actually step into and embrace.