Innovating Through Artistry

Archive for November, 2007|Monthly archive page

One Secret to Getting the Gig

In Customer Service, Entrepreneurial Tool Box on November 30, 2007 at 8:33 pm

I recently have started working with a great jazz musician who has become a new client. The other day we were discussing how to get his group into some more sought after clubs to perform. We were talking about how to make contact with club owners. My client said, “I am finding the owners of the clubs I have contacted want me to come in and see them. I find myself dropping off my press kit and then being asked to come back and talk to them, even though all the information they want from me when I do, is right on my website. I don’t get what’s going on here. This is a lot of work.”

Musicians, actors, artists, and everyone else connected to the arts, need to learn good old fashioned customer service.

Club owners don’t want musicians to play in their clubs who are not going to come early, play sober and draw in an audience. Unfortunately, because most artists lack business training, smart club owners realize the only way to make sure unknown musical performing groups will act accordingly is by testing their ability to follow up and provide them with good customer service before they even consider booking them.

Why, as artists, we think that our talent should speak for itself remains a mystery. Think about it logically:

As consumers, when we go to eat at a restaurant, we never like it when the waiter never comes to take our order, or worse does and never comes with our food. We call that bad service and usually don’t go back- no matter how many “stars” are behind the restaurants name. After all, that is why we are going to the restaurant in the first place- to have someone else wait on us and serve us a meal.

When we order products on-line, like I recently did from Rugs USA, and they tell you the rug will be here in 3-5 days and 3 weeks later, and 2 phone calls riddled with unmet promises have passed and you still don’t have your rug, do you think you are going to ever order from them again? Do you think you might even tell all your friends that they too should not order from them ever? Well, I just did and I think likely you would too.

Rugs USA boasts to be a top internet retailer and that they will match anyone else’s price. Do you think I care about how great they are when they cannot meet my needs?

If you want the gigs, the order, the opportunity, then learn how to deliver great customer service to your clients they way they want it. Trust me, I know if you do, those gigs, orders and opportunities- the ones you really want- will eventually come.

And when they do, your talent will then help you keep those gigs coming.

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Chicago Arts Incubator Anyone?

In Author: Lisa Canning, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Fashion, The Idea, WEBSITES & BLOGS on November 29, 2007 at 7:17 am

Today I went to Atlanta to visit The Beehive Co-Op. I went there with the sole objective of hoping to find a partner, in this franchise concept, to potentially build an arts incubator here in Chicago. My wildest dream is to create an entrepreneurial arts incubator that has an educational component for artists to develop their business ideas, that I will design, build and initially run, as well as a place to perform and sell the products and services the artists create–like The Beehive Co-Op— but instead with all of these components under one roof. My ultimate dream is to build a number of arts incubators in communities around The United States.

I may have found the perfect partner in The Beehive Co-Op to begin to develop the first one here in Chicago in 2008. Not only will this offer The Bite-Size Arts Ensemble a regular performing venue, but will also offer many other fine artists a regular performing venue and classes and workshops to help them along their own journey to make their dreams become real.

Sure, Chicago already has Columbia College that offers a very well established artistic entrepreneurship major, great performing space, as many other schools do in Chicago, and of course, they also offer lots of other classes too– but I still believe I can make a difference. I want to help all those artist that are out of school- in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and beyond. All of you that are facing the real world and not doing what you love because you simply need help to learn how you can.

I want to create a community-based experience for both artist and audience to begin to build a new kind of relationship focused on the creative evolution for each. For the artist to become financially able and for the audience to become more creative using the gifts artists have to offer through the development of their business concepts. I want to help artists learn what healthy self-esteem is and what it offers that, once you have it, you will never again live without.

I am following my heart and trusting the net will appear by showing up and following up with anyone and everyone who falls in my path. Making the trip to Atlanta was yet another way for me to show up and trust that my net will appear.

There are many things I need to make this work. I need to help find the right person to buy into The Beehive Co-Op as a franchisee in Chicago. I would like to find the right affordable building to buy- along with a couple of real estate investors who believe in the power of the arts- to house the project and make it permanent. I will also need to find the funding sources to support the not-for-profit educational work with grants. So many things must appear to make the net real and provide the safety this dream needs.

But regardless of if my dream is realized in this exact way, I am turning over every stone until I find a way to create the perfect enviornment for my work and my passion. I am relentless–but then again so is my nagging passion that I simply cannot ignore. I love blogging for all of you who stop by and pay me a visit, but it is simply not enough. The silence offers me no glory or joy or awe of witnessing, again and again and again, what I know inside of you can burn an eternal bright light filled with your passionate dreams and the financial worth you deserve.

Sooner or later, I, myself, will find my perfect groove and be able to fly effortlessly in the light of my vision. There will come a day when it appears. Today, it feels as if it is not far off- maybe even just right around the corner.

And even on those days when I am less than sure it is, I believe that day will come if I just keep going. How about you?

A Calm Heart’s Work

In Emotional Intelligence on November 25, 2007 at 1:36 pm

Throughout my life I have noticed the times when my heart passionately flutters and the times my heart has beat in fear. As exciting as a fluttering heart can be, or as much motivation as a fearful one can produce, a calm heart is what brings me prosperity and peace.

It is only when my heart beat is steady that my being is basked in calm, which I have noticed time and time again allows me to both think rationally and work efficiently. I sleep better, eat better, work better and enjoy life more fully when I am calm- plain and simple.

It is easy to be in the arts and think that drama is good- regardless of what kind it is- because we are artists. Our creative juices can produce a lot of energy that we don’t know how to manage and becomes drama. But drama in the life of an artist is a lot like starting a business with too much money- it makes you do stupid things that can really harm or destroy your vision.

Yet I have met, unfortunately, a lot of artists who think that drama, and the pain it creates, helps them to produce their best work. Of course, many don’t ever say this in words, but instead through their actions.

If, as an artist, you already are creating good work with this much drama and pain in your life, what do you think the quality of your work would be like if you could create using prosperity and peace instead?

Creativity for The Holidays

In The Idea on November 23, 2007 at 9:05 pm

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The Friday after Thanksgiving is often considered one of, if not, the biggest shopping day before Christmas. I couldn’t help but notice some of the creativity in the marketplace being offered for sale.

I recently was given a Webkinz stuffed animal, originally released by the Ganz gift company in 2005, as a present. The toys are similar to many other small plush toys, Beanie Babies in particular, however they come with a special code on their labels that allows access to the “Webkinz World” which is a website to “adopt” a virtual version of the pet for a truly amazing experience of virtual interaction.

On the virtual Webkinz World you can feed and exercise your pet, buy them furniture, decorate their room, build them a bigger house, shop, get a job, go to the doctor, sign them up for school, play with your virtual pets with a virtual friends pet, and explore the charmed forest, if of course, you have bought a charm for your pet. Educational, clever and addicting- this products creative value far exceeds the item you buy, but will entice you to buy more at your local brick and mortar store.

Yesterday I saw Jerry Seinfields, The Bee movie. Having just graduated from 3 days of college, a bee by the name of Barry Bee Benson (Jerry Seinfeld) finds himself disillusioned with the prospect of having only one career choice – honey. As he ventures outside of the hive for the first time, he breaks one of the cardinal rules of the bee world and talks to a human, a New York City florist named Vanessa (Renée Zellweger). He is shocked to discover that the humans have been stealing and eating the bees’ honey for centuries, and ultimately realizes that his true calling in life is to set the world right by suing the human race for stealing their precious honey.

While The Incredibles and Toy Story have better story lines, The Bee will not disappoint. Animation is a love of mine and thanks to Pixar and Dreamworks it’s big business. Animated movies like Shrek 2 raked in over 921 millions and Finding Nemo reporting 865 million. Both of these movies are on the short list of top selling films worldwide.

I just got in the mail this week Williams-Sonoma’s latest Christmas catalog. Have you seen it? While the gingerbread house has been around for a long time, could you ever have imagined building so many incredibly festive holiday scenes from food? With popular cable TV channels devoted to food, like the Food Network, featuring high profile pastry competitions, Williams- Sonoma’s selection of creative baking pans for the mass market make compelling edibles.

Robots are hot items this holiday season. PLEO Life Form is a lifelike and life size model of a week-old baby Carmarasaurus (chambered lizard)- based on a complete fossilized skeleton of the Jurassic-era dinosaur recently found in Colorado. Just like real living things, no two PLEO Life Forms turn out the same. All are capable of expressing a wide range of emotions-happiness, sadness, anxiety, curiosity, moodiness, surprise and love. Depending on how you treat them, they evolve accordingly.

While I am not a big fan of replacing the joy of human interaction with a robot, we are only now beginning to see the world of robotic evolution becoming affordable enough to interact inside our everyday world.

What great creative idea do you have that world will want to buy next year for the holidays? When you are out and about shopping for the holiday’s this year, notice like a hammer in search of a nail, all the ways your creativity could be sold, marketed or packaged to become the hottest, next, new thing.

Family, Friends Laughter and Cheer

In Emotional Intelligence on November 21, 2007 at 5:30 am

I hope this Thanksgiving holiday offers you the opportunity to escape your routine and seek refuge inside the safety net of your family and friends. Laugh. Sleep. Cheer. But most importantly, take care of yourself.

Holiday’s are meant to be spent with those who provide us with familiar but positive experiences to bring back to our daily routines. Make sure to participate in all that offers you this kind of comfort and support.

For many years I myself imagined this kind of holiday, but could not find it inside my own family. Since I remarried, I now have it in spades with my husband’s family. Not only have I found my personal life at a record new high, but I have also found my professional one in a similiar place.

Funny how great conversation over a slice of pumpkin pie with family, friends, laughter and cheer can change everything.

Trust

In Emotional Intelligence on November 20, 2007 at 11:13 am

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Making positive changes in your life, your business or in your relationships requires trust.

When I am working on anything challenging in life, I seek first the answers from within and then ask my husband and two other dearly trusted friends. If my husband or my friends have a different perspective, I listen and try to find a path of consensus. Not because I am unable to decide what to do on my own, but because I have learned that my trusted circle of advisors adds something I never saw or thought about to the outcome of the decision.

So this means conversely, even when the news is completely different than what I feel would be best, I listen to my trusted advisors. They have yet to fail me. I learned long ago to listen to those I trust because I have never accomplished anything of any importance making decisions alone. The times I have tried to, I have miserably failed. Not because I did not have most of the decision properly figured out, but because I missed an important opportunity to add a needed new leg or arm to my decision that dramatically changed its shape when I followed the collective input from my trusted advisors.

While it is truly hard to trust in the perceptions of others when it comes to major decisions in our lives– you know, the kind of decisions that make us sweat and can lead us to great glory or great destruction– it is in those moments far easier to rationalize away why we know best. It is by far harder to allow those who know us best to change and shape our decisions by giving them our trust.

We often underestimate the power of trust to transform us, as well as the magic trusting creates in making us who we need to become.

Funding a Start-Up

In Author: Lisa Canning, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Money on November 19, 2007 at 8:06 pm

Q: How much money do I need to start my business?
A: Start with nothing, and work with as close to nothing for as long as possible.

While this might not be the answer you expected, small budgets force you into really finding a focus. Don’t go out and try and find more money, even if you can afford to self fund your start-up or can get money from family or friends right away. Instead, give yourself just enough to get going, and use the limits that imposes to motivate yourself into having a business that has real paying customers as quickly as possible.

As a college student, when I started my business, I used one credit card with less than a $10,000 limit to get from zero to $300,000 in sales. I bought only what I needed on my credit card, sold it and turned the profits back into the business to buy more product as often as possible. All of my office supplies, phone bills, advertising etc. I paid for out of cash flow.

If the profits I generated did not cover the cost of what I needed to spend on my overhead, I either did not spend the money or re-evaluated what I needed to earn on the items I was selling to be able to afford whatever it was I thought was critical to reaching a new higher level of profitability or increase my customer base. I used this very small line of credit, on my credit card, to guide the choices I made by only buying the products I needed that generated my profits.

This strategy worked to grow my business profitably. It was challenging but I found myself finding ways to grow my business with very little money going to things that were not essential to create customers and profits. As both my customer base and profts grew, I was able to get a bigger line of credit from the vendors whose product I was selling. From learning how to use my own credit card in a very disciplined way, I did the same thing with the credit those vendors gave me and grew my business quickly, using the same strategy, to over a million in sales.

The key is to never have available more than you absolutely have to have until you can get comfortable with knowing what is the absolute best use of the the excess funds you generate- your profits- from what you sell.

There is a saying that having too much money makes you stupid, and I have to agree with this comment when it comes to starting a business. The biggest and most costly mistakes made are those in the beginning so make them as small as possible by limiting your funds so that you can learn from them but that they won’t destroy your venture.

If you have a running business with real customers and you’re paying all your bills, you are much more likely to find your next source of funding to grow your business than if you need that money in order to survive or succeed. When you can say “we could accelerate our growth with more money” it is much more compelling than, “I need your money or our doors will close.”

Woody Allen on Success

In Emotional Intelligence on November 16, 2007 at 3:59 am

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Actor and movie director Woody Allen said ” 80% of success is simply just showing up.”

So I guess that means we do all the hard stuff we think will ensure we are successful with the other 20%? You know, the stuff that makes us sweat and worry that the light shining brightly at us isn’t our future, but the headlights of the train coming right at us instead?

Stop worrying. Start showing up instead.

Proverbs on People

In Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Risk on November 15, 2007 at 12:21 am

Three is Fine but Two Devine
Having too many co-founders makes decisions hard to reach. Being on your own eliminates that but you have to bear all of the stress and worry about how to make your company successful.

Work Only with People You Like and Believe In
If you are smart and creative chances are pretty good you are only going to be attracted to the same kinds of people. Working with people you like is far more productive because usually you enjoy their company. Don’t try to talk anyone into working with you, especially a co-founder or early employees. Find the people that naturally want to work with you and nudge them into the roles where you need them.

Great Ventures are Created By People Who Share a Passion
While you can spark someone’s passion, you cannot create it for them. Work with people who have a passion as great as yours.

Interesting Products are Meaningless without Great Needs
Design and create products or ideas that people need. Cool is cool, but not cool enough if no one needs it. Start with a need and fill it.

Build as Simply as Possible
Make the simplest possible product that makes a significant dent in what your target market needs. Simplicity leads to clarity in everything in life.

Solve Real Problems with Real People
You can waste a lot of time and money implementing solutions to problems that are not yet real or may ever have. Work on real problems that are creating immediate obstacles for you right now. Test those problems out on real people. Find them in Starbucks, the library or in your college computer lab. Give them a few dollars for a few minutes and you will be paid back hundred of times over from what you learn.

Go Ahead- Fail the Test!

In Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Marketing on November 14, 2007 at 3:56 am

Throughout our school age years, we are given tests in school to see just how much we know about a subject matter. Remember all those late nights you stayed up studying to “pass” the test or to get an “A” on it? Or maybe you didn’t get an “A” because you didn’t study and felt poorly about yourself as a result. Just the simple word “test”, I think, raises, for all of us, our blood pressure at least a notch or perhaps produces a knot in our stomaches.

How can it not? Our society values tests as a measure, in some way, of our worth.

But lets think rationally about tests for a moment and set our emotions aside.

What does a test do? Tests focus on a fairly narrowly defined amount of information and through a series of questions challenges our knowledge about a subject area. The value of a test is that is shows us, withint that defined area, where we are doing well and where we can improve. The results of the test might likely produce a list of directions to explore to improve our knowledge, or help us understand why it was lacking in the first place.

Tests for these very same reasons play an equally important role inside your entreprenurial venture. By testing your ideas in the marketplace, especially in the start-up phase, if your growth has haulted, or when you want to launch a new product or division, you have an opportunity to identify new potential markets, clients, venues, add on products or perhaps even a better overall path to sell or market your products and services.

Unfortunately, to some extent, it is deeply engrained in us that tests must yield a positive “A+” result to demonstrate their worth. As children we were judged on the grades we recieved on those tests we took. As a result, it is only natural that as adults we fear running a test on our product and it failing. But test marketing is not only critical to your products ultimate success, but necessary to fail at, until you find the right way to position your product to have it sell at its highest percieved value.

It is far better to run some tests to find the right path for your venture to grow and flourish in, than to one day find instead your business doors closing because you never tested your markets reaction to your products or services, but instead just picked a direction you guessed was best or most wanted to pursue. A hunch about marketing can sometimes be 100% correct but can also be just a little south of where you really need to be and as a result be 100% wrong. Testing is critical to figuring out exactly where the right spot is! After all, you can be in the right neighborhood, but on the wrong street, and never find what you are looking for.

Tests can be simple and inexpensive to run. They don’t have to be terribly time consuming either. What you do have to do is try them out for some period of time to know that the results you get are representative of what you can expect to continue to get if you start to work the market you have defined by the test in a similiar way.

So, go ahead- run some test and by all means, grant yourself permission to fail a few. Thank God if you do because they will save your venture from costly mistakes and a huge loss of your time.

No matter where you are in the development of your venture, it’s not too late to test your concepts to make sure that you have the right marketing plan to bring you the happiness and profits your work and creativity deserves.

The Value of Research

In Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Marketing on November 13, 2007 at 4:31 am

So you have a great idea and your passionate about turning it into a business. While focusing on the parts of the venture you are sure that will work might be very enticing to do, it is even more important that you equally work on the parts that can set you back.

Most often it is our passion that lures us into beginning the venture so it is easy for us to not want to focus on the hurdles. Or sometimes all we can see are the hurdles and it stops us from focusing on what we passionately see as opportunity.

However, the best way to begin to see if your concept can really work, is to identify a list, in order of importance to your venture, of the most likely obstacles you will face in your start-up phase or that you currently are routinely encountering in your current venture. Once you have identified that list, turn them into a list of open-ended questions to test your theories and turn your hurdles into manageable bite-size questions.

The next step is to find an expert who can educate you about each obstacle. It is likely this person may be someone you have identified as a potential customer or source of revenue. However, don’t call them with the intention of pitching your concept or making a sale to them. Instead contact that person and ask for an informational interview about the subject area you need to understand. Make it clear to them that you are asking for a defined period of time (15 minutes, an hour or over coffee or lunch) to help you understand what you have identified as potential questions you need answers to help your start-up venture begin. Let them know you have identified them as someone who’s help would be meaningful to you because of their position, knowledge, degree etc.

If the people you identify are either unwilling to take the time to speak to you, or refuse to answer questions you really need answered, keep looking until you find someone who will. Once you have all of the information you need from those conversations, you may likely add an unexpected arm or leg to your venture because, through their answers, you will find new ways to begin to overcome the pitfalls you identified.

Don’t be afraid of things that seem impossible to overcome at first. Instead, find a way to embrace them and work with them to build or integrate your business concept on. While it is possible they might change the lens you see your original idea in, it is unlikely to not also offer many new ways to move inside the concepts, ideas and passions you embrace.

It is as important to know intimately the pitfalls of your venture as well as you see and know how to build on the opportunities.

Your Very Best Energy

In Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Tool Box on November 12, 2007 at 4:04 am

Yesterday I was on the phone with a new client. This particular client has asked me to help her initially find more time during the week to focus on building her business. For some period of time she has felt trapped and unable to make progress with her start-up venture because of her work schedule. It can feel like a catch 22. You need a paycheck to be able to support yourself and your start-up venture, but if you don’t have enough time to work on the venture, than you quickly can feel trapped.

In a typical week this hard working young lady works two entirely different job. One 3 day’s a week from 10 am to 4pm and the other 3 days a week from 3pm to 3am. Not only is she exhausted all of the time because of these dramatically different schedules, but it makes it impossible for her to find the quality extra time she needs to grow her fledgling business. It is very hard to be efficent and productive with whatever time you have available if you are always tired.

As we discussed the merits of each job, attempting to choose between the two schedules, my client revealed that she loves the job that is from 3pm to 3am the most. What she said next unlocked an important door to building her business: “I am a night person and do my best work late at night.”

If you are trying to build a business, but need to work a job while starting to do it, the job you choose must be something you can do on “auto-pilot”. It is extremely important it does not take from you your best energy. While this particular client can do this late night job on “auto-pilot”, it is robbing her of her best time of day to focus, work and think about her business.

It is essential that you choose to keep, for yourself, your very best energy to devote to building your business. No matter what schedule this might produce for you, make sure that you do not choose a job that requires you to give up the time of day that you are the most alert, focused and can give your very best towards building your future.

Regardless of if this requires you to choose a different less interesting job that allows you to make the money you need, or requires you to downgrade your lifestyle to be able to afford to take a job that pays less, focusing on what is important to you is a far better investment in your future than the few extra dollars you could make working in a dead-end job robbing you of your dreams.

Of course, you will also need to find some consistent time Monday through Friday, during normal business hours, 9 am to 5pm, to do the marketing and sales work your business needs. So make sure to find at least one day a week, consistently, that you can devote to this work during regular business hours. A potential client is far less likely to notice that you always call to see if they need your services or product on say a Thursday, if that is the only day you have available to call. No one but you needs to know that you are still working another job until your venture is strong enough to support more and more of your time.

Despite the strange schedule you might have to work, this strategy will allow you to build what you love to do into something that can support you, hopefully, all of the hours of your day. A job with a paycheck, even one you like, will never be more than just that.

Women, Art, Life: Weaving It All Together

In Art, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, WEBSITES & BLOGS on November 10, 2007 at 5:32 am

It’s Friday afternoon and, to unwind before the weekend, I decided to spend a few minutes surfing around the web. Lately I have been looking for artists who blog. Given my focus on entrepreneurship in the arts, I am really curious to see what artists are talking about in their posts. If you are an artist who blogs, and think the readership of this blog would benefit from what you write about please let me know.

In any event, I stumbled into Tammy Vitale’s site, Women, Art, Life: Weaving It All Together, and thought you all would enjoy her commentary and artwork. Check her out.

Here is a toros she made called Pele’s Sister.

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TGIF!

After the 1st Year

In Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Tool Box on November 8, 2007 at 7:54 pm

Last night I spoke with a client who has just passed the first year since starting their business. The venture has grown and broke even in the first year. A good start. With just a few more sales, this year should show a profit.

In this past year, order processing, inventory and cash systems have been created to manage the daily business. Not all were easily accomplished, and managing all three of these is still being tweaked, but none the less all systems are in place and working. Also a great accomplishment and right on track with their business plan objectives.

Oh, I forgot to mention why the client called- the excitement of starting a new business has worn off.

In the first year of business, it is easy to stay highly motivated because everything is new. But as time wears on, especially after you cross that first year, and the problems and daily “grind” of the venture become more apparent, it is only normal to reach a period that produces more questions than answers. Namely, ” What have I done? How can I make this work? Why is this so hard?”

The old saying ‘If it were easy everyone would be doing it’ has a lot of truth in it. But at the same token, anything in life that requires some elbow-grease gives you a sense of accomplishment and pride when you finally have it working.

By no means, am I suggesting that building a life you will love is easy. But what I do know, is that building something on what you love is far more likely to last.

I will spend time with this client today helping them regroup by starting to re-evaluate their marketing plan and do a quick checkup on their inventory levels and cash reserves. While today will not change the lows of this moment for this client, rediscovering the reasons they leaped off the tall cliff in the first place will.

Business it is a continuous process of re-discoveries about yourself, your business, your customer and your passions that lead you to reach your goal.

For Profit or Not-for-Profit?

In The Idea on November 6, 2007 at 5:48 am

For those of you who took the time to read my post Art, Business and Community Unite about Beehive Co-Op- a retail for-profit franchise concept, do you think that it is possible to profit in the arts while providing educational and entrepreneurial support in the competitive world of retailing?

Beehive Co-Op claims to be the antithesis of the franchise concept, but, is in fact, a franchise. Frankly, this concept has me intrigued. This might be the first time I have ever seen a business concept that truly seeks to provide educational and entreprenurial support to its “vendors” by nurturing their spirit as a for-profit venture, instead of a not-for-profit cause.

The irony in all of this, to me, is that arts entrepreneurial incubators are starting to spring up around the country. Many of them have a lot to offer and some of them even compete with Beehive’s concept. All of these are running as not-for-profit ventures opting to raise money instead of borrowing it.

What do you think about Beehive’s concept?

Would you invest 100K in this concept, which includes a franchise fee of $30,000, but does not include the cost of leasing retail space? Does this concept seem like it belongs as a for-profit or not-for-profit given the number of arts incubators popping up across the country?

The first Beehive Co-Op was sold not long ago for less than 100K claiming cash flow of just over 50K annually. The founder is going on to build the second Beehive Co-Op in New York City. But is this enough of a profit for the 3 years of work it took for her to build the Beehive Co-Op in Atlanta, the first one, to justify a 30K franchise fee for this business-in-a-box?

Take a look at some of these programs and concepts springing up. Do you think Beehive Co-op made a mistake becoming a for-profit franchise instead of a not-for-profit cause? Tell me what you think.

(For those of you in a hurry, if you only have time to look at one of these, check out Studio 1219 first)

The Madison Arts Incubator
Arlington Virginia Arts Incubator
Kansas City Arts Incubator
Cincinnati Arts Incubator
Studio 1219

CEO Conference

In WEBSITES & BLOGS on November 4, 2007 at 1:52 am

I spoke before 1200+ college students at the Collegiate Entrepreneur’s Organization Conference yesterday morning. It was incredible to meet and get to know a significant number of college students who were already building significant vibrant ventures. I think I met at least six student entrepreneurs, under the age of twenty-one, with ventures closing in on one million in revenue. I also met a young man who at twenty-one is on his fourth creative venture.

For me, the most exciting news from the conference was, that besides my keynote presentation, there was two other break-out sessions focused on arts entrepreneurship. Certainly, a long way from being a dominant force at this conference, but clearly the recognition of the importance of arts entrepreneurship has begun.

If you are not familiar with this organization, besides being an incredible source of inspiration, it is a wonderful place to network. Many of the students who attend are not yet entrepreneurs but are either interested in becoming one or simply interested in the topic.

One of the highlights of the conference is the elevator pitch competition. It is designed to force potential start-up’s to be able to explain in 90 seconds their venture, its financial needs and return on investment to potential investors. The competition eventually results in five place winners who receive cash prices from $2500 to $500.00. The conference each year is in Chicago. Check the CEO site and mark your calendars for next year and plan on attending.
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Happy Birthday: Your E.T.A. is Today!

In ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS on November 1, 2007 at 5:39 am

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Entrepreneur The Arts officially began one year ago today. My e.t.a. to help others Entreprener The Arts ( E.T.A.), began one year ago today with my very first blog post dated Nov 1, 2006.

This first year for E.T.A. has been a year of building. Happily, there are increasingly more of you beginning to become curious about your own journey to Entrepreneur The Arts, I believe, because of this blog, my speaking and soon my book.

In her opening dedication to her book, This Time I Dance, Tama Kieves wrote:

I dedicate this book to the part of myself that inched forward when a thousand winds blew and she had but one small pink birthday candle to hold up her wish.

I now dedicate this book and my life to that gleaming one and the one in all of us who listens to the music more than the reproach of the mind- and who dances as if the music were boisterous enough for all to hear- until of course it is.

And this blog is dedicated to that same part of myself with that same pink candle. It is also dedicted to you. My wish for each of you is that this is your year to trust the visions in your head enough, to begin to create an entreprenurial venture–a life as unique as you are. I wish for your e.t.a. to arrive.

Who knows, maybe one of you will join me in making today the day you write Miya LaBleu was Here. Now that would be one happy birthday gift.

Happy Birthday E.T.A. You are 1 years old today and I am blowing out the candle and making my wish!