We Interrupt This Blog For A Personal Insight Emergency!
This started as a comment on a previous post, but it turned into something more. Not a lot more, mind you, but it’s certainly more than a comment – It’s about my process, so it may not make a lot of sense at first. Also, there are questions for you at the end of each section, so you can dive in and not-make-a-lot-of-sense right along with me, if you like.
I was really
struggling last night.
This recent anti-online-business bruhaha shook me, what with all of the talk about “online businesses aren’t real/can’t make money” and “people who don’t have degrees and haven’t successfully run brick and mortar businesses can’t coach/teach/write about business.” It undercut my confidence in what I’m trying to do here.
So I curled up with a particular book that serves as my creative touch stone, and slowly? I remembered why I’d set up this weird and ill-defined circus caravan in the first place:
To do something fun, experimental, unpredictable,
something that incorporates a variety of skills into
a package that, hopefully, can help others and add
consistently to our household income.
Something that inspired me. Something that was inventive. Something that took risks.
I’m not asking you to set aside secure or boring or every day lives, and take those risks with me. But if you are already taking risks (or wanting to take those risks), I’m asking if you’ll consider joining me and others in some small or large way, so we can have support and comfort as we forge new ground and take these risks together.
My questions for you: What is the original concept that drove you to decide developing your own venture-business-thing was the way to go? What are you risking with that?
But then? I realized
I’m not exactly clueless.
I’ve been surrounded by small business and innovation all of my life.
My great-grandfather on one side, my great-grandmother on the other, my grandfather, my mother? All small business people, innovators and entrepreneurs. My stepfather & father-in-law, and past generations of their families? They all ran their own businesses, too.
Most of them worked against great odds, in then-unproven fields. Several did things that were unheard of, or invented things that are still in use today. And when my family members have worked for others? They were still always innovating, inventing, improving and creating new processes, methods, systems and products.
Some ventures succeeded, some ventures failed – but no one ever quit out of a sense of futility.
And although I never had anyone sit me down and formally teach me about business and innovation, I learned a lot through osmosis – especially about the sorts of things that predispose a business to working or not working. (mostly research, follow through, flexibility and applying basic business principals).
Beyond the osmosis, I definitely inherited a brain predisposed to innovation and invention. So it really shouldn’t be surprising that I’d strike out on my own — the only surprise is how long it took me to get serious about it.
And yes, I’ve only just now realized this.
My question for you: What aspects of your background make you well-suited (if not qualified) to develop your business-venture-thing? Are there any elements that are hiding from you in the shadows?
I’ve also found
a new goal:
A week or two ago (In a #CustomerLove tweetchat) I figured out that what I actually want out of this website is a “proof of concept“.
I want to prove prove that quirky, differently-brained creatives can use right-brained tools and approaches to build sane, profitable, balanced business ventures.
I want to prove that we can be successful without depending on gatekeepers, without destroying our creative process as a side effect of earning a living, and without having to rewire our brains to become “someone else”.
That approach? So far as I know it’s new (because the tools are new) and it’s largely untested. I’m certainly not the only one working on the idea, but the niche is still developing and defining itself.
My question for you: What are you trying to prove with your thing-venture-business? What point do you want to get out there? What message do you want to deliver?
So this Quirkipreneur thing?
It’s still being invented.
I can’t teach you how to have a successfully quirky business.
I haven’t figured it out for myself, yet.
And I can’t assess the marketability of your product, your promotional plans, or your own personal suitability for running a business in the first place. Oh, sure, I may toss out a semi-educated opinion based on my observations and instincts, but in the end, my answer may have no more value than the opinion of the clerk behind the counter at McDonald’s.
What I can do is point you towards resources, offer ideas, support and encouragement, and provide you with some creative, intuitive tools.
I can offer up my own (hopefully insightful) ideas for wrapping your right-brained mind around left-brained business concepts.
I can let you watch the process of my own progress (or lack of it) in the hopes it will somehow help you figure out how to make your “thing” work (whatever your thing is).
And I can stress the importance of practical business stuff, as well as the creative end – revealing my struggles and processes in both areas, as well.
My question for you: What are you not qualified to advise others about? What *are* you qualified to advise others about? And how do you define “qualified”?
This new understanding?
It turns out it’s pretty practical.
It’s already solved a pricing dilemma for me. That’s part of what I’ve been hesitating about, with all of the potential offers I’ve had… pricing.
I know that value-added business offerings are expensive, and I understand the reasons behind those prices. I don’t want to undercut peers, or devalue my services with low pricing.
But until it’s proven that my ideas offer actual value-added to the bottom line of a business? I’m not comfortable charging the commonly accepted rates.
So the pricing of anything business related that I offer? It will be in line with this being experimental. That seems right, and good, and appropriate.
One more problem solved!
My question for you: As you consider and reconsider what you’re qualified to teach, coach, advise, and do… are there any problems or insights that shift and take new shapes?
The result of
all this processing?
I think I’ve figured out a new shape for the long-delayed Quirkipreneurs website… and, amazingly, the software may actually have caught up to what I want!
This new shape will allow for my process, and for other people’s, as well. It will allow for the proof of concept to be developed. It will allow for the community members to connect and support one another. It will allow me to be simulataneiously clueless AND clued in, and finally, hopefully, get some of the other planned Circus projects out there and in your hands where they can be useful.
So yeah, I’m pretty excited.
Also, if you’re wondering why there’ve been no illustrations for a few days? The scanner is on the fritz, AND the dog ate the last of my good pens.
So we’re image-less until the weekend.
Feels a bit naked around here, doesn’t it?
You’re welcome to ramble as much as you’d like in the comments, on anything I’ve touched on in this post. Really. Take as much space as you need.
Just remember to be gentle with yourself, me, and others – these processes can be fragile, and we need space to work them out without challenges.
Also, any suggestions for how to teach a certain Pomeranian that Micron Archival Ink pens are not just plastic bones with chewy centers? That’d be a big help. She’s eaten at least ten of the darn things!
No related posts.