22 April 2010

What If 'Entrepreneurship' Feels Too Big For Me?

I called a friend today and we were talking about why she should definitely start a blog {or create content on an ongoing basis for the web, or what's sometimes called a content-driven website}--or, more actually--why I think she should definitely start a blog {because she's one of the most interesting people I know, because she always has a smart and cool take on things, because she's interested in so many things that people like to hear and think and talk about, because she's a really good teacher, because I want one more way to interact with her as my friend} and she said something to me along these lines:

"I read your post on 10 Signs You Might Be Cut Out For Entrepreneurship. And for some of them, I was like, yeah, that's me. But for some of them, I was like, oh, I don't really think that's me."

I know her pretty well, and the thing is, she is so an entrepreneur. Right now, though, her view of what entrepreneurship is is maybe a bit too broad.

So that got me to thinking about entrepreneurship versus plain being a smart, creative, insightful, talented, savvy, and delightful person. And where the two might meet.

And that got me to thinking about all of the people reading out there who might be saying, "I'm a creative person and I like to do my own thing. But 'entrepreneurship' feels too big for me."

And to that I say, let's discuss...

[by the way, if my friend ever starts a blog, I'll let you know]

Entrepreneurship is a grandiose-sounding idea, but the daily practice of it can be as small and manageable as you make it. {Niche-y, if you will.}

After all, YOU are the creator--the sole creator--of your entrepreneurial life.

I have a friend who's a talented jewelry designer. And she likes the idea of trying to sell her handmade wares in a few boutiques. But she's not sure she likes the idea of scaling the business bigger, or really, of her designs taking off and her business scaling her creative production life out of control. She really wants to just make "one of a kinds and few of a kinds" {I love this phrase!} and sell them outright, one shot only, to whomever wants them with no promise that the design can or will be duplicated.

I say, why not?

One of the lovely things about entrepreneurship is that you, the biz creator, get to write your own rules and decide how you do things. How big your biz gets, or doesn't get. How and where you market yourself, and how and where you don't. Who your right people, your target or ideal customers, are. You get to decide.

It helps, of course, if you know what your right people are wanting.

If you're producing but no one is buying {like,
ever}, then maybe you are an artist or a creator, but not an entrepreneur.

So you need to find a way to get close enough to your right people to discern what they're really wanting. How do they want to be reached out to? {And how do they HATE being reached out to?} Where do they hang out online and offline? Who do they admire and consider trustworthy? What's their dream for themselves?

Don't know? Start sleuthing.

Follow them on Twitter. {Hey, are you following me on Twitter @abbykerr?} Friend them on Facebook. Read their blogs and comment on them. Visit the people who comment on their blogs. Watch the TV shows and films they talk about and take a listen to the music they like. Read the books they recommend. Spend some time in their world.

And if your niche is pretty close to your heart, there's a decent chance that their world is your world, too. So this isn't so hard.

Entrepreneurship is about creating something/providing a solution in a way that hasn't been done before. And unless you're a non-profit {three cheers for you!}, it's about making a living, too. Or at least some latte money.

So this entrepreneurship thing? Not so big as you might've been thinking.

I really want to hear what you think about this. I hope I gave you enough to chew on. Let me know where and how I can give you more. :)



WET thoughts said...

WOW. Gooooood stuff. I am INSPIRED!!! to pursue dreams, search out clients "from my world" and maybe, just maybe...start a blog. Thanks, Abby!

Abby Kerr Ink said...

Fabulous! Keep me posted. :)

Pam and Chelsea said...

I would love to sit down and just pick your brain Abby! You have so much insite and great ideas how do you keep coming up with all this. You've got me staying up after I put my 8 month old to bed, blogging and commenting on other blogs! Just the push I needed to get me moving in the onling world! Thanks!

Dyche Designs said...

Love that post, great read. You make some excellent points.

Abby Kerr Ink said...

@Chelsea - Forgive me if this is Pam, but I think it's Chelsea. :) I'm psyched to hear that you're inspired and then spreading that love through the blogosphere. Thanks for letting me know and I hope you're still managing to get enough sleep!

@Kathryn from Dyche Designs - Welcome! Glad you got something from this post. :)

Pam and Chelsea said...

Yes Abby...It's me (Chelsea) writing...I don't think my mom would have any idea how to post a comment! I fit sleep in where I can, as I'm sure you're catching up on all your missed sleep after closing the store! I know we are!

Abby Kerr Ink said...

You said it, Chelsea. I'm now 2.5 months post-shop closing, and good sleep still feels like a novelty to me. Or a rediscovered vacation spot from a pretty rad past life. Glad to hear you're gettin' some. :)

Chatelaine said...

Loved this post. I think you hit the nail on the head. Some of us just want to put a toe in the waters of entrepreneurship, anything more than that is too overwhelming. We feel we might get pulled under by the current and drowned.

I am glad I found your blog. I will be back.

Abby Kerr Ink said...

Welcome, welcome, Chatelaine! So glad this post resonated with you. A toe-in-the-water is the perfect start.

I like to think of it this way: there's no "right" way to start a business or a creative endeavor. However YOU end up starting is YOUR right way.

Keep me posted and I hope to see you over on my new site, AbbyKerrInk.com, in just a couple of weeks!