“Ugh,” you said the words out loud, “I quit!”
This was the single most rewarding and frightening day you had in your career. Now, move forward to the “ugh” part. It’s Covid 19, you’re a creative, and business is booming like those ghost towns you see on the Travel Channel.
As you curse to yourself like you’re in an Orbit gum commercial, “French toast,” go back to “I quit.” No, don’t focus on the words, focus on the moment you said them out loud. Freeing right? Like, “I’m going to do whatever I want.” Hold onto this as you work through the head banging against the wall pain that it is starting a business…during a pandemic…in a creative industry.
Remember, the pessimist sees the glass half empty. The optimist sees the glass half full. The year 2020? “Uh, this is pee, isn’t it?”
Hello, I’m Sean, and I’m a compulsive researcher.
The research spectrum goes from electoral behavior, through what climbing gear we need, to why Elon Musk decided 6½ hours was his optimal sleep length. Here’s the point. Read. Read all sorts of stuff. Read about things that are important to your education and work. Read about your passions and your hobbies. Read about role models, mentors or resources. Read.
Get filter fish.
You experience information overload while reading? In your best Yoda voice, “confused by the opposing advice you are.” The noise is impressive. I’m a creative personality yet a person of logic and reason. I was a political science major, an analyst, and a quality assurance supervisor. A certain amount of pride is usually taken in my ability to process large amounts of information and get organized.
I am now doing this for my business. The amount of information and business advice out there, on the internet, through consulting resources, etc. is beyond staggering. Up the MERV rating on your filter. How? Consider looking through the optimist, pessimist and 2020 lenses I mentioned above.
Optimist: this piece of information is by someone who is genuine, trustworthy, and looking out for us small business, emotional, creative people. Pessimist: here’s another sales pitch. I could pay you for your secret magical solution and solve all my problems faster than the 99% of people doing something completely different. Anyone who has built a house, painted something in oils or produced something in a darkroom knows that quick doth not beget quality. Now lastly, the 2020 lens looks something like this. That was a giant waste of time, this resource can get flushed along with the rest of the pee.
It will take time fishing for where you want to find information, but move your boat from spot to spot and try different things. You’ll find good spots, and ultimately, you get to make your own decision. That’s the beauty in creating something of your own.
Failure is not only an option, it’s inevitable.
I’ve found more useful business advice in a few quotes and speeches than anywhere else. At NAACP's 2017 Image Awards Denzel Washington said, “Fall down seven times, get up eight. Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship.”
Persistence, practice and learning can pay off. You may fall down more times than you could ever count, but if you want to do this, get up! Learn from a mistake and move on to the next thing. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing the fruits of an arduous labor. It could be winning an Image Award, but it could also be making a living designing creative imagery.
Sally Ride pointed out “I would like to be remembered as someone who was not afraid to do what she wanted to do, and as someone who took risks along the way in order to achieve her goals.” There’s a lot of risk in owning a business, but if this is what you want to do and who you are, own it. No risk, no reward.
That’s right I’m male, and I said it. When I really got into art, it was very emotionally driven. Art was an outlet and exhausting but wonderful way to express oneself. I said I wanted to make a living as an artist, but the problem was I was trying to sell my own emotions. I was too focused on the risks, and I stopped having fun when things didn’t sell. If you’re a creative, you’re familiar with rejection. I couldn’t handle it back then, so I quit as a commercial artist. It became a hobby and something I did for fun and occasionally sold.
Skip forward through this documentary.
I traded something I really enjoyed and found financial security in employment in a Fortune 50 company; I learned a lot about business and risk. I started a new journey in parenthood. I lost my job when the department was ‘sunset.’ I freaked out and took the first job that came my way. Red flags waved at me for the next 18 miserable months. But, I had learned something, I had the wrong priorities, and I didn’t want to be an employee. I wanted to take responsibility for myself and my destiny. So, “I quit.”
All new parents get peed on. This too is inevitable.
When you’re a parent and a business owner you prepare yourself to be confronted by the glass from our 2020 analogy sometimes. It’s inevitable, but with some reflection on impending mid-life, I choose to be a businessowner. It’s early and there’s a lot of pee to deal with, but I get to make things for my clients that are designed to create emotional responses. I get to be a better parent for my son. With Sally encouraging me to assume some risk and Denzel saying, “get up,” I get the chance to wake up every morning living a dream.
So, read, learn, organize, and...be a boss. NO quitting.
About the Author
Sean Logan is the co-founder and creative voice of Beagle FX. He has been thrilled to take his knowledge of quality assurance and customer experience from years at a Fortune 50 company to his own design company. Beagle FX and Sean create emotional designs recapturing experiences previously sealed in our patrons’ photos, so they may envelop themselves in inspiring surroundings. Whether they be personal or business spaces, contact Sean at beaglefx.com to find out how to turn your photos into art.