To honour the entrepreneurial spirit in us all, Shopify put together a list of great quotes from a number of accomplished business owners that will make you want to stop thinking, stop talking, and start doing.
“Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.”
-Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO
“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”
-Elon Musk, Tesla Motors & SpaceX Founder
“I try not to make any decisions that I’m not excited about.”
-Jack Nickell, Threadless founder and CEO
“Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset.”
-Sara Blakely, SPANX Founder
“Some 80% of your life is spent working. You want to have fun at home; why shouldn’t you have fun at work?”
-Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder
“Find your one thing and do that one thing better than anyone else.”
-Jason Goldberg, Fab Founder
Connecting your vision to a cause that is larger than yourself can energize your fan base with people who are interested in the same.
WhenWhale Tails Tortilla Chip company decided to use art for their environmentally conscious product and packaging they wanted to align with someone who was as passionate about the ocean as they were. Connecting the iconic marine artist,Wyland to their organic product was a match made in heaven.
When your art is aligned with a strong purpose a vibration is set in motion that will connect with others who are in tune with it. I have seen this principle happen over and over again in my thirty year art career. It is a profound testament to the potential power of your vision.
Just presented another AAB Workshop for the third year in a row at Kendall College of Art and Design. This school has one of the strongest entrepreneurial art programs in the country. Jon McDonald, and Nancy Hart are preparing and empowering their students to make decisions about their art businesses before they graduate and it shows.
Participants of past workshops have returned to share with the new students what they are doing with their entrepreneurial knowledge. It is a fascinating mix of art events, personal projects, and freelancing. Most of these students (some have graduated) are working toward their goals of artistic freedom and financial independence.
Madyson Blair for instance has not even graduated but already is selling her self published book, The Weather Inside.
It is encouraging for me to see after only three years what is possible when students are infused with the potential to create a living their way. I love it when they get it! Go Kendall!
Yes, artists can embrace the brick and mortar store as well as a digital shop. Check out Three Fish Studios who do it all in one space, with classes too. This is an option for a group of artists who want to make a splash in their local community as well as online.
Annie Galvin and Eric Rewitzer, painters and printmakers, husband and wife, create original and affordable art in their home/studio/store near San Francisco. Go here to see how they do it.
Building an ecommerce site that customers love largely comes down to two things: sweating (and testing) the small stuff, and understanding human psychology.
How do people view, browse, and use your site? While testing will be the final judgement for what works on your site, conversion studies can be a great place to begin when designing your site. Check out this awesome post on some of the fine points of making more sales from your site- here.
I feel that Sir Ken Robinson is a kindred spirit in the context of empowering human potential and creating new educational models. He is an internationally recognized leader in education, innovation, creativity and human resources. There are many informative and inspiring videos of his talks on education reform and the creative life. This is one of my favorites.
His latest book is entitled The Element. As Robinson states: “The element is the point at which natural talent meets personal passion. When people arrive at the element, they feel most themselves and most inspired and achieve at their highest levels.”
He could teach my Artist As Brand Workshops! If you have been a part of the educational system this is a must see.
The well known street artist, Bansky set up a booth in central park and sold pieces of art for $60.00 each. People did not know it was the famous artist’s work, but some bought the art anyway, and now own art investments worth thousands of dollars. Ultimately this was great promotion for Bansky (which he a master of), and it made a fun comment on the art world, but more importantly he also made $420 in one day, with a stripped down booth and an elderly man who sat out front doing absolutely nothing.
What I love most about this piece of theater is that it affirms what artists in SOHO, NYC have told me before– you can make a living selling your art on the street. The artists I spoke with made between $250-$500 a day with a booth on the street. That is pretty good money folks. Add it up. If you make an average $400 a day and sell five days a week that is $2000, or $8000 a month. Not bad.
Thank you, Bansky for reminding all artists that street art can make for a very profitable business.
Knowing your rights as an artist is important to your survival. Tattoo artists are increasingly claiming that they own the copyright to the images they create. And when those images, attached to living people, appear on the silver screen — or a computer monitor — the artists want to get paid.
Jacob Barnett is an American mathematician and child prodigy. At 8 years old, Jacob began sneaking into the back of college lectures at IUPUI. After being diagnosed with autism since the age of two and placed in his school’s special ed. program, Jacob’s teachers and doctors were astonished to learn he was able to teach calculus to college students.
At age nine, while playing with shapes, Jacob built a series of mathematical models that expanded Einstein’s field of relativity. A professor at Princeton reviewed his work and confirmed that it was groundbreaking and could someday result in a Nobel Prize. At age 10, Jacob was formally accepted to the University as a full-time college studen and went straight into a paid research position in the field of condensed matter physics. For his original work in this field, Jacob set a record, becoming the world’s youngest astrophysics researcher.
The 60 Minutes interview touches upon his life, but the TED talk is this young fellow’s message about moving beyond the accepted educational norm. Start thinking about what is important to you. Bravo.
I have talked about the benefits of licensing your art for a while now. If you have a style that can translate into products beyond what you produce for yourself then other companies can essentially rent your images.
Here is one take on licensing by Ashley Goldberg.She is an eclectic artist whose pattern designs have found a market .