Over the last year I started writing regularly on Quora, answering questions on topics that I find interesting and felt that I had something to share. So naturally I write a lot about small business advice and what it means to be an entrepreneur.
Of course, I don’t consider myself to be an Elon Musk or Steve Jobs. But while I used to wonder who I was to offer such advice, now I realize that I draw from a unique set of experiences.
Who else has helped owners to buy / sell small businesses?
Co-founded a non-profit for tango dancers?
Served for 10 years in navy squadrons and IT planning commands?
Started successful and failed businesses in real estate investment, loan signings, field inspections..
Worked in the film and television industries..
Taught workshops both online and in-person..
Spoken in conferences and published two books so far..
Often we’re too quick to dismiss what we do know and what we are capable of doing — the impostor syndrome. We learned this from a system that tells us we need to get their approval — to earn their accredited credentials.
For years that meant that to be an author you needed a publisher to accept your manuscript — to be a “real” artist you needed a gallery to showcase your work — to be a filmmaker you needed the funding of a studio.
Now slowly that’s been changing. There’s definitely been a movement underway for some time. Folks like James Altucher have told us to Choose Yourself. Stop waiting for the approval of the gatekeepers.
I’m reminded of the story of the elephant who was tied to a stake since birth. Even after she grew to be so much bigger and stronger than a small piece of metal in the ground could hold back, the elephant still didn’t realize her power.
How many Indie Creatives are out there still waiting to step forward? What songs go unwritten? Which films are still unmade?
Too often this idea is distorted into the popular slogan of “follow your passion.” Instead I suggest that budding entrepreneurs try curiosity — it’s what I consider to be the most essential skill in business.
Curiosity is the willingness to explore.. to ask questions..
Curiosity is the courage to take a chance.. to try something..
Curiosity is the openness to listening and not assuming you already know the answers.
Curiosity is the stretch beyond where we were yesterday — to become what we’re capable of tomorrow.
Curiosity is being alive.. it’s what being human is all about.
While I can’t say that all my dark days are over, I realize now that without even realizing it curiosity is one of the main things that kept me going and helped to get me out.
By asking questions like “is this all there is?” and “what else am I meant to do?” I found that like my own television series I wanted to see what happened in the next episode.
So, as an artist entrepreneur that’s the simpler answer to most of what you want to do with your audience — keep asking “what’s next?” The work is to come up with all ways that you can inspire that question with your craft as an indie creative.
This is Day 15 of #My500Words challenge.
For more on indie creativity and entrepreneurship visit Butterfly Formula. To join other Indie Creatives who won’t let you fail join us on Blab, or to follow my food travel adventures or digital nomad journey visit Tango Vagabond.
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