While I sat behind the register at my hotel gift shop job to earn money during college, I secretly went through the pages of different publications that discussed economics, job market, politics and the career advancement of women. Thinking far ahead, I saw myself as an entrepreneur later on in my life featured in between the pages -- I thought I would need more money, resources and clout on my side in order to own a business.
When I graduated from college, I was oblivious to the intensity of the rat race that existed in the entertainment industry. Disappointment crept in because it was very apparent that I would need more than "hard work" to get to the next level -- I needed a sound strategy. I aggressively networked and sought out mentors, hoping they would expose me to business endeavors that served as great homework.
I worked extensively without pay at different startups for several years. I worked with online publications, talent managers, television producers and non-profit organizations that all had established relationships with the entertainment industry. Witnessing and helping others execute their visions was something I did with great vigor for a while -- that stamina helped me realize that a lot can be done with a limited budget or assets. I often received compliments from colleagues and superiors that observed my leadership qualities. But I still did not execute anything of my own to prove my true capabilities as a leader.
An opportunity to start a business partnership presented itself, which made me feel more comfortable in establishing a company. Having power in numbers was a great way to accumulate resources. Some of the most valuable tools used included pro bono legal services, business centers, libraries and websites that offered a plethora of information about launching on a shoestring budget. I was shocked to learn about the vast number of grants available to women and minority entrepreneurs. My mentors from past opportunities offered insight on what strengths they felt I could contribute to this venture. There was definitely a learning curve on my end but I managed to pull a lot off quite a bit for the team. In addition to my individual reflections, the experience was invaluable in teaching me about teamwork, leadership and how to build a sustainable, profitable brand.
Surprisingly, my day job as a Casting Producer was a major motivator in finally pushing me to establish a company. I was offered a part-time casting assignment and saw it as a prime opportunity to create One Scribe Media. Those brief part-time jobs cultivated a list of clients that dramatically influenced my company's credibility. Having those relationships in combination with the background information over the years finally helped me to develop the courage to start a business -- and way before I initially thought it would happen. The additional income was a welcomed plus too!
Making my company a priority was challenging decision that was more than worth it. I know my ideas are good enough -- the amount of support I receive made me realize that it was not about age or resources that prevented me from taking a leap of faith. It was my lack of confidence and preparedness. As I continue to develop more self-awareness and maturity, my list of professional beliefs will grow exponentially. In the interim, here are some things I can share:
- Brevity beats impeccable presentation. Just get your work out there and make content king if you have very little money.
And Most Important of All
- Be persistent and patient. Everyone's journey is different so don't focus on what everyone is doing, worry about how you can accomplish your goals. Ambition is channeled through "tunnel vision" for a reason!
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