I’m taking a different approach towards starting up my own self-sustaining business. What long-time and successful business owners were able to offer me, a musician by trade, at the Business Success Center (BSC) and Texas Entrepreneurs Networks (TEN) First Looks Forum in October was an eye opener.
I compose, perform, teach and am currently a student at the University of Texas, and am also about to graduate soon. I have a tough time balancing the aforementioned and trying to get higher paying gigs.
After having overseen some of the major goings on with the First Looks Forum (FL), I recently had a chance to sit in and take part directly as a mentee. For the past few months as the student intern for the BSC, I have helped organize FL and worked with others on the event. But I was only an overseer and didn’t really have a grasp on what was being offered or discussed. What this job is comprised of is contacting both inexperienced and new business owners to take part as mentees as well as finding highly experienced and successful business owners to mentor, all done with a budget of $0!
Prior to the meeting, I had already taken some of the first few steps in creating a business that’s geared toward supporting myself as a musician. Recently I created a website (Daniel M Gomez.com) that helps to display some of my work as well as business cards to help direct people to the site. But I felt that I wasn’t getting the right or higher paying clients that I believe I deserve.
It turned out that I was doing enough, but my efforts weren’t going unnoticed. The mentors were impressed with the work that I have done, despite being a full-time student. However, there are a few smaller items I can do to help give myself a push in the right direction.
Some of these basic items were to give myself more credit for my work. (They were all so impressed but felt that I was being too modest.) So making a bigger deal of my work and what I can offer, showing my work on my site were some of the big issues.
I also realized that although I use social media to connect to friends and family that I could use it to promote my solo work and collaborations. Also, interconnecting social media sites within my personal site can bring in more interest. Making the connections to others in the field and finding out the steps that they have taken to become successful were also something suggested, not being afraid to ask questions.
I found an exuberant amount of information from the mentors and have already begun to put in place a large portion. There is still a long ways to go, but now I don’t seem so lost.
I suggest anyone starting or looking into sole-proprietorship take a visit to First Looks Form and see what you come away with!