Most serial entrepreneurs and creative have experienced being “half pregnant” or not all the way in multi times. I’ve been half pregnant with Creative Queso because in my mind it was too far off brand from my day job of being a creative content designer for places like HGTV, DIY Network and my own site jenniferperkins.com but Gary (we’re on a first name basis) just reaffirmed that I can be whatever and as many things as I want to be – including a podcast host, writer and dot connector on the topic of business and creativity.
After all the foundation was already there. Once upon a time I was a jewelry designer with a book, blog and brand called Naughty Secretary Club. I did all of my own press which included features in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Inc, CNN Money and Fortune Small Business. It takes a lot more than knowing how to plug in a glue gun and string a bead to make a living at being creative.
PR and spin can be just as creative as painting a picture
This intersection of people that find business, pr and spin just as creative as painting a picture has always fascinated me. I always said there were lot’s of people who made better jewelry than me, they just didn’t know how to promote it like I did and that my friend is the key. To paraphrase a Jay Conrad Levinson quote: “It is 40% what you make and do and 60% how you spin it”.
Long before listening to Gary Vee and realizing I was half pregnant as he says with a bowl of creative queso I had been succeeding at being multi-passionate for years without acknowledging that was what was happening. I always thought I looked like a Jill of all Trades and a Master of None. I’d heard speakers like Baily Hancock and others talk about being multi-passionate but sometimes it can take a while for everything to click. After some soul searching and podcasting listening I’m realizing it can all be connected and that it is fine to be a DIY dilettante if you can make your multiple passions work.
Succeeding at being multi-passionate
Gary spoke about flipping garage sale purchases and I thought that is like me and my The Huntress Gatherer Etsy Store. I love vintage, why shouldn’t it be added to the list of side hustles. I’m OG of the maximalist home decor trend so it makes sense that I’d write for Houzz. I’ve been painting for years, why shouldn’t I start a Jennifer Perkins Art Store and bring my first love of jewelry making back. Most importantly, I’ve taught business classes on and off for years, hosted small business meet-ups and wheeled and dealed with giant companies like Michaels and Etsy – why shouldn’t I start Creative Queso.
Sometimes you hear, read or see the right thing at the right time and apparently this 14 minute podcast was it. The guest was feeling boxed in by real estate and wanted to spread his creative entrapuneral wings but was afraid. Gary reaffirmed that it’s ok for us to pivot in our careers. I honestly think in an industry like ‘arts and crafts’ it’s not just fun to be multidimensional it’s imperative to pivot and expand if you want to make a living. I’ll be talking all about this point at the Craftcation Spring 2019 conference.
You can go as far off brand as you want if you already have the right following in place
You can go as far off brand as you want if you already have the right following in place. Think of your local version of Bob FM. Here we have a radio station that one minute plays The B52’s and the next Bruno Mars and then ACDC after that. Every major market has a version. People like a mix of things and if they already like the content you are serving up to them then they are more than likely going to like your spin on something else. Creative ADD is ok – it adds to your layers and makes you more interesting.
Build that content and your followers will come. Don’t be afraid to slowly introduce your audience to your side hustle, pivot or secret passion. Give them a Bob FM, show them all the layers. As Gary said you think they just want one flavor that you have been offering – Vanilla but there is a chance they also like chocolate. I know I do and sometimes I want sprinkles and sometimes in a cone and other times in a cup.
Don’t be afraid to expand your creative business horizons
My father (who taught me the word entrepreneur in grade school) often quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson saying: “Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”. Not all endeavors are foolish consistencies, but the rest of this quote talks even more to not being afraid to expand your creative business horizons.
- “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — ‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’ — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”
To be great is to be misunderstood (and multi-passionate)
“To be great is to be misunderstood”. In the podcast episode Gary Vee says friends will call and ask him if he’s crazy when they see him flipping garage sale Barbies and he just laughs. We all know he is great and therefor just misunderstood. Be great, be misunderstood, sell Barbies (or soap, or art, or jewelry). Start a new side hustle even if it is totally off base from what you are known for. Be misunderstood, be multi-passionate, be a DIY dilettante – the most important thing is just to DO IT.
What have you been cooking up in the back of your mind? What side hustle have you been dreaming about starting? What is holding you back?