There is no question that Start Something: Why Every Creative Needs to Be an Entrepreneur at The New School (my alma mater!), was one of our best events yet. We are so grateful to The New School for hosting us and we plan on doing another event with them in the Spring.
Here’s a recap in case you missed it:
Nicole Wolfrath, Associate Director of the Office of Career Development at The New School, kicked off the evening by welcoming the 150+ crowd of students, recent grads, and professionals pursuing everything from writing to product development. Next, Sarah Rapp, Community Manager for our sponsor Behance, got a chance to speak to the crowd about Behance’s mission and latest initiatives. (Many thanks to Behance for graciously donating notebooks and free trials to The Action Method to our attendees).
Then it was time for the panel to get started! NY Creative Interns President and Co-Founder, Emily Miethner, was the host and moderator of the evening, leading the discussion and asking probing and insightful questions.
- Lauren Leto, Co-Founder of Texts from Last Night Twitter @LaurenLeto
- Leigh Ann Tucker, Co-Founder of The Way We See the World Twitter @TWWSTW
- Laurel Touby, Founder of Mediabistro Twitter @LaurelTouby
- Audacia Ray, Founder of The Red Umbrella Project Twitter @AudaciaRay
There was a great energy in the room, which seemed to prompt our panelists to feel free to share their advice – and speak openly and honestly about the joys and struggles of being a creative entrepreneur.
Some key takeaways from night:
- Find a mentor. Connect with people you admire, ask them to have coffee with you and get their advice. It can be that simple. Leigh Ann Tucker drove home the importance of asking your mentor what you want to know and not expecting them to read your mind.
- Try new things and fail quickly. One of Lauren Leto’s more memorable quotes of the night: “Kill your darlings.” An idea might mean a lot to you, but if it isn’t working, let it go.
- Fake it until you make it. You don’t have to be established to start a business or a project. Start working and learn as you go.
- Follow your passion and the money will follow. Laurel Touby says this an idealistic way of thinking, but it’s true. She started Mediabistro as a way to meet guys and turned it into a multi-million dollar business.
- Stay organized on the business side so you can focus on creativity. Audacia Ray says hiring someone to do administrative work for her part-time was one of the best decisions she ever made. It freed her up to do the things she really wanted to do.
Is there a tip or moment we missed? Comment with your favorite tip from the night or ideas for another panel.
Marny Smith is the Community Manager for NY Creative Interns and a graduate of Eugene Lang at The New School. You can find her on Tumblr, Twitter and LinkedIn.
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