Dear Creative Entrepreneurs,
This blog is for you. I mean that to sound like a toast. The kind of toast you give at a wedding where you finally get to stand up and say all the things you have wanted to say to someone you love, but you have 60 seconds so you pour everything into the tone and emotion of what you are saying, you use dramatic pauses and silence, and you leave the people around the room caught up in your sparse yet elegant comments, drowning mostly in the feeling of your love for the bride or groom. I’m standing here, with my glass raised to you.
Feel my love.
Not in a weird way, mind you. But in the way that I mean it: I admire you, I enjoy hanging out with you, I love seeing your creations. You challenge me and worry me, cause me to rethink who I am, what I know, what I think I know. I sometimes want to pull my hair out with you – but I keep coming back. Because I BELIEVE IN YOU. I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to make change, meaningful change, happen. I believe in human creativity and compassion, and I believe that creative entrepreneurs combine and apply the best of what humans are capable of to the problems that push us apart. The “us” being couples, families, communities, nations, races. Musicians help us connect across real borders and false boundaries. Filmmakers escort us into the lives of characters whose struggles mirror our own. Designers imagine and build tomorrow.
Creative entrepreneurs are almost always behind those moments when I feel most connected, inspired, determined to make something wonderful happen.
So, here’s to you. I hope this blog return to you inspiration, useful information, and connections to people who share your passion. I hope most of all, my musings provide you with a leg up, a greater chance of succeeding. Because as a creative entrepreneur, whether you are in fashion, food, design, film, music, tech, or education, you are fighting an uphill battle with a boulder on your back.
I get it. I see you. I appreciate you.
This blog is for you.
Here’s a bit about me. In a nutshell I am:
- Co-founder of Creative Startups,
- Fanatical about creative entrepreneurs,
- Unreformed dog rescuer & green chile addict.
A bit about why I am writing, sharing my thoughts with you.
Creative entrepreneurs build connected communities, meaning, beauty. And, dignified jobs. If you are a creative entrepreneur, you are kindling a bright future in an otherwise darkening economy. You are a change agent. You are my hero.
My fascination with entrepreneurs as agents of social and economic change began in 1994. I was living in Latin America working with indigenous people — helping grow their access to and success in the burgeoning organic cacao market. Resourcefulness, resiliency, and ingenuity were the key characteristics that determined a farmer’s success. These characteristics, it turns out, are present in creative entrepreneurs, tech entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs…
I came home after a year and took a job advocating for social justice and health access with migrant farmworkers. I discovered I could provide linkages to resources – health clinics, school enrollment offices, church leaders, and policy makers. And these linkages were powerful. Connecting change makers – creative entrepreneurs and others – to networks of resources has become my life’s work.
In 2007 I partnered up with Tom Aageson to launch the first iteration of our organization: the Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship. This year we have re-launched the organization as Creative Startups. Our work over the past 8 years has evolved along with the creative industries: what were once the domain of paper and pen have now moved fully into the digital realm. And the startups we work with our passionate about technology and reaching global markets.
I earned an MBA (2002) and a PhD (2012) at UNM so I could qualify as an “expert” on entrepreneurship. Some days I actually believe that I am. But more of the time I am just a student of the real heroes: the entrepreneurs building new ventures, taking their turn at making a difference, making a stand against punishing odds.
That’s me. Now, tell me about you and your startup! I love hearing from entrepreneurs and anyone interested in creative entrepreneurship. Send me a note…