Raised with the freedom to create, I began my first Maker Business at age 8, sewing magnetic fabric pig faces which sold for $1 each, and published "Pig Magazine" (hand drawn and copied at my dad's office) which reached a wide distribution of 50 copies per week among family and friends.
I left art school with two BFA Degrees in Studio Art (Oils) and Pottery, and NEARLY NO IDEA of how to monetize my skills. Quickly, I was sucked in to the trap of "Working for Exposure", attempted Pop Up shops at art fairs, paid for online gallery subscriptions, and took low-paying public art contracts.
My pottery and design experience led to becoming an art-tile installer. I slung 1000's of lbs of tile, substrate, and mortar in over 20 home interiors to make ends meet. This can be a great fulfilling job, but BIG GUYS KNOW it takes a toll on their body, and folks... God did not give me a big guy body.
THEN IT HAPPENED : with 3 kids now under the age of 6, I improved on a product for babies that became a patent-pending invention, and had potential to change the entire health and hygiene industry in the U.S. The product grew into a company, that was scaling itself and I HAD ZERO SUPPORT! NOT FUN.
I KNEW I DID NOT HAVE THE BUSINESS - THE BUSINESS HAD ME. I had met a need by creating something , and only AFTERWARD understood that I WAS IN BUSINESS. I had the cart before the horse, and the whole mess was moving too fast.
Then I realized I had always been a MAKER-PRENEUR. I could either OWN IT and learn the process, or the process would take me over again... AND AGAIN - because there were MORE IDEAS.
(If I know you, like me, THIS ONE "THING" you're working on is only the beginning. You have SO many ideas it's hard to know where to put your energy, and what will matter most!)
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
I WENT ON TO SCALE A PHYSICAL RETAIL BUSINESS TO OVER 6 FIGURES AND MANAGE A TEAM, GREW E-COMMERCE STORES AND BRANDED PRODUCT, AND DOVE IN TO THE WORLD OF MARKETING, TRAFFIC, AND CONVERSION FUNNELS.
THEN I REALIZED: SUCCESS CAN KILL YOU WITHOUT SUPPORT! I began to parallel other's success, listen to and hire mentors, and attend group events with other Makers. THIS HAS BEEN IRREPLACEABLE.
MY LIFE IS NOW MORE SIMPLE NOT LESS, AND CONTAINS MORE TIME FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND MY SANITY.
You can learn from my mistakes, skip much of the pain, and realize your dream much faster with a simple process and mentorship.