I've always consoled, rather, excused myself from learning anything about business and finance with the
notion that "I'm an artist" and engaging in business would corrupt my art. (Drama queen over here... I know)
I always sit and daydream about making films, running a production company and all that jazz. I'm usually confronted very soon after, however, by the thought of having to get corporate support for any of these projects.
"A painful fact of life and business is that you NEED corporate support. Without it you cannot function for long or go very far"
Wise but very brash and painful words from Mr. Robert Davis, delivered in our little entrepreneurship finance class presentation recently. At first, I was quite weary of having to sit in a 3hr presentation of what I thought would be some finance person filling our heads with false hope about where we can get money to finance our projects. I thought this guy had the hard task of speaking his message louder than the ear-filling chatter about there not being any money or opportunities for us and blah blah blah. I tuned in anyhow.
The looming question that was at the forefront of everyone's minds was WHERE IS,WHO HAS, AND HOW DO WE GET THE MONEY?
All was not lost though. Got some good knowledge going forward.
1. The first lesson in wrestling (read: business) is learning how to fall. Falling is inevitable, so before we learn how to 'play the game' - learn how to fall.
I must admit that the very idea of failing and facing disappointments cripples me. As a result of this, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I would prefer to tuck myself away in a nice comfortable corner in life rather than take a risks and being disappointed. Bit by bit, though, I am training myself to think and act otherwise for the sake of living my "best life" (word to Oprah). Davis encouraged us to expect failures and rejections and strengthen ourselves emotionally to continue pushing on.
2. You will never achieve higher than you believe.
You must first believe in your own project for potential sponsors to believe in you or it.
3. Act to minimize pain and maximize pleasure.
One of the very basic needs in a human's life is 'pleasure'.This can be applied to every facet of life, including business. In making any deal, doing any venture, convincing anyone to sponsor your project or buy your product or service - make sure to dish candy for the eyes, ears and mind dammit! Make sure you pitch your ideas or projects to the right people though.
4. You have ONE CHANCE to impressFirst impressions last, we've all come to realize... and they don't take but more than a minute to be made! This is true in life and in business. This reality, I must admit, is nerve-racking for a metaphorical nail-biter like myself [read: occasional performance anxiety like a bitch!]. Anyway, if you, like myself, can manage to hold it together for 5 mins. you can show that you really believe in your project, and that it works for THEM.
Robert mentioned that we should try to start from the top down when dealing with these corporate entities, because trying to get past these haughty, supercilious 'gatekeepers' could prove to be an impossible task.
So.... find someone at the top, get a business 'Godfather', make them an offer they "cannot refuse" and GET THAT CHEESE!!!!