In the Hot Seat

I have only come to consider myself to be an entrepreneur in recent years. I've technically been running my own photography business since 2010, but in my mind, it has always been more "photography," less "business." But lately, as I've started expanding my work to different genres, as well as taking on new projects, I've realized that I'm going to have to take more ownership of the whole business thing, in order to steer my life in the direction I want to go.

One such project that I've been working on is more of an idea than anything else: buying land and creating a multi-use learning space for people of all ages. I decided to present at Session 2 of the creativEcosphere program, on the topic of Value Propositions. I would be in what we call "the hot seat," sharing my ideas and answering questions from the group. Because my venture is at such a beginning stage, I wasn't really sure what I was going to say. I've tried to think through the value of my project many times, but because it's a very lofty and idealistic dream, the values could be many, and I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to be specific enough.

As it turned out, even though I didn't have much to start from, the feedback process was extremely valuable. The benefit of being at the beginning of a project is that it can still move in any direction, and I found the others in the group to be very open with their thoughts and ideas for actions I could take to move forward. I have always been the most comfortable in smaller groups, and because we had all spent time together before, it seemed like everyone felt safe asking questions and presenting me with possibilities that I hadn't yet thought of. I ended the session with a white board filled with a slew of advice, connections, and new ideas that hadn't even crossed my mind.