Matthew McCormack and Creative Entrepreneurship

Julie Wilson Stofan – Photography Julie

When I first interviewed Mrs. Stofan she didn’t think she was an entrepreneur. She thought that she was a girl with a camera. She started this because she took good photos and all of her friends pressured her into doing it. When I said she was going to be published, she stated, “I really don’t think I’m a good candidate for this interview. I had no business plan. I’m honestly not even profitable. I started this because people kept telling me I should. I put all my money back into purchasing equipment and lenses. I would hate for that to be published lol”. When Mrs. Stofan told me this, I thought, yes! You are an entrepreneur, do not tell yourself anything else. This seemed like the classic case of denial of being an entrepreneur. When I got her realizing that this, is exactly what she is, she answered the questions, nervously.

  1. “No, I did not have a business plan.”
  2. “I think a business plan would have been a good idea and necessary if there is a need to borrow money for startup costs. Most lenders would require a business plan. However, I do not believe a business plan is always necessary for an entrepreneurship. Especially if the business has little or no risk for monetary loss.
  3. “Three pieces of advice I would have to offer would be: 1- make sure you are doing something you love. That way it will never seem like work 2- find a mentor that you can go to with questions or for advice 3- study those that have had success in your line of work.”

Michael Dannon- Film

Michael is a young aspiring film director/producer. He is currently in the Comedy Film Festival and the Telluride Film Festival and is working on a various array of short films.

  1. Yes, Not exactly the soundest one, but it still provides us with structure to work form today. My mother is in the industry and she has been guiding my steps and making sure I do things right.
  2. If you’re trying to create something to sell, you are an artist and an entrepreneur. Part of being a good entrepreneur is having a business plan so you’re know what you’re going to sell and who you’re going to sell it to. Creating a business plan is key to organizing a lot of the chaos that goes in creating art.
  3. If you want to be an artist, you must first be comfortable with yourself. Once you’re comfortable with yourself, people will sense it in what you ever you are doing. If you want to aspire to be a great artist, choose an art form that makes you comfortable. Then Practice. Practice will come easy if you passionate and comfortable with an art. Once you’ve become comfortable with art. ”you create and you have confidence in it, others will find it original and interesting because you do. That’s when the business part begins, you have to find people who you feel like you and will be able to feel that same comfort and passion that you do when you are creating the piece.

Phil – Journalist

Phil is a sports journalist major at SMU. Phil freelances his work to online artists and other content websites.

  1. “I do not have a business plan for starting my business, but I have not officially started my business. Sure, freelancing pays the bills and all my expenses for school. It just kind of happened and I am slowly making my way there.”
  1. “I do think that in most instances business plans are necessary for entrepreneurship. I say this from a logical standpoint. It only makes sense, I could be wrong though. I know really nothing of the sort.”

Three pieces of advice:

  1. “Consistently come out with content to keep your following engaged and knowing that you’re working hard to fill their needs.”
  2. “Be active of social media. It will help people discover your work.”
  3. “Be responsive to advice. “

Analysis:

What I took away from the interviews that were conducted was that most entrepreneurs kind of just followed their interest and they all of a sudden were dropped with a business. Like Mrs. Stofan for example, she did this as a hobby, and all her friends started to hire her to shoot photos of their kids for graduation and other events that are similar. She bought all the equipment and started a business, it may not be profitable, but she still has a paying customer. It’s a business none the less. I look back at some of the businesses I started and it wasn’t like I planned the business out and did all the research. I was in the right spot at the right time. It turned from an interest that I could make money from into a business that I could make money with ten minutes of work.

Everyone said that having a business plan would have helped, but it was not necessary. (Michael said it was necessary because he creates art and nothing is ever set in stone in the art industry). I agree with this, but I also disagree with this. I think if you are not in the right place at right time, you need a business plan. Like Mrs. Stofan, she happened to live in a country club that was in need of a hobby that she was pursuing. She didn’t need a business plan to get started. However, if not, you need a business plan. This is because you need to know every square inch of your potential business, how you are going to target your beach head, how you’re going to produce and everything else involved. Most entrepreneurs didn’t start with a business because they had a passion for something and they found an opening where they could make money and went for it. I have a buddy who owns a salsa company. He has always loved to cook. One day he woke up and said, “You know what, Texas has really shitty salsa”, made his homemade salsa that day, and everyone bought it. Never looked back yet. With a business plan, you will be more prepared for the bad stuff that happens in life. If you understand what your business is, then you are prepared for the obstacles that life is going to throw at you.

The most successful business owners that I know never made a single business plan. They always tell me three things, “Grades don’t matter, do what you love, and business majors will work for you, its capitalism, not work –your-ass-off-ism for a nice job.” My father says that there are two types of people in life; winners and losers. Losers conform. I agree that you need to do something you love and have a passion for but one needs to be efficient with one’s time and work. Time is the most valuable commodity humans have, so spend your time wisely with the ones you love and the ones that you know are going make it with you. Working hard will get you places, sure, but efficiently working hard will get you the other top. That is the advice I follow I life.

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