A recent meeting with a more experienced, now-retired businesswoman gave me some new perspective and a fresh idea for this blog. Briefly, here’s my story: about a year and a half ago I moved to Pittsburgh from New York City and started my own design and illustration business. Not only did I make the choice to start my own business, but I did it in a new city where I knew almost no one. Not only did I decide to start my own business in a city where I knew no one, but I started that business in art and design when for the past decade I’d been earning my salary teaching basic literacy at the New York Public Library. Career change, city change, entrepreneurship. Needless to say, the learning curve has been steep.
In this blog I’d like to share some of what I’m learning on this entrepreneurship journey for anyone else who may be taking a similar leap. There are so many questions. The big ones: What am I doing? Is owning my own business even the right choice? How do I find clients? And all the other questions, also important: How do I make a studio calendar? Create a contract? Control Scope Creep? LLC versus Sole Proprietor versus DBA (Doing Business As)? Quarterly taxes, what? Where are some productive places to meet like-minded people in Pittsburgh? How should I organize my time? And the list goes on.
The Green Comma (Polygonia faunus), for which my business is named, is a North-American butterfly. The butterfly is the end result, the gift of making art for a living. But the butterfly grows from the hard work of entrepreneurship, the green caterpillar munching away on practical questions, journeying up stems, building a solid business with legs and, well yes okay, wings. Some of what I write will pertain directly to starting a business in Pittsburgh, other parts will apply more generally to entrepreneurship and art.
I’ll tag posts in this series with the Green Entrepreneur category. Green here means fresh and new and learning quickly. I’ll still also post occasional updates on what I’m doing or work I find inspiring. I hope you’ll join me and also–please leave a comment and say hello or suggest ideas! I know there are a lot of us out here on the Internet.