Jim’s List of Off the Cuff Advice for Arts Entrepreneurs:

I like to ask, “What if’s?” of myself, as it puts me into a mind frame of imagination.

Today’s “What if Moment” invites the following: What if I were to give arts entrepreneurs some small, but important pieces of advice, off the cuff, spontaneously and without editing thoughts?

Here is Jim’s List of Off the Cuff Advice for Arts Entrepreneurs:

  1. Never sacrifice quality in your artistic work and keep your skills sharp.
  2. Live heroically. You do this by serving others. Get comfortable with risk and obstacles. They are inevitable.
  3. Don’t do everything. Inspire collaborators. Lead them and delegate.
  4. You can both profit and commit a social good. This is social entrepreneurship.
  5. Fiscal Sponsorship through organizations like Fractured Atlas, enable for profits to compete for nonprofit only available grants.
  6. Entrepreneurship is a game. It’s a game that hurts and can also feel great. It can yield treasure, personal insight and newfound meaning. Play the game and commit to realizing both your needs and those of others. If you fail, try again.
  7. As an artist, find your voice. It is the greatest tool you can posses.
  8. Know the market. Understand how to function within it. Your Network is key. Develop it and nurture it.
  9. Competition is part of the market game. Don’t let this compromise your art, but work with it. Find a balance between artistic integrity and the realities of commerce.
  10. As often as possible, ask of yourself, “What if….?” What and if should be followed by something that makes you laugh. The question “What if….?” opens our minds to possibility, to potential. What if? is a key to unlock insight and vision.
  11. Don’t be afraid because of what you don’t know. Necessity has a way of aiding you.
  12. Remember that if something’s been done before, it can be done again.
  13. If something has never been done before, everything has its start.
  14. Build upon knowledge, experience and wisdom gained from both failures and successes.
  15. Don’t forget those who help you. Repay them as you can. This can be done through the sharing of your network, through recognition via gifts, something as simple as a hand-written thank you letter and/or any number of other ways. Take care of your people and they will take care of you. And if they will not, they are dead weight on your journey. Support those who support you and you will always have support.

Jim Hart is the Director of Arts Entrepreneurship Program at Southern Methodist University. Hart founded TITAN Theatre Academy, in Oslo, Norway.


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