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Why Being Great Is NOT Enough for Today's Creatives

entrepreneurship Dec 30, 2020

Being good at your creative craft isn’t enough to build a career.

Being great at your creative craft isn’t even enough to build a career.

You devote yourself to cultivating your craft and developing your gift, while your friends and family cheer you on… or perhaps, against their wishes, because your passion gives you no other choice…

And after YEARS of hard work, the message everyone sends your way is, 

“Wow, you’re really talented. Good enough to really go somewhere with it, if you get lucky!”

And yet, for 99% of the artists who are “good enough” at their craft, in the eyes of the layperson, to make a career of it…

The “powers that be” couldn’t care less about your talent, your discipline, your focus, or your passion.

This is the uncomfortable reality of the digital era which we find ourselves in…

It was harder for creatives to become GREAT

As a species, we’ve been building...

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The 4 M's of Successful Entrepreneurs

What does it take for a creative entrepreneur to succeed?

What separates the artists and musicians who never get their ideas off the ground from the self-made icons who create global brands, perennial best-sellers, and have a lasting impact on their market - and society as a whole?

This is a question that the team here at Parsons Entrepreneur Academy have studied obsessively…

And the insight that has emerged… is that there are some key “factors” that nearly ALL successful entrepreneurs have in common.

Let’s call them… 

The 4 M’s of Entrepreneurial Success:

1 - Mindset

2 - Mentorship

3 - Methodology

4 - The Mastermind Effect

Now, to be clear, these 4 factors are the things that allow a talented, creative genius like yourself to make it in BUSINESS.

You wouldn’t be here, reading this, if you didn’t already have something incredible to add to the world… You’re already a talented and innovative artist,...

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How ShopShops CEO Liyia Wu Raised 20 Million for Her Startup

To say Liyia Wu is a Jane of all trades would be an understatement. 

Parsons Entrepreneur Academy had the chance to chat with Liyia Wu, the CEO, and co-founder of ShopShops — an innovative shopping platform that connects brick-and-mortar stores with consumers across the globe.  

From Parsons to Entrepreneur: How Liyia Wu Went From Graduate to CEO

Shortly after graduating from Saunder’s Business School of the University of British Columbia with a double major in finance and accounting, Wu decided to delve into the media industry in Beijing. It didn’t take long, however, for Wu’s true passion to find and persuade her into moving to the fashion capital of the decade — New York City. 

“I've always loved fashion,” says Wu. “When I graduated from the program [Associate of Arts and Sciences (AAS) Fashion Merchandising at Parsons], I worked in New York for about three years and then went back to China. I opened a...

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Make a Startup Budget in Seven Steps | For Artists, Designers, Musicians

finance startup tips Dec 08, 2020

You’re starting a new creative business and you’ve got all the feels. You’re excited about the possibility that your art, music, designs, or creative work might impact more people. You’re eager to jump in and start making money from your art. And you’re worried about how much it’s going to cost and if you have enough money to cover your startup expenses. 

If this sounds like you, you need a  startup budget. A startup budget helps you plan your startup expenses, prioritize what’s most important, and keeps your spending on track. So you can spend less time worrying about money and more time being creative. 

Startup budget vs operational budget

Not all budgets are created equally, which is why it’s essential to understand the difference between an operational budget and a startup budget. 

An operational budget is a plan for how you’ll allocate the money you earn from your creative work. It’s based...

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Why Every Creative Entrepreneur Needs a Business Mentor

DOUBT is a natural feature of the human mind, coded into our psyche since the dawn of time to help us survive as a species. But it’s also the #1 stumbling block for an entrepreneur and/or artist who wants to build a business and career around their art.

That urge to double, triple, and quadruple check our safety in any given moment was INVALUABLE back in the paleolithic period - so we could avoid stepping on a venomous snake that looked like a root, or poisoning ourselves by eating the wrong kind of berry... 

...but that instinct hasn’t evolved to match our current conditions, and the types of stressors we deal with in the modern world. 

Playing the "mental game" as a creative entrepreneur

As creative entrepreneurs, when left to our own devices, we can become our own worst enemy when it comes to making smart business decisions… and sticking to those decisions.

See, it’s not hard to come up with a business plan on your own.

With the...

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5 Tips for Designers Launching Mission-Driven Businesses

FFORA Founder Lucy Jones on how to build purpose into your mission-driven business, find mentors, work with investors, and protect your work.

Lucy Jones didn’t set out to have a career in fashion. “When I was younger, I thought it was just a hobby,” she says. After a textiles class opened her eyes to the possibilities, Jones enrolled in the Parsons BFA Fashion Design program and established her path. Her thesis project, Seated Design, which focused on clothing for the seated body, specifically people who use wheelchairs, won her the 2015 Womenswear Designer of the Year award and landed her on the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

Since then, Jones has solidified her passion for creating clothing and accessories for people who have disabilities. In 2019, after an educational fellowship with Eileen Fisher and a stint at the XRC Labs accelerator program to focus her idea, she took a leap of faith to launch FFORA (a play on the phrase “fashion for all”), a line...

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Marketing for Artists: How to Boost Social Media Traffic to Your Website

marketing social media Nov 24, 2020

Your brand is thriving on Instagram.  Your latest TikTok video was a hit.  Your snaps keep everything fresh.

But how do you get some of that love to equal social media traffic to the site where you actually sell your creative work and tell your story?  

Your website is the centerpiece of your digital ecosystem -- the more traffic you drive to it, the more impact it can have achieving the goals of your business, whether that’s to sell your music, offer your photography services, or promote your upcoming book. Your site is your owned domain — you’re not renting it, you’ve built it on your property, and you control all the rules. 

In contrast, building your brand on Facebook is renting that space on Facebook. You don’t have control over design updates, algorithm changes, or what happens at Zuckerberg’s next Congressional hearing. If Facebook's operations are disrupted, you could lose all access to the audience you've built on...

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Introducing the Parsons Entrepreneur Academy: Build A Business Around Your Art

As an artist, making the work is the part that comes naturally, whether that’s illustration, design, music, art, film, performance, writing, photography, or crafts. It’s the part that comes after — the budgeting, strategy, marketing, legal hurdles, and production — that can create roadblocks. 

Today, The New School is thrilled to announce the launch of the Parsons Entrepreneur Academy, a digital platform created to empower creatives to build businesses around their art. Through community networking, one-to-one mentorship, and self-guided courses, this program will help you develop the skills you need to turn your creative passion into a successful, sustainable business.

The program emerged from a growing need in the creative industries: access to basic, real-world training that makers and artists can apply to scaling their ideas. The Parsons Entrepreneur Academy’s business resources are made for creatives by other creatives, and speak to...

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