© Lance Balchin 2015

Last year I made a big decision, a decision to leave the job teaching Music Business that I had loved for so long.

It was a big leap but I knew it was time. I love teaching musicians and those passionate about music about the mysteries of the business and how to make a place for themselves within it.

But I wanted more. I wanted to teach those skills to other creative people. To visual artists, makers, actors, dancers, filmmakers, fashion designers as well as to musicians.

So after a well earned break I set about the task of building a business. That is now ready to launch.

Here are the steps I have taken.

Immerse myself in the community. Find out where the people I wanted to target with my business hang out and go there. I have joined Facebook and Google groups, been to events and seminars, attended exhibitions, talked to people individually. I’ve joined conversations that have allowed me to understand more about my potential customers and their needs. I applied for grants and am running a series of business talks for creative people and some music business events including a conference that have enabled me to engage face to face with the people I desire to serve.

Invested in education. I’ve read books, the newspapers and online blogs. I’ve talked to people and enrolled in some courses:

  • First up I enrolled in a course with the wonderful ladies from RYPL – Leah and Naz. I did this while I was still working and it helped me focus my thoughts and learn more about myself to see if I really did want to start a business. Did I have that passion and hunger?
  • Then I did the Quiet Power Strategy program with Tara Gentile. Tara, my coach Jen, and all the amazing participants helped me really focus my ideas and build a strategy for my business. The ongoing support and assistance from the QPS community have been amazing.
  • Through my work in the QPS program, I knew I still wanted to teach. And that I wanted to build some online courses. But I was used to the structure of accredited courses, rules and corporate behaviour you had to stick to. To find out what made a good eCourse I enrolled in E-Course Launch Formula with Kathryn Hocking. This amazing course stepped me through both technical and practical considerations for my courses – and was an eCourse itself!
  • Ok so now I was ready to create a website and Facebook page for my business. Websites I can do, but Facebook ads – I had no idea where to start. After a recommendation or two from the QPS community, I found myself in the Jumpstart Your Facebook Marketing course with Amy Porterfield. I was really jumping in the deepend here, as Facebook advertising was an integral part of the marketing strategy for the Create and Connect talks. From the first module, I felt I had learned so much and am now confident that I can use Facebook advertising effectively.

Finding a mentor. One thing I really wanted to do was find a mentor, someone who I could go to for advice, who could help keep me on track, who could point out the obvious that maybe I had’t seen, who could potentially introduce me to the right people. I really lucked out here. Instead of one mentor I’ve ended up with a few, each with their own set of skills.
I also applied for a program called Adoptapreneur, run by the prestigious and well regarded QUT Creative Enterprise Australia and I was successful! I have been ‘adopted’ by a local legal firm RedChip Lawyers and get to spend 2 months at the CEA co-workin space The Coterie, meeting and connecting with other creative businesses.

Well that’s my journey so far. Along the way I have met some amazing people and had some help from some other small or micro business owners. Perhaps that’s a story for another post.
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