Week 7: Miki Agrawal’s Talk, Feb. 29

I never considered having my own business or being an entrepreneur. I always considered it a massive undertaking with little reward. Only if you were lucky did you succeed. My goal has always been to work in the arts: a performing arts center, gallery, museum, visitor center – even a library. To work for something, I suppose.

I hate business, really. The idea of it makes me cringe, whether managing my own business or someone else’s.

This being said, Miki’s talk on Monday night was very motivating. She made me wish I did have plans to start a business. Not because I suddenly liked the idea of creating a budget, managing taxes, fundraising, or making a profit, but because it would be something all of my own. I know for certain that I will put my everything into my job (which may not be good in the long run, but I’ll do it because I always do – balance is difficult for me), so why not invest in something where I call all the shots? I will have to think more about it.

A couple things Miki said stood out to me:
1. Make sure your business partner has skills opposite of those you have. Two people with the same skill sets will probably just argue over one dimension of the process, and only that one dimension will be properly taken care of…
2. Lead with “How can I help you” rather than “How can you help me.” Easy to say, hard to do – lots of patience needed!
3. Be genuine – be yourself. Don’t worry about talking the right jargon as much as relating and connecting with people as people, and not as pawns in some dreadful “professional” game of pretense and fakery. I completely, completely, completely agree with this, so this was honey to my ears! I have seen this sort of relational connecting at Fig, where I intern, and it is so refreshing.

Good stuff. Whether I start my own business or not, much of Miki’s advice was beneficial.

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