Author - Aaron

Building Your Dream Team: A Guide for Young Entrepreneurs

Surrounding yourself with a stellar team can make all the difference in turning your dreams into reality. Here's how to cultivate an A-list squad to propel your career forward. Firstly, network like your future depends on it – because it does. Attend industry events, join online communities, and connect with like-minded individuals. Seek mentors who have been down the road you're traveling and can offer valuable guidance.  Some people think of building a “board of directors” for themselves…these can be a combination of close friends whom they trust, seasoned professionals who act as mentors, and even celebrities they don’t know personally, but who model the kind of values and aspirations they desire. In your pursuit of greatness, focus on assembling a diverse team. Different backgrounds and skill sets bring various perspectives, fostering creativity and innovation. Don't just look for people who agree with you; seek those who challenge your ideas and push you to think differently. Oftentimes, entrepreneurial endeavors require many skills, including ones outside your set. Rather than learning everything, look for someone who compliments your talents. If you’re a designer wanting to set up a marketing company, look for a killer writer. If you’re a keyboardist, look for a vocalist. Maybe you’re amazing at product development, but need a sales person to tell your story and bring in business. Pairing up with a partner can be formalized by creating a business together, or you can bring them on for specific projects on a contract basis.  Use social media platforms to your advantage. Engage with professionals in your industry, share your journey, and participate in discussions. You'll be surprised how many potential collaborators or mentors you can find in the digital space. Just remember that, while valuable, the digital space isn’t the be-all, end-all. Real life connections are important too. Never underestimate the power of internships or apprenticeships. No matter how old you are, you can benefit from this kind of arrangement with a more seasoned professional in an area you want to learn more about, especially if you don’t have the money for formal training. And, consider giving a younger person a step up through an internship you design. Bringing in young talent allows you to mold individuals who align with your vision while infusing fresh perspectives into your team. Building an A-list team isn't just about finding skilled individuals but finding those who share your passion and dedication. Your team should be more than just colleagues; they should be your partners in turning your dreams into a tangible, thriving reality.

How to Be Consistent When Life is Unpredictable

Embarking on the entrepreneurial roller coaster demands more than just a brilliant idea; you need a commitment to consistency. In a world where uncertainties are as common as coffee breaks, being unwaveringly consistent can be your most potent weapon.  Picture it as the relentless drip of water shaping a rock over time—small, consistent efforts accumulate into substantial results. Whether you're refining your product, building your brand, or expanding your network, the key is to show up, day in and day out. It's the daily grind, the dedication to improvement, and the ability to learn from both successes and failures that lay the foundation for lasting triumph. One of the biggest perks of working for yourself is not having to put in a typical 9-5, but there’s also danger in lacking structure and accountability in your life. Create systems and processes to give your work rhythm. Find accountability partners who will ask you about your goals and hold you to them. Build structure and reminders: Make sales calls on Tuesdays, pay your invoices on Thursdays, co-work with your work fam every Friday afternoon… that sort of thing.  Consistency isn't just about doing the same thing repeatedly; it's about learning, adapting, and persisting in the face of adversity. As an entrepreneur, you will often face challenges, setbacks, and moments that test your mettle. Oftentimes, when we make a mistake, we retreat into a place of shame and fear. That’s not productive. Create mantras around self-acceptance and permission to make mistakes: “If I’m not making mistakes, I’m not learning.” “Shame won’t get me to my goals.” “I have a lot of proven skills that go with me everywhere.” Don’t let your stumbles make you fall into a pit of despair. Communicate with the people you disappoint, fix the problem, and recommit yourself to your mission. Confidence is something we all struggle with. Being confident in your own skin– even if that looks a little different than what all your other friends are doing – is a real challenge. It’s easy to be a follower. It’s much more difficult to create your own lane. The answer, truly, is to “Fake it til you make it.” It's about making a habit of excellence and reliability in your endeavors. Guard and protect your confidence. Nurture it. Surround yourself with positivity and people who believe in you. Build an interior monologue that supports your mission and goals. If you believe in yourself, and if you believe you deserve success, you will have a better shot at fulfilling your dreams. We call this “manifesting.” This consistent effort, when applied strategically, forms a trajectory toward success. If someone or something else is getting in your way, kick your problem-solving skills into high gear: ask around in your network for advice. Google the question and see what pops up. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it’s one of the best ways of getting around the inevitable obstacles in your path.  If the problem is extra challenging… maybe the universe is closing doors and you haven’t found the key…that’s when you reach out for help from family, friends, mentors, and trustworthy others in your community. We here at YourPassion1st can help plug you into community resources with extra support for mental health services, violence prevention, hunger, and more. There’s no shame in asking for help when you need it. We’ve all been there.  Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. Those who navigate the winding path with determination and consistency over the long haul are the ones who get the prize. So, fellow entrepreneurs, embrace the power of consistency—it's the factor that transforms lofty aspirations into tangible achievements. The journey might be challenging, but the payoff is worth the hustle. Keep pushing forward!

Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid as a Young Arts & Music Professional

Embarking on a music or performing arts career is an exhilarating journey, filled with the promise of creativity and self-expression. And if you hit it big – potentially huge financial rewards. On the other hand, there are some serious traps you gotta dodge if you want to make it in this competitive scene.  Here are the top three mistakes to steer clear of:

1. Sleeping on the Business Side:

Look, I get it: when those creative juices get flowing, it's easy to get lost in the moment…or hour…or days!  But you can’t forget about the business hustle. There’s marketing, branding, and financial planning. Understanding contracts, managing royalties, building a personal brand… the list goes on. Those tasks are just as crucial as perfecting your craft. Investing time in learning about the business side early on will empower you to make smart moves and boss up your career.

2. Missing out on Networking

It’s not just about talent, fam! Networking will help you crack into the music and performing arts scene. Hit up industry events, connect with other artists, and seek out mentorship opportunities. Building relationships with peers, mentors, and industry professionals can open doors you never knew existed. . It’s how you score collaborations, gigs, and other career-boosting opportunities.

3. Ignoring Mental and Physical Well-being:

This game can mess with your head and body, for real. . Many young arts professionals make the mistake of prioritizing their art over their health. But your powerful brain, your beautiful voice, the life force of your creativity….they are all housed in the temple of your body. You gotta find that balance … regular workouts, good eats, and mental health TLC are non-negotiable. Ignoring self-care can lead to burnout, impacting your performance and long-term career prospects. Prioritize your well-being, so you can keep killing it in the arts scene. In conclusion, you may be just starting out but don’t fall into those rookie traps above.   Embrace the business grind, hustle those connections, and take care of your mind and body. By navigating these challenges thoughtfully, you'll be rocking the dynamic and rewarding music and performing arts scene.

How to Create A Lane in Your Area of Passion: 3 Essential Skills

Embarking on an entrepreneurial journey is an exciting but challenging adventure. Yes, passion is absolutely key. You won’t get far without it. But to create your own singular path, you need to pack certain skills. Let’s dive into three essential ones every successful leader should have when making an impact in and for their community. 

Networking: 

Building your social game is a huge deal, right from the start.  I use the word “fam” a lot for the people close in my network. Vibing with good people is not only rewarding career-wise, it’s also rewarding soul-wise. From people you meet at school, to contacts you make through your auntie’s friends, or the connections you build through social media, they are all building blocks for a rich and productive network. When you collab on projects with others, don’t be shy about highlighting your achievements (just beware of the fine line between flexing and showing off). 

Resilience:

Resilience is a must for entrepreneurs. The journey is full of ups and downs, setbacks, and challenges. Get used to hearing that dreaded word “no”… and have backup plans from A to Z. Being resilient means you can bounce back from failures and use them to fuel your future success. It’s the basis for discipline: It helps you maintain focus and stay motivated when things get tough. Give yourself time to cultivate resilience. Lean on mentors and peers, practice self-care, and learn from mistakes to grow stronger. 

Integrity in Decision-Making:

Effective decision-making is a cornerstone skill for entrepreneurs. You're responsible for a gazillion choices, from hiring your dream team to setting killer goals. Making well-informed and timely decisions can make or break your success. Gather relevant information. Trust your intuition. Seek advice when necessary. Most important: guard your integrity. Do what you say you’re going to do. Show up when you’ve made a commitment. Integrity is the foundation of all great buildings, great organizations and great relationships– it’s structural. Make sure your decisions are well-thought-out, so emotions don’t lead you astray.  Entrepreneurship is a wild ride, but it’s hella rewarding. Networking, resilience, and effective decision-making are crucial for success. Develop these skills over time as you build your business. By honing these abilities, you'll be better equipped to navigate the ever-changing landscape and achieve your goals in your area of passion. 

Let’s Hear You!

Do you have a burning question or something on your mind about starting a business? Are you looking for opportunities to have a dialogue around entrepreneurship? Want to engage around these ideas more deeply? Drop us a line on (email address) The pitch– being you, putting yourself out there. Bringing your creative genius to life.  Sound bites from the past 2-3 workshops– 

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