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Running a Business as a Sole Proprietor

Hmmm. The interesting part of running a business is separating myself as a person / sole proprietor from the business.

Have you heard the phrase? “It’s not personal; it’s just business.” Well, women entrepreneurs tend not to have this gene. Artists, especially, have a difficult separation from the emotional and the business aspects of running a company as a sole proprietor.

Case in point: As a self-employed person (titled business A), I’ve requested technical service help (from business B) for my business. However, I need more service help from another person (business C) before I can get what I need (from business B). Bottom line: I prepaid for something that I will not receive from business B and need a refund.

Sounds logical? It wasn’t. It became personal, and I needed the resolution that my work vacation gave me to ask for the refund.

It’s not personal; it’s just business. Exactly. However, it didn’t occur to me that business B was not going to offer a refund. It’s my task to request it. Meanwhile, whatever warranty or expiration date of receiving a refund was not going to get answered by my email requests, unless I took the time to formally request the funds back as a person, leaving the rejected service emotional toil outside of my personal self and respond as a business owner.

It’s not a man vs. woman thing. It’s not a personal rejection thing. It’s business THANG whether you’re a sole proprietor or running a Fortune 500 company.

I’ll post if I got the refund. Laughingly, that’s not the point. What? Money is not the point?

No. The bottom line of this point is this: It’s not personal; it’s just business.

Kim

 
 

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Yin and Yang

Hey there,

Thanks to those that have subscribed to this blog. I’ve gotten a few SEO email blasts about this blog. Currently, my intention of the blog remains solely for self-expression, not for thousands (or millions) of people to read in mass media. If the blog gets to that point eventually, so be it. The purpose of GVOS and Me is explained in the title: Yes, I have a company or small business – it’s also about the person running a small business. If you hang with me, you’ll get an idea of what I’m about. However, the purpose of the blog remains intact for self-expression, reflection, and growth along with the business. The blog can shut down at anytime. Again, thanks for hanging with me on this journey.

Now for my next topic: Social Media has its perks for small business. Social Media has its downfalls in small business. It’s an Yin and Yang” adventure. Let me explain:

1. Marketing: Advertising the business becomes part of the business plan. To grow a business, a person will need to get out there and socialize with others besides print and media marketing. The benefits build the business and getting to know other businesses is invaluable within itself, especially learning how to promote oneself and the business with a positive presence.

2. Education: Growing the business means that the owner must also build on current skills and/or gain new ones. The global marketplace moves faster than five hundred twenty thousand six hundred minutes (525, 600 minutes), as in RENT by Jonathan Larson, states within a year. Technology’s rapid speed means that businesses must keep up in this ever-changing marketplace.

3. Performance: Talent is implied. However, it’s a combination of talent and performance that exceeds expectations that will get a business noticed. Super (mad) skills can get a person in the door; however, the consistency in performance will build a business and encourages people to return.

Apparently, there is more to it than this. When I started, I didn’t know anything about business: how to run a biz, nor market a business. Education and Performance ability was what I knew. The starting, marketing, and building a business grows daily. Business is not for the “faint of heart.” Neither are the arts. There is an yin and yang to the venture. Let me explain:

1. Marketing:  Again, advertising a small business has its perks and downfalls. Socializing and Social Media remain parts of marketing, including print (logos etc). Marketing costs time and money. Sometimes, a person has one or the other. Sometimes, the person has none (or both). In an artistic venture, a person will meet ‘n greet many types of people. Meeting people becomes the fun part or it is not the fun part. Can introverts carry this load 24 / 7 and 365 days a year? Does a small business person become weary of meeting new people that they do not know? People who want to get in the business typically introduce themselves and try to stay in touch, which is great. When does reaching out via social media with constant contact become too much, especially if the owner doesn’t know the person? The fine line becomes apparent when doing business versus socializing in business. Yet, growing a business means growing a fan base, especially concerning a talent in the entertainment industry. Internal questions may arise at meeting so many different people from all walks of life. A small business and the business owner can cautiously divide clients, business associates and friendships into categories. They intertwine; however, the cohesion and separation occurs effortlessly depending in work and social situations.

2. Education: Again, training in various degrees must remain within the business model. In the arts, does training replace practice? No, training and practice coincide as a partnership to further a person’s or company’s skills within the marketplace. A small business must consider their training along with practice as the company markets the business. Interestingly enough, time management can become unbalanced.

3. Performance: Again, performing at a high level consistently cannot suffer. People in performance have tough days. The customer, however, can never see the performer / owner of a small business have a bad day. It’s never about the performer, it’s about the customer in business, contrary to the divas and stars in the entertainment business. Aren’t all artists in the entertainment business, which includes classical and contemporary artists in music, movies, and media? I’ll let you answer this question.

Granted, I enjoy this field and working in different areas in the arts. There are some days; however, I can easily retreat from the world as an introvert in the arts. Aren’t all performers (or artists) extroverts? These are questions that an educator would ask, which seems the most comfortable fit since I’ve taught for many years. So, again, my style of writing and purpose of the blog will hopefully not provide the audience all the answers.

The journey has been an interesting one. As I said earlier in this blog entry, the scope has wide and deep vessels to explore. As a small business owner, I’ll see how long this road takes me. The blog gives me a chance to explore this venture as I also reach out to an audience and interact in the marketplace. When and if the time comes to fizzle social media entirely, or if by some miracle (they do occur but not as a person expects) this small business becomes big business in scope and a “hired” publicist does all the social media work instead of me, I can reflect at this venture as time well spent with maybe an authentic fan base that supports this venture.

I’ve chosen a long road to fame or wealth, if that was ever the goal. As in any venture, time will tell if it lasts.

Be blessed.

Kim

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Working Three Careers Simultaneously

Howdy! It’s been a minute; I should say.

I wanted to explain myself in some way for my ADHD way of doing business: Choral Music Director, VO Actor, and Theatre Educator.

Well you see…Ummm…It’s like this…Oh cut the crap: I enjoy what I do; I live in a right-to-work state; It just happened (similar to a pregnancy); I’m paying the bills; and I have to count my blessings (or curses when I wake up at 4 a.m.).

Yes, I’m awake a 4 a.m.

No, I don’t have ADHD but I have to use time management. When I’m on vacation, I completely shut down. That’s the truth. When I’m working, I don’t stop working. It’s a tough marathon at times but I find ways to refresh my soul for the long haul.

Watching performances in choral music and rehearsals, plays, films, and listening to VO artists help tremendously. The VO business was my way of performing (from home) so that I could contribute my talents when I taught so much during the week (6 days/week). However, time management aside, it’s tough but I can’t complain. Let me explain:

1. I remember graduating from college with a bachelors and could not find a part-time job, even in a bookstore (remember Oxford books in the ATL?). I was turned down. Nowadays, the economy is tough, so that would seem normal. I had to reconsider things.

2. There are very specialized jobs in the arts. It’s not a job that a person can normally apply without experience. That’s with any job. When I was working as a temporary worker, I remember that I was asked about a music question that an office worker thought that I couldn’t answer. The question was fuzzy but the answer was Dvorak. He couldn’t believe it. I knew then and there that I was not meant to work in an office outside of my field. I just didn’t belong there.

3. I was evolving. I had some tough music and drama teachers in my past but I couldn’t quit. I had to keep doing this work. Finally, I decided to take a plunge and go into business myself. It was the hardest thing to do, including switching music jobs at the same time and teaching a new drama class. I don’t recommend all of this at the same time but that’s what I did (or had to do – when it rains – it pours). I had to have some faith (a mustard seed kind of faith) and jump right into the pool, fully clothed (so to speak) or off a cliff (figuratively). It was refreshing but scary AND tough. As they say, the tough keep going.

4. Lastly, people don’t explain these things but here are thoughts to ponder and chew on: Money management, Time management, Work and Personal management have had a triad of imbalances a few times within my day. At one point, I had scheduled on a Saturday, an Honor Chorus with a ATL 365 showcase and a Drama Class (that I had found a substitute for) all on the same day. I needed a little help from my music educator peers with that one. Another Saturday, I had a commercial shoot with my agent with a Theatre Unified Audition in Atlanta, GA. My agent was able to get me to film first, then I could audition for the Unified Auditions later in the day. Scheduling weekday auditions during the school year is non-existent. I work all film auditions during the summer. VO auditions are after work and weekends if needed.

There you have it. I tend to have a personal life. Believe it or not, I’ve always had one too, although it’s normally with people in my field of work. It’s nice to meet other folks in different fields though. I’m able to attend luncheons with small business owners which is nice during the summers or during breaks.

It’s an interesting and fulfilling life but it’s not for everyone. Yes, I have to take care of myself as well. So, this kind of rapid on-the-go schedule will have to slow down eventually. All good things come to an end. When? I’m unsure but I’m starting to see and whisper the word over the horizon: Retirement.

I’m thankful for safety, health, my loved ones, and work that I enjoy. A passionate person is a person who enjoys their work so much that it doesn’t seem like work at all. They give their money and time freely. Although, I have to be careful with people regarding my time management, I enjoy limited scheduled time helping others as well. I normally refer private consulting jobs or private teaching gigs to my peers. You can’t run after money; there is enough good work in the arts for everyone. Trust me, if not, trust God. There is. God will take care of you.

Protecting my voice is what I care about the most, including my health. So I use a Fender Passport Wireless microphone with a speaker. I’ve had it for years. Recently, the microphone broke so it needs replacing. This microphone has protected my voice. I will ALWAYS HAVE to use a microphone in the public education system. It’s vocal insurance.

So there you have it: a workaholic or maybe a person who enjoys their work. When things start to change and it’s time to let go, it’s time. I have no regrets and I enjoy what I do. Hopefully (and prayerfully), people are pleased with my work. Be well.

Kim

 

 
 

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How to Find the Perfect Day Job

Happy New Year!

I came across an article in Backstage that really hit home for me. The bottom line is this: Why should your day job interfere with your own performing gigs. Do they? Why or why not?

Check out the article below. Maybe you agree or disagree. Truth be told, my experiences give me a rich varied set of skills that acting alone could not offer. My music led me to acting. Maybe I’ll share my story in another blog entry. What say you? My hope is that there are responses to this article. Written by Erin Cronican on January 4, 2013. Whew…2013 has arrived!

http://www.backstage.com/advice-for-actors/backstage-experts/how-find-perfect-day-job

Kim

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2013 in Acting, Uncategorized

 

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Authorize.Net

So, I signed up for the service. More $$$ out-of-pocket, I suppose. However, I’m glad to help customers pay online when possible. I also want to add that there are so many decisions to running a business; I never knew this until I dived right into one. It’s a blessing and a curse. The non-stop decisions never end; however, it’s your child to nurture, so it’s okay. It’s not a bad combination but one that people should be aware of. Business is not for the faint of heart. I was a little faint at first 🙂 so I had to quickly get over it.

If you own a business, please post. I would love to follow you on any of the social networking sites. Feel free to “like” mine too, if you do!

Blessings,

Kim

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Voice Overs

 

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