The Coalition: 5 Tips For Creative Entrepreneurs From Its Founders - Homegrown

The Coalition: 5 Tips For Creative Entrepreneurs From Its Founders

There's something to be said for the people who trade up doodling in the margins for big, bold strokes across the belly of the beast. And there's something even more to be said for the ones who encourage others to do the same. If we're to take co-founders, Vijay Nair of OML fame and Laura Quinn of Do One Thing, word(s) for it, The Coalition is all about 'putting the creative industry on steroids.'
As Nair asserted,"It's an ecosystem thing. We need loads of businesses in this space and it may sound counterintuitive but i've learned from experience that it's better to have more competition than it is to have none." Considering the man's spent years quite literally turning a unicorn industry into something tangible (not to mention something that hundreds of others now have the opportunity to be a part of) we're inclined to believe he and Laura might just be the best people to give all the current future creative entrepreneurs in this country fair advice.
India's in a fairly unique space as far as these industries are concerned so if you're still stumbling through the trenches like the rest of us, perhaps their five tips each will prove to be all the ammunition you need to break down the barricades.

Vijay Nair's 5 Tips:
1. Find and work with people who think in a way that contradicts your own thinking. It's extremely rare that anyone can do both so if you're focussed on creative strategising, stay focussed on that and find someone who can handle the business aspects.
2. Be extremely ambitious. There's this ridiculous fear of expanding over here and a tendency to constantly take things slowly. Even if you think you have impossible dreams, take more risks, be ridiculously ambitious against all odds and just start  working towards it. Things will fall in place when they're meant to.
3. Don't be afraid of making money. There's this entire concept of selling out and 'this is mainstream.' People need to stop living in their own bullshit and realise that you don't have to cut corners to stick to your vision. I can cite a hundred examples but look at a company like Apple--they're one of the biggest companies in the world but i'd still say they're doing exactly what they set out to do and changing the world. Then there's Glastonbury; it may be one of the biggest festivals ever but it's still true to its roots! Basically, when this happens, it becomes difficult because your own peers start projecting that 'they've become too big attitude' but you shouldn't ever let that bother you.
4. Do as many favours as you can. In my first three to four years of building this company, I didn't have much to offer people but i'd work for free and there would be a time when I could return to collect on those favours. If you make sure you're doing this without expectation, things are more likely to work out and pay back.
5. Don't be an asshole. There are a lot of egos when you work with people who are artists or think that they're artists. There will undoubtedly be many points when you just want to lose it because it's annoying and frustrating so no matter what it is, just be calm. People will look at you for validation when you're running a business so it's important to be honest but you need to take other people's passions and ideals into account so there's no reason to be an asshole to anyone.

Laura Quinn's 5 Tips:
1. Get financially aware. Hire a good CA who can explain the ins and outs of how your finances work so that you can make sound business decisions. It takes time to learn but it’s the foundation of running a successful business.
2. Protect your reputation. Your work and reputation are your business’s most important assets. Don’t take on bad projects just for the money, and never compromise on the quality of your creative output because of time, clients, money or anything else.
3. Understand IP and think long-term. Working for fee payments is a short-term strategy, to build a strong business you need to own IP, products and creative properties. So think long-term about how your business will build revenue years from now, then structure your business and contracts around that.
4. Act big. Just because you’re a small business you don’t need to act like one. Present big ideas, be ground-breaking, speak like an expert, behave like a professional - your clients and customers will look at you differently for it.
5. Connect with the community. India has an incredible young, creative community that represents the future of the industry . Working together is a great way to build the ecosystem and get new business. So get connected with other creative companies, be collaborative, and give your support generously – it will all come back to you in time.
You can read our profiling of 12 young Mumbai-based creative entrepreneurs for The Coalition, right here.
 

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