Two self-made creative entrepreneurs open up about financial struggles, what keeps them up at night, and how they revel in the freedom of being in control of their own schedules.

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Nick Brown, Founder, Glappitnova

Company Description: A multi-city festival and discovery of millennial culture through live events, performances, and learning opportunities both in-person and through digital media.

Tagline: Stay fresh and be bold

Length of Entrepreneurship: “A Lifetime”

Describe a day in your entrepreneurial life.

Arrived in Chicago at 6:15am and took a quick nap. Went to an event to meet some people and learn a few things. Responded to emails for upcoming meetings preparing for Glappitnova and back to the drawing board creating proposals and asking feedback questions. Took an hour break to eat then back to work til about 10:30pm. I get to the gym after 11pm for a few hours then end the night around 2am.

What did you start with on Day 1 of being an entrepreneur?

A thesis to a problem.

Looking back now, what do you wish you had on Day 1?

More technical experience.

Have you ever had issues supporting yourself while being an entrepreneur? How did you overcome?

All the time. That’s part of the journey. Build better solutions, ask for help, and find ways to stay alive.

What do you have as an entrepreneur, that other people don’t?

Scrappiness.

What do you not have as entrepreneur, that other people do?

Comfort level.

What do you worry about? What really keeps you up at night?

Not reaching my potential. The execution, growth, and vision of Glappitnova.

What is the bare minimum you believe someone needs to become an entrepreneur?

A can of grit.

Describe yourself in a few sentences.

I like Kanye West mixed with Zaha Hadid on a Shane Smith plate served with Michelle Obama sauce.

How can people connect with you, work with you, or learn more about you?

Everything is @YNickBrownY. I’m looking for talented people to highlight and get involved in our growing global community. If you’re out there hit me up.

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Julie Schumacher, Copywriter, Well Turned Words

Company Description: A wordsmithing studio for writing, editing, and social media, with the ability to provide words and copy ranging from snarky to scholarly.

Tagline: Sometimes I write things for other people. Sometimes I write things with other people. Sometimes I write things all by myself.

Length of Entrepreneurship: 5 years, 7 months

Describe a day in your entrepreneurial life.

My entrepreneurial life is completely integrated into my personal life, and vice versa.

There isn’t a ton of routine to my work hours. Some days are call and meeting heavy, some are all writing. I try to balance working from home with bopping out to meet folks for a lunch or coffee or working from someplace else.

Beyond occasional hiccups or emergencies, I don’t work at night or on weekends.

What did you start with on Day 1 of being an entrepreneur?

Doing so much free work! I was making a huge leap from teaching to copywriting and wasn’t sure what it would look like. There was no long term financial plan or elevator pitch. My first days as a writer were editing and writing for designer pals and other friends who needed help. I was on maternity leave and used that time to teach myself the vocabulary of a copywriter, the processes and systems.

It took me several months to say “I am a writer.” without it sounding like a question.

Looking back now, what do you wish you had on Day 1?

If someone is working in an agency and thinking of starting their own business, I’d recommend documenting all the ways you do things now, the processes that work, and ways to manage people and systems. That institutional knowledge is no joke.

Have you ever had issues supporting yourself while being an entrepreneur? How did you overcome?

I still don’t earn as much as I did teaching, when I factor in benefits and the like. It took a year before my income covered childcare. That is humbling and important for me to keep in mind, and to keep striving. I’ve increased my income each year, last year I earned 30% more than the year previous.

What do you worry about? What really keeps you up at night?

Health care, both costs and access, and making sure we’re on top of things like retirement. To mitigate that stress, we work with a financial planner who understands our work styles and family goals.

What tools or resources have been most helpful for you up to this point?

  • I use Harvest to track time.
  • I keep everything I can on Google Drive so I can access it from anywhere and not stress as much about a computer failure.
  • Slack helps me integrate into teams remotely and having short conversations with folks in between work stuff is critical to building relationship.
  • I also have a Slack channel with two fellow independent women that I meet with regularly to share successes, strategies and workshop things. I think people are sometimes scared to open up to people who may be their competition for a project. I have had nothing but good things come from being transparent and open with them. They are dear friends and sanity savers and incredible resources.

How can people connect with you, work with you, or learn more about you?

From ideation and naming to writing and editing, I am always happy to connect with independent designers and studios to write with and potential new clients to write for!

www.wellturnedwords.com

@wellturnedwords on both Instagram and Twitter