10 Motivational Books To Get You Going

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Welcome to the work week! This post should get you started on the right foot.

You’re creative and you’re passionate but unfortunately, those don’t get you all the way to a self-sustaining business! Taking the crucial steps of figuring out pricing, a market to sell your art (be it music, paintings, or writing etc.) in, and which demographic you want to sell to all tend to be less fun than what you love to do, which is actually creating the art.  For the tough business tasks, you’ll need a little motivation.  But don’t fear! We grabbed this article we loved from Inc of the 10 best motivational books from 2015.  Throw one of these in the Amazon cart and y0u should be good to go.

 

1. Rejection Proof

Subtitle: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection

Author: Jia Jiang

5 Second Summary: A hilarious and enlightening account of an introvert’s attempt to overcome the fear of rejection by trying to get rejected and blogging about the experience.

Best Quote: “I was starting to see just how important my communication style was to the outcomes I was getting. When I was confident, friendly, and open, people seemed more inclined to go along with my request; even if they said no, they at least stay engaged longer to ask questions. If I could just figure out the right way to communicate each situation, I might increase my chance of being accepted-and also decrease my fears about a possible rejection. Maybe rejection was much less black-and-white than it seemed-it wasn’t just about being in the right place at the right time to get what I wanted or not. Maybe there were things I could do to influence or even change the outcome.”

rejection

 

2. The Achievement Habit

Subtitle: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life

Author: Bernard Roth

5 Second Summary: Through examples and exercises, this book explains how to manipulate your beliefs and changing your perception of your experience in order to create the quality of life that you want and deserve.

Best Quote: “Your life has no meaning. I’m not telling you this to make you think about jumping off the nearest bridge; instead I mean it in a much more contemplative way. Let’s first acknowledge that the meaning we find in people, objects, and our own circumstances is subjective. These things have no inherent meeting. Functional and dysfunctional behavior both result from choices people make based on meanings they create. This also means that we have the power to alter our perceptions, revising perceptions that bring us down and enhancing those that help us. Your outlook on life is deeply entwined in your propensity for success. Miserable blowhards can achieve, however they still wind up miserable. That’s not success. Success is doing what you love and being happy about it.”

habit

 

3. The Business Romantic

Subtitle: Give Everything, Quantify Nothing, and Create Something Greater Than Yourself

Author: Tim Leberecht

5 Second Summary: This books turns the entire idea of “work is toil” on its head and reveals that work can be (and frequently is) is a source of great pleasure in our lives.

Best Quote: “For many of us, our coworkers are more intimately involved in our lives that our neighbors or friends, or even our families. In fact, study suggest that we are likely to have more employees, and entrepreneurs, because we love business. We love the drive of it; we love its opportunities for connection and social exchange. Some of us start our own businesses; others work at the forefront of innovation or management. Still others working creative fields such as music and publishing-industries ever on a tight rope between commerce and culture–while too many of us still speak softly if at all. We stash our wistful longings away when we enter our cubicles in the morning, all the longings for an opportunity to express our truest selves at work, for an experience that makes us feel fully alive in our jobs, throughout our careers.”

4. Big Magic

Subtitle: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

5 Second Summary: A series of essays, meditations and anecdotes about putting aside fear and harnessing the innate creativity in all of us.

Best Quote: “Look, I don’t know what’s hidden within you. I have no way of knowing such a thing. You yourself may barely know, although I suspect you caught glimpses. I don’t know your capacities, your aspirations, your longings, your secret talents. But surely something wonderful and sheltered inside you. I say this with all confidence, because I happen to believe we are all walking repositories of buried treasure. I believe this is one of the oldest and most generous tricks of the universe plays on us human beings, both for its own amusement and for ours: the universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to uncover those jewels-that’s creative living. The courage to go on that hunt in the first place-that’s what separates the mundane existence from a more enchanted one.”

 

5. Rising Strong

Subtitle: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.

Author: Bren Brown

5 Second Summary: This books helps you redefine the struggles you’ve had in your life as and your determination to recover as manifestations of strength and courage.

Best Quote: “When we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time. Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.”

 

6. A Curious Mind

Subtitle: The Secret to a Bigger Life

Authors: Brian Grazer & Charles Fishman

5 Second Summary: A Hollywood producer (Apollo 13, 24) explains how he’s interviewed hundreds of “accomplished strangers” in order to fuel his own creative ideas.

Best Quote: “Especially with the recent proliferation of standardized testing, questions can derail the lockstep framework of the day’s lesson plan; sometimes teachers don’t know the answers themselves. It’s exactly the opposite of what you would hope, but authentic curiosity in a typical seventh grade classroom isn’t cultivated-because it’s inconvenient and disruptive to the orderly running of the class. The situation is little better in workplaces where most adults spend their lives. Sure, software coders or pharmaceutical researchers or university professors are encouraged to be curious because it’s a big part of their jobs. But what if the typical hospital nurse or bank teller gets curious and starts questioning how things are done? Outside of some truly exceptional places like Google and IBM and Corning, curiosity is unwelcome, if not insubordinate. Good behavior -whether you’re 14 years old or 45–doesn’t include curiosity.”

 

7. Calming the Chaos

Subtitle: A Soulful Guide to Managing Your Energy Rather Than Your Time

Author: Jackie Woodside

5 Second Summary: A practical step-by-step guide for managing your energy rather than your time, thereby overcoming stress and experiencing more joyfully.

Best Quote: “What does it mean to manage your energy rather than your time? Traditional methods of managing time focus on externals, asked if time is something outside of you. The truth is that we live in time and how we move through and relate to time determines the quality of our experience in life. How we spend our days is how we spend our lives. How often do we find ourselves living a “someday” life? Someday I am going to slow down someday things will feel less chaotic. Someday I will be peaceful. Unfortunately, it is too often the case that someday never comes.”

 

8. Clay Water Brick

Subtitle: Finding Inspiration from Entrepreneurs Who Do the Most with the Least

Author: Jessica Jackley

5 Second Summary: The co-founder of the micro-lending platform Kiva explains how and why entrepreneurism has the potential to change the world for the better.

Best Quote: “Some of these stories are great business successes, in which real people have had a genuine “rags-to-riches” journey. And some stories are special because those entrepreneurs taught me a crucial lesson that I needed to learn along my own journey, such as how to see opportunity in an unexpected place, how to empower other people, or how to believe in myself. My goal in sharing their stories, and my own, is a simple one: to inspire you to live a more entrepreneurial life. I believe we can all achieve a more hopeful, more creative, and more positive in existence together by realizing the incredible entrepreneurial potential that exists in every human being on this planet.”

 

9. Are You Fully Charged?

Subtitle: The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life

Author: Tom Rath

5 Second Summary: This iconoclastic book explains that the quest for meaning and meaningful action in your life is more likely to make you happy than the explicit “pursuit of happiness.”

Best Quote: “But the more you value you place on your own happiness, the more likely you are to feel lonely on a daily basis. When participants and experiments were deliberately induced to value happiness more by reading a bogus article extolling the benefits of happiness, they reported feeling lonely. And samples of their saliva indicated corresponding decreases in progesterone levels-a hormonal response associated with loneliness. Seeking your own happiness and nothing else results in feelings of futility. But if you spend as much time creating meaningful interactions as you do pursuing happiness, you will be better off in both areas.”

 

10. Leap

Subtitle: Leaving a Job with No Plan B to Find the Career and Life You Really Want

Author: Tess Vigeland

5 Second Summary: A host of public radio’s Marketplace program uses anecdotes and thoughtful observation to help already-successful people find the energy and courage to pursue a more satisfying career.

Best Quote: “One of the most common questions I’ve been asked since I left my job is how to know when it’s time to go. I can’t answer that for you, and I don’t think there’s one answer for everyone-you are the only one who can figure out what’s right for you. But if you’re asking yourself the question, it’s well past the time to start exploring the possibilities. And in all likelihood, your body is already you showing you the signs. For me, my hair stopped growing. For a good number of the people I interviewed, it was an unusual, and inexplicable, pain or other maladies somewhere in their bodies. For some it was a searing back pain, and for others it was exhaustion far beyond what could be explained by their work hours. I’m not a doctor, but I do know it’s important to pay attention to those signals and to ask yourself whether they might be tied to your feelings about your work. Don’t just ignore them.”

 

Source: Inc

Author: Geoffrey James

4 Effective Steps To Monetize Your Art

Many artists and creative entrepreneurs mistakenly assume that the sales process begins when they ask for the money. But in actuality the sales process begins the minute you to start to communicate with your buyer in both direct and non-direct ways like using social media or email marketing for example.

 

In this article, blogger Rodney Washington will show you a simple four-step process so you can better communicate with your target buyer while making more money from the very beginning.
1. Focus On Creating Connection – It’s tempting to only want to show or talk about your work and immediately ask for the sale, but often in the beginning people just want to get to know more about you, your personality and perhaps your process. Make it easy for your audience to connect with you.

Ways To Accomplish This:

~ Host a open house and speak directly with your guests, tell them about your latest inspiration, series, etc.
~ Ask them for their thoughts on your latest body of work, presentation, products etc.
~ Ask them about themselves (people love to talk about themselves)
~ Don’t worry about making a sale, focus on the connection
~ Follow up with targeted messages (more on this in Step 2)
2. Always Be List Building – Usually your customer will not buy from you on the first connection, they will want to get know more about you and that happens over a period of time. One of the most effective ways is through maintaining communication with your audience by sending a series of targeted follow-up emails and/or building connection using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter for example.

When you send or post your follow up messages to your followers or subscribers don’t bombard them with “buy my stuff’ messages. That’s called spamming and it won’t work.

On the other hand, if you focus on providing lots of valuable usable content like photos, videos, audio replays, a worksheet template, an article, a 20 minute telephone or skype chat for example these will go a long way towards establishing and nurturing relationships with your followers that lead to sales.

Question to ask yourself: What do I have of value that I could freely to give to people who follow me?

List Building Tip: Whenever you meet new people invite them to connect with you on social media or to opt-in to your online mailing list on your blog or website to get your latest goodie.
3. Create A No-Brainer Offer – Often times new potential customers are not prepared to invest in your higher ticket items on the first encounter, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t make easier for them to work with you.

Look for ways to create what I call “entry level” pieces. The key is to price these items or services under $50 dollars. Make it something that new customers can find high value in and easily say yes to.

Keep this in mind: It’s far easier to sell to an existing customer than to find a new one. So that $50 dollar entry level product could lead to higher priced sales if your customer perceives and receives value from the entry level items you offer.  In other words, everything you create must provide value.
4. Always be seeding the next step – The most common mistake I see entrepreneurs make is never introducing or what I call seeding the next opportunity to work with you. For example, let’s say you want to write an ebook why not seed throughout the book the next logical step? For a new author that could be to work to with you directly or to sign up for your course on topics discussed in your book.

Think about last time you went to Starbucks, (assuming you drink coffee) were you offered a sample of a new blend, pastry or whipped drink? That’s called seeding. You may or may not purchase the item you sampled but if you enjoyed it, hopefully  it made enough of an impression on you that you’ll order it on your next visit or better still, tell a few friends about it.

 

Source: Get Paid For Your Creativity

Author: Rodney Washington

10 Life Hacks From a Millennial Millionaire

You are young, ambitious, confident and you want to be a millionaire? Great!

Or maybe you’re ready to take things up a notch and finally start that business you have been dreaming of, but are afraid of the financial risks and not sure you want to give up the perks of a salary and benefits.

The biggest question you may be asking yourself is: What are you willing to give up to create the life and business that you really want?

Here are some tried and true hacks from a millennial’s perspective that just may lead you to becoming a millionaire.

 

1. Keep it simple.

In the beginning, learn as much as you can from free resources on the Internet.

When I first started out, I spent months learning how to optimize LinkedIn. I realized it was an extremely valuable and underutilized social media site so I utilized my expertise from a year of studying the site’s power to provide value to others.

Network the old-fashioned way, face-to-face, as well as online. Create real relationships. Rather than trying to be better than your competition, be different.
 

2. Be frugal.

If you have a mission or vision for your business, keep your overhead as low as possible. For example, you no longer need to have a downtown office to verify your legitimacy.Thousands of entrepreneurs work from home, the library, the coffee shop. You don’t need a brick and mortar location, especially if you aren’t selling a physical product.

I personally didn’t even buy a car until I moved from New York City to L.A., and when I did I took my “Rich Dad” advice and purchased a used 1991 Cadillac outright from a mentor. Put your vision first and after you have become successful, then you can splurge.
 

3. Invest in yourself.

If you are going to invest in anything at the beginning stages of your business, be sure you are investing in yourself.

Hire a coach, enroll in online business classes with people you admire, get into a mastermind. Figure out ways to get the skills and knowledge you need to get where you are going.
 

4. Meditate.

If you haven’t heard already, meditation is a powerful life hack. It can improve the clarity and function of the brain, lower your blood pressure, and so much more. As the stakes rise in your life and business, you will benefit from meditation because it will help you to handle stress better and manage your time and focus.
 

5. Stay healthy.

Most entrepreneurs — even myself — have fallen into the trap of focusing solely on their business and neglecting their physical health. While hustling to get ahead and make a successful living on your own wind power, you may lose track of how many months have gone by since you moved your body from the desk chair. Richard Branson attributes his energy and stamina to daily workouts and considers exercise to be his secret weapon.

 

6. Network.

Make yourself invaluable to your networks. Be a connector, set yourself apart by sharing resources with others at events and creating valuable connections for others.

Can’t find a networking group that feels like a good fit? Start your own.
 

7. Give, give, give.

Living is giving. Especially while you are starting out, be sure to give above and beyond expectation.
 

8. Think outside the box.

This entire generation is outside the box when it comes to innovative business and money-making platforms. From Tim Ferriss’ The Four-Hour Work Week to virtual assistants, crowdsourcing platforms, information products online and so much more, we are still just scratching the surface of what is possible.
 

9. Be yourself.

Be yourself because everyone else is taken. No one is you-er than you.The more different you are, the better.

Use your differences to stand out in a competitive marketplace and follow your heart in matters of life and business.
 

10. Don’t Give Up.

Never ever give up. Starting a business and going out on your own requires all of you. Each failure should be seen as a learning process and when you welcome failure you will see that it goes easier for you. We all fail. Majorly. Over and over. And we get back up and keep going for our dreams for as long as it takes.

More opportunities are available today than ever before. When you realize that your attitude and mindset are of utmost importance, these life hacks will catapult you toward success. There are quite a few of us millennial millionaires out here who would love to see you achieve all you set out to do.

 
 
 
Source: Entrepreneur
Author: Lewis Howes

How You Know You’ve Created the Company of Your Dreams

“I felt this interior calm that was sort of amazing”

 

The struggle…

Starting a successful business is one of the most daunting tasks that someone can undertake.  It takes up a ton of your time, doesn’t pay you any money for a long time which means you usually do it on the side of your paying job, and the light at the end of the tunnel remains frustratingly dim for much longer than you’d prefer.  Honestly, there’s no way around these struggles and frankly there shouldn’t be because in the end, owning a business can be one of the most rewarding decisions you can make.  But the process of starting a business is particularly hard simply because it can take a while before you even start to understand what you’re truly doing it for.

 

The light at the end of the tunnel…

We found an article on Entrepreneur.com that sums up the feeling one gets when they know they’re over the hump of that initial struggle.  As the founder of Sailo, Adrian Gradinaru puts it, “I felt this interior calm that was sort of amazing,” says Gradinaru.  Sailo is a new company that has been described by Entrepreneur.com as the Airbnb of yachting, with over 150 boats available for renting through the site in local beach towns in New York (New York City, the Hamptons, Jersey City) and Florida (Miami, Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach).  Not too shabby to be compared to the company that is majorly disrupting the massive hotel industry… “It’s not about money, it’s not about profit, I feel like we are providing a service that people are actually using and they are enjoying it”, Gradinaru goes on to say.

 

Why you do it…

The founders of Sailo have gotten themselves to a beautiful position of comfortably operating their business after only starting in November 2014.  They are seeing an increasing return on the money they’ve invested with continuing boat rentals and location expansions.  Delphine Braas is another co-founder and one who is also experiencing the rewards that entrepreneurs live and breathe for.  Seeing your company make a positive effect on the customers that you had worked so hard for is enough to keep you hooked on the life of entrepreneurship.  Delphine Braas recalls having the realization that sealed the deal for her…

…“One of our customers called us, this was somebody we didn’t know, and they just told us that they had had the best day [of] their life. And we had created a company that provided the best day of people’s lives and that’s ultimately why we started it”…

That’s the joy of entrepreneurship and exactly what us at The Sampler are proud to promote.

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Success Orbits Around Happiness, Not the Other Way Around

Here’s a little boost for you today. We just read an article from Forbes that we had to share.

 

Does success breed happiness or do happy people become successful?

Such is the question that many of us have asked ourselves. Be it a newly minted college graduate or an industry veteran who wakes up and wonders ‘how did I end up where I am today”’, we’ve all contemplated what the relationship is between success and happiness. And while we each have our own definition of what it means to be successful, most of us at some point in our lives have used our personal financial gains as the ultimate barometer of our success.

At first glance, the logic for doing so seems rational. If we make a lot of money, we can pamper ourselves with luxury items, pay for a child’s college degree and retire early in order to sail off into the sunset during our twilight years. Yours truly began his professional career in the financial services industry for many reasons, not the least of which was to position myself for immediate financial gains.

But what if we got it wrong? What if, to use a quote from Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage, “success orbits around happiness, not the other way around”?

In a not-so-subtle nod towards the correlation versus causation argument, Shawn examines whether people are happy because they are successful or people become successful because they pursue happiness.

 

The end result? Those who pursue happiness ultimately become successful, not the other way around.

Shawn finds that the “most successful people, the ones with the competitive edge, don’t look to happiness as some distant reward for their achievements, nor grind through their days on neutral or negative; they are the ones who capitalize on the positive and reap the rewards at every turn.”

That is, those of us who pursue that which makes us happiest become the most successful, however each of us may define it.

Without revealing the full substance of the book (it’s a highly worthwhile read), I’ll simply state that the implications for how we live our lives are incredibly powerful. Remain true to your passions and pursue a career that drives happiness and success will follow suit.

How has the pursuit of your own successes orbited around your happiness?

8 Common Traits Entrepreneurs Tend To Have

The idea of what makes an entrepreneur an entrepreneur is evolving as we speak.  An article on Entrepreneur.com sparked our interest on this very topic so we had to share with you. These days, there are so many new tools at our fingertips to make ourselves self-sufficient that we can be entrepreneurs in myriad ways and gain the information to do it almost instantly.  The Sampler promotes entrepreneurialism across its wide variety of forms, whether your business is teaching piano lessons or consulting for cyber-security.  Either way, it’s safe to say that entrepreneurial is not so much of a rigid profession but more of a way of thinking.

The way entrepreneurs think is called the entrepreneurial mindset. The idea of getting to the root of how entrepreneurs think is relatively new. An entire culture of research and scholarship and study is growing around it. If you’ve found yourself on The Sampler, you likely consider yourself part of the entrepreneurial culture, whether you have already started a business or not. Regardless of what you do, however, here are the eight parts of the entrepreneurial mindset — the way entrepreneurs think and act. How many do you have?

 

1. Opportunity recognition

Entrepreneurs see and often seek out opportunities. They can learn to see ways to make things better for themselves and others.

 

2. Comfort with risk

Entrepreneurs learn to weigh and assess risk and become comfortable with the idea they must invest time and resources in unsure enterprises and ideas.

 

3. Creativity and innovation

Entrepreneurs are creative problem solvers. They apply unconventional tools and approaches to existing challenges.

 

4. Future orientation

Entrepreneurs think about what’s next and take ownership of outcomes. They can be focused on achievement and reaching set goals for their ideas or themselves.

 

5. Flexibility and adaptability

Entrepreneurs not only learn to change, they expect to. They prepare for and react quickly to obstacles, setbacks and new information.

 

6. Initiative and self-direction

Entrepreneurs are self-starters and motivated to reach goals. They are more likely to meet a challenge directly rather than seek input or directive.

 

7. Critical thinking and problem solving

Entrepreneurs are analysts. They can learn to see challenges, opportunities and even products in their component parts. They can make deep assessments accurately.

 

8. Communication and collaboration

Entrepreneurs are good at sharing. Ideas and input from others spark and drive their progress. They can communicate their ideas clearly and passionately.

Virgil Abloh And Others Team Up With Online School For Creatives

Are you creatively inclined? Are you passionate about a certain skillset in the fashion industry and want to take it to the next level of monetizing that skillset???  OF COURSE YOU DO! You’re one of our readers. That’s what The Sampler is all about.

Well good news for you because the people over at Mastered have created a program where you can enroll in classes and be taught by highly accredited professionals in the field of your choosing.  This school isn’t a normal school, though. It goes the route of The Khan Academy, a revolutionary way of schooling that is entirely online so as to remove the usual physical constraints of the outdated education system that we’re used to.

Thanks to the genius online format, you can enroll from anywhere around the world and take classes any time of day in anything from Streetwear: Mastered with Virgil Abloh to Photography: Mastered With Nick Knight.  It’s worth noting that the school is so new that half of the programs are not yet being offered but are still in the registration phase.  However, this might be the perfect time to sign up and secure a spot.

Start saving up now because the price of the programs hover around £1,250 GBP (~$2,000 USD) for a three-month program, although payment plans are available. Don’t necessarily be deterred by the price, though, because the value could very well be worth it if you have the cash. Programs are created and curated exclusively for Mastered and are taught either in-person, via recorded videos, through review of the student’s work online, or by conducting live Q&A sessions. With the fashion industry being one of the most notably difficult industries to succeed in, this could very well break down some heavily fortified barriers to entry and add some much-needed democracy to a culture of rigid tradition.

 

Head on over to Mastered.com to read more about the programs and if any of the creatives in your network would be interested in boosting their skills to gain an advantage in this industry, please share with the buttons below!!!

5 Essentials for Freelancers to Work Smarter Instead of Harder

When you realize you have more skills than the person working above you, it’s hard to go back to work day in and day out.  That’s when the idea of freelancing comes to mind.  It sounds great, doesn’t it? Working for yourself, making your own hours, setting your price…

But without the bosses above you and the accountants besides you, it means you have to carry out the smaller tasks to keep your business running all by yourself! A little consideration ahead of time goes a long way.  So before you take the leap, think over these 5 essentials we found on Entrepreneur.com. There’s a few things you need to know but as soon as you read this article, you should be good to go:

 

1. Find a Task System That Works For You

Staying organized is one of the most important steps to being successful. You simply cannot afford to let tasks fall through the cracks or deadlines pass you by. It is up to you to stay on top of everything, so you have to find a method that works for you.

There are tons of tools on the market to help you keep track of all your tasks, so it is really a matter of finding what works best for your work style. If you are a visual person, Trello is a good choice, but if you like lists consider a platform like Wunderlist. If good old pen and paper works for you, use that.

2. Stay On Top Of Financials.

One of the scariest parts of going out on your own is figuring out the money. You have to make sure you save enough for taxes, get paid on time, track expenses, and remember to send out invoices. It is a hassle, and you may not feel like you have a head for numbers, particularly if you are freelancing in a more creative field.

But, to be successful staying on top of your finances is vital.

I highly recommend using a finance program that will help you stay organized. Some of the programs will help you save money on PayPal fees, track late payments, and even track hours you spend on each job. A few popular programs are:

 

3. Stay Focused

The good news is, as a freelancer you can work in your pajamas all day. The bad news is, as a freelancer you can work in your pajamas all day. With all the freedom in the world, distractions can become super tempting. And with no boss over your shoulder, it can become very difficult to stay focused and get work done.

You need to figure out how you work best and put yourself in the optimal situation each and every day.

This might mean working from a coffee shop, getting dressed in professional clothing, checking email once a day, renting space at a co-working site, or using white noise. Find what works best for you and stick to it.

4. Take Breaks

When you are down to the deadline, taking a break seems counter-intuitive. Doesn’t it make more sense to power through and just get the job done?

Actually, it may take you even longer than if you stopped to let your brain rest.

Taking a break helps your brain focus better, prevents burn out, and helps you stay on task. It also helps you make better food choices, which can help you control weight gain. There are lots of benefits to taking breaks, even just a few minutes each hour.

Step away, stretch your back, and you just might find a new perspective.

5. Ask For Advice

There are almost 53 million freelancers in the US, which means there are 53 million people out there who have all taken the leap to becoming a freelancer/entrepreneur. Ask others for advice if you need something. I’ve done this over the years. The more I humble myself and admit that I don’t know everything… the easier it is to get exactly the information I need. Find and network with these people.

As a freelancer, you have the freedom to work from anywhere, to make your own schedule, and to accept work that excites you. But, it is also up to you to make sure you stay organized and handle all the tasks associated with running a business. Instead of getting overwhelmed by it all, use these tips to work faster and smarter.

Inside Angeleno Artistry with Founder Zack Holland: Exclusive Interview

The Sampler recently had the opportunity to sit down for an interview with a person we respect and admire on many levels. He’s a businessman with heart on a truly inspired mission to serve the community in innovative ways. His name is Zack Holland and he’s a serial entrepreneur with a mind that’s always renewing and refreshing what’s possible. His current project is what’s taking up the majority of his time and we really wanted to know more about it.

 

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Angeleno Artistry

Zack has been able to marry the beauty of the arts with the profit-motive of business, all while giving back a bit of the proceeds in the process. His company aims to shake up the art industry by connecting emerging and established artists with new buyers using nothing more than the current technology at all of our fingertips. It’s called Angeleno Artistry and it’s a modern platform for the purchase of affordable artwork from some of the best and brightest upcoming artists in Los Angeles, California. As a city exploding with culture and color, LA is the perfect backdrop for the timeless and contemporary style found in the pieces they feature.

 

…Giving Back

In order to give back to the city, each purchase on Angeleno Artistry helps fund art classes for elementary school students who attend schools where the arts have been cut due to budgeting. Since they launched in September 2014, Angeleno Artistry has funded over 500 hours of art classes in underserved schools and they currently work with over fifty artists of a wide range of styles, from street art to fine art photography. As Zack puts it, it’s ARTWORK with an IMPACT.

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Interview Q&A

In the interview beneath, Zack touches on the biggest moments in the company’s history, the struggles of a entrepreneurship and how important partnering up for a good cause is to him. Hear the exchange as we sat captivated by the impact Zack has already made and is intent on building upon:
TS: When did you found AA?

ZH: We began working on the idea of Angeleno Artistry in late 2013, and went live on September 2014

 

TS: What is your title within the company?

ZH: Founder, Creative Director

 

TS: How many artists do you currently represent?

ZH: We’ve had the opportunity of working with over fifty artists over the past year; the work ranges from contemporary pop art, to street art, to fine art photography, and even to poetry.

 

TS: Are they all from LA?

ZH: Yes – Angeleno Artistry is a celebration of culture and style in Los Angeles – so each artist lives and works in the area.

 

TS: How has the partnership with PS Arts been so far?

ZH: PS ARTS is an incredible organization filled with very hardworking and talented people. My favorite aspect of the organization is that they always rank very high in actual donation-to-output ratio, so the money that people donate to them is actually used for what they broadcast, instead of being caught up in messy corporate bureaucracy like what unfortunately happens to some other non-profits. They currently fund and provide art classes for over 20,000 students in the Los Angeles area, and by doing that are improving graduation rates, encouraging creativity, and empowering youthful self-awareness.

 

TS: How many hours a day do you work on AA?

ZH: This depends on the week – but most days I work on Angeleno Artistry for about 7 hours, and other entrepreneurial pursuits for 2 or 3.

 

TS: What were some big moments in the company’s history?

ZH: There have been a couple of big moments that, looking back, helped shape Angeleno Artistry into what it has become today. The first was securing PS ARTS as an official non-profit partner early on, which was facilitated through my prior working with them from my time at William Morris. Secondly, we were able to launch with a great group of first artists, which included my good friend and one of our favorite artists, Kelcey Fisher, who we were lucky to have involved at such an early stage. Since then, it has been a series of great involvement from high-level artists such as WRDSMTH, 2wenty, Greg Auerbach and Plastic Jesus, and exciting brand partnerships with companies such as Wanderlust Yoga, Bezar, and Tapiture. Another great moment was hosting our first sold-out pop up art show at LA Modernism in April of 2015.

 

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Greg Auerbach

 

TS: How many employees does AA have?

ZH: We are a currently a team of four, with a couple of people that help out on a part-time contract basis. It’s a lot for a small team but they are all incredible people and great at what they do.

 

TS: What stage is the business at right now?

ZH: Angeleno Artistry is in an exciting time of growth and development. This month marks a year in business for us, and we’re in the midst of shifting our focus to a larger scale operation.

 

TS: How exactly do you monetize since art is such a difficult industry to make money in?

ZH: Finding new ways to monetize the art industry is our biggest challenge, but also the entire reason we wanted to get into this industry in the first place. Art is such an impactful, inspirational industry full of social critiques, celebration of life, and encouragement of self-discovery; so it has been sad to see it lessened to the cold gallery and art show experience that keeps most young people away. Our mission has been to provide affordable and relatable modern ways for a broad, young demographic to begin learning about and collecting art.

 

TS: What were some obstacles you had to overcome before you started to monetize and what kept you going?

ZH: Finding ways to cut costs while still creating beautiful products and paying out our artists, and PS ARTS, is always the biggest challenge; the art industry is tough to make it in monetarily to begin with, much less after giving away a large portion of your profits. But we firmly believe that millennials will continue to value the idea that purchasing a product doesn’t have to be the end of the transaction – that your decision to buy something can sincerely improve other’s lives in an authentic fashion. It has absolutely been difficult, but things are looking bright, and I can’t wait to see where this ride takes us.

 

TS: What are your future aspirations for it?

ZH: While working with some of Los Angeles’ best and brightest artists to create limited edition art prints has been a blast, we know that there is a lot more we can do for our customers, the artists, and for the students who deserve creative classes at school. As a result, next month we will have a completely redesigned and expanded site, and we will begin officially selling affordable original art, artist-designed apparel, and other products; as well as, of course, our limited edition art prints. As we continue to evolve into a complete platform for young people to discover and purchase art, while giving back in the process, we hope to spur a movement towards a return to the collaboration with and support of local artists over big-box retailers and foreign corporations.

 

TS: Any future partnerships or collaborations?

ZH: Always! A few of our favorite collaborations that are in store are new installments and shows at the amazing new Wanderlust Yoga Studio in Hollywood, work with LA Fashion Week later this month, and a bunch more that we gotta keep under wraps! But definitely stay tuned.

 

TS: What’s been the toughest aspect of starting the company?

ZH: Loaded question – over the past two years there is almost always a new hurdle or challenge on a daily basis – but that’s what makes it exciting and rewarding. Product development to the point of being truly happy with the work, dealing with web developers, managing budgets, and putting out fires have all been challenges, but happy to say they’ve made us the company we are today and we’re excited about what’s next.

 

TS: Any advice or tips you could offer to artists out there trying to turn their hobbies into a business?

ZH: The art world is so interesting to me as an entrepreneur because each individual artist is, him or herself, an entrepreneur running a company complete with branding, marketing, and sales. The development of an artist’s career is solely based on the ability to develop their brand into a recognizable and monetizable entity that people will relate to and invest in; just like a start up company. It’s extremely difficult for anyone to ever turn actual profit out of their art if it is not their 100%, entire focus because of this, just like it’s much more difficult to start a successful company if it’s just your ‘hobby’.
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5 Tips From Jake Osmun: The New Wave of Entrepreneurs

Straight from the newly well-funded Complex Magazine comes an inspiring article about the newest type of entrepreneur on the scene today.  Jake Osmun is the epitome of the modern-day self-made man using the most basic resources a kid has these days to grow his reach. With nothing more than an instagram and a fortunate spot working at Virgil Abloh’s venture RSVP Gallery, he took himself from grinding in the dark to bright and sunny days.

Now Jake Osmun is Vic Mensa’s personal tour photographer and has moved up to a full-time position in the creative department of RSVP Gallery.  Not too bad for a kid who suddenly moved to Chicago and had to build himself professionally from the ground up.  Did we mention he’s only 20 years old? In terms of inspiration, this article is full of it.  Here’s 5 tips this kid can give us from his experiences so far:

 

 

1. Make The Move

When you’re stuck in a professional rut and your circumstances aren’t working out, moving to a new city isn’t a terrible idea.  Not only does it freshen things up but it gives you a new sense of confidence that it’s just you out here.  Win or lose, thats your choice.

 

2. Use Your Resources

Jake is the perfect example of someone making the most out of what they’ve got.  He not only used the usual Instagram (every amateur photographer’s favorite asset) strategy to gain a following but he didn’t neglect in-person networking either.  In my experience the people you meet can provide you with make-or-break opportunities simply because you’ve jumped the very big hurdle of “but what are you like in person??”.  Once people get a feel that you are who you say you are, things start moving along much quicker.

Jake also used the resources at his job to boost his knowledge and relevance.  He cites working at RSVP Gallery as a huge help in terms of gaining “more respect and understanding for clothes, fit, design, colors, and all that”.  Remember, soak up all that you can around you. There’s always more valuable information around than there is time to learn it all. Make the most of it.

 

3. Be Proactive

In life there are two types of people, proactive and reactive.  Reactive people wait for something to happen to them. Proactive people go out there and make it happen.  While there are people who facilitated Jake’s success along the way and helped him out, it’s no secret that none of it would’ve happened if he didn’t actively put himself in those situations.  Moving to Chicago, working in a high-profile spot, broadening his reach on Instagram and even the introduction he initiated at a meet-and-greet with Vic Mensa are all his doing. Get out there and make it happen.

 

4. Stay True To Yourself

This is one of the most important tips he gave in the interview.  In this day and age when we are all our own brand, authenticity is essential.  You will get nowhere if your brand isn’t believable and the only way to do that is to be yourself entirely.  The second you forget who you are, you forget who your peers are as well.  If you never lose sight of the grind and don’t get ahead of yourself, remember to be nice to those around you, one nice interaction can lead to an introduction which can lead another and next thing you know you’re shooting for Vic Mensa.

 

5. Never Give Up

And there you have it. The fifth and crucial tip.  On your road to your dreams, keep going.  The limits we have in this life are the ones that we set for ourselves.  Make it as far as you can see and once you get there, you’ll be able to see a whole lot more.  If you do that over and over there is no limits to what you can accomplish.

 

Needless to say, we don’t even know this guy and we’re already fans of his.  Head to Complex for the entire interview and article.