Read stories of people you admire. Not just their work though. You want to learn more about the pragmatic, human side of the business. What are the people like who work in the field you dream of? What has their experience been? How is this creative business a lifestyle? How do they really spend and earn? How long did it really take them to be up and running?
- Start with the Heroine’s Journey questionnaire. Select the best questions.
- Make a list of extra questions you want to ask them. You won’t get to aks all those questions in a single visit or telephone call but listing them will help you organize your thoughts.
- Prioritize the questions. You want to ask your most important questions first; you don know how long you’ll get to talk.
- Go back to your research and pick out five or six people you would like to meet. It doesn’t matter who or where they are; they can be people who are doing exactly what you want to do, or simply people who are knowledgeable about the industry. That can be in your own country or somewhere else in the world. Ultimately you might want to reach out to many more; these are just to get you started. Having a target five or six will ensure that you don’t quit if the first one is unresponsive.
- Once you have met a mentor, be sure to ask your mentor who else you should talk to. Who else does she know who might be helpful to you?
Questions to Ask
Your research at this stage does not need to be exhaustive. You’ll be doing more research with your mentor and even more after your vocation. Right now you just want a basic level education in your prospective creative business. Here are some things you will want to know:
- What is the typical lifestyle of people in this field?
- Are there opportunities where I currently live or would have to move?
- What kind of money do people tend to make in this field initially and after several years?
- What kind of investment is necessary to get into this creative business?
- What kind of education or training do people need to succeed in this field? Are there exceptions?
- What are the current trends in the industry? Is it expanding, shrinking, saturated?
- Where are the new opportunities in the field?
- What are the biggest challenges facing businesses in the field?
This is just a starter batch of questions; youĺl think of many more as you ask them the more personal questions from the questionnaire: ‘What has your experience been? How do you think this applies to me? After your vocation you’ll focus on how to move into your dream business. But this is your chance to sit back and just immerse yourself in your dream. There is nothing you have to do right now except have fun learning.
You will be surprised at how fast the meetings with heroes and ideas build up. Each meeting will lead to others and will suggest ideas you hadn’t thought of, and soon your desk will be cluttered with notes and folders. It won’t be long before the meetings will become easy, your questions become more targeted, and you find yourself actually enjoying the process.