NxLevel: week 1

so it's been several years since i've been in a formal classroom setting. but i'm truly jazzed about the potential that this class has to offer. in my mind, blue13 has always been a way to simply demonstrate my randomly-acquired talents and fulfill randomly-acquired freelance jobs. once i actually started getting work and creating new ideas for business leads the company started to grow despite my efforts to ignore it. ha!

now that i've realized blue13 is my future (at least immediately), it's all or nothing. do something at half-speed and you'll likely get half-speed results. botched metaphors aside, tuesday night was our first class and i was excited to get started.

there's about 20 students in the class, each with personal visions of taking their creative ideas and turning them into successful business models. when asked why we enrolled, several common reasons compelled my fellow entrepreneurs to take the course: monetizing our creativity, following through on business plans, realizing our potential and overcoming market and personal obstacles.

along with a couple other writers in attendence, our class is filled with videographers, graphic and interior and fashion designers, ceramics and glass artists, marketing and life coaches and someone with a super rad idea for a yoga cafe. i'm so looking forward to networking with these creatives.

after introducing ourselves to the group we started discussing traits that all successful entrepreneurs share and how we could utilize them for our benefit. we watched some insightful videos about other start-ups that went on to have some incredibly encouraging success (i.e. 1-800-flowers, burt's bees and the "life is good" t-shirt guys).

the "life is good" story is exceptionally inspiring to me as blue13 is in the process of launching a line of fair-trade, sweatshop-free t-shirts with a socially positive bent. a faction of our class seemed to believe that these guys were the benefactors of some situational luck - which indeed they were - but i'm hoping the type of positivity seeded in a "life is good" slogan is a commodity that people will find valuable. however, stumbling across some luck doesn't hurt either. what's that old cliche? "the harder i work the luckier i become..." something like that.

our instructor, Caroline Hanna, is a business consultant with the metro denver SBDC. she used a great quote from Peter Drucker, the late, well-respected business author who business week dubbed "the man who invented management" to inspire us as we embarked on this journey: "one doesn't pray for a long life but for an easy death." oh wait, that's not it. i mean, "most of what you hear about entrepreneurship is all wrong. it's not magic; it's not mysterious; and it has nothing to do with genes. it's a discipline and, like any discipline, it can be learned."

... and with that, i'm off to do my homework for the week. i have much learning to do.



  1. Matthew,
    I am looking forward to hearing about your business adventure with the SBDC Arts Program. I will post a link to my blog so that my readers can follow you as well.

    Best Regards,

  2. Good job on blog.
    Love the humor in your posts.
    You're on the right track.
    Go get 'em!

  3. Way to post, Matthew (I started to say "way to go," but the other sounded more blog-appropriate). Your Mom send the Wednesday night writers' Critique Group an email about your blog. Mine is related to diet/exercise/lifestyle issues.

    Peter Springberg


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