A Conversation with Joseph Warren and Reubeena Ianigro
This post is for all ARTISTS who want to harness their creativity to make their first $100K. In this post, we show how Reubeena Ianigro started an enamel pin business and crossed the $100K mark in year one.
Before starting her pin business, Reubeena was a social worker who clocked into the office 9-5, Monday through Friday. Every day, people told her what to do, and she had to make sure she obeyed the policies of a slow and confusing government system. It was steady work, but it was CRUSHING HER CREATIVITY.
Everything changed when Reubeena gave birth to her daughter. Not only did Reubeena have her own life to think about, she had to think about the life she was creating for her child. She knew she needed to gain a larger perspective on life.
This is what she asked herself: “When I thought into the future, whenever I die, and look back on my life, did I do the things I wanted to do?”
The answer was “no,” and not long after, Reubeena quit her job and started her pin business. It hasn't even been a year and she’s already made her first $100K. On launch day, she made over $5000. And I know what you’re thinking, Startup Nation artists.
You’re thinking, “How can an artist use their creativity and actually make money?”
Here’s how Reubeena did it.
Pursue curiosity and vision
When I talk with my artist friends, I notice they talk about being true to themselves. They’re always trying to express themselves uniquely. They try to capture their own voices.
I’m not an artist, Startup Nation, but entrepreneurs need the same mindset when it comes to unqiueness. You’ve got to find your niche! Whether you’re a software developer, coffee shop owner, or spiritual life coach, you have to be yourself to stand out from the competition.
Reubeena explains how staying true to herself helped her find her niche. She says, “How can I do it my way? I have my own thoughts, feelings, and experiences. There are a million pin makers out there.”
Reubeena creates pins that inspire her. She creates messages that make her feel confident and strong. For example, she sells pins that say “Crafting is my superpower,” “Don’t measure your progress using someone else’s ruler,” and “If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.” These personal messages are what set her apart from every other pin maker.
“Done is better than perfect”
Visionaries often have trouble finishing projects. This applies to artists and entrepreneurs. Let’s say you’ve designed a shoe you think is going to be the next hot item. You spend six months creating the design. But then the protype shows up and heels are thicker than you wanted. Then you go to make a website and you can’t decide on whether the image should go on the left or the right. Two years later, you still haven’t sold a single shoe.
Don’t let the perfectionist inside you derail your business. Work hard, ask for feedback, and then launch your product. You can always release a better product. You can always collect data and optimize your website. You can’t go back in time and complete projects you never finished.
Three practical tips to create your $100K art business
Outsource your branding, design, and website
You are good at what you do. Your web designer is good at designing websites. Why are you trying to do both? By doing everything yourself, you’re losing money and headed toward burnout.
Let’s say Reubeena is great at making pins and gets 80% of total revenue from selling pins. This means she should spend as much time as possible making pins! If she tries designing her own website she’ll get frustrated, waste time, and lose out on profit margin.
Follow your intuition
If you keep looking to other people for answers, you’re going to get caught up in the race. Reubeena invested in many marketing courses and programs when she started her business. Even though she didn’t have time to complete them, she thought she could access these hidden “magic bullet” answers. Marketing courses aren’t bad, but you need to trust yourself and your intuition when starting a business.
Hire a coach to hold you accountable
Over the years, Reubeena realized that she started a lot of projects and didn’t finish them. This happens to artistic types who love coming up with new ideas and projects. Art and entrepreneurship are both long games. Find a coach to keep you focused, accountable, and passionate about growing your business.
If you’re an artist committed to your first $100K, remember to stay true to yourself, fight perfectionism, and build a team of employees and coaches to support you.
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About Joseph Warren
Joseph Warren is a Christian Speaker, Podcast Host and Spiritual Coach. Joseph Warren offers Spiritual Coaching to Christian Business Owners who somehow find themselves in a spiritual rut. In just 90 days, he helps them avoid expensive divorces, break free from addiction, restore broken family relationships, and start living their Higher Purpose!