Wear your too large wings with confidence, you’ll grow into them.
Anna Sabino is the designer behind the jewelry brand Lucid New York, which she started more than a decade ago after leaving her Wall Street career. Her jewelry collections are sold in more than 100 stores all over the world and have been featured by the editors of People StyleWatch, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and many others.
Anna was featured as a trade show exhibiting techniques expert by Entrepreneur Magazine. Anna is a contributor to Medium and a certified co-active business building coach. She speaks, coaches, and leads workshops focusing on growing your creative business, creating multiple streams of income, and working remotely. Anna shares valuable business advice for artists and other creatives in the book
Where did the idea for Your Creative Career book come from?
I quit my Wall Street career and started a jewelry brand Lucid New York. I have explored a lot in the area of product business – from selling wholesale to having a monthly jewelry subscription service, opening retail locations and selling online. I made a lot of mistakes and paid for them. By sharing my lessons learned with fellow creatives in my book Your Creative Career, I hope to save them time. I hope Your Creative Career inspires them to find their true creative calling and define success on their own terms. This is my mission as a writer – to save readers time so that they achieve success faster.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I’m not a morning person and decided to embrace it. I think acting in tune with your circadian rhythm is important to your creative process and productivity. Instead of forcing my creative juices flow in the mornings, I love soaking in knowledge and starting my day by reading Medium articles, NY Times and books. This can inspire me to send a few ships – marketing method, which I describe in my book – Your Creative Career. It focuses on reaching out and sending messages without expecting anything in return. I usually send about five ships a day and I do it in the mornings.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I like shipping concepts that may seem not ready. I think that by getting ideas out there in their initial stages, there are more chances for them to develop into successful finished products. Nowadays our audience wants to be involved in the creation process so that the final product they receive
fits their needs better.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I noticed this amazing draw towards investing in self-care, mindfulness and growth. It’s fantastic. More people want to grow and expand their reach. There’s more reading and writing, we take classes and courses. I believe in implicit learning so by exposing ourselves to so much intellectual greatness, more intriguing concepts may emerge.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I create when inspiration strikes me. I don’t wait to have a few hours of blocked time to start writing. I write when I can – on my phone when I wait in line, in between meetings or in a parking lot of a grocery store. To me it’s important to take advantage of even ten or fifteen minutes when inspiration strikes. Sometimes you can get more done during these fifteen minutes than when you have a few hours of blocked time devoted to writing.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Try as many things as you can. Be free, don’t worry about the mess and possible mistakes. You don’t have to focus only on things that you think may serve you. Discovering what you don’t want to do is also important on your road to self-discovery.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I have a strong opinion about pursuing formal education. We have all heard of successful college or even high school drop outs who started lucrative companies and whose stories have been shared as examples to be inspired by and follow. I cringe when I hear these stories and stick with my belief that formal education gives us amazing opportunity to be exposed to knowledge and get inspired in an unexpected way. Sometimes we won’t notice that it’s the calculus classes that have sharpened our problem solving skills or it’s our demanding literature professor who contributed to honing our writing skills and getting our pitches accepted.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I invest time and money in experiences focusing on growth. Whether it’s attending events and conferences or signing up for courses and classes, I stay curious and soak in inspiration from wherever I can.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Working on getting rid off the pressure of delivering perfect and not being ready to launch. There’s always going to be something to do in your business – your website may not be perfect or your business cards may not arrive on time for the event. No matter the circumstances, I have been always working with what I had.
If you let it, the pressure of not feeling ready may cripple you. I would always show up with confidence and never apologize for not being ready. I’m a believer in what I’m saying in Your Creative Career: “Wear your too large wings with confidence, you’ll grow into them.”
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I have been running a successful jewelry brand – Lucid New York for over a decade. During my entrepreneurial path I felt so confident in my business skills that I decided to start a handbag line.
I knew nothing about handbags but encouraged by my initial success, I felt that anything I started would be successful. My handbag collection was a huge costly mistake I made and I was debating if I should spend more time and energy on it or quit it.
Having read “The Dip” by Seth Godin, I decided to cut the losses and move on from it. It’s not easy to admit to your own mistake and accept that you lost. Most of us will try to recuperate to satisfy our ego. As hard as it was, I let go, cut the losses and moved on from the handbag line idea.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If you’re thinking of starting a product business, consider launching your idea on Kickstarter. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to start a business – all you need is a lot of time to create beautiful graphics, video and description but as far as production, you’ll only need a sample of a product. You’ll end up spending a lot of time connecting and spreading the word about your campaign but you’ll get feedback and based on it, you’ll know if your business is worth pursuing.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently bought a few books focusing on minimalism, living with less and mindfulness. Soulful Simplicity by Courtney Carver, The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Steven Hanselman as well as Crystal Muse by Heather Askinosie and Timmi Jandro. I’m looking forward to getting inspired and introducing new habits and rituals into my daily life.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
I love my Erin Condren productivity planner. Checking things off the list in a traditional way makes me feel accomplished. There’s some magic in simple ink and paper, which can’t be replaced by any keyboard. I’m into visuals so using colors and stickers helps my creative flow. To-do lists become more fun and manageable.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I’m going to suggest the iconic The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. He coined the term of lifestyle design over a decade ago and wrote this book focusing on efficiency and inspiring us to discover what our ideal lifestyle should look like.
What is your favorite quote?
“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” – Thomas Jefferson
“Discomfort is a price of admission to a meaningful life.” – Susan David, Emotional Agility.
- Instead of giving in to social pressure, pay attention to your circadian rhythm. If you’re not a morning person, play your day accordingly by scheduling more involved tasks for the late morning and afternoon.
- Invest in self-care and personal growth letting go of the pressure that everything you do has to serve you.
- Try many things, experiment and create with abandon then let your audience give your product its final shape.
- Don’t wait too long for your terrific ideas to see the daylight, many businesses will never start because their founders will never feel ready. Accept shipping what may seem imperfect.
- Work with what you have and show up with confidence. If you don’t believe in what you do, neither will your potential clients.
- You got this!
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.