Grow leaders so you can delegate and go to the next level in your business.
Heidi Luerra is the Founder & CEO of RAW:natural born artists, the world’s largest independent arts organization. For almost 20 years, Heidi has worked with creatives and artists of all types. Originally a Northern California native, Heidi moved to Los Angeles at age eighteen to fulfill her dream of being a fashion designer. At age twenty-four, after a string of hard knocks, Heidi launched the arts platform with zero funding from her kitchen table. Over the past decade, Heidi has grown RAW to a worldwide operation in over 80 cities with almost 200k artists in the RAW community.
She currently oversees a team of 65 from RAW headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. Heidi just published her first ever book, The Work of Art: A No Nonsense Field Guide for Creative Entrepreneurs (written by a creative entrepreneur who has endured her share of nonsense).
Where did the idea for RAW come from?
The idea for RAW spawned from my own desire years prior to have a platform to share and showcase my clothing line. I wanted to go direct to consumer. When I found no approachable entity to showcase with, I decided to start one myself.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical day for me starts and ends with a to-do list review, sandwiched in between are meetings, emails and project production. Anything from dispersing a new feature on our website, to marketing, international calls, attorneys etc. I’ve got my hand in almost everything the company does.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I give myself a set deadline for each idea that I want to become a reality. I work backwards from that date and create mini milestones for myself to follow.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I’m really liking that it’s all about women empowerment at the moment. It’s long overdue! I’m pleased to see that celebrating and placing women/women’s issues at the forefront is on trend right now.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I stack up all my weekly meetings on Tuesdays. I have them back to back so the rest of my week is free and clear to execute work and projects.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Have patience. Slow down. Trust your gut.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That Mercury Retrograde is real.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I revisit what I want regularly. As experience and new knowledge shapes you as a business owner and you’re constantly evolving, it’s important to reflect on the reason “why?” you started.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Growing leaders! Over the years RAW has employed hundreds of different people, the one thing that will grow your business is if you can find great people and help grow as leaders. When you delegate day-to-day responsibilities you can grow farther and faster.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I’ve had tons! Too many to even list. You can read about them in my book, The Work of Art.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I’ve always thought a platform for corporate sponsors to search for local events to micro sponsor would be cool. I have about fifty more ideas too!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I paid a few proofreaders to go over my book. Money well spent!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I LOVE GSuite. I exclusively use Google Drive, chat, sheets etc. I also love the Gsuite labs (super fun bells and whistles you can attach to your google account).
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I’m going to say mine, because I have to. The Work of Art: A No-Nonsense Field Guide for Creative Entrepreneurs. It’s a business book for creative people.
What is your favorite quote?
“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” – Haruki Murakami
- Decide what you want to accomplish and set an end date/goal date
- Work backwards from your target goal and decide what needs to get done
- Break what needs to be done into mini bitesized milestones
- Use your time wisely and stay organized
- Grow leaders so you can delegate and go to the next level in your business
- Read The Work of Art: A No-Nonsense Field Guide for Creative Entrepreneurs
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.