Quit your job and do this full time!
That was the advice Jenny Poff got from designer-turned-venture capitalist, Kristian Andersen, when she pitched her passion project, The Designers Roundtable, in front of 1000 people at the Ignite Your Passion Project session, hosted by Terri Trespicio at HOW Design Live in Atlanta.
Four months later, she hasn’t quite quit, but is definitely moving in that direction. You can hear all about it in our recent podcast interview. But here are the highlights.
Jenny Poff’s passion project, The Designers Roundtable, is a national online accountability group for “creativepreneurs,” and Jenny was one of 4 lucky designers (selected from a pool of 16 applicants) to pitch her passion project to 3 panelists and experts, including Andersen, artist and author Danny Gregory, and SCAD professor Holly Quarzo. The designers gave their 5 minute pitch, then the experts asked questions and gave feedback, guidance and advice about next steps.
The main message Jenny heard from the experts was this: yes, there is a need for your passion project and it has great potential, but only if you can devote more time to it.
With that wind at her back, she and her team got to work! Here’s what they’ve accomplished in 4 months so far:
- The next day at HOWLive, she and her team, most of whom attended HOWLive as a group in Atlanta, commandeered a conference room and built a 1-year plan to expand “The DR,” as they call it.
- To spread the word about “The DR,” she’s laying the foundation to enter the speaking circuit to raise the awareness among the creative community, to share her story, and make deeper connections with other creativepreneurs.
- To build her design firm, Presque Isle Designs (so she can quit or perhaps bring in someone to run it), she’s moved out of her home office. That, in itself, she says, “has catapulted my business and reputation and doubled my business since last year.” She’s also hired a project manager to streamline project workflow and open up more time to dedicate to “The DR.”
Here are some upcoming events you can participate in:
- Take a Test Drive (next one Sept. 21, 2016). Get a taste of how online group video events work – where you can see it, interact with it, and ask questions.
- 3rd Fridays: Your Creative Happy Hour (Sept 16 Launch). This new series of free public events is an opportunity to address hot topics faced by creative solopreneurs.
Plus, The Designers Roundtable will be at HOWLive again in Chicago, May 2-6, 2017. We can’t yet say any more than that, so stay tuned. And hope to see you there.
For advice on passion projects, check out these helpful articles and resources:
- Podcast: How to Turn Your Passion Project into a Business
- Respect My Hustle: Building Creative Culture, One Side Project at a Time
- Online Course: How to Start Your Own Freelance Business
- 6 Side Projects Turned Popular Tools for Designers, Part 1
- 6 Side Projects Turned Popular Tools for Designers, Part 2