Monday, June 25, 2007

The View Discusses Women And Business

I don't know if any of you in the blogsphere watch The View, but it is one of the few shows that I enjoy. I often watch the show from my studio while I am drawing. Lately, I've found the episodes a bit boring. Today's episode, however, sparked my interest.

The show featured three guest segments; the entrepreneur who invented Spanx, a group of women who formed an investment club, and the president of Hearst Publications. The president of Hearst Publications reminded me of my former life in the corporate world. She brought up some interesting suggestions about climbing the corporate ladder. Actually, it was the intense pressure of climbing the corporate ladder that inspired me to start my portrait business.

It's not that I choked under pressure. Actually, I thrive when I am busy and faced with an upcoming deadline. I just was not happy with what I was working on and the environment in which I was working. I think that the hosts tried to question the guest about the cutthroat nature of women in business. Some are ruthless in their climb for success. It indicates passion. For me, I was making steady pay, but I was bored out of my skull.

The woman who invented Spanx also had an interesting story to share. She found success in solving the problem of visible panty lines. I say, it's important to follow your heart and intuition. It makes hard work worthwhile, even during the times of struggle. Although, they didn't really tap into that subject much. The guest blamed some of her struggle on the fact that she was pitching a women's hosery idea to an audience of men. After one executive believed in her, she was off to the land of the wealthy.

It's a positive message and encouraging to women who would like to start their own business. However, I think that success depends on the nature of your field. In the field of illustration, for instance, success depends on a subjective opinion of your skill set. Plus, you are competing in a huge pool of talent with fewer openings. There can be a lot of downtime, rejection, and disappointment. It certainly isn't as lucrative as a salaried position in the beginning. Of course, there are exceptions.

The other issue that bothers me is that the emphasis of this episode was money. I agree that people should not be scared of money. Owning a business has provided me with a crash course in basic accounting and marketing. I almost gave up in the beginning, because I found the paperwork and licensing daunting. My passion for drawing helped me work through the fear.

Working in a satisfying field is what is important to me. The fact that I am not a millionaire does not indicate laziness. I have a passion inside of me to succeed. To me, success is about satisfying pet owners and families. In some cases, portraits help people heal from a loss. Yes, it is important to stay afloat and ask for a fair wage. However, the show failed to touch on the beauty of following your passion. In some cases, following your dream feeds the business owner more than monetary compensation.