As singers, we all come to a point where we need a change! In the past 4 years since starting Opera Diva Dress Collection, I cannot begin to tell you how much has changed. While I am the same person, I’ve grown so much as a woman transitioning from being solely a singer focused on singing to an entrepreneur with more opportunities to change lives of not only myself, but other performers through both my photography, this platform and through volunteerism.
I broke down my pivot process into five steps.
- REALITY CHECK
It’s really hard to say to yourself that maybe you didn’t live up to the expectations you once held so dearly to your heart. I only wanted to be a successful singer. I was on that path and then–pardon my language– $%*T happened. I lost my confidence and, with it, my talent. While at times, it felt like my life was over and it was hard to get out of bed everyday, MY LIFE WAS NOT OVER! I did not fail. I just needed a reboot.
Maybe take some time away from singing or take time exploring other possibilities. You are always free to explore other opportunities. I am so thankful for my experience working outside of the world of opera because it got me to really THINK that maybe, “I HAVE MORE TO OFFER!”
Evaluate what you are good at. I sat down and wrote down all the things that I was interested in besides opera. I realized my greatest asset besides my voice is my uncanny ability to see the potential in someone. I am able to push them and give them the confidence they need to succeed in business. I also have a huge network of people that I know and people for the most part generally like me.
- SEEK INFO
I began to take ODDC seriously just before we hit 3,000 members. I realized how much I did not know. I’ve always been a risk taker, but I knew that I had a lot to learn if I could get this off the ground successfully. I’ve done other things such as property management for vacation rentals, styling off-and-on for almost a decade, helping friends launch publicity and photography businesses and, last summer, my own photography business.
About a year and a half ago, I called my old friend Dara Epstein of SmartSitters for some advice. I’ve never thanked her but, I’ll do it here! Her advice to look for a mentorship program and take additional classes in the skills that I lack could not have come at a better time. She suggested contacting the Small Business Association and seeing what kinds of programs and classes they offered to female entrepreneurs. I was accepted into a mentorship program which was very helpful the first few months of starting a business. I also researched other free programs that would offer consulting to female entrepreneurs and went prepared for all of those meetings to listen but also to really learn as much as I could for those hours. I cannot tell you how much I’ve learned from YouTube or specific online courses and webinars! There are so many incredible resources online. Do your homework!
When deciding to alter the course of your life, you cannot assume that you know better than anyone else or that you’ve got it all figured out. Sometimes, you just don’t know what you just don’t know! SEEK INFORMATION and find ways to ingest it so it feels organic to your process.
- PLAN PLAN PLAN
Once you’ve researched, now it is ready to set some goals and make sure you follow them. They don’t have to be lofty goals, just small milestones you set for yourself. Do one thing everyday for your side hustle even if it’s just making a post on social media to talk about it. Call a friend and tell them what you are thinking. I’ve set up consultations with entrepreneurs and paid them to look over my materials and give me their professional advice. The more you talk about something, the more real it is.
This is probably the most difficult step…. HOW can you get yourself out there in a new field when you lack experience?
Focus on what you already know. You probably have some things you can transfer to this new career path. Find those connections and figure out how to exploit them to your advantage. Sometimes the things that make you weird in a new profession are what get you noticed.
Figure out who you know. Reach out to contacts and tell them about what you are doing now. Go on social media and/or shoperatic.com and blast to the world what it is that you are up to in this time and place. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK! You might not even need to leave your sofa! Most of my photography clients were generated via social media… which was crazy because I didn’t really even know what I was doing. The old #fakeittilyoumakeit !!!! Everyone knows someone who does something …. be open to all of the possibilities! I’ve met so many interesting people throughout the years either through friends of friends or cold on social media.
You’ve got this!