Michelle Micalizzi, Artist
(All Rights Reserved)
I am about to start the Art of Fearlessly Doing Business III series. The premise of this project is that I tell the story of entrepreneurism in this series through the example of thirteen fearless business people. The first post for that series will be January 19, 2017. I have several of the thirteen participants already in place and I am in the process of continuing to call my rather long waiting list. It’s exciting to know that I already have enough people on my waiting list to fill this year’s roster twice. However, I am a big believer in fate and timing. Even though I have some of the folks on my list this year, it might not be the right time for them, whereas it might be one of your colleague’s fate to be part of these year’s show! I accept nominations for the Fearless 13 up to the point that I have all the slots filled and the spots fill up quickly so don’t hesitate to nominate someone.
What qualifies a person to be one of the Fearless Thirteen?
First and foremost, the individual has to embrace their entrepreneurial status with everything they have and as a result be truly fearless. Fearless Thirteen participants own their own businesses or hold significant leadership positions in their company. They are grossing minimally 250K (many of them earn far more) and are not satisfied with that number. I prefer to interview founders but being a founding business owner is not a pre-requisite.
People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe
- The Fearless thirteen know what their “Why” is inside and out and they appreciate the road they had to travel to understand their “Why”.
- They embrace social media personally or have a social media manager or expert that they are working with. I am looking for more women to interview this year as well. I would love it if this year’s Fearless Thirteen was more balanced between male and female participants than previous rosters.
- They get the power of networking and like the idea of meeting other driven entrepreneurs like them selves.
- They may be art enthusiasts but more importantly, they are open to trying something different.
I leave you this week with this REQUEST:
Who do you know that is fearless and owns a successful business that might be interested in a unique, creative, out of the box marketing experience?
This blog post originally posted in 2017!
Nominations for future projects are always being accepted for upcoming projects.
BOLIO COMMISSION STORY: Kaleidoscope
This commissioned painting is a perfect example of the result of creative out of the box marketing.
Kelly Bolio and I met sixteen years ago at the Green Mountain Harley Davidson (GMHD) Harley Owner Group (HOG). We both bought our bikes from GMHD and as such became members of the chapter’s HOG group. HOG is an acronym in this case but the term actually does refer to the “Wrecking Crew” HD racing team who famously ‘hogged” the raceway in the 1920s. They even had an actual hog mascot during those years. The HOG groups are one of the things that make Harley Davidson unique. To Kelly and my benefit; community has been a part of the Harley Davidson marketing model from its very beginning. In the first year of knowing one another we both had the luxury of time to just be biker chicks together. Kelly was riding a 2003 Anniversary Edition Sportster and I was riding Ruby, my 2000 Softail Standard. Our meeting had everything to do with smart marketing that leads to extreme brand loyalty. When Harley Davidson was defining what made them different from their competitors, one of the Davidson brothers came up with the idea of creating motorcycle clubs. Then the patriotic Harley Davidson founders made sure that their bikes were the preferred military motorcycle during World War II by offering to teach service men how to fix their bikes out in the field at no additional cost to the US Government. Patriotism and smart marketing made many of the young men (and a few women) returning from WWII die-hard, raving Harley fans. Generations of bikers to come would not be caught dead on anything but a Harley Davidson based upon this exceedingly smart marketing move. 103 years later, Kelly and I forged a life-long friendship that came about through brand loyalty that we celebrated in our HOG group in Colchester, Vermont.
Live to Ride. Ride to Live.
In the summer of 2003 Kelly and I took a solo chick camping trip to Laconia, NH for the second largest bike event in the country. We had a fantastic time and created many lasting memories. When we were on our way home, we had quite an extraordinary experience. I won’t go into all the details but the punch line of the story is that when we were leaving our camp group, a kaleidoscope (swarm) of butterflies flew with us on our bikes for miles while we rode. Seriously! Hundreds of them: it was surreal. When we finally came to a stop sign, we silently stared at one another with saucers for eyes in total disbelief. Both of us were too awed to say a word, afraid to shorten the experience with sound. Just before they left, they came closer, and time stopped for a moment as the two of us blinked at one another and did not breath. Then poof they were gone. It was one of those moments where you could not believe it was happening; it was truly unforgettable. Over the years, that one moment is one we have held onto very tightly; a moment that bounds us together forever.
The Name of this piece is Kaleidoscope because a group of butterflies is called a ‘Kaleidoscope’, ‘Swarm’ or ‘Rabble’. Also, interestingly enough the collective name for a group of caterpillars is ‘an army’. I believe right before we metamorphosis into something greater we are all at war with something. For sure that summer Kelly and I were in the midst of big changes and her husband Adam was actually in the middle of a real life war over seas as a service man. I find the play of words amusing.
I believe in out of the box marketing because it clearly works. When we are able to create relationships, all sorts of adventures can happen. Everyone thought Davidson was an eccentric nut job but over a 100 years later, his intuitive relationship building ideas are why Harley Davidson continues to be such a strong company! If Mr. Davidson had not been the fearless business owner who was truly on fire for his company –Kelly and I may have never met, which would have been a real tragedy.
The Art of Fearlessly Doing business is both out of the box art making and business. I am so grateful that I have figured out how to uniquely combine my two passions, ART and BUSINESS. I cannot tell you how much this project means to me and how grateful I feel to get the opportunity to paint these fearless business owners’ stories! At its core, it is all about being the example of a fearless business owner and artist myself by creatively building lasting relationships.
Entrepreneurs and inspiring stories of all kinds are MICALIZZI ENTERPIRES muse and focus. As an artist, a business woman and a visual journalist Michelle Micalizzi paints with a purpose. The MICALIZZI ART PROJECTS are collaborative social practice art engagements that connect art + business + community.
WHAT I AM READING THIS WEEK
Feel free to email me and suggest a book that you have found particularly helpful!