Are You A Quirkipreneur?
Originally posted on Circus Serene Dec 3, 2010. So much has happened since then -- the concept and community have grown, the definition has tightened up, become a lot less "misfit" oriented, and become a lot more sure of itself. But most if not all of this post.it still holds true, and to me, at least? It still reads just as powerfully as ever. But I'm curious about what you think - let me know in the comments!
Today, we're putting the elephants back to work.
Why? We have a new tent that needs putting up.
A sideshow tent.
A special tent.
A Quirky tent.
It's well situated on the carnival grounds, just across from the Sideshow Freaks, next to the House of Mirrors, and it caters to a very special clientele, indeed.
No no, not the "special" clientele that frequents the hoochie-coochie show. (What kind of place do you think I'm running here, anyway?).
I mean the REALLY special folks - the ones with dreams, and aspirations, talents, and... well.. quirks.
I call them Quirkipreneurs.
And I think you might just be one.
Why? Because you're here, aren't you? Listening to me? That in and of itself makes you more than a wee bit quirky, don't you think? But yes, I can be more specific.
Quirkipreneurs are Creators of Awesome, Innovators of Imagination, Quirkfiers of the Extra-Ordinary, And....
Ok ok, enough of the Circus Barker act.
You'd be amazed how much energy that takes!
Quirkipreneurs are people like you and me, people who are building their lives, careers, and businesses around our creative-differentness.
When people ask us what we do for a living, we cringe, because we really aren't sure how to explain it.
The ordinary labels don't fit us, and we don't squish down well into boxes, either - random bits of stuffing and fluff always seem to be pushing through the seams.
Sure, we can be described as entrepreneurs, freelancers, writers, advertisers, Internet marketers, artists, graphic designers, small business owners and consultants, but ... really? Really?
Those labels describe us about as well as ungulate describes a cow; accurate enough, but, it so misses the point, and could also describe a bison, boar, or rhino, so it's a little misleading and vague.
Also, very awkward to pronounce.
But back to Quirkipreneurs.
A key trait to being on "Team Quirk" (as I like to put it) is that we seem to have to find our own paths to things, to invent our own ways of doing stuff, even if there are perfectly good and established ways of doing it, already in place
It's not necessarily because we're rebels, or non-conformists, or we enjoy breaking the mold, but because it's just the way we are.
We try to follow the trails that other people have blazed, we consult maps and compasses, even watch endless travel videos, and yet... we don't get anywhere that way. Three days (or weeks, or months, or YEARS!) after embarking on our journey, we're still standing in the same damn place, but perhaps a little more broke. Other people's maps cost money, you know - and we buy a LOT of them. Even though they mostly get us more lost.
We need - NEED - to do it our own way.
To blaze our own trails.
To reinvent the wheel.
It's our process, this reinventing thing. And it can create some totally awesome, wonderful, marvelous and successful things.
It looks pointless to outsiders, and it means we generally have a whole lot of partly built wheels lying around, but.. um...
I seem to have lost my point...
That's another common trait among Quirkipreneurs... we're often going in so many different directions, reinventing so many wheels, blazing so many paths, that once we finally do get moving, we get lost in all the options.
The possibilities of our visions are overwhelming, and the potential is of the OMG variety.
And it really IS an OMG sort of thing. Quirkipreneurs can (and have!) changed the world, many times over.
We're awesome like that.
When we succeed (and we do, often in big ways), we don't succeed in spite of our quirks.
We succeed because of our quirks.
It's where our innovation comes from. Our creativity. our uniqueness. It's what makes us different, standouts, special. When we're at our best, we're less about overcoming our obstacles, more about exploiting them.
We're the Circus Freaks of the business world. Some of the biggest draws on the Midway, yes, we get stared at, ogled, pointed and giggled at. Occasionally, we get pelted with tomatoes, but more often, we get envious, curious, engaged questions from the audience, people who wonder and marvel at what it must be like to be so talented, so different, so gifted, so quirky.
Unless we're lucky enough to belong to some sort of Tradition of Ancestral Eccentricities, we're usually pretty isolated and alone, in spite of the crowds that may gather around us.
Because we're different.
And no matter how well-adjusted, no matter how spiritually evolved and self-aware we are? Being isolated and alone pretty much sucks.
Being isolated and alone, while you reinvent the wheel for the thousand+oneth time?
That really sucks.
I mean, you never know till you ask, right?
I think it's time we stopped being alone.
I think it's time to make it easier to find each other, easier to discover the support and products and services suited to our Quirky natures, easier to offer our support and products and services to others, easier to ... well... easier to do a whole heck of a lot of things.
So I'm finally doing something about it.
I'm giving us a label, a keyword that marks us as distinct from all the other businesses out there, a term we can use that will help us find one another, carve out a unique place in the search engines and tags and... other stuff.
I'm declaring us Quirkipreneurs.
I'm also (hopefully) building a new website (quirkipreneurs.com) which will (also hopefully) make it easier to find one another, get support, share information, recommend products and services, and generally connect and get the word out to the world.
We need this.
I need this.
And I'm tired of waiting for someone else to build it, so... Yeah.
Quirkipreneurs is the new big tent around here, the one that my trusty Circus Elephants are busy putting up. While you're waiting, try the idea of being a Quirkipreneur on for size, see if you think it flatters your skin tone.
If you like it? Let me know in the comments. Think of it as a quirky little roll-call or something. It's a community thing, after all.
And if you aren't a Quirkipreneur, but your Right People are Quirkipreneurs? This is a Thing for you, too. Because we Quirksters need help from outsiders, sometimes, but it helps if the outsiders grok quirkiness, you know?