Jumping out on your own and starting a business is never easy. While empowering and exhilarating, challenges you never would have imagined have a tendency to crop up — scenarios you didn’t plan for like COVID-19.
But, that’s precisely what happened to Spartanburg native and Charlotte creative, Lauren Ansley. After learning the ropes of stand-up comedy over the past few years, she created a side company, Beerly Funny, to produce live comedy shows that “turn local venues – breweries, bottle shops, restaurants, bars, unique performance spaces and now virtual platforms – into comedy clubs one night at a time.”
She loved it. So, Lauren left her full-time job as a sales and marketing coordinator to go all-in on making Beerly Funny her sole source of income.
She did that in February. Of this year. Just as live events ground to a complete halt.
But, eight months later, Lauren and Beerly Funny are still chugging along. (See what we did there?) Lauren has made the shift into both digital comedy events that are open to the public and for-hire custom experiences where clients engage her to produce a digital event tailored to their needs. That’s allowed her to keep pushing her dream forward and help keep other members of the Charlotte comedy community bringing in needed income.
It hasn’t been easy. But, Lauren’s learned along the way. Below, she shares three challenges she’s facing right now. And, they’re no laughing matter.
Here are Lauren’s Three Biggest Creative Challenges on October 16, 2020:
A GLOBAL PANDEMIC (YEAH, THAT WAS DEFINITELY NOT IN MY BUSINESS PLAN)
“My original business was (and still is) partnering with venues – like breweries, restaurants, and performance spaces – to transform them into comedy clubs one night at a time. So, once COVID hit, guess what! *POOF!* No shows! It reminded me a lot of my dating prospects. (JK – don’t tell my husband. JK – don’t have a husband … FELLAS?) And, what are you supposed to do you do when you can’t do what you do anymore? Hint: You go virtual – which I now offer, too!”
“PHEW! As a new-ish solopreneur (just over a year in), there is NEVER enough time in the day to get everything done! I’m just now getting to the point where I’m able to set up some automated processes. But, even then, when you’re juggling everything, it’s hard to find the time to take the time to save the time! And FYI – as a comedian, you can’t ‘do it after work.’ Because after work, you’re at work!”
NOT BEING ABLE TO ASK TO SPEAK TO THE MANAGER
“Call me a total ‘Karen,’ but once I became my own boss, I realized just how much I appreciated being able to get definitive direction from my manager. Now that I AM my own manager, self-doubt and second-guessing creep up often. On the bright side, my quarterly performance evaluations have never looked better!
When you’re creating something new and you’re learning as you go, there’s really no map to show you the way. So, you’re essentially beating down paths to carve out trails that you hope will eventually become roads. (Wow, that was, like, totally poetic, wasn’t it?!)
A Few More Sips of Beerly Funny
PHOTO CREDIT: Bobby Kerns Productions
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