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What’s your drink order?

Mine is a Trenta iced black tea with eight pumps of peppermint. Previous obsessions have been mint boba tea with extra boba, xl caramel coffee with six and six, and . . . during a very sleep-deprived time, a venti peppermint mocha with four* extra shots of espresso. That is SEVEN total shots of espresso and well beyond the FDA recommended 600 maximum milligrams of caffeine per day.

What is your ridiculously specific drink order? Because most of us have one. Whether it is coffee, boba, or artisan cocktails there are liquids we want, served up a specific way, and damnit we are okay to pay for it. For the coffee, yes, but for so much more than that.

Take my venti septuple shot peppermint mocha for example. I am a new mom off to work at my part-time job after a barely long enough maternity leave. I listen to Notorious BIG as loud as possible to stop crying before work. I’m about to spend my first 30 minutes of pay on this drink. But if I get this drink I can start thinking about Christmas. I can breathe in the steam. I can collect a smile from a stranger. I can carry a red cup in a cardboard sleeve full of life-giving legal stimulants. Each swallow of warm chocolate and mint promises things can be a little easier. This coffee will take me to a better place. It’s not that I can’t live without it – it’s that life will feel easier with it.

Now you also know how I accidentally trained myself to cry through Hypnotize by Notorious B.I.G.

creative entrepreneur graphic image in coffee shop
creative entrepreneur woman in coffee shop teal yellow

The Art of Being a Creative Entrepreneur

In the world of business and artistry, there exists a special breed of individuals who are not just entrepreneurs but creators, visionaries, and storytellers rolled into one. They are what we call “creative entrepreneurs.” Creative entrepreneurs are those who use their artistic talents, innovative ideas, and passion to bring something unique into the world, often crafting personalized experiences that resonate deeply with their audience.

As a creative entrepreneur myself, I understand the challenges and rewards that come with this distinctive path. In this extended exploration, we’ll delve into the essence of being a creative entrepreneur, the power of hyper-specificity, and the importance of being welcoming to all, while staying true to your creative vision.

Creative Entrepreneur Defined

Before we embark on this journey, let’s establish what a creative entrepreneur truly is. A creative entrepreneur is an individual who leverages their artistic skills, whether in visual arts, music, writing, or any other creative endeavor, to build a business or career. They are not just creators; they are business-minded individuals who understand that their art has value beyond mere aesthetics. Creative entrepreneurs find innovative ways to monetize their craft, creating products or experiences that enrich the lives of others.

Creative entrepreneurs are people who turn their creative visions into tangible assets, and these assets aren’t just products but immersive experiences that leave a lasting impact. Whether it’s through painting, photography, music, writing, or any other form of art, they have the power to evoke emotions, trigger memories, and offer solace in a chaotic world.

What does your drink order mean?

Our individual, hyper-specific drink orders can provide a lot of information about how we work, what we value, and the types of experiences we seek out. I recently tried this out by inviting people to join me for a Brewstrology reading – a chance to have me improvise a crystal ball revelation based purely on what type of coffee, tea, beer, or cocktail they like best. The answers were delightfully all over the place and if you missed us this time, you’ll have to join us again in the future for your Brewstrology reading.

Two of my favorites were Elizabeth, whose order required me to Google “ristretto” and took up two post it notes and Annie who described a simple and delightful martini.

Elizabeth: The Ex-Bartista

Elizabeth was an expert – she had worked at Starbucks, tried every kind of milk, syrup, shot, and technique and settled on a “iced, white mocha, quad shot, blonde and ristretto pulled, almond milk, and no whip.”

My prediction for Elizabeth was that she understood the value of customization, and made choices based on taste not outside influence. That since she wants the classy ristretto and almond milk with that super sugar favorite white mocha that she probably knows how to be around all kinds of people but finds it hard to distinguish what exactly she is “about” at the end of the day.

Annie: The Classy Snacker

Annie’s martinis are acclaimed by many mutual friends – she describes hers as “a gin martini, clean, with olives and lemon” . The olives, she adds, are “a snack in a glass!”.

For Annie I felt like her order was giving me Biltmore Estate vibes but when she shared her snack in a glass concept, I knew she was also a little bit Dollywood. Really the perfect combination, isn’t it? A little bit Biltmore Estate, a little bit Dollywood. A little bit Asheville and a little bit Sevierville. Art museum / Pinball museum. Annie is okay to be a little bit both – that makes her the pottery barn catalogue option attainably boutique and guaranteed to be a comfortable experience.

Creatives Enrich and Enhance Lives

Isn’t it fascinating? How many of us have some version of a highly specific drink that we know we can go out into the world and request. There is a place for all of us – coffee people, boba people, wine people, smoothie people, beer people, cocktail people. All of them are drinks we could get at home. Some of them are drinks you can get in prison, or for free at work. But a business exists for all of us to go enhance our lives by experiencing our own, extremely specific, totally consistent, drink we love.

As creative entrepreneurs we also create highly specific, personalized ways to enrich your lives – even more so than craft beverages, the most successful creatives are making experiences. We aren’t always necessary, in the same way coffee, or boba, or wine might not be strictly necessary. But the work we do as creative entrepreneurs exists because we enhance life. When I had my septuple shot coffee I wasn’t buying a coffee, I was buying the extra 5% of happiness I needed to make my day easier. When I sell a portrait I’m not selling a piece of paper and ink, I’m selling that warm feeling it gives, the memory of the day we created, and the aesthetically beautiful reminder of what’s important to you. I had a conscious choice of how I was going to spend my money, and let me tell you, it added joy and enriched my life to spend it on that coffee. We are the enrichers of lives.

As creatives we make a product that enhances and enriches lives but that doesn’t mean we have to appeal to everyone.

Teresa Porter (2023)

The Power of Hyper-Specificity

One of the defining characteristics of creative entrepreneurs is their ability to embrace hyper-specificity. Just as a coffee connoisseur may have an exacting order for their favorite brew, creative entrepreneurs offer their audience something that is exquisitely unique. These individuals understand that there is a place for everyone, and in a world full of options, standing out requires more than a one-size-fits-all approach.

Consider a coffee shop that caters to the preferences of its patrons. Some customers may have an intricate list of adjectives for their ideal cup of coffee, while others may simply point to a picture on the menu board. Both approaches are valid, and the coffee shop thrives by accommodating both the seasoned coffee aficionado and the casual drinker.

As creative entrepreneurs, we have the privilege of crafting experiences that cater to the diverse tastes and preferences of our audience. Just as a musician may compose a song that speaks to the heart of a specific group of listeners, or a painter may create art that resonates deeply with a particular niche, our creativity shines brightest when it embraces the power of hyper-specificity.

The Bottom Line.

Just because a whole lot of people can drink liquids, doesn’t mean you have to make a beverage for everyone. And just because you can use your talent and creativity to bring something to life, doesn’t mean you have to create for everyone. A boba tea shop will not be profitable if it also tries to sell pour over coffees and smoothies and wine by the glass.

But you do have to be welcoming to everyone.

How to be Welcoming to Everyone

Some customers arrive at the Starbucks drive-through with a memorized, 12 adjective script for the perfect beverage and some people order from the seasonal drink pictures. Is your business newcomer friendly? Do I have to be an expert to understand what you’re talking about? As creatives we are often guilty of living in our own obsession. The vocabulary we have is specific and really niche to our genre and can be off-putting to potential clients. No one wants to feel dumb because they don’t know the lingo give them a clear path to explain what they are looking for. A great phrase to direct them is “what most people do…”.

It is our responsibility to keep our clients from becoming overwhelmed. That includes being overwhelmed by options. Define the parameters of your customization and how you can help people understand what they will most enjoy. Consider pre-creating options for guidance for a smoother sales experience. Do you go to ColdStone and order your own custom ice cream? Or do you pick one off the menu board?

Defining Customization Parameters

Defining Customization Parameters

To prevent clients from becoming overwhelmed, define the parameters of customization in your creative business. Much like a menu board at an ice cream parlor, offer pre-created options that provide guidance and streamline the decision-making process. This not only enhances the customer experience but also showcases your expertise in curating choices that align with your artistic vision.

In the world of creative entrepreneurship, being welcoming means creating an environment where everyone can find their place, regardless of their familiarity with your craft. Whether you’re a painter, musician, writer, or any other creative, remember that your work has the power to connect with people on a profound level. Embrace hyper-specificity, enrich lives through personalization, and be a beacon of creativity in a world hungry for unique experiences.

The Role of Creative Entrepreneurs

Creative entrepreneurs are not just makers; they are the enrichers of lives. When someone invests in your art, they are investing in an emotional connection, a piece of their own story, and a slice of happiness. As creative entrepreneurs, we have the privilege and responsibility to craft experiences that resonate deeply with our audience, leaving an indelible mark on their lives.

In essence, creative entrepreneurship is about more than just creating; it’s about connecting, enriching, and elevating the human experience. Just as a perfectly brewed cup of coffee can make a day easier, our creations have the power to inspire, comfort, and transform. So, embrace your unique path as a creative entrepreneur, and continue to craft experiences that make the world a more beautiful and meaningful place.

The Final Word

I had a drink this morning (that Trenta, iced black tea with 8 pumps of peppermint) that tastes like a sugar-free breath mint. It basically is a caffienated sugarfree breathmint. And do you know what i love about it? The fresh feeling it gives me in my lungs when I pick it up after my morning workout. The giant size quenches my desire to guzzle something (yes, obviously, it should be water, but I’m being honest). Then there is the best part – the cup and the lid. The cup and the lid that I can rinse, refill with ice and water throughout the day and somehow feel classier because of it. It’s needed hydration and caffeine. It’s also a reward, a trophy, a grown-up treat. It’s a life enhancement – and it says a lot about me.

The drink you order, whether it’s a meticulously crafted coffee, a boba tea bursting with flavors, or a refreshing artisan cocktail, speaks volumes about who you are. It’s a reflection of your preferences, your values, and the experiences you seek in life. Just like my Trenta iced black tea with eight pumps of peppermint, your drink choice may seem ridiculously specific, but it’s a testament to the small joys and comforts we find in the world.

For me, that oversized tea not only energizes my day but also serves as a daily ritual. It’s a moment of refreshment after a morning workout, a reminder to stay hydrated, and a touch of sophistication in a world filled with rush. This seemingly simple drink embodies life’s little enhancements, the moments of pleasure and contentment that we all deserve.

So, what’s your ridiculously specific drink order? It’s more than just a beverage; it’s a statement of who you are and what you cherish. As creative entrepreneurs, we understand the power of customization and personalization, and we embrace the diversity of tastes and preferences in the world. We create not just products but experiences that enrich lives, bringing a touch of magic into the everyday.