In this series of engaging and inspiring interviews with world class artists, creatives and entrepreneurs, Rayna Campbell of Flow Artists asks Entrepreneur and Direct Selling Whizz, Samantha Prendergast a series of questions about art, creativity and Mindset.
1. Hello Samantha, can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to be a creative/entrepreneur?
Hi . Sure. So I’m a person who is naturally inquisitive and enjoys a challenge. After working my way quickly to the top in paid employment a friend suggested I worked for myself. I am a risk taker as I know even if the risk could potentially go wrong I’m confident enough in my abilities that I will be able to work round it. I carried out some consultancy jobs and enjoyed the doors they opened and the networks I started to build. I enjoy thinking outside the box and being able to do things and make decisions without seeking approval. I am now self employed in the Direct Sales Industry and love how it empowers and brings out the best in people. I am motivated by a cog in the wheel that improves how a person feels about themselves and how empowered they become.
2. What projects are you working on at the moment?
So, I was partnered with the Body Shop at Home as a self-employed Regional Manager. I have a team of 598 and hold the title for the fastest person ever in the History of the Company to reach that title.
My business generated £2m of income for the company. Again achieved in a short time. I have now moved to another Company Mary Kay whose values are around empowerment and bringing the best out of people. This is where my heart sits. If you believe in what you are doing the rest does come.
3. What do you do to stay at the top of your game as a creative/entrepreneur?
I look at what’s going on around me. I follow those who are already successful and learn from them. I often reflect on where I am against my goals that I set. I always have a back up plan. I’m also a keen learner. I enjoy learning new ways and new styles. I am inspired by people who have had it tough, worked their way to successes despite what has been thrown at them. Important also to never get complacent or take things for granted. Realise your worth and believe in your potential. The only person stopping you from being at the top of your game is…. You.
4. How do you deal with rejection?
Rejection for me is positive in most instances as I like to understand the reasons why. This then allows me to change my approach, perhaps research a little more. As I coach my team every No is one step nearer to a yes. Don’t hang on it too long . Have that moment of disappointment but don’t allow it to carry on for months, years. All the time your feeling negative about the rejection your not seeing the fabulous opportunities that are passing you by.
5. We do a lot of mindset work in Flow, how important is it to have a healthy mindset as an artist/entrepreneur and how do you keep yours healthy and positive?
Mindset is everything. I am an NLP Master Practitioner and this skillset really helped me to develop a positive Mindset. Growing up in a negative environment I was determined this wouldn’t follow me in to my future. I firmly believe what you put out you get back. I had to purposely train my mind to think positive and healthy. It absolutely helps you to see things clearer and have a greater understanding of the world around you. A positive mindset is a fantastic asset as it attracts people and opportunities to you. Belief in yourself really is the key to success. – My top tip if you don’t believe in yourself borrow someone else’s belief until you do. Our mind is extremely powerful and we can train it to do whatever we desire. If I’m in a negative mindset it impacts everything I do whilst in in. Its pushes people and opportunity away from me, its makes me feel negative to myself and about myself and it’s a downward spiral. A positive mindset opens doors and attracts people and opportunities to you.
6. How do you deal with setbacks?
I deal with setbacks head on. Just like a bow and arrow where an arrow has to be pulled backwards to allow it to travel forward at speed, setbacks are a welcomed obstacle. I use them to reflect, re-plan and then execute.
7. Knowing what you know now, if you could go back to a time when you were just starting out as an artist/creative/entrepreneur and maybe struggling for work and a healthy income, what advice would you give to yourself?
Keep going. No matter how tough it gets. With determination, and drive anything is possible.
8. There is often lot of fear around starting up a business and being able to support yourself and your family from it. What would you say to someone who wanted to set up a business but had say a lot of financial commitments/a family to support and few resources?
I see this everyday in my current occupation. My biggest tips are time management. Realistically how much time can you spend setting up your new business. I use a great technique where I have a blank calendar page, I then color out (no words are used) all the non-negotiable time, so work, family commitments etc. Even clubs as you don’t want to give up your recreational activities. I can then clearly see what time I have left that’s negotiable. I then block time out for my new business, project etc in 1-hour blocks. This then becomes a “power hour” where for just 60 mins I work 100% on the business, project. This also helps with a demanding family as they don’t feel they are losing you to your new venture but see you're structuring your time to include them. Stick to the 60 mins. Not 1 min over. And another tip don’t block 2 hours together. You need time out . This technique allowed me to build an extremely successful business in a short time whilst not sacrificing my daily life and my family. Work smarter not harder has always been
9. How important is it to have mentors/coaches as a creative/entrepreneur and why?
Mentors and coaches are a pivotal part of your career. Not only for sense checking where your going but also for guidance and helping your sanity. A coach/mentor is great at getting you to take ownership , teach you how to go along your journey the most effective way. They give you lots of tools to use in your life and not just business.
10. And finally, how important is social media for you as an artist?
I couldn’t build my business as well as I do without social media. It’s the fastest way to get your brand (you) out there. For people to know of your capabilities. A great way to connect with your followers and build your reputation. Don’t correctly social media can become your next best friend. Keeping a positive profile, Facebook, Instagram , LinkedIn etc all work on positive attraction.