Craig Chavis of Cre8ive Craig is a serial entrepreneur and a coach on how you can fulfill your creative dreams. He launched his book, Burdens of a Dream, on the topic a few days ago. Craig shares his story and the lessons he learned in his creative pursuits.
Craig went from his home state, Ohio, to play collegiate football in Alabama. After two years, he experienced a season-ending injury that led him to study abroad in Costa Rica instead. Fast forward all the way to Craig finishing up his MBA, he was not sure where he would see himself next. He ended up joining the Peace Corps in January 2014 for Peru.
Then, Craig goes on to explain examining the location, using a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), and other ways of becoming familiar with the community structure. The first thing Craig did was to connect with youth about entrepreneurship, which turned into a huge success.
“Mesh their needs with your actual abilities.”– Craig Chavez
He is realistic about committing to and addressing community needs. The community may have numerous issues, demands, and ideas that might not be possible for the resources available. Craig added that he had to balance those aspects with his own ideas since he also had his own agenda for what could be done to help the community. Craig calls the overlap of these two sides the “sweet spot”.
Finding a sweet spot is how he managed to secure a $15,000 grant to help farmers come together as a mango association for negotiating fair prices.
Craig continued to observe and have conversations with the community in Peru. He came to realize that the real approach to use is simply being mindful of different perspectives.
“I couldn’t impose my Western ideologies and mentalities on people in this part of the world. It really caused me to be more empathetic…”– Craig Chavez
Following success in his own community, Craig partnered with another volunteer to help in another community. Craig discussed his involvement with an Indiegogo Campaign for a distillery. He shared preparations, such as being familiar with flavors of Peru and continuing to involve the community to validate the idea. It’s amazing how he managed to raise capital just as his campaign was coming to a close with the campaign only halfway funded.
In his advice to budding entrepreneurs, Craig gave thoughtful answers on generating income, burn out, time management, product development, and simply what it means to start. He keeps a practical outlook on balancing entrepreneurship with everyday life. He provided great depth for explaining the mindset of finding where to begin.
Coming full circle, we ended on his involvement with work happening in Columbus. Craig spoke on the purposeful culture that is alive and well in Columbus. We rounded up the conversation discussing business models, and strategically developing better entrepreneurship. If you would like to learn more and connect with Craig more, check out his Instagram, official website.
Craig’s Book has just been published: Burdens of a Dream: 33 Actionable Nuggets of Wisdom for the Creative – it’s packed with some great nuggets and stories to get you going.
And to top it off, he’s just launched an online course: Simply Scalable: 12 Steps for Building a Business That Works for You