Last April, as the impact of Covid on businesses was just beginning to be felt, I reached out to Abby Moffit of Superfan Company. Since Superfan focused on helping artists maximize fan engagement, specifically at live events, Abby’s company was clearly going to be impacted. With 2020 finally at an end, I reached back out to see how things were going.
It was a wild ride for Abby and her business partner Kim Kaupe. And in the end, as with so many businesses in their space, they were not able to keep Superfan going. While the PPP loans helped for a while, without the return of live events in sight, they had to wind down Superfan.
As Abby described the awful experiences of daily striving to do everything they could to stay afloat, in the end, they had no choice but to let go of staff, and figure out what to do next.
There Are No Guarantees in Business
Businesses of all kinds, and at all times are vulnerable to crises and changes in the marketplace. No one is immune. The risk of failure is always looming. But true creative entrepreneurs learn to roll with the punches and move forward. Over this past year, we’ve all had to face our fears, endure many gut-check moments, and think through a thousand “what if” scenarios.
In Abby’s case, her worst fear was realized, and Superfan had to wind down.
The Value of Painful Lessons
No business owner would ever sign up for failure or wish a crisis upon themselves, but the true entrepreneurial spirit always bounces back. And in my follow-up conversation with Abby, the spirit of entrepreneurship was clearly alive and well, despite having gone through such a crippling year. And while trials by fire are painful, they also impart valuable lessons. The truism “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is absolutely the case in business.
During our call, I was able to share some of my own history of managing creative firms through crises, such as 9-11, and the 2008 financial crisis. Sometimes it takes hard circumstances like that to move us out of our comfort zones, and cause us to reevaluate our business models and discover the core value that we bring to our clients. Trials are a refining experience, and when we learn from them we can come out the other side with more insight, more experience, and become better managers of our businesses.
Failure Can Be a Beginning Not an End
Abby and Kim aren’t done as creative entrepreneurs… queue Chumbawamba Tubthumping. As the writing on the wall became clear, Abby and Kim started looking to the future and decided to pivot. Rebranding is really hard work. It’s one thing to pour yourself into a new company the first time, when you’re fueled with optimism, excitement, and energy. But doing it again, on the heels of failure, and still reeling from the emotional exhaustion that comes with seeing something you’ve built come to an end, takes toughness and resolve.
But Abby and Kim knuckled down and got to work rebranding their firm. In just a few short months they determined their new focus, emphasizing their strategic offering and creative consulting for entertainment properties, influencers, and brands. Their new company is called Bright Ideas Only. It’s quite a testimony to the entrepreneurial spirit that such a dark year resulted in a Bright new brand full of optimism and excitement for the future.
Let me encourage you to take a minute to connect with them and congratulate them for not giving up. While you’re at, help give them a boost by sharing their story on whichever platforms you engage on.
More on the Trails of Creative Entrepreneurship
This week’s episode of my podcast asks the question, “Are You Cut Out for Creative Entrepreneurship?” And the next few episodes will address some of the fears and trials of being in business for yourself. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur, but without a doubt, Abby and Kim have proven to be true entrepreneurs at heart.