I consider myself to be a very lucky person. However, I am not a 'winner'. Besides winning a large stuffed dog in a Taubmans paint colouring in competition as a child, much to my brothers dismay, I have never 'won' anything else. So much so, that if a raffle is drawn, or a bride throws her bouquet into a crowd of guests I just switch off preparing myself to cheer the lucky person on.
Earlier this year though, I won!. I won a place, amongst 12 other creatives out of over 100 applicants as a participant on The Refinery program. This program is planned and facilitated by 5 mentors who have carved out careers in The Arts, that collectively developed the idea of The Refinery to guide creative, start up businesses on the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane to learn how to build and run an arts based business.
Each week focussed on a different aspect of business; marketing week, legal week, pitch week etc and with this a mentor who has a strength in the particular area of business was invited to 'teach' us and provide one on one mentorship based on each participants individual business needs.
The learning was deep, profound, mind blowing and at times daunting. There were times that I felt on top of the world and that my idea to run mindful based art classes on the Sunshine Coast was the best idea and others where I thought I was truly off the mark. The most heartening part of this 'roller coaster' of self doubt and self confidence was how the mentors and 12 other Refinery participants held space for each other.
What was even more profound was that this program was run completely on ZOOM and how this platform, even though on a computer over a screen with each participant sitting in their house was still able to offer warmth, guidance, fun and support.
Now that The Refinery program has finished, I am still walking down the cobbled path toward launching my business, bending over to pick weeds of self doubt from between the firmly positioned cobble stones of knowledge imparted from the program.
Although, when doubt creeps in, I just keep reminding myself that I WON!. That a group of successful art mentors believed in me and my idea enough to choose me. This year, I have WON!. I am a winner! I caught the bouquet and took the meat tray home.
With so much gratefulness www.therefinery.com.au