Last week we spoke to Babs Szabo, and it’s an understatement to say we were incredibly impressed by her uncanny ability to capitalize on the momentum gathered from Emo Nite to then co-found her own creative agency, Ride or Cry. This week we wanted to learn from the master herself, so we asked her to teach us. Read on to learn how to expand a venture.
1. Listen to your people.
When you find people with whom your project (an event, a company, a website) is resonating, make sure to stay in touch with them. They might be the ones that help you find places to expand. As Babs notes, “I think with an event you have to listen to what your audience is saying. Obviously, there’s a lot of negative things that are not constructive, but in the beginning, when we did Emo Nite in LA, we saw a lot of people saying, ‘Come to San Francisco! Come to San Diego!’ It was because of that that we started touring [Emo Nite]. If it wasn’t for that, we wouldn’t even have thought of it. So, listening to your audience is really, really important.”
2. Step out of the safe zone.
Babs says a key part is “Not being afraid to take risks. That’s what really sets you apart from other people. If you’re just going to do it the way other people have been doing it for years, then it’s not going to stand out, and no one’s going to want to be a part of that.” That’s not to say it won’t be scary, but in the eternal words of Chrisley’s son from the evergreen reality show Chrisley Knows Best, “You gotta risk it to get the biscuit.”
3. Remember to be a good person.
We’ve all experienced working with someone inconsiderate, and the stress and frustration that came with that, be it at an actual job or even a school project. But hopefully, we’ve also all lived through the opposite—that wonderful feeling you get when you feel respected and listened to by your superiors. That’s why we’re so happy Babs included niceness as a cornerstone of her expansion philosophy: “I think that no matter what you’re doing, it’s really important to be genuine and nice to the people you’re working with and the people that you meet, because that’s the only important thing in any venture.”
Thank you so much Babs! Once you have the foundation of your hard work to build upon, we’re confident that Babs’ tips will help you extend the reach of your success. Good luck to you all! See you next week : )
(Photo credit: Cade Werner)