The Lessons of Fandom: Entrepreneurship

You can find previous articles on Customer Service and Business Sense.

If you're a fan, you're probably ambitious in at least some way – you've got fanfic or fanart, leaderboards to rise up in your games, conventions to run.  If you think about it, your fandom goals often take a lot of planning, organizing, achieving, and initiative.

If you're a fan, you've probably been learning a lot about Entrepreneurship.

We often associate Entrepreneurship with starting a business or side business, but really that spirit of drive, innovation, and reaching for goals is part of many of our hobbyist activities as well.  If you've run or started a convention, managed a 'zine, or handled contests, then you know how much effort and inspiration it takes to make those things happen.

If you did it.  If you made it happen, then you've just shown the entrepreneurial spirit , a spirit that you can use elsewhere – on the job, in starting anew business, and so on.

If you've ever done any of these things, they were displays of that spirit of making-something-new-happen:

  • Did you ever write – and complete – a long term multipart fanfic?
  • Do you run a convention or similar gathering – and have you ever started and maintained one?
  • Did you start – and run – any websites that provide particular fandom services?
  • Have you done a 'sine, webcomic, or other continuing initiative?
  • Did you ever complete multiple cosplays – on time and done properly?
  • Have you started – and run – fantasy sports leagues?

If you've done these things – or similar things – then you've engaged in entrepreneurship.  You may not appreciate it or have seen it, but you did experience it.  You had a vision.  You made things happen.

So, if you did that, perhaps you have the vision and ambition to do something in your job and career (even better if they're the same as your fandom).

If you never felt that spark, then maybe trying a project like those above are just what you need to find it . . .

– Steven Savage