(REFLECTIVE PAPER) The last leg of a long journey.

Introduction

 

Within the paper I will be reflecting on my experience with this module. I will use the classes and all the different things learnt to help define what my futures goals are and how I aim to achieve them. This is the end of a really intense journey but the beginning of a long and exciting story, I will aim to show what I’ve learnt but also demonstration how this class has equipped me with the different skills needed to be successful within the next five years.

 

Dreams that need to be lived

This class has truly been a once in a lifetime experience that I’m sure no one in my class will ever forget. Some parts I’ve really loved but some parts I’ve really struggled with, I can however say that I’ve learnt more than I ever thought I would. My passion in life is anything to do with music, I love singing and playing the piano, really just entertaining people with my music. Based on my passion I have 1 main goal that I would like to achieve within the next 10 years. My goal is to start my own record label where I can help other young artists achieve their dreams of being in the music industry. I have been performing for around six years and I have heard two things throughout this time, one that I have one of the most amazing voices ever and two that I just don’t have the look they are looking for. I believe that dreams shouldn’t be forgotten just because someone tells you something negative; if you believe in yourself anything is possible. This is the type of message I would like to promote within the music label, hopefully inspiring people to always continue to step out of there comfort zone and chase their dreams.

 

How the classes will help me achieve my goal

Through the course of the class we have possibly covered everything within the business- entrepreneurship sector, which includes; finance, marketing, branding, product development and so much more. However I believe I learnt the most from the classes that talked about social media and how to use it to the best of your ability, presentation preparation, how to use your skills and get the most out of it and also the USER MODEL which is a framework that helps section the different stages of the design thinking process (Beaumont, 2010). I believe I can take certain aspects of what I’ve learnt and apply them to the foundations of what I want to do with my future.

 

A big part of being an entrepreneur and starting businesses is being able to successfully network and build a strong portfolio of connections. In my Design a business class we spoke about how important social media is to anyone, especially those within a field where they are contently around people. I read an article by Andreas Kaplan where he spoke about how the world is still very unaware of how useful and important social media can be to the development of new and old businesses. There is only a small percentage of social media being used in the right way, Kaplan discuss how to increase the percentage of good use (Kaplan, 2010). I believe this is true because in class we also spoke about how social media, especially sites like twitter allow you to communicate with celebrates and other people of high status without invading there personal space, your more likely to get an answer to your question via social media than you would if you phoned or emailed. This is a skill I know I can defiantly use when it come to starting a record label. I think social media maybe one of the most important aspects of starting a business when dealing with the music industry. As well as being managing director of team Memoby I also did a lot of the work when it came to social media. I sent messages to loads of different major companies and was surprised when Etsy.com messaged me back and gave me some great advice and support on not only how to help my product succeed but also how to market myself as a strong brand because people not only look at the product but also the person selling it. According to (Ellison et al, 2007) no other form of technology is needed if social media is present, because it’s the most accessible form of communication and technology and can reach previously inhabited communities.

 

A long with social media we had classes on how to use the individual skills we have to the best of our ability. Most of the time the skill doesn’t matter, what matters is how you take that skill and adapt it to the situation your dealing with. Base on the information of DR Beaumont during class I decided to run a little experiment and see if her theory, that most skills can be used in most situations if done in the right way was accurate. During a long weekend I accompanied my mom to an international conference in South Africa that was aimed at finding different ways to promote health care within poorer communities of South Africa’s shanti towns. When I first got to the conference my mom disappeared into the sea of both doctors and marketing experts that had worked for different health services for many years. As a musician I was the odd person out and to be honest I didn’t really understand a lot of what they were talking about. What I did know is that they wanted to create a marketing campaign that would explain to the poorer parts of South Africa on why they need to regularly have medical check ups. Before I gave my advice, I thought the best course of action would be to apply the Sherlock Holmes theory to how the conferences was being delivered. The Sherlock Holmes theory is where a set of rules have been created to help enhance certain skills when in a situation that is out of your comfort zone. Based on the writing of (Parker, 2012) rules like; develop your intuition, learn to deduce facts from studying people, improve your power of observation and listen and keep an open mind. This theory can help concentrate the brain which then allow you to use the skills you have to the best of your ability. I followed this theory as part of my experiment and found that not only was the theory successful but also the overall experiment. After listening to all the suggestions on how to campaign, it was clear that all the proposals were very unimaginative. My opinion was that, basic marketing technics couldn’t always be used; sometimes you have to adapt the your surrounding and look at the cultural history and economical status of the area. I suggested that they focused on music, especially the history of South African music. From as early as the 1920s music in South Africa was used as a way to fight the injustice of what the government was doing, this was seen as the earliest stage of the apartheid (Ballantine, 1989). People would listen to the music and be filled with the confidence to keep fighting. In today’s time this hasn’t changed, music has become an even greater force and is used for so many different situations (Exploring Africa, 2011). So instead of singing about the government I suggested they sing about keeping South Africa alive by being healthy. This was received well by the people in the conference and hopefully they can use the information to save more lives.

 

 

The USER MODEL

Now that the Design a Business class is now over I believe that the class about the user model is by far the most important lesson we had. The User Model, which stands for User System Establish Realize, is a theory that helps make the process of creating a product or service a lot easier. I believe that this is a key skill that I need when starting my own business because it will help me to see the process in a systematic way (Beaumont, 2010). A long with this framework I also believe that the Darwin Evolution Start-up theory is very useful. This is because the theory is based around the premise that when like-minded companies are grouped together they can either grow stronger or weaker when enough time has been spent with each other (Bygrave, 1991). I find this interesting because I believe I can connect these two theories to my research within the social media area by creating to sets of networking groups; one based around the field I want to go into, which will mean that my label can grow from the ground up with strong companies. Not only will I gain that connection between companies but I will also be able to learn valuable pieces of information that will allow my company to succeed. The other network will be based around people, companies or organizations that are completely different to what my music label will be (Farbey, 2014). Though the Darwin theory talks about growing with companies in the same field I also believe that in order to grow beyond your expectations risks have to be taken, you can’t take risks if your always being safe.

 

Conclusion

Confidence is key! In the business I aim to go into confidence is by far the most important skill to have because it can be the difference between getting a record deal or not. In todays society it’s not always about if you can sing but rather if you can be confident enough to gain fans and turn yourself into that important brand. This reminds me of the classes where my teacher would speak on how to present yourself when giving a presentation. Over the months of this class I was involved in around 4 different presentations that all yielded different results even though what was being present was completely the same. I found it interesting to learn that your confidence can be altered based on the amount of people you present to and also the ratio of men to women. The females in my group felt more comfortable when the people being presented to where mostly women because they felt they understood the emotion of the product we was selling (Preston, 2007). However the guys in my group where more confortable when it was predominantly men because they asked less questions and allowed the presentation process to be over quickly. I’m still working on these skills myself because I’ve learnt that my confidence changes based on the facial expressions of the audience. However one day I would like to be able to present in any situation at anytime without feeling to conscious.

 

This class has firstly shown me how to be the best businesswomen I can be, I’ve learnt different ways to use my skills and talent to the best of my ability and I’ve also made loads of connections that I believe will help me in the future. In terms of the over all project I believe I made many mistake when it can to being managing director and having confidence in my judgment. I questioned myself a lot and that impacted everything from making the product to selling the product. Sometimes being a boss means making the hard decisions, I more so wanted to be my groups friend instead of their leader, this is why we struggled I believe. I had all the information and knew exactly what to say but confidence is something I really struggled with. In saying that I do believe that I have pushed my self to places I have never been before, managing a team and doing trade fairs really pushed me out of my comfort zone and it really showed me how to communicate with different types of people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

AVC (2012) The Darwinian Evolution of Startup Hubs, Available at:http://avc.com/2012/05/the-darwinian-evolution-of-startup-hubs/ (Accessed: 24th April 2014).

 

Ballantine,C. (1989) ‘A brief history of south african popular music’, Popular music,8(3), pp. 305-310.

 

Beaumont, C. (2010) ‘The USER Model’. BS7706: Design a business. Available at:  http://macekingston.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/usermodel-corrinebeaumont.pdf

 

Bygrave, W. (1991) Theorizing about Entrepreneurship, Available at:http://www.taranomco.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/273.pdf (Accessed: 24th April 2014).

 

Ellison,N., Steinfield, C., Lampe, C. (2007) ‘The Benefits of Facebook “Friends:” Social Capital and College Students’ Use of Online Social Network Sites’, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12(4), pp. 1143-1168.

 

Exploring Africa (2011) A brief background and history of African Music, Available at:http://exploringafrica.matrix.msu.edu/teachers/curriculum/m13/notes.php (Accessed: 24th April 2014).

 

Farbey, Y. (2014) ‘The Darwin theory of start-ups’, The Start up Magazine, 9th April, p. 6.

 

Kaplan, A. (2010) ‘Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media’, Business Horizons, 53(1), pp. 59-68.

 

Parker, M. (2012) How to think like sherlock Holmes , Available at:http://www.dreamspear.co.uk/how-to-think-like-sherlock-holmes/ (Accessed: 24th April 2014).

 

Preston, N. (2007) Ten tips for presentation confidence and reducing nervousness,Available at:http://www.nipreston.com/publications/excerpts/Ten_Tips_for_Presentation_Confidence-SAMPLE.pdf (Accessed: 24th April 2014).

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