The Artist and the MBA

”Do I need to take the GRE again?”  I held my breath praying a “hell no I hope not”.  It had been way too long since I had muddled around a standardized test.

“You’re a Vice President right? And a Masters in Educational Administration?”


”Then no…all you’re need is an updated resume and transcripts”

Thank the stars, I was in.  And just like that my Masters in Business administration with a concentration in values based leadership was about to commence.

I looked over some of the coursework and knew I was on the right road.  Ethical business practices was something I had studying for the past year all on my own.

BLAW 609: Business Ethics Through Film (3)
BUAD 604: Spirituality and Leadership (3)
BUAD 681: Doing Business in Europe: International Ethics (3)
MGMT 616: Leadership and Ethics (3)
MGMT 621: Corporate Citizenship – Sustainability (3)
MKTG 670 : Ethical Issues in Marketing (3)

While I absolutely love my day job as an executive in a non profit….I also have a passion for the arts…and writing.  Ironically, in undergrad I couldn’t stand business majors.  I thought most of them were complete assholes who didn’t have a creative bone in their body.

As I’ve made my own way in the world I’ve come to realize…most everything is business…particularly the arts.  Great art needs business minds to back it up and promote it.  Books need agents and bookstores.  There are benefits, contracts, financials, and investments behind classical music and art galleries…

And I was going to master it…my artist soul was going to take on business and and make ethical leadership and business a creative and lucrative opportunity.

I realized if  I was going to be great not only at my job, but also as a writer and patroness of the arts (Oh yes I will be on a few boards of trustees by 45) I must understand and master business principles.  And that didn’t have to be boring. In fact, you only have to step into my office and see my wall (which you can write on with dry erase markers) covered with “word clouds” for our recruitment campaign and see that creativity and business can work together.

I have always been a visionary, but visions don’t manifest by thought alone. It takes hard work. Getting up early and getting stuff done, making decisions and facing my fears.

If I wanted to own my own Red Lotus Room bookstore/ writers nook in OTR with floor to ceiling bookcases, a fire place, chaise lounge and wing back chairs, warm low lighting, lovely drinks, beautiful art and great music,  I was going to have work my ass off to get it.

The local coffee shop in my hometown was ripe for take over as well…desperately in need of better coffee and new management.  I saw a non-profit aftercare program for children with an arts focus…a safe space for creatives…branding…hmmm…something garden..bees…something involving transformation.  So many ideas bubbling through my brain!

Then learning the business of books.  Publishing…

Funny the twists and turns of life, who knew this artist had a flare for business too.

I am looking forward to the years ahead as I work on my vision, retire, teaching what I’ve learned to others, with just enough money to spend my winters in Louisiana …with real folks…writing 🙂

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