This post represents a pivotal moment for me. It also represents a quantum leap forward in the life of ETA.
I began ETA on November 1st, 2006 with this blog. I selected November 1st because it was my fathers birthday- he is deceased, but I wanted to pick a date that meant something to me.
Because the journey to start anything you are really passionate about deserves wrapping into it something highly personal and meaningful to you. For me, that is embodied in remembering my Dad. And so I began ETA with this blog, an idea of what kind of resource ETA could offer many, and not much more than its name and a glimmer of where I was headed.
When I started the blog my goal was to see if I was able to attract an audience organically. In other words, no advertising, no promoting. Just blogging and seeing who would find me.
For the first three months I blogged to an audience of three- me, myself and I. And yet, making the commitment to blog, even for myself, at first, was thrilling to me. I felt like a pioneer going off into the wilderness of my mind in search of what I might find. Truly, I felt that fresh entrepreneurial energy, that infused my very first start up venture in college with dynamite, being recreated all over again!
And yet, by the third month writing post after post to no one but myself, began to get old. Was I crazy to do this? Would anyone ever come to read what I was writing? If you build it, will they come?
I was determined to find out! So, I started mixing up my content and started to focus on attracting readers. While I told a few more friends about the blog, what I mostly did was focus my mind on the power of intention. I kept saying inside my head- “OK, its time. Dear Reader, please come. I am ready for you!”
It was just about that time that I got my first big visitor. That visitor arrived in the form of a letter written by Entrepreneur Media’s ( AKA Entrepreneur Magazine) attorney’s threatening litigation if I did not “cease and desist” using the name Entrepreneur in my name.
Was this a sign to stop or a test to persevere? Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference. And we all get tested early on in the creation of our ventures. ( Aren’t you glad to know you are not alone?) So when you get to this place and wonder what you should do– check what your heart says first. If it tells you to hang in there- do. My heart said ” keep going Lisa. This is the path for you,” and so I fought the battle with Entrepreneur Media, even though the odds were against me.
The odds were against me because I had a 60 ton gorilla wanting to chew off my head. With 60 million in ad revenue at EMI media alone, I would not even be a mid day snack for this beast. Not sure what to do, I decided to share what was going on with the small number of ETA blog readers who started to stop by, with some daily consistency it seemed, right at this point. The next call was to an attorney to see what kind of options I had for my fledgling start-up.
Ironically, one of my new blog readers turned out to be the most helpful of all. From this very small newly acquired bunch, I received an email that said ” I know personally the owner of EMI Media. Would you like me to try and help you?” Now what are the odds of that? Was it luck or was ETA meant to be?
Although it took almost 9 months to finalize a deal with EMI, which resulted in a disclaimer having to appear with my logo, I eventually won. And ETA is one of the few who have beat the 60 ton gorilla, by the way.
EMI Media has put one business out of business with similar litigation, and most others they have gone after, in similar ways, have elected to simply change their name and go on without the word Entrepreneur in their name. But not me. I stuck to my guns, calculated my risk and expense, and knew the hand I would play attempting to win. And my attorney and I did win!
It seemed that the moment ETA had reached an agreement with EMI, the opportunity for the Entrepreneurial Artist Contest, hosted by William Shatner presented itself. Heartbeat of America contacted me and we created the contest together. In and of itself, creating a partnership of this magnitude, seemed like a big gift for my efforts to walk through some dark and trying moments with ETA and my fledgling ideas.
And as contestants began to enter the competition the blog activity picked up and has continued to grow day after day, week after week and month after month. It is hard to believe, as well, that on April 15th our first ETA contest winner is going to be announced. My hope is that for this individual this contest offers their fledgling ideas a big quantum leap forward too!
And while I am still hungry to hear more from all of you readers who stop by and read, as of Friday, one of the core goals I had for this blog will come true- to blog with like minded individuals to share our ideas with you around the vision I have for ETA.
A total of 12 other wonderful, inspiring entreprenurial, creative, innovative individuals will be joining us. Yes, two more than expected! New additions to the roster include Cyriel Kortleven, a creativity consultant in Belgium for New Shoes Today and Adam Shames, another creativity consultant who runs his own business called The Kreativity Network.
I am in awe of what passion, determination and hard work can bring. With this goal reached– my vision, now, has more room to grow. I can hardly wait to see this journey unfold…