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Art Money and The Messy Middle
The 99U, creative conference in New York, was crammed with inspiring speakers, but one my favourites had to be Scott Belsky, founder of Behance. His talk was on the The Messy Middle – that period of time between an awesome idea and “making it”. So much of what he talked about made me think of one our favourite clients – Paul Becker, founder of Art Money. Now based in New York, we were lucky enough to spend time with Paul during our trip to 99U. Right now, the messy middle is exactly where Paul is.
Art Money is already a great success story in Australia, but that’s not enough for Paul. He’s determined to take on the world, making art accessible to almost everyone. I’m convinced that the personal commitment to tackle a challenge of that magnitude is only manageable by a select few. 18 months ago he left behind his wife, children, friends and the idea of a relaxing weekend at home in Sydney and set up shop in the art capital of America. If you can make it there... you can make it anywhere?
You might be mistaken for thinking life in New York is glamorous — but that is far from the case for Paul. He’s working 15+ hour days to ensure he covers both the US and Australian markets. And he’s mostly doing that 6 days a week. In the 18 months that he’s been based in New York, he’s been home to Sydney twice and his wife has visited once. And while Paul considers it a great privilege to attend some of the best art shows and galleries in the world and spend his days doing something he believes in so deeply, when Scott Belsky talks about the need to “do your fucking job” when times get tough, it’s guys like Paul that he’s drawing inspiration from
Art Money now has some fantastic momentum and traction in the US, but like most founders, Paul has had to handle his fair share of rejection. Having presented to dozens of VC’s and investors, he has had to maintain the faith amongst a sea of “no” and “maybe a little later”
“If everyone thinks you’re crazy... you’re either crazy or really onto something.” Scott Belsky
In today's world of mythical start-ups that see exponential growth, receiving unbelievable sums from VC’s then selling for even more unbelievable sums, no-one really does justice to the real story of hard work, resilience and commitment that’s required to even have a chance to make that happen.
In his WeWork office that houses a number of start-ups, some of which number ~100 staff, Paul is the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave at night. All part and parcel of the messy middle I guess.
If you're after a partner that understands how to work with you during throughout the journey of taking an idea and turning it into thriving business, give me a call on 021 605 177 or drop me a line.