Three years ago today the Visionary Rising Agency was launched.
36-months of this leg of the journey has seen a lot of pivotal moments and a few pivots along the way - but what has remained is the overarching commitment to continue serving the needs of the underserved while helping creative entrepreneurs monetize their work, own their product and make a living doing what they love.
The Future of Work
You can't go anywhere without hearing about "the future of work" and what that looks like in a world filled with automations, technology that evolves at a rapid pace, and a workforce that isn't fully equipped to deal with the changes. As founder of Visionary Rising, I've been having that conversation for years; it's what prompted me to start the company and work to bridge the gap; it's what has driven my work since entering technology in 2011, working with companies like Microsoft, Nielsen Media, and Apple, and it is what continues to spur me to actively work toward building it for the creator class in creative industries, one project, and partnership at a time.
What I've found in doing this work is that there is still so much work to do: creators need platforms that educate them and also elevate them; they need communities that foster them, and more than that - they need access to the types of closed doors that have created an industry where less than 5% of decision-making positions are held by people from underrepresented groups. I also know creators of color are hit the hardest and kept out of the highest paying jobs in the advertising industry while creating the type of commercial trends that galvanizes audiences and translates to prolific cultural moments. The issue isn't related to the pipeline; I know from my time at conferences, connecting with creators online, and in the conversations I've had in all the spaces I've occupied - that it isn't a lack of talent or ability that keeps people from reaching the highest levels - it's simply not knowing where to start or what to do to break through to the next level.
For the last year, my team and I have been asking these questions, then seeking to be able to provide them, not just for musicians or performing artists, but for ALL who identify as creatives. I know creative entrepreneurs need things that aren't being covered across any of the learning platforms they go to seeking education and I know that because there was nothing for me when I started down this path.
I'm a firm believer that if a person sees something that doesn't exist out in the world, then it is up to them to create it. So, we're building it.
There are a few initiatives we've launched to bridge the gap for creators. Initiatives and partnerships with emerging companies like Soundstripe and Skillshare were designed to assist creative entrepreneurs in their pursuit to level the playing field.
In addition to the items above, we've developed an education platform, currently in private beta, to provide underrepresented creators with the knowledge and resources required to shift the ratio in non-technical fields. Courses on the platform cover topics like working with a brand agency, strategic partnership sourcing, and sponsorship pitching - to easy-to-follow instructions on setting up a company, establishing a sales funnel as a freelancer, and knowing what rates to charge, among other things.
As the company continues to grow and take shape, I can promise we'll continue to do the work required to ensure creators are being served in this evolving economy and that we'll be with you every step of the way. My promise, in this next phase, is the same as it has been since launching: to bridge the gap between brands, creatives, and the audiences they covet while using art, music, tech + a little bit of magic along the way.
Thank you for entrusting us with your visions, for sharing in this mission, and for giving me the honor and privilege of doing this work. I'm proud of this company, team, clients, and partners. Things might slow down from time to time, but this journey has only just begun. #ThisIsVisionary #RiseOfTheCreatives