Becoming an entrepreneur was anything but an overnight process. Curiosity, passion, time, luck and much more molded me to become the entrepreneur I am today. Being the owner of Chronic Ink, I have realized the similarities between my story to becoming who I am today and the challenges that artists face as they find their way.
When I was a teenager, I had no knowledge of where I wanted to be in ten years. What I did know was that my mind worked differently from other kids. When at a restaurant, most kids only thought about what food to eat, or playing on their Gameboys. I preferred to count tables, employees, and essentially figure out how the restaurant could run more efficiently. I saw everything as an opportunity to improve, for others and for myself. The same way most teenagers would be perplexed when faced with a piece of modern art, a future artist’s eyes would light up with understanding as they immerse themselves in their interest in art. As a kid you have some understanding of what you like, but you’re still just a kid.
It was not until I was older that I realized I needed to work for myself. Which led me to the first challenge I faced being an entrepreneur, finding “it”. I had held jobs but quickly would outgrow them. Even if I was top in sales, I never found it to be something I loved. What initially sparked my interest in tattooing was an Ad I saw. The Ad was for a major US company, and it had a girl who had ink all over her body. I realised then tattooing was becoming more and more socially acceptable in the US, and that when there’s a major trend in the United States, Canada is soon to follow. This was an opportunity to provide a service that Canadians would increasingly desire, and appealed to the side of me that always found opportunities.
The other part was mainly fate. A friend of mine was moving back to China and was selling his space, which is now (spoiler alert) Chronic Ink. My friend was moving soon, and his spot was already on bid. I still don’t know if it was my notorious impulse or just fate that made me say “Yeah! Let's do it”.
Tattoo artists may not have the same impulse that I had making my decision but they certainly have the same desire to be innovative. When I saw that advertisement and realized that tattoo’s were becoming more socially acceptable, it was my innovative thinking that gave me the idea to pursue that avenue of business. Tattoo artists work much the same way. They are constantly looking at new tattoos, and keeping up with trends to keep their skills top notch. Whenever there is a certain tattoo style trending, great tattoo artists will know about it and decide whether to add that style to their repertoire.
Tattooing and becoming an entrepreneur may seem like completely different paths, but they share the similar trait of following your passion no matter what. Maybe it’s because I’m around artists all day and see the same passion in their eyes that I have in mine. Either way, the road is full of speed bumps, and is not an easy path, but just like I learned when i took over Chronic Ink: it’s your passion that will drive you to success.