top of page

Dennis W's story on... being a maker

“I look at the world around me, always asking how things can be better and improved. Usually the answer is innovation. I innovate because it inspires me, gives me drive and purpose, this is when I am at my happiest. I am a maker.”

Meet Dennis, a creative entrepreneur currently embarking on an accelerator/incubator programme where he gets to work with mentors to get an outside-in perspective. He reminds us of how important it is for us to tap into perspectives outside of our own in order to grow, do better and be better. When we are IN the business, our thinking is crystal clear but often our potential customers, partners, investors, maybe don’t have that same clarity.

“When you tell outside people your story it's always good to get feedback as they wear a different hat to that of a founder, this is when we learn and discover where our gaps are.”

Dennis is a well seasoned creative entrepreneur who has co-founded two fintech startups, with built up know-how and experience he has put to good use in his current business endeavor. Times have changed since his early beginnings, back then entering the job market was tough for the innovator at heart, as there was a lot less space for creativity.

“Creativity was more boxed in like ‘you’re a designer or copywriter’. It was still creativity in a traditional and executional sense. My creativity however, was in challenging the status quo, and there is not a lot of room for that when you're employed. So it felt like creative entrepreneurship was all I could do, if I wanted to do this type of problem solving and innovation. You can do this when you have your own company, not so much at someone else's, unless you’re the CEO. So I never fitted in well as an employee, being told what to do and challenging their ways. Entrepreneurship was the only way.”

Dennis touches on the misinterpretations of the creative entrepreneur who is still often misunderstood to be a traditional creative business owner such as those in design, filmmaking or copywriting for example, and this isn't necessarily true. An accountant or lawyer can be a creative entrepreneur who takes a creative approach to how they offer their services to the world. Creativity is not necessarily a skill, creativity is about problem solving. Any business owner or entrepreneur will be involved in the fundamentals of the business: sales, conversion, profits, margins, customer acquisition, etc. Business is about selling, making a good margin, and operational efficiency. But the creative entrepreneur brings creativity in terms of problem solving around these business metrics - new ways to make profits, innovative ways to function operationally, and so on. Dennis draws on inspiration from those before him where evolution shows us how innovation has actually always been around.

“If you look at how things have evolved, it gives you a good framework of thinking. I like seeing how things change and adapt. There are other ways to build businesses that are more sustainable, more honest, more impactful and creative than what we see around us. Look at the youth of today who are actually creative by nature, creativity is far more nurtured, they are more open.”

Real success for the creative entrepreneur lies in their ability to communicate their creative solutions in a language and way that people can understand. In addition, being pragmatic and looking for results for those creative ideas as soon as possible is essential. Too often they go into airy fairy, blue sky mode, spending months working on an idea or concept which is impossible to build or implement in the real world.

For a creative entrepreneur it is easy to become disconnected from reality, so we need to remain pragmatic.”. In addition, he advises the creative entrepreneur to “learn how to sell yourself as early as possible. Often one can create a better and perfect product which does not sell like the ‘okay’ one next to it, and that is because that one figured out how to sell it, and how to create the right perception of itself.”

Dennis is fuelled by a deep motivation and belief that creative entrepreneurs are the change we need to survive our next revolution. AI fast approaches and has the potential to alleviate the executional weight we carry now as what we make and innovate takes so much longer to become a reality, finally the creative entrepreneur can have more time to creatively solve the problems around us while AI does the work coding, calculating, managing, operating for us (and in half the time and effort!).

“If you are starting a business don't start with becoming a billionaire, that keeps it selfish while going in to make a change, is meaningful. Look for a fulfilling life, and if you are a creative entrepreneur it is about solving problems and getting joy from that.”

Opportunity is rife. Thank you Dennis, we-are-INSPIRED!

“Solving niche challenges Founders face”.

Illustrator: Lisa Williams (Instagram: @artist_llw)


bottom of page