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Mark Burke is CEO and founder of THINK'ID8

A”Round” the Office

By Mark T. Burke

Life has been a ton crazy lately. It feels good to get back to the blog. The practice grounds me, gives me a place to think through complex issues and adds stability to what is often an endless stream of new ideas rushing around my head.  Today I wanted to post something a bit personal, a soft of “day in my life” kind of thing.

Over the last few weeks, many circumstances have led to conversations with others about my job.  Maybe these conversations are on the rise due to the endless budget cuts and the resulting loss in music teaching positions in our area, maybe the rise of the creative workforce, maybe it’s all the work I do with young entrepreneurs….most likely a combo.  But, more folks want to learn about careers that seem a bit on the fringe.  I guess my job fits that description.

I have the privilege of working in an absolutely beautiful building in the small town of Bloomsburg PA. I started my business after a 10 years working for a large distance education program in the same town. Prior to that, I was a music teacher for almost 10 years.  The building has significance to me since when it opened, I led my old company into the building as the first anchor tenants.  After moving out with my old company to a new facility, it was my obvious choice to call home when launching Music Within Me.

The building is actually an incubator, designed to give start up business a place to grow, to network and to connect with financial and support resources.  But, for me, it also provides a emotional support.  I believe to be a “Creative” (in the spirit of Todd Henry and the Accidental Creative), you must immerse yourself in an inspiring environment. I wish I could tell you how much sitting on that huge porch on a warm spring day, with the bird singing and the small town traffic going by inspires…

I have a confession though.  When I show this building, I instantly feel I am showing off a bit…not something I like to do.  But, most people would be SHOCKED at how affordable rent is in this amazing building.  Let’s just say I pay under what most people pay for food over two weeks.  Incubators are intended to give people the resources they need to establish a business while not requiring a large rent commitment.  Life in a small town does have its rewards.

I don’t have a fancy office, who needs that with all of the other features.  In fact, I share a small space with a friend who has a relatively new business.  We’re both fiscally responsible people which is a must for anyone running a business now-a-days…(in fact, I wish it was a must for some folks running large businesses that influence my life).

Here’s my little space…not much to look at.  I have a desk, an extra monitor, a printer and keyboard, some mics, a small mixer some storage and a chair.  In addition to this space, I have full access to the conference rooms, showers, porch, internet, mail services, and more.  Young Musicpreneurs should never worry about developing a professional space for themselves to run a business, there are resources out there who understand your needs.

From this office shot, you may just be able to see that I run my overarching organization, viaEdTechnologies LLC, parent to Music-Within-Me.com and the developers and regional office for EYE, the Entrepreneurial Youth Experience.  Both are online and hybrid learning programs…my focus. Over time, I’ll be more creative regarding my space. For now, I put all of my creativity into my offerings and the work I do with others.

I do do a ton of work from home, which again, is a space I’ve set up to be inspiring and creative.  I do feel lucky…something I use to remind myself of the benefits of doing what I do when I start feeling stressed.  I’m only in year 3 which by all definitions is still the “early stages” of any business, so my accountant still laughs at me when I talk about earning.

I’ll share more later…I hope everyone has the opportunity to work in a creative environment, to pursue dreams and a mission worth pursuing.

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