MANILA -- This Filipina hopes to empower creatives and help them be better at business.
Kia Abrera is the chief executive officer of Braveworks Inc. and The Brave Creators Lab, a community where creatives can learn the ropes of entrepreneurship.
With over 20 years of experience in communication, video, advertising, design thinking, and social marketing under her belt, she has been featured on Yahoo Finance UK as one of the Top 10 instructors who helped entrepreneurs grow their online businesses in 2020.
On top of these, she is also an official TikTok EduCreator with nearly 140,000 followers.
In an email interview, Abrera acknowledged the sad reality that there are people who still question the practicality of a creative pursuit such as design, content creation, or photography.
But after building her business from the ground up, she is out to prove that there are a lot of opportunities that await creative entrepreneurs.
"In the pursuit, there will always be those who question the path I took, mostly from those who’ve always had the prejudice that a creative pursuit is not as practical or as 'honorable' as our usual success paths -- being a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, etc. It used to bother me, but I put my head down and did the work," she said.
"I think it’s better for the creative economy when we start educating creative entrepreneurs on how they can thrive in an emerging, lucrative industry," she added.
For Abrera, mixing creative arts and business is all about striking a balance between being true to one's self, and providing solutions to clients.
She said the trick is to be able to connect the dots, which can be done through proper education about creative entrepreneurship.
"If you’re able to find that convergence between who you are and how you help solve people’s problems, you’ll find the mix between art and business," she said.
Creatives are welcome to join The Brave Creators Lab, which teaches fundamentals such as branding, knowing their audience, and serving clients seamlessly, among others. Abrera also does one-on-one consultations, workshops, and custom training using the platform.
Also available is the free group called The Brave Creatives, which aims to support those who wish to pursue a creative path.
When asked how creatives can hone their business skills, Abrera stressed the importance of knowing how to think strategically, which she defined as "not just throwing solutions, but asking the right questions."
"There has to be a relentless love of learning. I always tell my students that they have to keep nurturing their thought process because they will be able to solve better problems when they know how to think strategically," she said.
Here are Abrera's other tips for creatives:
- Get in conversations, read powerful books, and consume nurturing content
- Ask questions from people you look up to
- Observe your audience and keep up with changing trends
- Keep testing ideas and taking action
- Practice spotting opportunities in every problem
- Learn to say no often, as your no is just as important as your yes