Stephen Brown

What was the reason you decided to sign up to the SHIFT programme? What were you expecting?

When I signed up for SHIFT I was looking for something that would help me regain momentum in the development of my business proposal. After a period of testing out my ideas in the real world, I’d encountered numerous issues and obstacles to overcome but was lacking a defined strategy to do
so. In signing up to SHIFT I was hoping to dedicate a week ahead of term where I could consolidate my thinking and develop such a strategy to get my ideas back on track.

How was SHIFT for you?

SHIFT itself was a very intensive week which suited me perfectly. I had a lot to get through and relished the opportunity to hear from experts and work on so many practical exercises that helped inspire solutions to the issues I was facing. All of this was done in an engaging and fun way which facilitated collaboration. Meeting with similarly pragmatic people was refreshing and has since led to further collaboration on ideas that had come out of SHIFT, namely a creative strategy for my project’s release campaign. My business idea is one for the music industry and so I was surprised to see the number of panellists and guest speakers who had experience directly relating to the music industry, and so my proposal developed greatly from their insights.

What was the most useful aspect of SHIFT?

I’d say that the most helpful aspect of SHIFT was the sequence in which things happened. The week began by reflecting on why it is we were looking to set out into creative entrepreneurship, what our ‘dream’ was and how our values influenced our approach to achieving that dream. It sounds simple, but it made me realise that while I was very busy working on my business idea, I had forgotten the ‘why’ behind my motives for doing so. Such introspection was an essential first step for getting a long-term strategy in place. This was followed by a series of very helpful exercises (perhaps the most helpful part of the programme altogether) that analysed what challenges we face and how to bridge the gap between the issues that we face and the outcome we wish to arrive at – essentially thinking towards our goals through reverse engineering. This prepared us well for the expertise we were then to receive from successful entrepreneurs and experts in the various areas of creative business. Because we had a more defined idea of what we wanted to achieve and what our general approach was to be, this expertise could be much more directly applied and was therefore much more helpful than if the same information had been presented in isolation.

As a result of your participation in SHIFT, what, if anything, have you taken forward as a progression of your professional developments in any area?

In addition to restoring confidence in my ideas, my participation in SHIFT has led to two fantastic outcomes. Firstly, using the advice from the guest speakers I have developed a measurable strategy from 2020 to scale my business proposal so that it works towards its goals at an accelerated rate.
Secondly, I have started to develop a new business model and long-term vision for my business that is far more robust than it had previously been and engages the issues I had faced prior to SHIFT. Ultimately, I got the strategy I wanted at the start of the week, and with that came a myriad of ideas, contacts and information that has considerably helped to sharpen my business acumen.

Stephen Brown
Bachelor of Architecture Student
The Glasgow School of Art

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