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Where were you on April 15? Hopefully you were with us talking about pie shops and risk— and not doing your taxes! Megan Wilkes, co-founder of Emporium Pies, shared her experience braving the risks of entrepreneurship. 

Megan gave open and honest advice. That business plan you’re working on? Here’s what she thinks:

When I say “business plan,” I don’t mean a fifteen-page beautifully designed picture book full of what you want your store to look like- while talking about synergy- and how you’re going to bring farm-to-table ingredients and educate people about food. We have that—and that’s important because you want to be able to catch people’s eye with your business plan. But the real meat of our plan was its sixty-five pages of well-thought-out, well-researched numbers. 

Watch the video to hear it all.

We talked with some of our April sponsors about risk. Here’s what they had to say:

What’s your advice to others about taking risks?

Just today I was asked by another aspiring entrepreneur about whether she should quit her day job and follow her passion or continue to play it safe while building her “"side business”" and hopefully one day make an easy transition from one to another.

My advice was: Only you can make that choice. But I have to say that if I was still sitting in my office chair wondering “what if” with all the money in the world, I wouldn’t be happy. I knew it was time when my “side business” consumed my thoughts and was no longer content to continue the safe road. It was worth more to me to see what I was made of and take the leap—if I fail, I can always go back to the cube. But man, if this thing works… that puts a smile on my face no promotion ever could.

—Shanna Lee, CubeFit Yoga

Tell us about a risk you’ve taken.

One giant risk we took was leaving our stable corporate jobs and following our dreams to travel in hopes that our adventure would creatively inspire a business idea, which surprisingly it did! While on the road, we came up with a crazy idea to turn our “'home on wheels”’ into a photo booth. As a former event planner, I saw a need in the Austin market for an innovative, unique photo booth— one that had all the bells and whistles and modern technology but that created an experience. When we were traveling, everyone stopped us to talk about the VW Bus. And there was this instant, nostalgic connection with people when they saw the VW and they wanted to stop and talk to us about their VW story growing up. That intrigue lead to the idea of putting a photo booth inside of the VW Bus, and the rest is history! One of the greatest rewards of our risk is hearing the laughter spill out of the VW Bus as people have a great time posing and making memories with their friends!

—Emily Shrode, Vannagram

What’s a risk you’ve taken?

Can an organization’s declarations and ideals really be their external face? Can its employees really “live” the words written on a piece of paper?  

Universal Mind’s “intentional expansion” in Dallas could have been fraught with risk without such high ideals.  Our ability to become part of a city - as opposed to just doing business here - has eliminated the risks associated with being an interloper.  The foundation of our team and choice to office downtown have given face and voice to these declarations.  Risk is always present, but you can take steps to mitigate or eliminate it.

—Andrew Sevin, Universal Mind

Profile: Megan Tom

Dear Creative Community, meet Megan Tom, your humble host and organizer. Megan is a relatively new Dallasite, coming to us from California in 2015. But she’s already at home here—welcomed by the lovely people, bountiful coffee, and southern pie. You may run into her at CreativeMornings or find her drinking an almond latte at Local Press + Brew. On her Dallas bucket list is seeing a performance at the Wyly Theatre (so if you know of something good coming up—send her a rec!).

When it comes to creativity, Megan spends her working hours improving the quality of life through thoughtful UX. After hours, you may find her lost in thought or working on the pottery wheel.

Five questions with Megan

Which book would you recommend to other creatives?
Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click?

If you gave a presentation, what might it be about?
The importance of mentorship.

What was the first CD/album you bought?
TLC’s CrazySexyCool… The memories! Those pajamas!

Where is your favorite place in the world?
The Untersberg mountains in Austria.

What is one piece of advice that is overrated?
“You can’t make mistakes. If we never made mistakes, we would never learn.”

View Megan’s complete profile to follow her, see her favorite GIF, and connect with her on social media.

Howdy, Dallas!

CreativeMornings Dallas is here to FEED you. Not only that—we’ll feed your creative imagination, your hunger for like-minded individuals and your taste for learning something new. So come on down and bring friends and colleagues—everyone is welcome!

What is CreativeMornings?
The short version: We are a free monthly breakfast lecture series for the local creative community.

The long version: Tina Roth-Eisenberg founded the lecture series in Brooklyn, New York, in 2008. In her own words, she “invited people in my creative community for a cup of coffee.” (You can hear more from Tina on the first CreativeMornings podcast.) Since then, CreativeMornings has grown to a hundred cities worldwide, and we now have nearly two hundred organizers. Dallas CreativeMornings launched in October!

Why do we do this?
We bring together people who are driven by passion and purpose, confident that they will inspire one another and inspire change in neighborhoods and cities around the world. You can read more about us in the CreativeMornings Manifesto.

Who’s invited?
You are. We believe that everyone is creative, so everyone is welcome.

What do you think?
We want to know: Is there someone you’d like to hear speak? Let us know! We’re listening on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and on the ground.

When’s the next event?
Dallas-area events are on the third Friday of each month. Tickets are released the Monday before. Tickets are free, so act fast to avoid being waitlisted. See y’all next time!