Turning Poetry into a Business
We currently live in a time where job security is a thing of the past. You now have to be skilled at many things than ever before to get ahead and business are seem to be trending towards contracting rather than having full time employees.
Being an entrepreneur seems to be the way to go!
Welcome to what I think is a cool and creativity idea that seems to be growing and generating a tidy bit of income.
Writing Haiku for free.
Give these guys a topic, like your cat, a tree, peanut butter and they will haiku it for you! Venues are hiring them for $225 an hour.
Check it out here.
The idea for a poetry-writing business came about entirely by accident. In June 2013, college buddies Szentmiklosy and Zaltsman were playing with the idea of doing an interview series about entrepreneurship. They set up a little booth on a street corner in Williamsburg—which has the highest density of entrepreneurs per capita anywhere in the world—hoping to have focus-group-like conversations with anyone passing by.
Since the two guys had a bit of a poetic streak, they thought they could write people haiku as a gimmick to draw them in. Little did they know that they had, in fact, landed on their own business idea. Within a week, they were asked to write haiku at a yoga festival. They agreed, and when they attended the event, they met Markuson, a performance artist who used typewriters and poetry in all her pieces.
“It was amazing, like a unicorn bumping into another unicorn,” Markuson recalls.
Together, they decided to collaborate and turn The Haiku Guys into a bonafide business. Their reputation spread by word of mouth, and soon everybody wanted to have haiku at their wedding, conference, or product launch. Markuson believes that people are drawn to them because poetry now seems like a foreign art; the slow process of poetry-writing often feels like a stark contrast to the fast pace of modern life.
“People react in extreme ways when we write them poems,” she says. “They cry, they laugh, they tell us we can see into their souls. It’s a very vulnerable moment that people seem to get a lot of catharsis from.”
Charging between $200 and $250 per hour, The Haiku Guys are able to rake in serious money by writing poems at events, especially since they sometimes attend up to six a week. None of the founders have quit their day jobs yet, though: Markuson and Zaltsman work at social media startups, while Szentmiklosy is a business consultant.
“We all have jobs that we really care about and that are really important to us, so we’re not planning to become full-time poets anytime soon,” Markuson says.
Article Credit: fastcompany.com