FunEmployment: Craig Ceccanti
Fun new job: Craig Ceccanti, Pinot's Palette CEO — it's a a "Sip and Paint" BYOB painting studio.
Not fun old job: Consultant, engineer.
N: So, what did you do before being funemployed?
C: I worked as a medical device-focused management consultant with a business strategy consulting firm focused on innovation. As a leading member of their product lifecycle management and value/pricing management practices, I traveled the country week-to-week to help Fortune 500 companies deliver on the promise of innovation.
N: That sounds, um, fun...So, you just left?
C: Yeah, after building a career in consulting over two undergraduate degrees, an MBA from Rice University, and seven years of experience, no one would have predicted I would own and operate a painting and wine studio much less build it into a national franchise. Being introduced to painting as a form of entertainment and self-discovery truly changed my life. Nothing is more fun than seeing the smiles on our painters faces as it happens to them as well.
N: Yeah, but let's be real, funemployment doesn't sound like the most stable thing...
C: The biggest challenge in starting a business is there are no roads to follow. Much of the time you are blazing your own trail. At the end of the day, the reward is incomparable. Having consulted at the highest level there is nothing more rewarding than putting together a business that accomplishes the financial, cultural, and customer goals you have set out to accomplish.
N: What advice would you give to other people who are unemployed, or who are looking to change gears in the midst of a recession?
C: Always keep your business and job radar running! It’s the thought process of constantly figuring out how businesses run and how you would make them better. You never know when it is going to detect your next big break, even in the strangest places like an art studio.
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