What a Comic Convention Taught Me About Business

So I’ve had this Zhann (FARSCAPE) print, autographed by the actress who played her, Virginia Hey, sitting around for the longest time. But only recently got it framed and up on the wall. But I could help but think back to the moment I got it, and thinking about it now, how great lesson on business it was.

The print was at KC’s Planet Comicon YEARS ago. One of my first comic book conventions. Anyone from Kansas City reading this, it was WAY back when the con was in Overland Park. Those of you not in KC, it was basically a LONG time ago.

BUT it was when FARSCAPE was at it’s peak of it’s popularity, and Virginia Hey was there as a guest. And being a huge FARSCAPE fan, definitely wanted to get a photo with her! Now here’s the thing, this was before there were companies lining up celebrity photo sessions. So I thought I’d get in line, and ask. I mean, never any harm in asking.

But the closer I got, I saw she was selling prints and autographs for $20. And I thought if I was getting a pic for free (which was once a thing True Believers), I could drop $20 on a autograph. I mean, it seemed like the right thing to do.

But now, here’s the thing. I get the autograph, and ask if I could get a photo… it was then I was informed it would be another $20. Sadly, I was a poor college/art student at the time, definitely fit the starving artist trope. So DEFINITELY didn’t have the extra coin. So I couldn’t get the photo I’d hoped for.

But how did this relate to business for me? Well, simply, go after what you want without compromise. I’m not saying you can’t be a nice person, and support people like my initial motivation was at the convention. But, if I just went for what I wanted, I would’ve hit both: get the photo, and supported the celebrity.

Instead, I was left wanting.

So yea, the business lesson here? Set the goal you want. And go after it without compromise.

Seems simple enough, right? Good luck!

—Ben

OH, the autograph: