From the Blog

Notes from the Silent Barn panel

Posted by Samira Rajan @ September 28th, 2017
Welcome to Brooklyn Cooperative’s blog!  We decided to start a blog as a way to introduce ourselves. Credit unions aren’t as familiar to most people as banks, though our services are likely better suited to their needs. Hopefully, through this blog, we will show that.
The discussion on financing options for creative businesses last night at Silent Barn was lively and informative. I enjoyed it! The panelists Siena and Molly had a ton of information regarding crowdfunding options and how to think about Kickstarter campaigns.  Joe was downright inspiring, connecting the dots between what each of us was saying, his own experiences in founding Silent Barn, and the current context for audience members.

A nice moment came at the end when an audience member asked how to keep up with the operational aspects of growing a business on one hand while also nurturing the creative impulses that constitute the business’ real value — how to not burn out?  Its a great question and prompted me to switch roles. Officially I was the Loan Officer on the panel, describing how business loans at BCoop work. Yet to this last question I responded as a business-owner because, true enough, most of my days are spent trying to keep this organization afloat while ensuring that it is contributing real value to people’s lives. Perhaps the coincidence of my 16th work anniversary here was on my mind.

Starting a business is incredibly difficult, of course, and after that comes the equally hard, but entirely different, work of building it to withstand all manner of expected and unexpected turbulence. Burn-out happens right alongside the moments of victory when you feel like little-tiny you has, just maybe, created something that matters.

What helps me is remembering that it is a blessing even to be in a position to create, to follow a dream, to pour your heart into something that matters. Not everyone gets such an opportunity, and knowing that motivates me to ensure I don’t lose a single moment.

Samira Rajan is the longest-serving employee of Brooklyn Coop and currently the Director of both the credit union and Grow Brooklyn. She started here as an Americorp*VISTA for a single year of service back when we were Bushwick Coop in 2001, got hooked by the challenge of building a community financial institution, and hasn’t left.