Happy Wednesday, my friends! I’m very excited to be a part of the blog lovin’ tour for the new book, The Declaration of You, written by Michelle Ward and Jessica Swift. For two months this summer, bloggers are tackling different topics as it relates to living a creative and fulfilling life, and this week’s theme is all about money. Of course I was more than happy to oblige and share my thoughts on this tour. :)
Today I want to talk about pursuing a creative career, working for yourself and making money. It seems now, more than ever before, people are creating businesses and making a career off their passions. Women who love to decorate have freelance businesses. Writers have made a name for themselves through blogs, and have changed the publishing industry drastically. Seamstresses sell their work of art in Etsy shops. Bakers sell cupcakes in food trucks. Yoga instructors open private studios.
It is exciting and a little intimidating to consider making money on your creative endeavors, and here are a few steps to take in that direction.
1. Know your strengths and weaknesses. The initial thought that will pop in your mind is: “I can’t do it. It’s going to be too hard. No one will pay for this.” Push passed those thoughts and find your worth. Find your confidence. Know what you’re good at, what you’re not good at, and set realistic expectations for yourself.
2. Be clear on your purpose and become the expert. Are you selling a service? A product? Your expertise? What makes your product or service different? How will this be of value to people? Research the field, practice it, and become the expert at your craft. Ask yourself long before you start making money: Is this something I enjoy doing?
3. Crunch the numbers and create a budget. It takes money to make money, so whatever endeavor you pursue, it will most likely cost a few pretty pennies to even start. Calculate how much you will need in supplies, resources, marketing, etc. It will most likely take at least a few hundred dollars before you can start making money, so it’s important that you have enough saved and aren’t living paycheck to paycheck. (Read more about how to create a budget, develop financial goals, calculate your net worth, get out of debt, and create an emergency fund.)
4. Create a business plan. This is a boring but necessary step if you want to succeed. Some questions you need to answer: What is my product or service? How is it unique? Who is my audience? Who are my competitors? Is there a need for my product and service? How will I tell people about my business? What will I charge? How much I make after I factor in my expenses (profit margin)? (Here’s a helpful article for more details of a business plan.)
5. Jump in and be confident. Once you’ve got your business plan set and have some money saved, start creating and getting the ball rolling. Depending on the type of business you have, it may take some time to market your product/service and get the word out, but don’t wait. Procrastination can kill dreams, so no matter your fear or how small the start, take those first steps and get started.
6. Don’t quit your day job just yet. It may take a while to get started and you need enough time to evaluate if this is something you want to pursue full-time. Gauge the market landscape, the risks and rewards of going full-time, and have enough money saved to fall back on when business may not be as steady.
7. Take off your rose-colored glasses. Even if you go full-time doing what you love, accept that you may not love it everyday. A job is still a job, and it takes work to make money, so don’t be discouraged if there are days you don’t love it.
8. Always keep learning. Whatever your field, always keep up to date with what your market is like, new trends, new features and techniques, and keep up with the latest trends. You may need to adjust your business plan as it grows, so be flexible and adjust as needed.
Those are just a few suggestions on pursuing your passions. I’d love to hear more thoughts on pursuing your creative dreams full time:
What risks have you taken to pursue your dreams?
If you could have one job in the world, what would it be?
How does money affect your passions?
…and be sure to check out the other Declaration of You articles on the blog lovin’ tour.