I talk to many creative people who want to turn their passions or hobbies into careers that will allow them to quit their day job.
They have big dreams fueled by the profound sense of unhappiness they feel heading into their day job everyday, but usually there a 3 things they don’t consider before they take the leap.
I, myself, learned some of these lessons the hard way.
1. Working for yourself is WORK. Hard work. Some of which you may not get paid for.
When you first start planning to work for yourself, you may not have thought about all the extra work you will have to do that you DON’T get paid for directly.
There are a lot of behind the scenes tasks and responsibilities that have to be taken care of that no one is paying you for, if you’re a one or two-person show.
Business planning – can be a big timesuck if you do it right. You can spend hours and hours on branding and marketing plans or you can shell out money to have someone else do it for you.
Accounting – Keeping track of finances, even with top-of-the-line accounting software takes time and resources.
Technology – if you have a website, Facebook page, Twitter page, Etsy store – who is managing that for you?
Prospecting – looking to add clients? Chances are you will spend lots of time in the courting phase before you even…uh, score with them.
Note: I type this at 9 o’clock at night and I’ve been up since 5 am. And will probably bank 11-12 hours of total work time today – much of which, isn’t actually billable.
2. Some people are employees others are bosses.
There’s no other way to put this, but some people shouldn’t work for themselves because their personalities scream “employee.”
An employee personality is someone who constantly needs direction, approval and permission.
If you’re stepping out on your own, you are the end all be all. If you aren’t a self-starter who can roll with the punches, make things happen and handle being the HBIC – rethink your desire to strike out on your own.
One thing to keep in mind is, you may start off with an employee mindset – simply because this is what you are used to. Don’t let this discourage you. Keep working at it and break into boss-mode. If you screw up (and you WILL screw up), dust yourself off and try again.
3. Luck is unheard of.
If you’re sitting on your hands waiting for someone to notice how truly amazing you are, you better pack it up, babe.
This is one of my favorite quotes – and I apologize because I don’t remember who said it – but I’m inclined to say I read it in a Tim Ferris book, but I could be horribly wrong.
“Luck is half preparation and half opportunity.”
If your big break comes and you’re not ready to grab that big break by the short and curlys and take it for the ride of your life, then luck is just another thing that’s passed you by.
Work, then work, then work some more and when opportunity comes, you’ll be ready to pounce.
[photo “leap” by sabrina’s stash]