It never fails, whenever I meet someone for the first time and they ask me what I do, depending on the context of where I’m meeting them, I say… “I’m a fine art photographer – I create art with my camera”. Inevitably they will ask “Is that all you do?” My response is no, I also work full-time for an IT company. “Oh” they say.
What does that mean? Does that mean that I shouldn’t call myself an artist because I also have a full time job. Does that mean I’m not “good enough” to sustain my lifestyle by selling my art? Speaking with other creatives in my many social media networks, I’ve found that the majority of us have a “Bread and Butter Job”. They shoot weddings as their B&B and create fine art on the side, DJ Birthday Party’s as their B&B and on the side they’re a song writer, Waitress as their B&B and perform in community theater on the side… the list can go on and on, but what is wrong with that?
Having a B&B Job allows you the freedom to refocus your passion and do what you love without stressing over how you are going to keep a roof over your head. I used to hide the fact that I had a full-time job from all my social webs, because I wanted my brand/image to be “Julie is only a photographer”. I thought that I wasn’t going to be “respected” in the photo world if people knew I had a full time job. It was the moment I realized that I wasn’t alone, and that instead of my B&B being in the same genre as my passion, it was just in corporate america.
My decision to work in corporate america, and not as a full-time as a photographer (for now) is simple, I don’t really want to be a business owner. I’m not at that place in my life where I can, or want, to hustle everyday. Let’s face it, being a full-time creative is being a full-time business owner. So the first question you need to ask yourself is, Do you want to OWN a business? Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone.
If you are still with me, that means you’re all in, or you’re just reading on to see what else I am going to say. If you still haven’t decided if you are ready for this lifestyle, then let’s work on figuring that out.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I know it sounds cliché, but it so important to have a clear understanding of what you want your life to look like. You are a creative, so this should be super easy for you. Close your eyes and picture the next 10 years of your life? Write down some bullet points (if you have a partner, you may want to do this with them).
Now, go into more detail and write your story in paragraph form, Here is mine:
I wake up at 7:30 a.m. to the sound of the seagulls and ocean waves. I make a pot of free trade coffee and spend my mornings answering emails, journaling and creating my schedule for the week. Then its off to a create some new artwork to sell, either going on a photo shoot, or editing images. In the afternoon I work out (cause future Julie is super healthy and organic) and work on the business side of things such as contacting galleries and finding places to exhibit my work. Around 4:00, I check in with the family to see how their days are going. I figure out what I am going to make for dinner, which will include a glass of wine, and I spend the evening journaling some more / reading / or catching up on Scandal.
My life vision looks nothing like how I am living my life now, but I am on taking the steps to get there. That’s a whole new blog post… subscribe to my blog to follow that story. For now, we still need you to decided on what you are going to do?
So what does your life look like? Do you see yourself in a large 3,000 sq ft home with granite countertops, driving a Mercedes and eating out overnight. If you do, you better be a DAMN good creative! Your career path should match your life goals. If you want to be that full-time business owner, and you don’t see yourself there yet, don’t worry, as long as you keep focused on your vision and disciplined in your lifestyle, you will get there…it won’t happen overnight.
I would love to see your vision paragraphs, if you want to leave them in the comments below.