T-shirts and Calculators: Don’t Quit Your Day Job
by Jamie Engelhardt
I’ve been milling around this idea in my head for quite some time and I’m finally able to put some pen to paper , keyboard to computer. I often wonder about my own business (a photographer in the Chicago suburbs) and want to know if it’s even worth it. Will I ever succeed? What does success even look like? What can I be doing better? Questions one and two are directly related to number 3. As creatives and creative entrepreneurs, it’s easy to get caught up in it all and want to quit your day job, pursue your passion, and make tons of money. Who of you knows a creative that makes tons of money right away? Yeah, me neither. ANYWAY, I’ve been doing a lot of reading and reaching out to some of my family (namely my awesome sister co-founder and co-owner of Ju-Ju-Be Diaper Bags)
and friends and have come up with a few tips on “what I can (and you too) be doing better.”
We’re calling this entry “Don’t Quit Your Day Job” and wouldn’t you know it- that’s tip number 1.
1) Don’t Quit Your Day Job: Ever heard of that little ol’ book, “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert? Yeah, she finally quit her multiple other jobs after this book hit number one on the New York Times Best Seller List. Her book “Big Magic” is an awesome resource that you should be reading right now if you haven’t already. She says this to creatives, : “I also advise against the goal of having your artistic work support your life, financially. Of course this is the dream of dreams—to make a living by your art—but it is a rare thing, when that works out.”
2) Don’t forget about yourself of your family. Hard work is great but if you don’t take care of yourself, everyone suffers.
3) Work Environment Is King: Make sure to balance hard work and fun. It makes everyone in your business happier and healthier and is great for team bonding. We at Joshua Lance CPA like to take our team bonding seriously by going out to play trivia or visiting some of our clients who happen to run some rockin’ breweries!
4) Network,Network, Network: Get to know people, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. You may get to talking and find out you have just the skills they are looking for- or maybe even they for you. You might even find a mentor or seasoned creative who can encourage you to keep going, to keep pursuing your passion.
5) Show Up: Keep practicing. Keep learning. Sign up for that online class or check out a new book from the library If you are a writer, write; a painter paint; a photographer, get out there and shoot something new! You can’t get any better if you don’t keep trying. Here’s a great blog post you can read about showing up written by my friend Jackie Lea Sommers, author of “Truest”: https://jackieleasommers.com/2014/06/04/butt-in-seat-why-showing-up-works/
Inspired yet? I hope so. Don’t ever stop being a creative and keep on keeping on. You are doing great work and encouraging others to do the same!