Monday, June 6, 2011

A Blueprint for Quitting My Day Job

While I can say that I'm pretty lucky in terms of owning some businesses, getting to paint, etc. etc., the one thing I've always been afraid to pursue is doing art full time.  I've had numerous business ideas and different product lines and whatnot, but I've yet to really formulate a strong business plan and formulate a plan for a wholesale line or work.

Having a fall-back job that comes really, really easy (see last post), in a way has almost become a crutch.  It's not the worst job ever, and it doesn't really challenge me most of the time, and I get to talk about (not actually do, a lot of the time) art with people.  I do get to teach, which is cool, but basically, I'm pretty comfortable. 

So why don't I just quit?  Well, the surface reason is that I have huge student loan bills, rent, etc. to pay every month, and if I were to completely set out myself, I would not have any of that safety net to cover myself.  Additionally, I would need to get some capital for marketing, photography, raw materials, etc.  Since my monthly bills are so high, I can't afford to save.  Lame.

Additionally, part of it is basic fear.  Fear of failure.  While the idea of failing isn't such a huge deal, I think that a failed business venture early on when I quit my dayjobs marked with the high price of failure (not being able to pay rent, getting me and Eve evicted) is frightening. 

So how to go about defeating all these obstacles and doing it up right?  The plan is to a)reduce risk, b)create capital, and c)make it happen.

First, reducing risk.  First off, to defeat the fear of failure, I have to make it so that if I fail, nothing too bad will happen.  I won't have to live on the streets, etc. etc. 

In order to reduce risk, I need to basically do B, which is to create some capital.  I can do this by working to create multiple alternative streams of income.  This will be done via $20 illustrations, craft fairs, and getting a handcrafted license to sell on the streets of san francisco.  saving and eating out less will also help.  Additionally, making a kickstarter video can also be awesome. 

So I guess the last part is just doing it all.  While this is an overly simplified plan of action, I already have the entrepreneurial know-how to make most of these things happen, so why not start today on my day off?  Oh wait, I guess I will.

“Next to Resistance, rational thought is the artist or entrepreneurs worst enemy. Bad things happen when we employ rational thought, because rational thought comes from the ego. Instead, we want to work from the Self, that is, from instinct and intuition, from the unconscious.
A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. Its only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.” - Steven Pressfield, Do the Work

The idea of “being realistic” holds all of us back. From starting a business or quitting a job to dating someone who may not be our type or moving to a new place – getting “real” often means putting your dreams on hold.
Today, let’s take a step away from rational thought and dare to be bold. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to accomplish but have been afraid to pursue? Write it down. Also write down the obstacles in your way of reaching your goal. Finally, write down a tangible plan to overcome each obstacle.
The only thing left is to, you know, actually go make it happen. What are you waiting for?
(Author: Matt Cheuvront)

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