Ok, so it’s been about 4 months since I slid my higher ups my I’m done with this shit letter and made the choice to follow my passions full time. Let me just say, I do not in any regret my decision to leave the job I had. It was horrible, the environment was horrible, and there was no way that I would have gotten far in life by staying there. With that said, jumping ship so suddenly and throwing myself into the flames of entrepreneurship is not at all easy. The truth is that, aside from working suuuuper part time, I have to hustle for every single dollar that I have which is an incredible responsibility that I might not have been mentally prepared for in the beginning. Along with that, I have learned endless lessons.
- Make monthly goals, consistently– Whether you are making financial goals (which you definitely should!) or writing goals, you need to make goals every single month. This will keep you on track and keep you challenged. I love a good challenge!
- Track your income– Freelancers that have low overhead costs, like writers, have a tendency of not tracking their funds. That is a mistake. The first month, I tracked my income meticulously. I stopped for 2 months and it was catastrophic. Trust me.
- Write down your ideas as soon as they pop in your head– I know, you will remember your idea later. Sure. But here’s the thing, you won’t! Write it down because it can be the idea to change everything.
- Collaborate with caution– Personally, I enjoy working alone but collaborating is important. But, before you rush out to find someone to work with on that passion project, really think about it. Evaluate who you are working with and what they have to bring to the table and make sure it’s a positive, fruitful experience for both of you.
- Hire others– When working on some of my passion projects, I am met with tasks that I don’t have the skills to execute. I am not a graphic designer, photographer, or make up artist. I have learned that when you need something done the right way, hire the right people to do it.
- Ask for half upfront– Here’s the thing with entrepreneurship, even after you get a client on board and agree on a price and submit your work, they can still burn you and not give you the money owed. One of my first clients after I quit my job promised me an agreed upon amount of money and, after I submitted the work, vanished. Ask for half upfront so that if that happens, you won’t be totally without a paddle.
- Make payment easy– If you are a creative entrepreneur and sell anything, you need to make payment, money requests, and invoicing simple. I prefer PayPal but you choose whatever works best for you.
- Take a break, but not too many– When you work for yourself, it can be incredibly easy for you to get sucked in to working every single day, with no breaks. I find myself feeling guilty when I am not working which just makes my anxiety shoot through the roof. Give yourself a day or so off every week. You deserve it dammit!
- Build your support system– This is one of the most important things that I have learned. As many creative (or just all) entrepreneurs, I have had my high ups and very low downs. But, it has been my supporters, friends, and people that love me and my work that have pulled me through.