So. This is a topic that is incredibly close to my heart for a variety of reasons, but I’ll spare you my story. I can unequivocally say that Patience is the Key to Success In Life.
This one’s for you, readers. For those of you who find yourself behind a dusty desk with a switchboard and overhead fluorescent lights. For those of you who are chasing after three kids with thirty very messy fingers. For those of you who are refilling table number nine’s coffee for the sixth time, dreaming of a conversation that doesn’t revolve around the weather patterns.
The good news? We’ve all been there a few times in our lives, and you’ll get through it.
The bad news?
Brush up on your patience, because you’ll need it.
I’m a firm believer in things happening when the timing is right. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be taking active steps to prepare yourself for a better day, but I do find that most of us desire a fast forward button all too often. And let me ask you this: If you skip to the very last scene of ‘Reality Bites’ just to find out if Winona and Ethan finally profess their love for each other (spoiler alert: they do!), would you have witnessed the best gas station rendition of ‘My Sharona’ known to man? No, you wouldn’t have. Would you have watched two grown adults fall in love over a Big Gulp? Never!
It’s the journey. It’s the now. Please don’t forget that, no matter how many steak fries you have to serve to get where you need to be. You’re where you are for a reason, and I believe that with all of my heart.
Now. With that said, let’s focus on what you can do to prepare yourself for the life/career you dream of. Because I’m not totally there yet, I’ve asked a few of my artist friends who ARE, and here’s what they had to say:
Sharie Williamson , shop owner of Little Pitter Pat, talks about the financial aspects of her creative process: “I just know that each month my money varies and to be prepared for slow months… I also do commissioned-type work, gallery shows, etc to supplement my income. I am not going to lie, it gets scary sometimes wondering how the money is going to come in, but I think things have their ways of working out…”
Lucy McDonald from Love My Dress adds “financially, keep things in [your] life very simple… I do love to eat out, and I’m willing to take on a few extra projects each month to allow for those meals and cups of joe!”
Vanita of Vanitas Home agrees: “I am still not self supporting, but I think I am getting closer. Hopefully. I have a great month and then a really slow month. It is really scary, but also self rewarding. I nanny three times a week to pay the grueling student loan, car insurance, gas and health insurance.
Then with what I make from selling my art or from my small clothing line, I save 50 percent of it right off the bat. Then I reinvest the other half back into my work. More so into the clothes since that involves the most over head. It takes a lot of hard work, sometime tears and a lot of support.”
But what do you do when you’re stuck? When you know you hate what you’re doing now, but you’re not sure what to do with the talents you have? What makes sense with your lifestyle, your intended career path and what you currently have responsibilities for?
I read a FANTASTIC book about a year ago, and it was, in fact, a HUGE push in the direction of creating this blog. Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type by authors Paul Tieger and Barbara Barron examines various personality types (i.e. introvert vs. extrovert, passive vs. assertive) and applies that exploration to a career path. If you really are unsure of what to do with your life, this is a GREAT resource. I find myself going back to it time and again to remind myself that there IS a profession that my personality type can find fulfillment in— it’s up to me to get there.
By now you’re probably thinking— yeah, ok, , but I don’t have the time to even READ these links, let alone start a business from them. Here’s my advice for you:
1. No time? FIND IT. Quit brushing your teeth to save an extra two minutes a day (well, maybe find something else to stop doing…). You may have less friends, but hey— gotta start somewhere.
2. If you read just ONE article, read this one. Tony Wright is a VERY smart business owner, and he’s got some great words of advice for those of you that can’t quit your day job just yet, but want to make something happen. The article itself is meant for those that desire to build an Internet startup, but I feel like a lot of his advice applies to small business owners in general.
Whew. I told you… I get all novel-ish when I write about this sort of thing. Long story long, you need to hear this stuff, and you need to hear it often. The fact of the matter is that most of us are blessed with the freedom and resources to make our dreams come true. And those of us that aren’t? Ask for help. There is an entire community of crafters, artisans, designers, etc that would love to answer some questions, and it starts right here.