I started this year (2012) knowing that I had to make a change. For me, my day job wasn’t satisfying for me anymore. While the paycheck was letting me live quite comfortably, that still wasn’t enough. The time had come when I knew I had to follow-through in exploring the unknown.
While I would say that “work” just wasn’t taking me where I wanted to go, I still couldn’t say I was totally clear on where “there” was for me. Yet, I kept finding myself coming back to that place in my heart. Deep down I knew there was a whole lot of life going on outside of the office, away from my desk, that I felt I was missing out on. I wanted to grow and learn about other things. I wanted to experience more of what “life” had to offer. For me, the creative world was beckoning.
SETTING THINGS IN MOTION
At the start of the year, at work, I had already expressed my desire to move on and I set in motion a plan to transition to part-time status by spring. By then a replacement was hired and the transition began. By the beginning of summer, I decided to make the hand-off complete and become permanently self-employed (or as others would say: “willfully unemployed, in this economy?!?”).
A couple months have now passed. I have dabbled in kicking a few ideas around, some I already scrapped, others I have started fleshing out further. I took care of business things: wrote up a business plan; and set up all my small business tax IDs and banking accounts. I took care of health things: I caught up on all my doctor appointments; took more classes at the gym; and got my individual health insurance plans all squared away.
I did some fun things, too: I attended a favorite conference of mine; went to a concert or two; been to the beach and the pool; attended a crafty retreat; and even performed in a couple of local amateur dance recitals.
WHERE WILL THE MONEY BE?
And, now it is time to get the income-earning aspects in place. And, realistically, if all else fails, I at least want to put together a decent enough online portfolio that showcases my more creative side. With this I will be able to sort of re-define what I am about and show the full range of work that I can be hired to do.
SPECIFIC PROJECTS IN MIND
Projects that I committed to myself exploring and sharing with you include:
- Producing an inspirational weekly video show;
- Creating an online store featuring craft projects, tutorials, kits, and finished products to buy, sell or share.
- Writing a thriving blog promoting Artistic Expression and having some solid web analytics to track the activity generated.
ADVICE FOR NAVIGATING THE UNKNOWN
So, you may ask: “Where is someone headed when they want to be more creative yet don’t seem to have a clear income-producing end-game in place?”
My answer would be this: “You go in the direction that you want if you believed you could do or be whoever you want to be. You make plans and follow-through on projects, though you aren’t married to any one idea, as you are flexible enough to test and learn and can adjust to what’s working and what’s not.”
Important Note: There is a bunch of guidelines that should accompany this seemingly oversimplified advice (which I will elaborate on in future posts as I share my journey with you), but for now this is the gist of my going-forward philosophy.
Solid or not, that sums up my game plan and my advice to anyone who asks.
I’m hoping this inspires you in whatever realm you may choose to apply it to. If so, or if you have any thoughts to add, please feel free to share below.