A Check List for Creatives: Is 2014 your Year?

A few things to work on before you quit your full-time job
I often meet creatives who are juggling full-time jobs with their real passion for creating or crafting. Having been in the same situation just a few years ago – I can empathise and relate. It’s by no means an easy task and on top of it all many of you are still fulfilling your other roles of wife or mother. Many creatives dream of a day when they can leave their full-time corporate job and lead a life as a creative business owner. In today’s post I share a few things to be aware of as you plan your escape. At the end of the post there’s also a consulting session special.

Living out your dream and being your own boss is the goal, but there are some crucial elements that can’t be overlooked. Focus on them with determination, rather than treating them as reasons to not fulfil your dreams. 

*Please note I’m by no means saying you should march into your boss’s office and shout ‘I QUIT because Nadia said this is MY YEAR’, but rather I am sharing some check points that you can implement so that you can succeed and establish the business of your dreams.

Start Saving:
Build up some ‘capital’ for your business. When you leave full-time employment there might be several months where your income is very little as you build your business to full capacity. It will also allow you to feel more secure in your decision.

Start Planning:
What’s the vision for your business and how can your current products / services range grow? Start working on plans, ideas and product or services to bulk up your offering. 

Get Help:
Build your business to the best level you can, but get help where needed. For example assistance with financial planning or a consulting session here and there. This will help you to understand what needs work, where your strengths lie and how you can improve.

Envision your Future:
What do you envision for the rest of you life or at least for several years from now? Think ahead and understand how you can achieve that vision of success.

Keep a Record:
Keep track of everything your business is earning as well as how you are spending that money. Many creatives use money from their full-time salary to buy stock or materials and when their sale earnings come in they treat those as pure profit. Be sure to understand what your business is earning. 

Find Support:
Very often people won’t understand why you’re leaving a comfortable job, but don’t let them get you down. Find someone in your life who understands the challenges of being a creative business owner. For example a few of us in Durban have a ‘Creative Coffee Council’ we meet and chat through our unique problems and we support one another.

Work on a Marketing Plan:
You have to get your business out there and share it with the world. Start implementing clever and affordable ways in which you can share your products or services in order to generate more income.

Do your Research:
Is your product trend driven and how will you evolve as trends change? Don’t let this scare you off, but be aware of what your next steps are.

Be Patient:
The most difficult of all! Bide your time and keep working at it. Put goals in place in order to manage your time. Build up your business and leave your full-time job when you are most ready. I can’t say leave when you are comfortable as that might never happen. There are benefits to earning a monthly salary, but having your own business out ways it!

Be Realistic:
Oh dear – realism, the killer of dreams! To a certain extent you have include it in order to understand how your business earns and works. For example if you rent a space for your business – how much should your be earning daily to afford it? When I first took on my business full-time I found myself being hit with a big dose of reality, but I managed to deal with it. I want to help you deal with it too and that is why I have created this post.

Time is Money:
Your time is worth a certain amount of money and that needs to be factored into pricing. This is something many creatives really battle with – book a consulting session with me and we can chat through your costings.

Take the Leap:
When you feel that you have sufficiently done all you can – a point will come when you have to make that huge, scary leap! Don’t panic, focus on what you have planned and worked on already. Your hard work will pay off.

Tough Facts:
  • Having your own business and being your own boss is the most difficult job you will ever have. 
  • Your days will include admin, working with clients and several financial elements – not only being creative and making pretty things.
  • Routine is essential. At first you might feel as if you have hours and hours of free time stretched out in front of you, but plan your time and check in with yourself. You technically need to be doing something each day that earns money. This will be different for various products or types of business, but don’t fool yourself by feeling busy when in fact you are not doing relevant business tasks.
To kick off the year I am offering a special consulting deal. Email me this week to book your session and you will receive a discount:
  • One on one sessions will be R275 (R100 discount) for two hours.
  • Skype / Facetime sessions will be R200 (R100 discount) for two hours.
The deal is only valid if you book and pay for your session this week. Your session, however does not have to take place this week. *Deal open until close of business on Friday (24 Jan).