Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Blueprint for Quitting Your Day Job



So Seth Godin and the team of awesome-makers over at the Domino Project came up with something called Trust30, a daily writing challenge that would take place over 30 days that will focus you onto doing something that we tend to forget about - trusting ourselves.

Monkey decided to take this challenge and has been posting over at his own blog Politics:Art:Culture on a daily basis. We thought that one post in particular, titled "A Blueprint for Quitting My Day Job" was especially relevant to all the artists out there following our blog. The topic was being bold - participants were asked what one thing that they have been afraid of pursuing would they pursue, what obstacles were in their way, and how were they going to overcome it.

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.

So that's Monkey's plan. What have you been afraid to achieve? How are you going to do it? What are you waiting for?

PS - Monkey is starting to do 5x7" paintings on watercolor paper for $20. He'll paint anything for you, but it will most definitely end up involving a monster in some way, shape, or form, but that's probably why you'd be buying an original painting from him anyway.

If you'd like to commission one of these little paintings, you can buy one (or more!) right here:


$20 Custom 5x7" Painting

Ex: If you told me to paint your lawn, it would probably end up like this:



2 comments:

Miranda Olson said...

Great encouraging post. I think there is one step missing though, which unfortunately might be the hardest: Deciding what you want to do for your business. It really assists with being clear on what you want to offer. When you are clear on that it gives you more confidence in doing all of the steps. Otherwise you might get distracted. That can by scary waters, but you can always update after. It's important to move forward and experience.

Rick Kitagawa said...

Thanks for stopping by Miranda! I totally agree: I did leave out that crucial step as I had sort of already figured out what sort of success I'm looking for when I wrote that post, but it's a good point to bring up.

For anyone else who is looking for more about really figuring out what your goals are and such, we did a post a while back about defining success