My tips on making a creative/self employed career work (for me)

1. Support your venture, don’t expect it to support you:

I’ve been blogging since before 2011, which is kind of a long time. I have always been quite inconsistent until last year – so I like to say I been truly blogging for about a year and half. I say all of this to say – the road has been long and the road has been sometimes dark. I’ve questioned whether to continue on sometimes and my love for content creating and producing creatively has always kept me going among many things.

  • I work government contracts every month or so as a contractor – which is why I consider myself self employed. As well I am a freelance writer, marketer, social media strategist, and I also do simple graphic work for some clients. I monetize this blog through sponsored content as well as the advertisements on the website. 

There are people who say you can never make a living from blogging. I actually read a post where a girl cynically says Blogging is a hobby because all the big time bloggers have already been established. I think that is not true. I truly believe in GRINDING for your dreams and aligning yourself with the right people to help you achieve them.

The things you love to do probably wont support you for a very LONG TIME. You’ve got to be willing to continue, in hopes that one day you will grow an audience that you can monetize. Although this blog makes SOME money, I would be living on the streets if it was my only source of income. I SUPPORT MY BLOG – today. I do side contracts, office work, etc to be able to budget for the things my blog requires. For example, every month I set aside money for my blog posts (Including clothing, food, materials, social media tools). This is an investment I am willing to make – because I understand that someday I would like my blog to pay off.

Go into your venture with a 3-10 year outlook, because I’m slowly realizing that these dreams aren’t short-term. I REALLY believe I can do it. Maybe I’m crazy, but in my inner most being (That God in me), I know in the story of my life – I have made a living on my creative passion and have the lifestyle I so desire for my family and I. Am I scared? DUH? – Does it seem crazy sometimes to keep going? HECK YEAH. But as a child of God, I also believe I know how the story ends. As a result, I support my blog TODAY .

2. Keep your expenses as low as possible:

My husband and I are in the process of paying off my student loans and will be done by this SUMMER! We have sacrificed for what will be 8 months and by the time we achieve that goal and we will be completely debt free. I believe this is crucial to making money from a creative career. If you have no debt, you have no one to pay and no outrageous interest. In the long term, I believe this will free up more money to pour into your passion.

We also keep our expenses super low. We live in a not so fancy apartment and drive a 2010 Mazda (which is also not fancy) – but do we have a crazy disposable income? You bet you! We also cut out cable because we don’t watch TV and we budget every penny of our income. We also TITHE our income. We give a percentage of our money to our Church and our giving has super charged our earning like crazy!

Yes, we could probably take all the money we’ve saved to buy a home – or perhaps we could rent out a nice condominium. We’ve decided to delay those plans, because the long term view of the life we want is much greater than the nice things we could buy today. Renting the cheapest place (since we don’t have kids yet) – and planning out where all our money will go each month – and going after my student loan debt – allows us to be more than comfortable financially while we pursue our dreams.

3. Find one person who won’t let you give up:

My husband is this for me. I also see the Confidence Booster on a consistent basis. The Confidence Booster Inc. is a dynamic business in my town founded by Roxanne Goodman who has a passion for encouraging people to tap into their confident selves by finding their voices.

When you have people who see more clearly than you do, the things you are capable of – they’ll help you get up when you’re down. I don’t think these two people would ever let me stop doing what I love until the vision for my life is realized. With a system like this of people who pour into me, I have no choice but to continue.

How do you find these people? Speak your dream more than you hide it to the people in your life that you trust and love. I know it’s easiest to keep your dream in your heart, especially when you have no clue how it’s going to happen. You’ll eventually identify the person who will walk with you. Once you do hold on tight and support them in the way you’d want them to support you.

4. Find a consistent mentor who is succeeding in business:

Mine is Roxanne. I sit down with her consistently for an hour out of a week and we talk about what I’m up to, how I feel before she gives me her honest, unfiltered response to all Ive told her. I’m always encouraged and fired up after leaving her office. Investing in someone who you trust and shares your values – more importantly someone who has DONE the very thing you are trying to do (which for me is succeed in business) will keep you pushing onward.

5. Pray about it:

You can have whatever you believe in. It will manifest itself in your life in the time God says. I wrote it the way I did because It’s a true statement in my life. I have evidence of answered prayers in my life already. I prayed and believed for the husband I have today, for the self employed life I have today, and for the jobs and internships I’ve applied for in the past and landed. It’s kind of crazy when I think about the power and evidence of answered prayers in my life. Will it be easy and fast? Probably not – but the end of the story still remains YOU WIN. I pray that God will help me to establish my goals and dreams (as big as I can handle) and that I’m always found in his plan for my life. Simple.

6. Find out ALL the ways to make money at your venture, and work towards ONLY 3 of them:

I watch videos and read anything that talks about how OTHERS are succeeding in blogging. From affiliate marketing, to brand deals, to social media monetization, to product sales, to podcasting – the list of ways you can create a steady income are endless. Through my search for ways to make money, I’ve been able to start monetizing my blog using 3 key things that I am working on strengthening (Social media, Ad networking, freelance blogging). I might move on to other monetization strategies in the future, but before I do I want to work on solidifying the one’s I’ve got going. There will always be countless ways to make money across a number of industries and pursuits but It’s been important for me to focus on the ways (That are true to me). Focusing is the key.

7. Put yourself out there:

Be shameless! Get on social media and network, send emails to brands and colleagues, reach out to influencers if you have a product or book coming out. The idea here is to support others and give the very thing you want reciprocated which is engagement and support! I’ve learned the most about blogging from friends I met online. THAT’S JUST HOW IMPORTANT PUTTING MYSELF OUT THERE HAS BEEN TO ME.

8. EXPECT the ups and downs: This might be the realist thing on the list. It’s going to be blissful sometimes (when amazing opportunities come your way) and it’s going to dreadful other times (when you feel invisible and like everyone is getting opportunties that aren’t coming your ways). Page views will be up and down and some months you’ll earn MORE and other months you’ll earn LESS. It will happen, but just brace yourself for it. I’ve accepted that this is apart of the process, so it doesn’t affect me in the same way. Just know that it’s the process working itself out so ride that wave hunny ; )

9. Work like a dog:

You know what guys, this may be the part that stumps me. Not to say that I’m not a hard worker, but I am a scattered worker. I like to work on it ALL at once. My creative mind never stops and so I always want to start something new. I want to do it ALL. I want to open a jewelry store one day, and the next day I want to work for a prestigious fashion designer. I’m pretty sure my husband has been asked about how he’d feel if we moved to New York on more than one occasion.

Hard work is the foundation of everything I’ve said. Learning how to EXECUTE with intense focus and consistency and I’ll take you along with me.

10: Find a podcast or some encouraging voices to listen to (ALWAYS):

I like motivational words and I love reading and hearing about other people’s stories. I’m always listening to something, whether it be a money podcast or my great friends Marie Forleo, Gary VaynerChuk, or Lisa Nichols. (I don’t know them in real life, but I HAVE worked with GaryV’s agency on sponsored content which made my entire life that month so in my mind we are all a CLIQUE). Anywho, this is my my motivational maffia and I make good use of them. Buy the books, drink the tea, get all up in the content of the people who make you want to do better.

If you liked this post please let me know. I’d love to go deeper and talk specifically about what I’ve been doing for the past year as a self employed person. I have a lot to share ; )

Oversized-Coat

 

 

24 Comments

  • Reply February 28, 2017

    Elena

    Yaaaaaassssss! I loved this post so much. Such good advice 😊 Congratulations on everything that you’ve accomplished

    • Reply March 1, 2017

      kristina

      Thanks Elena <3 Thanks alot for reading and I have a ways to go, but I'm happy to share what it looks like today.

  • Reply March 1, 2017

    Anna

    This is such a great advice. Congratulations on everything that you have adviceccomplished and for more blessing to come. Thank you for inspiring us.

    • Reply March 7, 2017

      kristina

      Thanks Anna! <3 That means alot

  • Reply March 1, 2017

    Devina

    You are awesome! I can really feel your hustle and you are your husband have your priorities in order! I know you will do amazing in whatever you do!

    • Reply March 7, 2017

      kristina

      Thanks for those encouraging words Devina!

  • Reply March 1, 2017

    Joely Smith

    Your post is very inspiring! I love how you do good things but you also WORK HARD! Nothing comes easy and anything that does is not worth it! You have a great attitude and I love that about you. Negative Nellies will always be out there. Yes there are a lot of well-established bloggers but there are also established doctors, lawyers, etc and so on. There is always room for more as each of us have our own way of expressing ourselves. XOX

    • Reply March 7, 2017

      kristina

      Yes Joely! You are so right. Negative nellies are a hinderance to themselves. I cant help but be optimistic about my life. Its the only shot Ive got!

  • Reply March 1, 2017

    Marisa

    Wow!! I absolutely love this. I need to come back and read this every time I feel like giving up! You make so many great points, I’m definitely sharing this & pinning for later!

    • Reply March 7, 2017

      kristina

      WOW! So glad to hear this article could do that for you. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  • Reply March 1, 2017

    Quirky Engineer

    This post is truly inspiring. You have accomplished a lot and I think this post really shows the struggle someone faces when they make the decision to be self-employed but more importantly, it touches on those things that a successful self-employed person does. I really love how you’ve put it, save today for a better future! Also, the bit about having someone supportive, I feel a lot of people forget about it. Congratulations on all your accomplishments and good luck to you!!

    • Reply March 7, 2017

      kristina

      Thanks for the heartfelt comment love. Made my day !

  • Reply March 2, 2017

    Leslie

    This is how I felt when I decided to be a full time artist. It was so scary at first but the amount of time I could devote to it also paid off on sales and exhibitions.

    • Reply March 7, 2017

      kristina

      So cool Leslie! Wishing you more success this year!

  • Reply March 2, 2017

    Apolline Adiju

    Keeping your expense low and finding an accountability partner works well for me. Thanks for the tips.

    • Reply March 7, 2017

      kristina

      Thanks for reading Apolline !

  • Reply March 2, 2017

    shannon

    Great tips! I feel like you wrote this for me. I struggle with putting myself out there. Baby steps-)

    • Reply March 7, 2017

      kristina

      Im so glad you found this valuable. I know the feeling. I got good at putting myself out there once I saw everything I do as STRATEGY rather than an extension of my personal life <3

  • Reply March 2, 2017

    Anne

    Focusing on three ways is definitely much less overwhelming than focusing on all the different ways. I have a lot of trouble trying to narrow my focus and end up going in a million directions at once. Those are some really good tips! Pinning for future use.

    • Reply March 7, 2017

      kristina

      Thanks for Pinning Anne <3

  • Reply March 3, 2017

    Keoshia

    What’s great post. I needed this today I have been working so hard and I really to take my blog to the next level. I will look at putting money in my budget for my blog.

    • Reply March 7, 2017

      kristina

      Thanks for dropping by Keoshia!

  • Reply March 4, 2017

    Nina

    Making money from blogging is not an overnight thing. There are also many perks and exchanges you can do, which help.

    • Reply March 7, 2017

      kristina

      Thanks for reading!

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