“I have watched so many other people murder their creativity by demanding that their art pay the bills.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
We've all heard stories of people who build incredible businesses and lives from the most dire of circumstances. And we know just as many stories of people who were born and received what seemed like everything and they pissed it all away. If I am, and you were, born into this world to make a difference, then this myth that we need beaucoup bucks to get it started just. ain't. true!
Sometimes I just have to throw up my hands and say THANK YOU for the fact that I was born in the time I was, and in the place I was. The odds actually are stacked in my, and your, favor! You can hope online and do a Google search for just about anything to start to figure it out - that includes financial support, a new job, ways to hack cheaper solutions for your business so you can stretch your dollar farther.
I started my business with no start-up cash, Now, I have always made sure I roof over my head, but I am not someone that was able to quit my job because my husband's made enough to support both of us. While my family did encourage me to go to college and did what they could ensure I got through, I personally took on the financial aid in the form of scholarships, work-study, and student loans. So when I say I started my business with no start-up cash, actually, I started my business with negative cash. I was student loan debt, credit card debt, renting an apartment, and turning my car in from a lease that I couldn't afford to buy out, and working two jobs.
If you have all financial support you need to start you business - hallelujah and amen! - good on you. Use that beautiful financial abundance and build something awesome. Invest well. Take measured steps. And also, throw a little caution to the wind, because you've got the cushion to take risks without feeling like you swallowed an anvil. If money woes have never kept you up at night, this blog probably isn't for you. I am excited for you, and SO GRATEFUL that you are using what you've been blessed with to put something beneficial out into the world. Thank you for sharing what you've got. Keep rocking it!
But if you have a beautiful idea and a shit-ton of financial anxiety around allowing your business to flourish and feed you ... then this blog is for you!
The thing that keeps our great ideas from glorious success beyond measure is most likely not the luck of the financial draw, but consistent quality effort and a large enough body of work that when the lucky muse does show itself, we're awake enough, open enough to understand that the opportunities that some people see as a second-hand regift are actually the thing they have been asking for dressed in wrapping paper they didn't expect.
You didn't evolve to look for beauty and possibility first - and that's not your fault. Humans brains evolved with a shitty 12 to 1 ratio for negativity bias! That means that you need 12 amazing thing to happen to you to override your soul-sucking attention on that 1 thing that you perceive as negative. And nothing is more creativity crushing than a brain that is drunk on worry. Focusing your time and attention on all the things you can't control - like your starting position or the fact that just like everyone else on the planet, you cannot increase the hours in your day - is siphoning off any fuel you had left in your take.
All this is to say - you CAN start a business without a bunch of cash of front. Or, in my case, with negative cash.
I have ONE piece of advice for you, that will help you build an awakened business that thrives, without feeling like you must be broken in (broken) the process.
1) Don't quit your 'day job' ... Lay your foundation!
This is the #1 piece of advice I give graduates of my teacher training program, and while that may sound harsh, it is the most compassionate piece of advice I can give someone with no experience, someone hot to quit her day job and embark on an awakened business.
You are amazing.
Your idea IS brilliant.
Your DO have the talent to make it possible.
But, what you don't have yet is experience or a portfolio.
All results come from two things: quality and consistency.
The job you have now - no matter the focus of it's work - is the FOUNDATION of your awakened business. A foundation is by definition, the lowest load-bearing part of a building, typically below ground level. Foundations are rarely seen as the beauty of a home, but they are the solid base to make sure it doesn't crumble. You got cracks in your foundation, it doesn't matter what color your paint the walls. You've got bigger problems.
Financial security is a foundational need in life. It's life support.
And your baby business isn't strong enough to be load baring.
Don't ask it to be!
If you're going to build the quality you want in your offering AND you're going to produce consistent enough results that through your cumulative body of work people will take notice, then we have to embrace the fact that this awakened business thing is a marathon - not a sprint. And to fuel yourself for the long haul, you can't always rely on your new venture to feed you - at least not right away.
This is why you need to REFRAME & RENAME your day job.
"But I don't have a free moment to focus on what I want to do."
"My day job is getting in the way."
Time and money, baby.
No one thinks they have enough, and everyone wants more of it. Don't let your desire for more time and more money, and the myriad of things you have to do cause you to slip into unconscious victimhood. It's not a good look on you, and you're not a victim in you own life. You are powerful and creative and strong!
Now that you know what you want to do and how you want to do - no small task in it's own - it's tempting to hate on that 'day job' you have because dammit it takes up all your time.
That negative outlook on your current employment *or even multiple jobs is actually stifling your creativity.
So it's time to reframe how you look at that job (or jobs). Think of all of the things that job does to serve you in this endeavor - food, clothing, shelter, security. Your current jobs are not putting more pressure on your awakened business, in fact it is relieving your baby business of the responsibilities that it's just not ready to take on.
Ok, so now that we've kissed and made up with our day job. Let's give that sweet dream-making employment a better name.
If you're anything like me, the jobs you're hustling to make your awakened business possible, don't just take place during the day. This world is 24/7, 8 days a week - and the 9-5 work norm is no longer normal or average. And this idea that your Day Job will take up your whole day is the very thing you start to resent about it when you're building your awakened business.
This job is, right now, a source of stability, certainty, and offers you the financial security you need that you don't to make your creative endeavor's responsibility.
Rename that as your Base Job. This job isn't holding you back, it's the very foundation that allows you to build. In this time when your new business is building, you can focus on the body of work, the client list, and getting some of those early stage mistakes out of the way - without the concern that if everything came crashing down you'd be out on the street.
So, bottom line, don't hate on your Base Job. It's the foundation for you and your dreams, babe!