21.7.15

For the Creative Entrepreneurs: 4 Life Lessons to Be your Own Boss



*this post is dedicated to the creative entrepreneur in you, waiting for you to spread your wings.

In a blink of an eye, it has already been 1 month since my last day of employment. Early last month, I took the road less traveled and decided that it was time for me to make things happen for myself.

I am writing to you all the way from Manila, The Philippines; that's right! We decided to spend 10 days here for a work/holiday trip while I try to find my way around to cover some of the arts here.

I can't help wondering what would've happened if I didn't hand in my resignation letter two months back. Would I still have to drag my butt out of of bed everyday? I would probably be playing the survival game each day at the office (I know you know what I am talking about), and wondering when will the day come for me to seize the moment. I know that I will probably still be running The Artsy Craftsy behind my desk at work. I shouldn't say this but I used to juggle handling the blog with the constant phone calls and job assignments. I would quickly minimize the window when necessary! I am not proud of it though.

(Please do not try this at work because I am not encouraging you to be unproductive. Your office work is still a top priority especially when you are being paid to do your job.)

Nonetheless, thanks to my blog biz, it kept me motivated to do my job at work. I was still my boss's trusted copywriter because I was dedicated and familiar with what the company wants. Then on days when I don't need to work over time, I would rush home to do whatever I need to do to maintain the biz.

It was not easy. But it was part of juggling a part time biz.

Being able to work for myself was always part of my bucket list. Whenever I go through my list, I would tick almost everything off but I would leave this out instead because I realized that all these years, I always had this fear in me: different fears that was built up not because I was comfortable with having a fixed pay, but fear by my past experience when I tried to run a business several times before. (I started young)

But then I saw this on the internet, it changed my mind completely:
Infographic Source: Funders And Founders



Almost everyone, started off at the age of 30. This made me realized that perhaps it was all about timing. My safety pillar taught me a few things: my new life gave me a whole different experience and in 2 months, I discovered a new side of me.

I realized, that despite learning how to run a business, finances and time management, I have discovered life lessons that they don't teach you in college or business school.

If you are also running a creative biz like me, I understand that it is not easy to cope in the first 3 months. I knew it was not going to be easy for me at all, but regardless of the challenges, there's always a "song" with meaningful lyrics to empower me to stay strong. If you are on the way there, and have been thinking about taking this path, may you find this post helpful:

Lesson 1: Stay Humble
I knew my 2nd month was not going to be a smooth ride for me, and I definitely know my 3rd month would be the same as well. When people ask me, "how's business?" or make comments like "Wow! Must be fun being your own boss and business must be good!"; sometimes I can't help but feel as if I am living a lie to just nod and claim that biz is good!

Let's face it, the reality is that biz will be very shaky for the first 3 to 6 months probably. Half the time you feel like shit and probably want to quit and hide under the table. I still go through that every now and then (momentary lapse), but then I realized that it doesn't make sense because the only person who is being all judgmental about it is Me. And that's how I realized that it is OK to #StayHumble. It is okay to admit and talk about it openly because things will change eventually. It can't and won't stay this way forever unless you choose to let it.


Lesson 2: Stay in Love
I made sure that I include "paint or journal" as part of my to-do-list. Why? Because I want to make sure that I stay in Love with my work, love what I do, and be good in what I do best.

How do you think famous entrepreneurs like Sir Richard Branson or JK. Rowling became so successful? It wasn't because they had expensive degrees of PHDs, or came from rich families to fund their businesses.

Okay, maybe for some of these founders, but more importantly was the fact that they didn't just believe in their work, but they LOVED it. Every minute of it.


"...Love can only grow."
- G. (A good friend)


Lesson 3: Stay Alive
During this "start up times", there were days when I was a little sad because my mind would play tricks on me and start doubting this path that I am taking. I was afraid of the bills and obligations. As much as I was aware that it was all my monkey mind at work, yet I am truly grateful for one thing: the heart of a survivor. 

I started to understand the difference between my needs and wants. I learned how to adapt and became less particular when it comes to food or supplies because I realized that it was all just about having 'enough', as long as you make sure you are well fed, cleaned and clothed. At first, it was pretty challenging because I was used to the lifestyle of someone who has a fixed salary. But after quitting my job, I knew I had to change my ways.

A wise friend once shared with me that being in this journey, when someone asks you what do you want, you will realized that there's nothing else that you want in particular because you already have 'enough'...

Lesson 4: Stay Inspired
Staying in love with what you do is one thing, but staying inspired is another. It is very easy for the fire within us to die off if we don't maintain the spirit. I have seen many employers and employees go down this road, and they end up working for the sake of working. This can happen to anyone, even for entrepreneurs. If we don't stay inspired, we will lose our focus, our spirit and eventually, our passion.

So how do I do it? Well, I make sure that I take time off and have fun. If I work hard for 3 days in a row non stop, all the more reason that I deserve some me-time. Whether it is watching a movie, reading a book, going for a holiday, anything that you like...it helps. Ideas naturally come flowing in when you take a break. Believe that you deserve to have some fun.

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