Have you ever wanted to make more money with your artwork than you currently do?
I sure do.
That’s why I’m reading Robert Kiyosaki’s (RichDad’s) CashFlow Quadrant. The book goes into how to change from being an Employee or Small Business into a Big Business and Investor.
This is where every creative person should go, if they want to make money off their creations. It is a long, treacherous journey, and not everyone can make the transition. I know because after 3 years of actively searching for the transition I find it more difficult now than when I started.
There is bad news for me. And I may never achieve my goals. Not because of the steps involved…they are actually pretty easy.
It is difficult because of the past 30 years that I’ve trained my brain to set me up for being an employee and struggling to be a small business owner.
It seems because I almost got straight A’s in school, graduated top 10 in my class, and achieved everything I could want in life by the time I was 28, there was little left to get along the employee lifestyle.
Another ten years on this path, pushed me further than I thought possible…but then the path ended…it got full of weeds…I’m still trying to make this new path out in the middle of the woods away from civilization and the wombats are restless. I’m enjoying the journey…even though I fight against myself most days.
Here are four of the most difficult lessons I’m dealing with to move quadrants. You will really have to change your entire person and everything you know if you want to create a life you want — If you don’t want to deal with these lessons, it may be best to stay where you are in your small business, because this journey is not for the faint of heart.
It is sad knowing the direction you need to go to get where you want to go and then sabotaging yourself in the process to get there. The headlines in BOLD below is what must be done. Below that is why I’m having difficulty getting there.
Perhaps this will give you and me some insight into our creative minds and how to work alongside them to produce better results for ourselves.
1. Have an INTENSE FOCUS on CREATING and SHIPPING SPECIFIC PRODUCTS
There’s about 5 lessons in this one point. INTENSE FOCUS, CREATING, SHIPPING, SPECIFIC, PRODUCTS. I can come up with 100 products in a given day once I set my mind to it. None will come of it, if I don’t act on one of them immediately. I have about 15 products sitting in the back office, but haven’t shipped any of them. I create, get distracted, don’t have an audience to ship to , get distracted, want to create more, ideas flooding my head, get bored, move on. Forget multi-tasking. That’s only good for production. If you’re an entrepreneur, FOCUS.
2. DO NONE OF THE WORK YOURSELF
I learned from managing production at some independent firms that were always changing everything, that if I ever wanted to get anything done, I couldn’t do any of the work myself. As a creative, this is the bane of my existence.
As a manager for a comic book company you do creative work, but you don’t touch files, you touch people. This plagues me to this day, because some days, I just have to create.
Getting people on board with your idea will help them do the work for you and you can spend your time on getting your product to market.
(Intelligent Idea Inception) (links coming…rembember I’m having difficulty shipping)
3. FINDING COUCH CHANGE TO INVEST IN YOURSELF
I’m getting better at this. For the longest time my wife and I have pooled our resources. It makes for a more unified marital bond. We had 1 bank account and use it. Recently, I set up a separate account to put my freelance work into with the intent of investing this money into assets as I get extra jobs and sales come in. The most difficult part in this is knowing the difference between an asset and a liability, and where I should invest that money.
To get my wife on board with this idea I told her that we would have money for our family from our budgeted normal work, and anything above that I would put in this separate account with one caveat. If the work takes away from our designated family time or something like that then we split the money. Half goes into the family purse. and I get half to invest in.
I am also not discussing the investments with her. She is living in a different world from where I am going. We’ve discussed this and as long she and the kids are taken care of, she believes in me and wants me to do what it will take to make our dreams come true.
Of course, the easier way is to find fanatical investors to invest in your intellectual property for you. But then you give up ownership and control. Investing in assets you create, or in assets you can sell should bring in enough sustainable income to get me started.
(Finding Fanatical Investors) (links coming…rembember I’m having difficulty shipping)
4. WORK on MARKETING YOUR OWN STUFF MORE than you work on SOMEONE ELSE’S STUFF
Two lessons for me here. a. I’ve got a product I want to create for me. If no one buys it, fine. I’ll have the only one in the world. That is rare. If I want money from it, I’ll have to sell it. The only way to sell it, is to do great marketing. Do marketing first.
b. In order to put money in the investment bank, I’ll typically work for other people above and beyond the day job. This leaves little time to create my own stuff. (Which is why lesson 2 is so important.) I plan on only working enough to get a certain amount of money a month to put toward investing.
The rest of the time should be spent marketing my own stuff.
(5 Pains of Marketing)(links coming)
5. Get a COACH / Get a TEAM
I pushed this off for a long time for 2 reasons. a. I didn’t have the money. 2. I thought I could do it without one.
Coaches can’t do the work for you. I know I’ll have to do that. But, it sure is easier being on a team, having people root for you and having a proven gameplan than going it alone. Besides the fact that being alone is lonely, working with a team creates competition, which makes everyone on your team better including me.
Because I didn’t want to cough up $100 bucks for a weekly coaching session this spring, I ended up spending months sitting out of a lot of races this fall. And I’ll probably be out a few grand in medical expenses. If you’re going to do anything, it’ll cost you money or time. It will be best to go “all in” and be prepared to spend the money as you go. You do this when you buy a car…gas, new tires, new brakes, oil changes, monthly insurance (a cash drain.) Aren’t you more important than your car? As long as your heart is in it, you’ll definitely get more out of it than the price of admission. Guaranteed.
(Dream Streaming Teams) (links coming)
6. Keep your CRYSTAL CLEAR VISION in front of you.
Knowing where we will be in 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, can be hard to see, or it can be easy to see. Where I wanted to be after college was to make a living working as an artist professionally, I wanted to be an animator and ended up being a colorist for comics. Even better in my mind. Then to a production manager. Loved it. Now what? What does the next 10 years hold.
My goals are to be an industry leader in making artists wealthier with their own personal creations that they own. I want to be speaking on stage sharing my experiences with new artists and helping them fund their own studios. I want to qualify for the Boston marathon. I want to create a company that sells $1,000,000 in product. I want to create a product that changes 1,000,000 lives. I want to create a narrative art marketing company that helps spread visions.
I may be able to do all of this in 10 years.
(Revitalizing Vanishing Visions) (links coming)