4 Things My 1st Year of Being A Full Time Artist Taught Me

This week I celebrated my 1 year artiversary! I still can’t believe it’s been one year since I clocked out my job as a Senior Technician at T-Mobile. When I tell people I quit, I don’t down talk my previous employers. I can’t speak poorly of a job that had such amazing benefits, bonuses and taught me a lot about running a business. I first decided I wanted to quit my job it was because I was becoming lethargic in my days trying to run an online shop, working with clients, do events while still working 25-30hrs a week. I realized that in order for Art & Ambition to grow I had to give her the attention she needed. So, a date was set, my birthday March 3rd. Of course that didn’t go as planned. Life began to happen with unexpected expensive and then my acceptance to Essence Festival 2018 that caused me to stay a little longer. I knew I had to work just a little while longer to get the money I need to put up for Essence Fest, so another date was set and this time it stayed.

Over the past year I’ve learned so much that I never got from a mentor, seminar or anything. Yes, empowerment events are cool but experiencing some things first hand is the only way I can learn. We all have different lives, different obstacles, living situations and such that going from working full time to being a entrepreneur doesn’t have a blueprint that fits everyone. However, there are 4 lessons I learned during this time that I know can help another in their journey.

Insurance

Oh they didn’t tell you. Getting insurance as an entrepreneur is not that simple. I was blessed to be able to retain my job’s benefits with Health (& Dental) insurance but without the corporate pricing. Meaning, I paid everything out of pocket once a month for my same health benefits. Hundreds of dollars, yup hundreds. No one warned me that I should’ve checked on this months ahead of time and saved for such a necessary expense. There’s also options like Medicare with the Affordable Health Care Act but there’s deadline for submissions and number of things you’ll need to qualify. All in all, I had to learn this out by being in the situation which in turned gave me great knowledge.


Big risk doesn’t equal Big reward

I still haven’t openly talked about my experience at Essence Festival but I will say that the money I put in was not worth what I got out. Yes, I made a profit, but going to Essence Fest only 3 months after I quit, the need for a hug profit was real. I quickly learned that taking risks are great but doesn’t always mean you’ll make out well. I still get contacted by supporters new and old who met me in NOLA that weekend. So with that I can say that it still is has it’s long term rewards. However, my expectations weren’t met at all of how I thought that festival was going to go. Risk is one of those things that you have to take it for what it is, a risk. You will win but be ready to lose some.

Ask For Help

Ah, here’s some good news finally! This wasn’t a new lesson per se but a new approach for asking for help. I learned new ways to work with others that would help me be more productive and free up time in my schedule. Collaborating with bloggers & vloggers to host my giveaways was one of my favorite strategist. It allowed new people to see my work along with another creative handling all the planning portion. I also utilized friends and family to help with events, packing orders and keeping up with my website. I stop being afraid to ask AND pay for help when needed and saw that it made a world of a difference.

Save, Save, Save

Putting away money was one of my smartest move. Thank God, I was blessed with a job that I could earn monthly bonuses , so I did just that. I worked extra hard for my last 4 months and made sure I maxed out my monthly bonus. I also cut back extremely on almost everything. Cancel subscriptions, changed my car insurance company, switch around companies I used with the business just to save. Using the Qapital app also helped so much with setting it to put away $10 everyday for me. Do the math… it adds up big time! I did whatever I could make sure that I was spending recklessly on things I didn’t need.

See, I don’t have the blueprint, never have never will. I do have experiences, stories and a support system that has really been helping me along the way. My advice would be to trust your gut, keep your faith and don’t let anyone else break you.

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