Empowering Myself via Side Income

Been a while. I’m in the midst of a financial revolution, you guys. Mainly, I have decided I resent having to pay my student loans and registration fees for conferences and swing dance events out of pocket, and I want to do something about it. While my side book business is bringing in marginal amounts each month, I can’t control what readers find interesting and worth buying.

Which, by the way, if you’re interested in a sample of my work, I just released a new short story that is free for Amazon Prime members, under my pen name. Otherwise, it’s $1.99. Would love to get your reviews on Amazon if you happen to read it! Reviews are so key for authors to reach more readers.

All that said, I’m becoming serious about forming a side business that brings in consistent work and funds. It’s something I’ve always planned to do (following my father’s example). The idea that I rely on one source of income is, frankly, terrifying. Who knows what might happen, what if I can’t work at my normal day job for some reason? What if I decide one day to have children, and I don’t want to pay for daycare? Can I set up a business now so that if I want to leave my day job, I have that as a backup?

So I’ve begun to put my feelers out there. I have an account on Fiverr.com where I promise to sketchnote some things for you. I’ve already got a couple bites, which is encouraging. I’ve also put up a mini-critique on Fiverr.com as a user experience designer. The idea is I would gather testimonials so when I begin to charge clients for more realistic amounts, I have customer credibility.

I also bit the bullet and enrolled in the Earn 1K course by Ramit Sethi. The lovely Veronica Erb  pointed me in Sethi’s direction a month or so ago. He’s a personal finance expert who understands that it can be difficult and/or impossible to change spending habits. So, if you know your habits, what you need to do is generate more income to cover those habits. Anything you can automate in generating that income is highly encouraged.

This isn’t to say I’m not making enough money at my job. I suppose I am, especially since I’m situated in the midwest. I’m more concerned that with all my activities, I want to get rid of my student loans as soon as possible. But I don’t want to use my paycheck because I already have the majority of that budgeted out. I’m doing my best to be responsible with my monies, and hopefully, profitable.

So if you know someone who is looking for a sketchnoter, an eBook formatter, or a website critique, send them my way. I’ll keep you updated on this crazy journey of entrepreneurial life.

Next Best Thing

I met up with one of my undergraduate lecturers, Bettina Bair, last night for dinner, and it was a great time. We talked about all sorts of things, such as her Etsy venture and my publishing venture. We talked a lot about how we need projects to keep us going. It isn’t enough to have a job. In fact, sometimes it can be torture for us to have a job because it’s one thing that’s supposed to hold our attention for hours on end.It doesn’t cater to our passion

Being creatives, we need to be jumping around on multiple projects. We go home and we don’t sit and watch tv… or if we are watching tv, we’re doing some craft project, or checking email, or updating our websites, etc.

I likened it to a disease. We don’t know how to sit still. We don’t know how to embrace the moment. We can embrace from time to time and really enjoy it, but we’re constantly planning, making lists, looking to the future.

Yesterday I read an article about how UX professionals are some of the most unhappy, professional speaking. I can totally relate to and agree with that article. And while talking with Bettina, we came to the conclusion that because of my personality, I’m trying to determine what’s next. Not that I’m looking to change my job, of course I’m not. I’ve got it good. But I’m trying to determine how I can improve myself.

This morning I saw an article that stated creative people are easily distracted, but they make it work for them because they separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. That is, sure, when I hear something across the hall my attention is distracted. But if it isn’t directed at me, I go back  to what I was doing. That quick respite opens a new door in the way I was thinking previously, and I try something new.

I’ve been feeling a bit low lately because my projects have been running out. I’m almost done decorating my apartment to exactly as I like it. Haunting Miss Trentwood has been out and now I’m in the marketing stage (by the way, I hate marketing). I want to begin the new book but am feeling stuck. So I have to do the next best thing: come up with little projects to fill my evenings.

When I was a child, I had this time and took it for granted. I made something new every night. One winter, I think I made thirteen dolls, all of different types, construction methods, etc. I have dreamed of those days fondly. And now that I have that time back, I’m panicking. Last night my project was to write some holiday cards and read my third book for the week. Tonight, I think it will be to finish that third book, and pick out photos to print since I have empty picture frames in my bedroom.

Anyway, as much as I love having my time back, it’s also rather intimidating.