The worst unsolicted advice I can give

by kevinpotter on May 14, 2009

Some of you who work for yourself are probably familiar with the question: How the heck did you get started doing this for a living, I hate my job and really want to work for myself do you have any advice. That sounds like one of those late night infomercials selling multi level marketing scams doesnt it. Most of you who do work for yourselves are probably thinkin dont quit your job working for yourself is a pain. I have thought long and hard about what I am about to write I did just pull it out of thin air but I pondered it for a while  and if you lose your home and all your stuff dont blame me. Here it is in a nutshell ,  Quit your job and do art. Thats it. I will elaborate I have worked for myself for a long time and the reason is I think everyone who is my boss is a moron. If you are getting a paycheck from someone the motivation to go make your own money is not there. The minute that paycheck stops you will get real creative real fast and take chances that you wouldnt normaly take because if you dont make money you will starve and lose all your stuff.  I know people who tried to save up to quit but then they just sat there till the money ran out and scrambled to find another job. I think you  have to convince yourself that you are unemployable so that you will tough it out and make it happen, no quittting now I work for myself, I cant quit. If you are not totally inspired to call in to work on monday and say stick  it  then good for you. But if I still have your attention let me toss out a few questions that a responsible person might ask themselves: What about health insurance, what about my retirement plan and my 401k. If you are asking these questions then you are not ready to be a self employed artist. If you are still reading this and consciously absorbing this nonsense then you might have a chance or you have very few other options open to you. Most working artists that I know never really considered doing anything else. I got a degree in art I didnt get it in graphic design or try to get a teaching certificate, you know the back up plan I majored in metalsmithing, talk about a dead end career wise but it is what I love and I figured If I could do it everyday and eek out a meager excistance then that would be far more fullfulling than doing something just because it makes money or is practical. So if you still want to do it chuck all commen sense to the wind and call in on monday or better yet do what I would do just dont show up anymore leave them wondering.




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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Alastair Mundy-Castle May 17, 2009 at 2:24 am

It’s a leap of faith as you say Kevin.

I found myself unemployable due to a new country and advanced middle age. Here there is the dole and leaping from the dole to paid work in the lower ranks is a step backwards. Income is about the same as the dole but all the perks are lost plus you have to waste time commuting and actually working! Here the dole is a lifestyle choice. The paperwork is terribly degrading but many seem to have it down pat.

I took the leap to self-employment and did bridge the gap. Now I am an unpaid tax collector (OZ Goods and Service Tax..GST) and hand over about 40% of my hard earned money to those on the other side of the chasm…but the lion’s share goes to those who live in the rarified atmosphere of politics and spindoctorin.

Even so I am better off even while contributin as little as possible to them dolebludgers and politicians.

Jeff Demand May 16, 2009 at 10:39 am

You are very right. Too many decades+ spent working for morons (all of them, too many to count)
A decade of being responsible for my self, ranging from digging the biggest $$ hole possible, the best years for money (and filling the hole), to being just plain dirt poor. Always exciting.

I consider my self to be “unemployable per Kenin’s definition”, no way to even consider going back into the paycheck prostitution side. I work harder, longer, and for less$$ but I can’t see a better way for me.


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