When I gave up my career as a scientist, I had a dream. I wanted to be an artist.
At that time, I was in my 30’s, I didn’t have any children, but I needed to prove myself, and mostly others, that it was not a mistake to abandon the career I had put blood, sweat and tears into for so many years.
Proving my worth as an artist meant being paid for my work.
Unfortunately, the pressure I put on myself to make money as quickly as possible deviated me from my dream.
Because being an artist is not a business goal, it’s a life purpose. It’s a heart and soul calling. It has nothing to do with making money.
A few years later, motherhood complexified the equation even further. I had such a hard time not being productive enough and not having time for my projects.
Even without needing the money, I still wanted it.
I couldn’t see my worth just being a stay-at-home mum.
12 years into motherhood now, with two home-educated children, and I only start to accept going slowly. I know I have lured myself in the past to go somewhere I didn’t really want to go. For many reasons.
So here, after deeply thinking about my experience of the past 15 years (and not having succeeded at creating a steady income), 5 things I recommend you consider if you want to turn your (creative) passion into a full-time job.
1. Get clear on your why
Clarity is everything. Knowing your deep purpose (it has to be beyond money, or it won’t sustain in time) will save you months, and even years of taking wrong directions just because someone “successful” suggested it. It’s the only very important thing to define before starting. Then keep it in mind, stay focus every day, and re-evaluate periodically if necessary.
2. Start now
You won’t escape the imposter syndrome anyway so stop taking classes and signing up to new courses. You are readier than you think. Challenges will get in your way, but you’ll figure them out. Mistakes are ok. Start small, keep it simple and be ready for the long ride. Also, a fresh and original approach often comes from being a beginner, not a professional.
3. If you need money, keep your day job before making the leap.
This is hard but it will allow you to stay calm and focus and enjoy the process with a clear mind even if it goes slowly. If you don’t need money, relax and keep working.
4. Follow the joy!
How others are leading their business or what others do to be “successful” is their choice. You don’t have to imitate them. There is no universal magic formula. As a creative you can choose and mix the ingredients you want to succeed. Focus on your strengths and unique talents, personality, and what lights you up. Don’t invest time in things that feel like chores just because you are “supposed” to do them. Investigate your options and choose wisely. Being yourself is your number one superpower! Don’t fear, and limit your time on social media (except if it brings you joy but ask yourself, does it really?).
5. Know your values
Don’t betray yourself, you don’t need to prove your worth to anyone. Cherish your passion, honour your rhythm, and take full responsibility for your decisions. Even if our society does not value the time, energy and love you pour into creating a meaningful life for you and your family, you’ll be rewarded in the end. And don’t forget that being a full-time mother IS a valuable job.
After re-evaluating my situation based on these points, I have decided to add a blog to my website (I’ve always loved reflecting, writing and inspiring others), I have decided to interview other creative women (I love being inspired and I’m craving meaningful connections), and I have decided to open a Spoonflower shop (contributing to other creatives’ journey makes me happy). And many other decisions that I will talk about in other articles.
If you have succeeded at pursuing a creative carreer, would you add or mitigate some of my points?
If you are thinking of making the leap, is there anything you have read that made you hesitate or on the contrary crack on?
I’d love to carry on the conversation in the comment section. Thank you for your participation.