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Monday, September 26, 2011

First Day on the Job

"Dreams" Sweet HeART block  6x6
Life is truly was my first real day of my self employment and I had a blast today, I really did. Like clock work and as if it was almost a sign from above that I was on the right track..I received an email from Jenn Mason of Cloth Papers Scissors asking me to write an article for their Jan/Feb issue....I could not believe my definitely was a sign that I was on the right track!!  I actually 'started' working on Friday night after I left my day job for the last time and haven't stopped since. I probably produced more work than I have in the whole month of September over the course of this weekend....just because I was more motivated and inspired then I have ever been.   This has been a long time coming....starting with a dream and then working the plan to make the plan work.  Today I sprang out of bed at 5:00 in the morning excited as all get out....and have been working ever since!
"Anything is Possible"  12 x 12
Frankly, I wasn't ever sure I could pull this off.  I'm still not. But it's almost like having a child...or buying your first home--you know what you want to do but is it the right time?  How will you make it work?  I think once you set your mind to something and truly commit....instinct takes over and you find a way to make it work.    For instance, I'm a worry wart over money.  I worry about it even when I have money to spend so that is one area that I feared might throw me over the edge working for myself because of all the uncertainty.  I have never had a lot and what I've had, it seems like I've had to start over 3 or 4 times in my life because of relationships falling apart, and then most recently with the house fire about 4 years ago. But again, I got this idea so I tried my hardest to pay down on debt and then stashing a bit away whenever I could.   I did pretty well with paying down on my debt until what's his face stole my care and totaled...that almost through a monkey wrench in my whole plan as I did not factor in a car payment in my budget with my self employment.    So....I went back to the drawing board and figured out away to bring in another couple of hundred dollars a month--and somehow I know it will work out. I wasn't going to let HIM ruin my life again. It was just an obstacle placed in the fork in the road that I had to move around to get to the other side.
Back to the money situation.....have you ever seen the show, 'Extreme Couponing"?  Well I'm not quite that bad or good should I say but I have used some of the strategies regarding stockpiling not just food, cleaning supplies, and toiletries...but also stock piling art supplies to use.....I am pretty much set in all areas for the next six months or so in almost every category other than fresh food.  I figured even if I don't make a dollar in the next few months, I want to be sure we don't go with out.  I started this about 6 months ago building my stock pile, listing out things to buy each month in certain categories and then taking advantages of other sales when I could find stuff and it's really amazing how much you can save if you set your mind to it. I really didn't spend a lot more than I normally spend for groceries or what not but I now have extra on hand in my pantry to tied us over during the lean times.   Believe it or not, couponing was part of my 'exit strategy' so I could feel secure with my decision by having 'back ups' just in case.
Of course every business needs a business plan, an art business is no  different then any other small business.  Or it shouldn't be if you are really serious about turning your hobby or profession into a full time career.   It's a journey that I can already feel the passion but I want my goals and strategies to be realistic.
I sat down and decided what I wanted to focus on, what my mission was, where and what I wanted to sell and how much I wanted to make out of every category as well as put a pencil to some long term plans like  writing a book and opening up an art co-op or part time studio, licensing, etc.   I know  what I did working part time--now the question is what can I make happen working full time.   Undoubtedly there is going to be cycles up and down.  My job now is to be as consistent and focused as ever to rise to this occasion.  A friend of mine who wrote the book, "Affluent Artist", Rick Dibiasio  dropped me a note today on Facebook which simply said "A Marathon is Not a Sprint"..... my instinct is to pile drive right into doing this and not eat or sleep....but I know that if I continue to do that I will burn out as Rick gently hinted at. 
No, this is not a sprint.....I'm in this for the long haul.....and if I have to adjust the plan so be it.  Nothing stays the same forever,  it's listening to the winds of change and flying in it rather than against it, but taking a deep breathe and firmly planting your feet on the ground so as to not blow over the first time a large gust comes by.

So as I wind up my first day with a feeling of satisfaction and self fulfillment,  items checked mark off my list and a few that are going to have to straggle over to the next day....I wanted to say thank you....thank you my friends for standing behind me and beside me as I embark on this journey. I might fall down and skin my knees from time to time, but I have a good feeling that all the preparation I've been doing ahead of time will keep me healthy so those stumbles are quickly recovered.  I couldn't have done it without your support and encouragement!
Till we meet again, live to create....create to live.

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Beth said...

Good luck in your new job! I'm jealous and hope to do the same in the near future. You may not remember me, but I was at Norcross and Dunwoody as an exhibitor last year and was drawn to your booth as I took a quick stroll around to look at other artists booths. So I know that you are talented and very creative!

Seth said...

Congratulations Jodi on making the leap and going on this adventure. Enjoy the ride.

Jeanne Rhea said...

Congratulations! I know you are going to do great! And if you need anything, you know that I am here to help in any way I can---and cheering for you!

Sonja said...

Congratulations. You're brave to go that way but I know you have thought it over. Good luck and wish you as less downs as possible.
You can do it.

Karen Pottinger said...

Jodi, I have been a fan of your work for a while. Good for you to have courage to be an artist full time!! I wish you so much continued success but now it will be be exponentially greater because you are creating 24/7 - maybe not physically but knowing that you don't have to work for anyone else but you will free up your mind.