Monday, February 12, 2018

How I Turned my Creativity into a Profitable Side Hustle and Thriving Brand


Don't you just love when the creative ideas are flowing steadily and everything is working out perfectly in your favor? Although incredible in essence, these rare moments occur once in a blue moon. They key to making my ideas sustainable was learning how to tap into the momentum that drives my ambition and brings my creations to life...and I'm here to motivate you - whoever you may be - to do the same.

The book I'm currently reading, 'Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum' by: Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits, and Jonas Koffler was the launching pad to get some of these ideas of the ground. Not even halfway through the book, the message - clear as day - resonated and page by page, I began to rediscover the dreams inside of me that I shamefully allowed to sit dormant for way too long. Without spoiling context, the book explores the art of the hustle in a unique, yet quintessential way and it's highly recommended for anyone interested in owning their dreams, as Patel, Vlaskovits, and Koffler so equolently put it: 

"Owning your dreams feels different, perhaps even strange. It involves living an engaged life; making your best, most decisive choices; not being afraid of the consequences; and correcting your course along the way."

Although I am currently studying to eventually become an engineer by trade, it's a passion of mine to write, because as my bio suggest, I am a multi-dimensional creative. I too would like to write and publish books to help guide creative entrepreneurs in their success journey and through adversity, but how could uphold my integrity and script an entire book based on what I have yet to do? My morality discerned that there are levels to teaching other people how to be successful, which is one of the many lessons I've gained since opening this phenomenal book. 

However, I do have a certain level of expertise that can potentially help others.  The same quest that preceded the initial intrigue may be similar to someone else's journey, who may feel the need for inspiration and knowledge acting as one. That leads me to discuss the 7 tips that has allowed me to [unofficially] launch a profitable side hustle and brand, both of which are a constant work in progress, and hopefully wills you to create, execute, and sustain successfully.  

1.Explored my strengths and weakness.

What are my talents and unique gifts? What skills do I have that I'm good at? What areas that are inclusive to owning a business aren't necessarily a strength of mine and who can I recruit to help me? All of these questions are crucial to evaluating and accessing what you bring to the table, should you decide to build one for yourself. It set the tone for how your product/service speaks for you and prepares you for some of the challenges you're bound to face while trying to establish a name for yourself and your brand. 


2. Determined what passions of mine were profitable.

The question I had to ask myself was: what am I currently doing (for free) that could be a potential stream of income? That question alone changed the game for me, because although I had a general idea, now was the time for a deeper understanding. When I started to dig deeper, all the uncertainties and realizations about myself were magnified, some of which took years to uncovery. Finally, I arrived at a place where I could organize and compartmentalize in order to progress forward.


3. Educated myself on the pros and cons of owning a freelance business.

When  researching how to start a freelance business, the first thing most people do is look online. Of course, thanks to the power of the internet, I was bombarded with information. One of thing I found to be super helpful was a step-by-step guide created by Latasha James, who just so happens to be a friend of mine, called Freelance Fridays via YouTube. It was through this guide, packed with helpful information and tools for business, that enabled me to develop a template that created a focal point for my research and gave it more structure. In regards to coming up with a formula for my own success, that was up to me to decide. No, I did not go to school for business, computer science, and graphic design. The goal was to maximize the tools and resources available, despite the disadvantages I have. 


4. Began to work like a boss before I decided to be one.

For me, this was an act of manifestation. By getting myself in the rhythm of a life I did not have, I prepared myself for the life I wanted to created. Things such as waking up a few hours earlier, conducting my day to day as if I already managed a small group of people to participate in the development of my business, balancing life and working within the parameters of my set "business hours", and so forth. Furthermore, I became my first client by designing the website for my personal brand, as well as The Sky Box Suite.


5. Developed a strategy.

This step involves setting yourself up for long term success, such as setting up all accounts and proper documentation, and calculating income, revenue, and appropriate pricing. Even if you do hold a degree in finance and/or business related related fields, this part is probably going to be the one that takes time and focused work, but it's for your own protection as a business entity. 


6. Time to execute.

The work is done; everything is in place and all your enterprising ideas are organized in way that is cohesive and easy to follow. Now it's time to execute and how you go about execution, marketing, and getting the message out is completely up to you. For me, it was a matter of letting the work speak for itself and allowing things to happen organically. Actually, the initial launch of my freelance business, Chymere x Design, was completely out of the blue for the general public and went completely under the radar for several months, but somehow, I was still able to pull in a handful of clients to get me started. 


7. Surrounded myself with people who wanted to see me succeed and wanted the same for themselves.

Last, but not least, it's important to be mindful of the people in your vicinity and intentional about who is in your circle. This often overlooked component is just as important as executing a plan. It's vital to keep people around you who, not only want to see you win, but do whatever is in their power to help you do so. It's one thing to be encouraged by someone who has never had what you're striving for and is content in whatever position life tossed them in; it's a completely different energy to be pushed by someone who is equally ambitions and passionate about living life on purpose. 
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