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Ditch Your Day Job

Lesson 4 of 24

Do You Really Need a Plan?

Michelle Ward

Ditch Your Day Job

Michelle Ward

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Lesson Info

4. Do You Really Need a Plan?

Lesson Info

Do You Really Need a Plan?

So now that we know that we want a plan, I want to make sure that you really want to be a creative business owner. Um, and this is especially true for those of you that haven't yet started working on your business in real life, right? So I want to strip away all the glitz and glamour of being creative business owner, which is hard with my professional hair and makeup that I got done today. I creativelive This is so my exception. Not my norm at all. But these are the things that you'll need to accept. So as I go through them, please do a gut check. And I'm gonna and right in the chat, too, because I definitely want to hear what you guys are thinking as these things come up and make sure that this is something that you want to sign up for, right? Okay, I really built this up. Number one, you're gonna have to trade one type of stress for another. So the pros and cons of your day job are pretty much reversed when you're a creative entrepreneur. So the cons in your day job or that you know,...

you're you don't feel that your work is meaningful. You probably didn't choose to work with the people that you are working with. Maybe you're not getting along with them. Maybe something as extremist. Having the verbally abusive boss, you're not able to make the rules. All of that stuff is is the con column. But the pro column to your day job is you don't worry about money. Don't have to worry about benefits to get health insurance and all that other stuff. When you're creative entrepreneur, the the pros air that you get to call the shots and you get to do what's meaningful for you, and you get to choose who you work with and when and how often the cons or that you don't know when your next paycheck is coming and you have Teoh figure out the insurance stuff and in Brooklyn pay, Um, I don't know, like the $1000 plus in order to make sure your family is insured. And, uh, that's all now on you. So you just have to figure out what type of stress is preferable for you and then, uh, you know, do it OK, go in That column You also have to let go of the sprint and you have to trust the marathon. This is not a five K thistles like ultra marathon there marathons. People were in, like, 100 miles or something and one like That's what this is, Uh, and for some scope of this, I'm I'll share some of my financial stuff with you throughout the years. You could kind of, I think, c how things might go for you. Of course, my story is not everyone else. The story and a lot of people have, you know, sped things up for themselves and other people, not as much. But in 2010 when I quit my job, I had my job for the 1st 3 months of 2010 and then the rest of it I was. I was a woman of the world that brought me 3/4 of my annual day job paycheck, so I didn't make us Muchas. I made up the day job, but I was pretty close. In 2011 I grossed $20,000 more than that in 2012 is when I had my boob cancers. I like to call it and I made 100 and $45 less than the year before. But I was also working a lot less so I think that's a win and I'm healthy and that's what matters. Um, in 2013 I made $15,000 more than 2012 and I made $ more than that in 2014. And now this year, I am set to, I think, make somewhere between 20 and maybe even 40 more than that year. So this has been a five year climb on. You know, you have to be in it for the long haul. The money is probably not gonna come in in the way that you want it to right away. And so let's just accept that Number three along the same lines. Not expecting the same salary from your side hustle as your day job. Well, you're still at your day job. I hear this from a lot of clients that they're just like, Oh, well, once I make the amount of money that I need to make from my side thing at my job than I could leave, well, that's gonna take you 20 years. And this is something actually, that my own husband who is the most wonderful support of high Babe, if you're watching with our daughter. Ah, person. And that's what he said to me in terms of what he needed to feel comfortable and confident with me leaving. And it sent me into such a tailspin because I'm like, I could only work on my business, you know, part time bear, like, 20 hours a week. Barely. How am I gonna make this money s o You know, the You just have to accept the fact that the money is not gonna be the same right away, but encouragement with that? In I made 22 50 for the 1st 3 months of the year when I was still at my day job and I was doing my side hustle and coaching. I brought in 22 50 January, February, March Total. In April, I made 13. 50 and in may I make 25 97. I almost doubled it, so I didn't have to dip into my severance after May. It was great. I made enough that I could cover my bills. So know that when you set yourself up and built the foundation in the way that you're going to. If you stick around today and then work your way through the class, uh, then you'll you'll be able to really leave your day job and be off and running. You need to be financially aware you cannot hide from the numbers. Uh, in the very beginning of 2014 I hired my first book keeper ever, and you could bet Hi, Stephanie and simplify your books. She's worth giving a shout out to. She's wonderful, but you can bet that when Stephanie sends me my reports every month, I don't just file them away, or I don't just glance it down and be like on This is the money that I made and spent. I spent like an hour with them every month, and I plug them into my own spreadsheets and I look at comparables from years prior, and I I review what went well this week. This month, What didn't Why did I meet my income projection goals? Why didn't why did it fall short? So you have to have your eyes open to that in order to have a successful creative this house. Five letting go of your should is and must to get to your needs and wants. I do not care what the gurus air telling you. I don't care about other classes that you've taken that hawk. You know, you you're only gonna be able to be successful if you have an online business. It's totally not true. If you want to work with people in real life and you don't want it, have your business be behind the computer and get away from behind the computer and build your business in real life. And if you've spent time and money and energy on building things online, you need to trust the fact that those skills you've learned are transferable and that they're going to serve you no matter what. So you have to get really clear on what you want and need as opposed to the noise. Especially that the Internet, another blessing and a curse, right? Everything so accessible. But you you have to get really clear as to what you want. We have five more of these. We have to pivot an experiment to build on what's working. If not, your business can fail when one offering doesn't take off. So you have to listen to your client, so you have to listen to your gut it and you have to change those sales and jump ship or diversify your products and offerings enough that the ship won't sink If anyone wants to Google when I grow up, Coach. And yup, three sign ups. That's a block post I wrote in early when I spent months long launching a membership site that I thought was gonna be the second coming. I was so excited about what I was able to offer in the price point. I thought they were gonna be thousands of people that wanted it. In the first week. I had three sign of, but because that wasn't my only offer and because I really put on my Nancy Drew hat and I detached myself to spare my own personal feelings, I was able to figure out a way to make that offering work on. And I changed the sales page around, and I made the offer being from like here, three options to be part of my group to only being one. I did certain things based on feedback that I had gotten and things that I thought didn't go very well. So it really is when you have ah, creative business and it is you. It's your talent and your your branding is probably made up of your personality. It's very easy to take things personally, so we need to have a bit of that detachment. And I believe that that's you could get that when you keep your Nancy Drew hat on, as I like to call it being vocal, you cannot build it and expect them to come. You must get comfortable with potentially being uncomfortable talking about what it is you want to dio. Uh, don't expect people to just do a Web search for you either, especially when you're first starting out. It took me years for clients to tell me that they found me by doing a Google search for creative career coach or for what I want to be when I grow up on so, you know, unless you sink a lot of money into an ASIO person, which I don't think is a really good way to spend your money when you're first starting out. Just to know that referrals and social media and the people you know in real life are are your to get into building your business, getting comfortable with the no with boundaries with prioritization ins. I was reminded recently that you could dio anything but you can't do everything. And if everything is a priority than nothing is a priority, right? And you can't have a successful creative business by letting your clients walk all over you by saying yes to everything you need to have good client relationships by being up front with how you work with someone and let them know when they've broken their commitment. Uh, having broken boundaries is just not wayto have a successful business. You have to trust that you're unique. I do not care if you want to be a copywriter, and you know there are tens of thousands of copyright. It's out there. Uh, you are unique and your voice is needed. And there are people out there who are gonna resonate with your work as opposed to the other tens of thousands of copywriters out there. If you don't believe me, open a new tab right now. Google creative career coach in quotes. And when that first pig shows up, hopefully will be at the top of it. when that first pig shows up open in a new tab, every different business that you see, you're gonna see me. You're gonna probably see. My friend Laura assumes you're gonna see a bunch of other people and just give a cursory glance to how are websites? Look, And the copy that we have and the about pages are backstory, our education, our offerings. They're all different even though we're calling ourselves creative career coaches and there is a room for all of us. So I want to hear. Now I'm gonna first throw it, Teoh losing Heather. And then I want to hear from the chat. What feels hard about these points and what has held you back personally. Anything else that is resonated with you. And for those of you that have your workbook pages 13 to have a room for you toe journal about this. So I want to hear Heather. I'm gonna put you on a spot first. I think the hardest thing for me is having the confidence to to feel that I can actually make some money doing something. A. I know that I can do it. It's just the day to day of you know, the spill needs to be paid and, you know, and I, um it's just a confidence thing. I think more than anything, it's a Catch 22 because I feel I wish I had a magic fairy dust to Sprinkle on you, Heather and everyone else out there. This is such a common thing that I hear all the time, just like here's your constant through. The only way to get it is to do it, and it's very, very scary. In the beginning, you're very, very vulnerable, especially if you're doing something new or you're finally charging for something that maybe you've done for free for people for many, many years. And now you're charging for it. It's it's it's scary, even when you have confidence in your own skills, right? So I totally hear you. And hopefully, by having your snap your safety net action plan, you're gonna be able to see how you're building up your confidence because you're able to look at this and say, Look at all these things that I did. I worked with these two people. I started this bog and you know, I met this new client. I answered the dreaded question at a party, and it felt really good. I didn't stumble all over my words and get flustered. So, like small things like that, we need Teoh acknowledge Big time. What about you live? Um, one of one of the things that I really resonate with is the financial being financially aware? And as you said, like, I'm more of a visual person and the numbers the numbers really get me. Fortunately, my husband is a numbers person, but I still want to be able to be be confident to be able to manage my own finances and know that I could bring in enough money. I promise you, it doesn't have to be hard and and scary. Um, and I'm certainly not a money coach. Uh, if I absolutely recommend Golly is G shines course here on creativelive, which is like a personal finance for entrepreneurs. If you want to really get more in depth and I recommend everyone do that and it's a phenomenal class, and Galya really is able to speak to us creative entrepreneurs and speak in plain English. So go check that out. This sounds like you, but I promise you that there is like a no pressure t kind of start looking at those numbers and for you to put it together in a way that's gonna make sense for you and me. And I like hearing that your husband is the numbers guy because maybe we need to bring him on board where once a month you're sitting down together for 30 minutes an hour. I mean, it really shouldn't take much longer than that on looking at your numbers together and making sure that your pricing your products in a way that brings you money or what did you make at the craft fair that you just went to? Was it worth the investment? You know, you're figuring that out together and you're being a team is great. What's happening in the chat with everyone? Fan. All right, so we have Sherry, who says the hardest thing for me is learning to focus when there are so many tasks to do and think about doing to become a solo preneurs? I put off the hard tasks in favor of the fun ones. I think for us multi, passionate credo type focuses the F word vocabulary. It's really hard because they think we tell ourselves I have to do one thing. And as multi passionate people, that's the quickest way to kind of throw ourselves in jail and throw away the key. So I'm hoping that your snap is gonna allow you to still feel focus, because I know you want that feeling that you know how to follow through on what you need to dio. But I find honestly, it's usually not important what comes before. Something else, Um, usually not when it comes to building and launching your business. So whether you decide to start your your blogged before your shop, where you start your shot before you book, it doesn't matter. So you could kind of work on things more of what you're feeling is fun and easy in the moment. I don't think I think we we look for things to be hard because we feel like they're supposed to be. But if we follow the fun and the ease, and you could even look at your snap and say Okay, I know I need to start my blawg, open my shop order business cards, blah, blah, blah. What is it that I want to do right now. Like then that's the right thing to Dio. That's OK, but that's a That's a That's a big one. I hear that a lot. Thank you for that permission, I think. Always need a lot of permission. Thio Thio not try to follow a straight line or for a straight line. Oh, wait. You have been deciding to do what you feel like doing that day. Thank you. You're welcome. Angelica says beyond confidence, I think it's getting past the inner voice that your personal work is actually good. So feeling like. And I know I felt like this a long time ago. Was that well and still like? Am I good enough? And I am I unique enough to be able to do this on my own? You are. It's so hard to trust that it's so hard to trust that. And I think really, the thread that I see with with my clients and in doing this work for the last eight years is that the things that were complemented on income easiest to us are the things that were very quick to dismiss, and I hear a lot of Oh, no, but everyone could do everyone could make amazing chocolate chip cookies that everyone loses their mind over. Anyone could put together an outfit from a thrift store for $20. That looks like it's designer. Know everyone could do that. No, everyone can't do that on. I think it's especially hard for us to seek its when it comes easily to us. We just assume that it comes easily everyone else and we don't see ourselves paying for that thing because we could do it ourselves so well. So we go. Well, no one's gonna pay for this. I wouldn't pay for an amazing chocolate chip cookie. I could just make it. I can't make it amazing chocolate chip cookie. So I would come to you and pay for an amazing chocolate chip cookie. So So you have to kind of open yourself up to that and start taking those baby steps and maybe finding some guinea pig clients and customers that you are charging for. Maybe not as much as you're going to down the line, but seeing them. I'm thinking of starting this new business or, you know, do you want to be a beta? Do you want to be a guinea? pig. Do you want my first batch of cookies? I'll send you, you know, five for a dollar and you just give me feedback like make feedback part of the deal and ask them What about the process? Did you find Go? What about the product? To find out what could be improved on? What else do you want me to be offering like this is the way to just get the ball in motion and build the confidence and see that what you're doing is a money making opportunity, and I just I want to reiterate what you said because it's so important that the things that come easy, Teoh, you don't necessarily easy to other people. And that's where you could be so successful. You focus on those things, and I seen that with people over and over. That's what we want. But we think things have with the hard right. We think it has to be hard and, you know, I just had a client say the other day, and I and I haven't heard anyone saying this in this way. But I was excited to hear it that she said, you know, like all of a sudden, I'm working in like my zone of confidence and my zone of strength. And when I finally stopped putting pressure on myself to fix the things I'm not good at, it was like that was my focus for so long that I knew I had these weaknesses and all I was doing for years and years was hitting what these weaknesses were and improving it instead of just building on my strengths. And now, once I've, I've shifted focus, and I'm looking at what I'm good at doing, and that's what I keep doing. It's a game changer, and then what a lot of people are saying is a lot of that self doubt of will. People actually like what it is he had. I'm doing well. They not only like it, but will they buy it? Um, and so the only way to find e what I wish there was another way, right? A client that that famously said, You know, I need to get out of my head and into my hands and that comes up all the time. I love that phrase. So anyone that is finding themselves resonating with this get out of your head get into your hands and get it into someone else's hands. I think that's the second part of it. Right on. And really and ask. Ask them for money. Don't say I'm offering this for free. Don't. Because that might build your confidence. But you still have that question of what are people gonna pay for? Right? Uh, so I want you on the heels of all of this. What do you willing to let go of right now So that you could shift into the dictionary day job mindset. I had a client once tell me that she had She still had this vision in her head of being like a very corporate business woman in a power suit and, you know, CEO title, you know, on the door and whatever. And she realized that wasn't her anymore, wasn't what she wanted. And she's been holding onto it for a long time. And, uh, And for me, I think when I first started down this journey, number one I had to let go of, like, my Broadway dreams. I could always go back to them. But I had a how to let let that go on how to let go of being superwoman on. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to make the money that I was making from my day job in my coaching, while I was doing that on the side and I had let that go and say, That's it's not gonna happen. I can't I can't do that. So So I want to hear what's happening in the chat of what people are saying that they're gonna let go up and get to you guys. Mm, Heather, let's start with you. I kind of feel like I've lost so much in the last few years that I don't I don't have a lot more to lose, but at the same time, there are those security things from a job like insurance. Um, you know, being able to count on your paycheck. So, you know, when you have kids, you have to think about the health care and and now you know, by law, you have to think about Phil scare, right? Right. So that's that's a big issue. But yeah, I'm really not sure at this point, I would think I don't want to put words in your mouth, but I would think from. You know what you've been telling us? There might be even more fear around like things not working out because you've been there before and and letting go of that. I know this is hard for me in my real estate pays. When I racked up all that credit cards at, it was I had a let go of that. That's not my story again. That's not that doesn't have to be my story again, that I'm successful Year one and just crashing and burning near to um so I would think something like that. This could be a good thing for you to like Cheryl, about a little bit tonight when you're when the class is wrapped up like this is the good stuff. Scary, scary stuff, but good stuff, empowering stuff, lives. What about you? I think one thing that I need to let go is start to let go of is my self consciousness and my my fear of starting to make things that I can sell and actually get into that mindset. I think I'm focusing so much on learning right now trying to learn the business side of things because I don't have experience with that. But I have so many other skill sets from my career before that I know can transfer easily that I can just There's a lot that I could do, and I just hate to get started, But I'm using that learning as kind of a cross donation to, uh, you are so not alone, right? So you need to let go of being and learning mode all the time. Maybe learning makes up like 1/ of the time that you spend on your business stuff. I need to let go of that. I don't know. I need to learn everything before I could move forward and just move forward among the learning Kind of take a backseat. I love that. What's happening? The chat real quick, All right, I have several that seem to be those common themes over and over. So we have Sandra Glover Clark, who says, I want to let go of my husband's idea of financials on, and we have Angelica personally. It's that inner voice that keeps me from doing a lot. It would be letting go of being my own worst critic, all of us on then sassy seamstress, seamstress says, letting go of what I was raised to believe that creative work is not really work, that it's something that it's something that you do is a hobby, but never a business boom. A man and I have the chills. I know I have the chills. Yeah, amen and hallelujah!

Class Description

You don’t have to commit your life to a soul-sucking day job. In fact, you can drum up the job of your dreams if you have the right mindset and an action plan to back it up. In Ditch Your Day Job, career coach Michelle Ward will show you what it takes to go from bored-at-work to satisfied and self-employed.

There was a time when Michelle was wasting her days working in finance. She was miserable at work and needed a change. Over the course of two years she cooked up her escape plan and has been perfecting her approach by helping others for the last five years. In this class, she’ll show you how to prepare to leave your day job for a career you love. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Create a simple plan for getting your business started
  • Establish an emergency fund
  • Identify your existing sources of help and support

Michelle will take the mystery out of starting your own small business and help you zero in on the details that will make it happen. You’ll develop a savings plan that will give you a good buffer before making the leap and get tips on exactly what it takes to make your new endeavor profitable.

If you are done with counting down the minutes at your day job and want to launch your own creative business, Michelle is ready to give you all the inspiration and insights you need to set yourself up with a life and job you love.

As a bonus when you purchase this class, you'll get:

  •  1 Year Membership Free to Bidsketch
  • 2 Free Hours on Breather, to apply towards booking one of their beautifully designed workspaces.


a Creativelive Student

Fantastic course! I highly recommend it. Michelle is a wonderful teacher: energetic, passionate, funny, and encouraging. Kenna is also a great facilitator; the most natural and genuine host I've seen so far on Creative Live! Great job both of you. And a well-deserved shout-out to the in-class participants, who were engaged and candid about their own situations. Best of luck to both of you with ditching your day jobs. This class has given me the structure and several practical tools to facilitate my own transition to creative entrepreneurship and out of a soul-sucking job. Michelle shared many supportive messages that made me look more confidently at my "uniquity" and its value in the creative marketplace; as a result, I am now eager to take the action towards building my art business. I will use my S.N.A.P. to comfortably and confidently get to where I want to be, so that I don't snap at my day job in the process ;-)

Becky Pennington Arce

This course is truly AMAZING! I've been in hyper - forward motion since the first day! Thank you Michelle! This course was honestly different then any other! It gave actionable items, where to find support, and tons of yummy resources (which if very time consuming and somewhat impossible when you have a DAY JOB!) My Day Job is actually "ditching" me but by having a plan (which Michelle gives step by step details how to do), I'm totally comfortable and even EXCITED to be DITCHED! Several items that she shared I've already been able to implement into my creative business plan AND my personal life! Double whammy! I ended up buying the course to make sure I didn't miss anything! Super excited to continue and wish everyone luck on their own creative journey! ~Enjoy!

Heather Young

I was one of the fortunate studio members of this class. Wow! So much great information, step by step instructions, enthusiastic encouragement and fun! Michelle takes you through the baby steps needed to form a solid foundation to get ready to ditch your day job and do it with a plan, a safety net and a support network. A common sense guide to doing something uncommon and (to some) seemingly nonsensical. The videos will teach, inspire and encourage, the workbook will make it real for your own situation and the resources that are provided will be invaluable as you prepare to ditch your day job. You will be so glad you purchased this class!