As someone working in the entertainment industry, where the next paycheck is coming from is sometimes a concern. At times we’ll work for free, or for credit and meals. We’ve all thought about it at one time. We do it for the love of the craft, to help us gain experience and to work on our craft. Sometimes we get caught up in it and forget that we should be getting paid.
But this doesn’t only happen as actors. It can happen when we’re trying to start a business. We’re trying to learn more about this new industry we’d like to break into, we network, we offer free services all in the hopes of developing a customer base and getting paid.
Working for yourself is always the most convenient for someone in the biz. You create your own schedule and you can work from home (always a plus), but where do you start?
Make a list of your skills.
Think about activities you do everyday, or job assignments and responsibilities you’ve had. Do you create graphics? Know your way around Photoshop? Things as simple as blogging and sending emails can even help. Create a PDF listing your skills and what value you can provide.
Who can you help?
Working with other small businesses is always helpful as you can learn from each other while moving your business forward. Consider working with experts in other fields that you are familiar with. For example, if I work as a bookkeeper, I may have a client who does graphic design or is awesome at WordPress.
Where to start?
Get your feet wet on platforms such as Fiverr or Upwork. Look what others are doing in your field so you can get a feel of your competition.
Try not to worry about not being qualified, you can always Google it, or watch a YouTube video to help you figure it out. Don’t worry about not being an expert. As long as you know more than your client you are helping by saving them time and the agony of doing something they would have to learn how to do themselves. You are providing value.
So if you’re considering working for yourself, this is a place to start. If you’re already a small business owner, take a minute to review your business plan to make sure you’re being efficient with your time. We go into business because it makes sense for us. We are our own bosses. Might as well make sure we’re happy with what we’re doing, because why else do it?