I have been stuck at a dead end job for about 10 years. I make just enough money to pay my bills each month, but that is about it. Every now and then I moonlight as a personal assistant to a few indie artists, but am scared to venture out and do it full time. But lately I have been feeling like I am caught between a dream and a job. Any advice for me?
Dear Caught Up…,
Delving into any unfamiliar territory is about as simple as ice skating while wearing a pair of roller skates. Even though it may not be easy, it’s not completely impossible. All it takes is a little imagination, determination and a lot of butt pads. The good news is falling on your ass will make you appreciate standing on your feet. I graduated from a school of the arts and got the highest degree possible from the school of life. What my educators taught me is that if you can visualize it, you can bring it to fruition.
You’d be a fool to quit a stable job for something that isn’t yet promised. Though some may call you a weirdo, now is the perfect opportunity to tie your bathrobe around your neck and call it a cape.
Picture it: By day you are a drone paid to push papers for a company that recognizes your last name based on an employee identification number. By night you are a superhero that goes beyond the call of duty to please, promote and assist indie artists.
Until you are able to establish yourself as a full time personal assistant to the stars, you are going to have to live a double life for a while, which means more work for you. You need to keep that dead end job in order to support the little things like keeping the cable on, feeding the goldfish and making sure you can afford to keep your unmentionables washed. While you’re at work performing the necessities of keeping the president of the I Don’t Want To Be Here Club happy, take note of the process of business so that you are equipped with the knowledge you need to treat yourself like a business. In all of the moments you have of doing nothing when your day job has smashed against a mountain of down time, use that time to do your research for the work you really want to do. You want to know the ins, the outs, the ups, the downs, the rights, the wrongs, the maybes and the maybe nots of what it is you’d rather be doing instead of what it is you’re doing now. Once you’ve gathered the information that you need, start building your clientele. Let your work speak for itself. Experience is a good teacher. You’re going to make a few mistakes in the beginning but that’s natural. Those mistakes are necessary so that you don’t fuck up in the end. Finally, promote yourself. Nobody knows you and what you’re capable of better than you. Once you put your name out there, it won’t be so simple to turn around with your tail caught between your legs.
Success doesn’t come overnight unless you win the lottery and happen to be a farmer living somewhere in a rural part of Oregon, so you’re going to have to be patient. If you want something bad enough, the only way you’re going to get it is to go get it. But in order to get it your desire for success has to be stronger than your fear of failure.