If you are or have ever imagined yourself an entrepreneur, it’s likely you’ve wondered how in the hell you’ll ever keep the dream alive while managing to pay bills.
The goal of every entrepreneur is to get paid to do what you love. Otherwise, what’s the point? Jobs you will hate are easy enough to come by, so suffering through the ups and downs of entrepreneurism has to be worth it.
But the reality is it can take years. YEARS to get to where you want to be, and even when you think you have arrived, things can change drastically forcing you to start over, sometimes from scratch. This, of course, is where the struggle to keep the dream alive while maintaining your household can come into play.
I started blogging 5 years ago, while I was employed, and before I knew a blog could be more than just making a small commission off of my beauty and fashion favorites. I struggled to get people to come to this blog for years, and then last year I learned that I could land readers by reporting on pop culture. I centered my content around pop culture for black women, and they came. In droves. I started seeing real money and feeling like okay, I can do this. And then I began to see a decline. While folks would come once or twice, I had a hard time retaining viewers/readers. I would also see my friends routinely sharing articles from other popular black media outlets before they would share mine. I kept asking myself, “Why do they share this same from Huffington Post, when you can share it from Lisa a la mode and support a small, black, blogger?” I was determined to get some respek on my name, but the more I tried, the less they came.
The drastic decrease income was depressing AF. Just as I had begun to feel that I had made it at a blogger, I was losing it. But if I were to be honest with myself, the reason I was losing readers is because I was operating from a space of greed, not passion. I was losing what made my blog me. As a writer by trade with an undergraduate degree in Journalism and a Master of Fine Arts in Writing, I sold out, and suffered the consequences.
I’m not beating myself up, though. The lesson in all of this is that there are no shortcuts to get to where you want to go. Of course we need money. Ain’t nobody trying to be homeless, but in the pursuit of your dreams you can’t lose sight of why you began and what your ultimate goals are. Do what you can, the way you can, to the best of your ability and the money will come. But if you are driven by money, what was once your passion will become the thing you hate. And you’ll hate yourself in the process.
If you’re struggling to keep the dream alive while paying the bills, get a job. If you’re too stressed out about income you’ll never be able to focus on doing your craft well. Get a job, but don’t mess with the dream. Keep the dream alive, work on the dream part time, but don’t try to convert the dream into an overnight cash-cow. It won’t work. Be patient. Ride the wives, and money will come.