How to Turn Your Side Hustle Into a Creative Career

As driven women, we’ve all been there: feeling the pull to pursue a higher purpose, imagining what it would be like to be to be our own boss, and wondering how to turn our passion into a reliable income stream. But, as we all know, it’s one thing to dream, and quite another thing to do. Even when we feel called, it takes a good dose of courage to let go of what we know and reach for what’s ahead.

Launching something new is not as simple as coming up with a business name and creating a logo. When it comes to business, there are a lot of details to consider. So, where does one even begin?

Here to help us navigate the issue and answer some of our questions is Anna Sabino, an author, creative entrepreneur and certified co-active business building coach. With her knack for business and wealth of insights, Anna has been helping women all over the nation fulfill their career dreams. Her new 12-chapter book, Your Creative Career, walks readers through the process of going from an “armchair entrepreneur” to becoming a full-time with free time business owner. With her own entrepreneurial experiences to lean on, Sabino is brimming with solid how-to information for the woman looking to abandon her nine-to-five job and find financial freedom following her passions.

First, what are a few not-so-obvious things a woman should consider when deciding if chasing a creative career is the right move?
The most important thing is to just start your creative career. It’s also important to start soon because we often find out that what seems like a dream career may not actually be what we want to do. It’s different to watch others do what we aspire to do because we don’t always see the efforts going on behind the scenes. We are observers, seeing only the glamorous side; the real hustle gets hidden from us by the editing software, crops and filters.

Are there specific qualities it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur?

I think resilience and grit are the two most important qualities needed to succeed as a business owner. The entrepreneurial path is far from easy and failure is a part of a process, but those who are resilient will not get discouraged; they’ll pick themselves up and continue running their business. It also takes grit to keep remain focused on the process and not become anxious about the results. Those who are too results-focused may set themselves up for disappointment, because entrepreneurship can sometimes involve lengthy periods of work without results or compensation.

Is it better to start a side hustle first, or dive straight into a full-time creative career?

I’m a huge proponent of mitigating risks in entrepreneurship, so I’d say starting a new business as a side hustle is safer. Also, having a steady income until your business takes off can make you feel secure and confident, and we need confidence to get a strong start on our career path. No one will buy from those who seem desperate.

What’s the most common obstacle or mindset holding women back from pursuing their creative passions full-time?

Most often, a lack of confidence prevents us from starting our dream projects, and this insecurity is fortified by the social media feeds of those who seem better, who have more and who started earlier. It’s very important to prepare ourselves internally, and to develop resilience and self-confidence. Realizing that we don’t know the story behind these beautiful Instagram feeds and knowing that no one just wakes up like that is crucial. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It’s also the thief of our creative energy.

Internal voices are so common that in coaching, we say it’s our saboteur speaking. Those who are able to immunize themselves against this negativity are able to build their creative careers faster. They follow their own path and focus on the process. They are patient and don’t get discouraged when they don’t see immediate results, knowing that they’re in it for the long run.

Best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

“Work with what you have.” We may be tempted to think that we need more to get a start or succeed in our career – more money, more resources, a larger office space, etc. – but this is just an excuse. Businesses don’t get started by claiming we don’t have enough money or time. Working with what we have accelerates our progress in the direction of our dreams.

Anna Sabino is a designer, speaker, career coach and an author of a newly released book Your Creative Career. Free download of 12 Creative Career Insights.

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  • Thank you for this fabulous feature. Best of luck to all the creative entrepreneurs out there 😉