You know that saying, “If you have something to fall back on, you’ll fall back.”
I have to call bullshit.
While show business is incredibly hard and demanding, if you have the courage and core to enter the field, I think you have the life skills to handle more than one thing!
It’s with 10 years of professional acting experience (something not a lot of career coaches and business mentors can offer), that I encourage you to make your own choices. You're the boss!
While I hope you’ll always make your living from acting, employment is often seasonal and episodic. How you build your empire (your life, wealth, and body of work) is both entirely up to you and not at all in your control. There are two ways of looking at this...
1. Balance is an illusion
Think of a side business (or another “competing interest”) as a teeter-totter with your creative career. Balance very rarely occurs or lasts. How often can two competing interests both be giving you 100 percent of what you need? Most often, you’ll be working on bringing one thing up, then immediately switching gears. It’s the reason the "Plan B" maxim exists.
However, you're strong and smart. You can handle more than one thing!
2. find harmony
You can also think of competing interests in your life like your own jazz band. Obviously, as a performer, you're the lead singer! However, sometimes other “instruments” will take the solo. When the saxophone or piano takes the lead, it’s still beautiful music!
This “harmony” offers the lead singer (or your No. 1 interest) the ability to briefly rest, hydrate, and reconnect. This way, you can jump back in with even more impact in a rousing finish.
At the end of the day, it’s all a business. For most actors and artists (including the mega stars), performing isn't the only source of income. There are a ton of celebrities who balance their art with promoting non-profits or new product lines.
Don’t be afraid of finding supplemental income from a source as fulfilling as your craft. For sure, don’t get sucked into a job that keeps you stuck and crushes your soul. You can always make new choices and changes.
I recommend freelance copywriting, photography, graphic design, or social media as “survival jobs” to creatives during and between their hired gigs. This creative work can be done anytime from anywhere!
You also can give yourself that freedom and flexibility when you own your own business. It’s entirely possible to be both an artist and entrepreneur. Three shining examples are Wendy Braun of ActorInspiration.com, Ajarae Coleman of TheWorkshopGuru.com, and Courtney Rioux of CourtneyRiouxCoaching.com.
What are some creative “side jobs”? Comment below!
Tony Howell is a digital strategist dedicated to helping you design your future—creating offline success from your online presence.