Earning money on the side is NOT about being scammy, but about providing real value.
You're not TAKING from people, but GIVING to them when you decide to start a freelance business.
You're helping people solve their problems, and they might pay you $100 – or 4 hours of their time if they make $25/hr – for something you've spent YEARS learning to do.
Good trade when you think of it that way, right?
Well, today I want to talk to you about how I started a photography business that serves THOUSANDS of clients each year... and I NEVER had any formalized photography training.
Yes, you heard that right.
I built the #1 rated headshot business in NYC (according to Google & Yelp), and never took a single photography class (except some super basic little Photography 101 class in my first year of college). I do not have a degree in photography.
My family was not in the photography business, nor did they have ANYTHING to do with the entertainment business. My mom raised my sister and me, and my dad worked in finance.
But from a young age, I enjoyed taking photos for fun, and I wanted to shoot weddings.
When I was in high school, a friend of mine mentioned his sister was getting married, and asked if I had ever shot an event before because they were looking for a videographer.
I told him I hadn't, and that I'd think about it and get back to them.
I was scared.
What if I messed up?? What if I missed the most important moments, like the kiss?
What if my camera battery died in the middle of it?
What if I screwed up and ruined their wedding??
What if, what if, what if....
Well, suddenly and somehow almost miraculously, my mind switched.
Instead of asking "What if I failed...." I asked myself, "What if I succeeded?"
And in that moment, everything changed.
What if it went well?
What if they referred me to all their friends?
What if instead of backing away, I went all in and figured out how to properly shoot a wedding?
What if I could build a successful business?
As they say, "No risk, no reward."
So I went for it.
I pushed through my fears and said yes, and I shot that wedding.
And sure, it wasn't perfect, but they got a HUGE discount ($400 for the whole video PLUS editing), and they loved it.
And they DID tell their friends.
And over the course of time, I slowly built my business into what it is today.
And no client EVER asks me about my photography credentials and certifications.
If you LOVE doing something – and it helps people in some way – you owe it to yourself AND the world to share it and turn it into a business.
Like my friend Mitch Barrett, an actor who created an amazing business coaching CEO's to reach higher success. Check out an interview I did with him here to learn how he built that business and how you can build your own.
The truth is, if you do what you love and help people in the process, not only will you earn more money, but you'll also enjoy life and feel fulfilled.
You'll be doing good in the world, earning money for it, and living a happier life.
Watch the video below (originally made for actors, but anyone can use it), where I outline the EXACT steps you can take to find your first paying client.
And next week, I'm going to be announcing an in-depth workshop I'll be running in November on creating a freelance business, so be on the lookout for my email Monday morning!
Imagine living in a world where money was non-existent and everyone could just do what they loved no matter what. What would you do?
I know what I'd do - I'd probably spend a few months traveling the world and seeing all kinds of cool places, enjoying great food, and meeting cool people.
I'd then turn my attention to film directing and possibly look into shooting an awesome horror film I wrote years ago called Footsteps.
What would you do? Take a moment and think, and write your answer down.
Keep your answer in mind for when your acting career really starts taking off!
Now unfortunately, the nature of the world would make it completely impossible for money not to exist.
Why? Because most people wouldn't want to serve others for free.
For instance - me wanting to travel the world... what kind of pilot would fly back and forth every day without being paid?
And wanting to try all those delicious foods around the world? Who would be willing to make them if they're not being paid?
The truth of the matter is that most things would fall apart if money weren't involved!
So that's why I want to talk a bit about money management today. I'd like to introduce you to what I call The 20/30/50 Rule. Here's how it works:
First, I’m going to assume you already have some sort of part-time or full-time job that earns you a specific amount of income each month.
Now you need to figure out how much money you make each month on average. Even if it changes, find your baseline income. Let’s pretend you have a part-time job that earns about $1,500 a month and you also make at least $300 per month from acting.
This means you bring in $1,800 per month on average.
Now, take that $1,800 and subtract your monthly required living expenses. Let’s say you have $700 rent each month, and then another $700 in utilities, food, etc.
If we subtract your monthly costs, $1,800 minus $700 minus $700 equals $400 left over.
Take that $400 and divide it up into percentages, 20%, 30%, and 50%.
Take this money and put it into separate accounts or sub-accounts (or just keep track of the totals) so you know how much you can spend (you can use apps or bank account automations for this, just Google it).
Try not to spend it each month unless you absolutely have to - the goal is that you save it up over time so you eventually have plenty of money lying around when you need it.
If you strictly follow this for a year or two, not only will you have plenty of money to further your career, have fun, and have a safety net for slower times, but you’ll also have built a savings mindset that will help you greatly in the long run!
After just one year? You'd have $960 in Savings, $1,440 for Fun Money, and $2,400 for your Acting Career.
And if you kept going for 5 years? $4,800 in Savings, $7,200 in Fun Money, and $12,000 for your Acting Career.
Are you motivated to save yet? You should be. And those numbers could be way bigger if you continue working on increasing your income each month.
And even if you don't think you have enough to save, just start with $20 each month and split it up ($4 Savings, $6 Fun Money, and $10 Career). After a few months of doing this consistently you'll feel motivated to start saving more!
Hey I'm Martin, and my goal is to help you reach yours. I love writing content about career advancement, marketing strategies, productivity, and much more.
For guest posts, please email me at email@example.com.