A really common question is “So how do I make a living at it?”  You know, this thing you like to do as a hobby or this idea of something you think you might like to do, or this idea that you have which you haven’t tried yet…that.  How does someone build a sustainable business out of something and have it support them in the lifestyle they vaguely imagine they want to become accustomed? On the inside my reaction is much like an old school Bugs Bunny cartoon where my eyes bulge out of my sockets, horns sprout out of my ears and give off the “Ahhhoooogah!” noise, my jaw opens and then drops to my lap, then my tongue jerks and rolls back up like one of those old window blinds.  On the outside I calmly reUGnomespond by looking at the facts and hopefully helping the person see all the steps between where they are and where they want to go. You know, Underwear – ? – Profit

The reason for my reaction is that the question tells me the person is thinking backwards.  They are wanting to do a thing in order to make a life instead of making a life so they can do a thing.  So the first thing I recommend is that they step back from the end result/business/money aspect of things. Having your own business/practice for 99.999% of all people who undertake it is not a method for getting rich quick and I don’t recommend it for the faint of heart.  So if getting rich quick is the idea, then it’s better to take another tack.  If there are other reasons for being on this path, then the next step really is to dig in.  Not into a business plan or marketing ideas or ways to get in front of people, but into what it is you want to be doing/being/offering.  If you want to be a reader of some kind (tarot, intuitive, angel cards, auras, etc.) then you need to dig into doing that.  You know that concept of doing something for 10,000 hours to become excellent at it? Well, I don’t know that you need to do 10,000 readings, but you should start actually doing them on a regular basis.  Read for everyone.  Read every day if you can.  Become experienced at reading.  Learn what you do and how it works for you, where you excel and where you struggle, push your boundaries, make break throughs, have epiphanies, not because you are trying to make money, but because this is who you are and what you do.  If you do it regularly, often, and with passion, you’ll find it’s easy to make a business out of it. All you do is turn on the “open” sign because the business has already been built.

Same goes with anything else.  Want to be an artist?  Then art every chance you get. Become rock solid in what you do, find your voice, learn yourself, your craft, and your interests.  Art is in part a conversation that the artist is having with themselves and the universe.  Selling the art is a fantastic bonus, having feedback is a layer on top of that, and moving from exploration, to wobbly proficiency to fluid skill is food for the soul. So art.  Or write, or massage, or cook or whatever it is you do.  Yes, sell whatever it is you’ve made if you can, find use for it, let it go out into the world and keep on going.  For some, really committing to doing it instead of just tinkering around with it will lead them to the conclusion that they don’t like it enough to do it professionally.  Others will find that they can’t do it professionally because the needs of a business don’t mesh with the process. Still others will find that doing it for others kills their joy in it so doing it professionally makes no sense. And for those who have an idea of what they want to be doing, try doing it.  Why build a business around it if you find you don’t actually like it?  Try it out first.  Try to see if you can do it, if you like doing it, and what it takes to do it more than just a little.  Like picking paint for a room, what looks good on the paint chip might not be what it looks like when it’s up on the wall.

Doing something you love as a means of supporting yourself isn’t always the joy people think it will be, but you don’t know until you try.  So before you put your money and your resources into making a business, try actually living the life you’ll need to live in order to make a business fly.  Become the expert you want to be prior to hanging out your shingle.  Once you dig in your perspective on things will change and either direction it goes it will be all to the good.