Put Your Energy Into Part-Time Business, Not Another Job

by Adam Martin - Date: 2007-01-21 - Word Count: 1019 Share This!

You want nothing more than to focus on your artistic career. You do not want un-necessary distractions. You certainly do not have time to start your own business. After all, you need to focus your energy on your artistic business. The question is WHAT energy? Do you really have the energy left after waiting tables half the night to then go into an audition and perform well the next day? Did you even have the choice of whether you worked that evening or not?

There is no way I am going to sit here and tell you that it is easy to start and run your own business. There is a lot of hard work involved. However, the payoffs are immense. Why? Because you are your own boss and that makes all the difference in the world. No matter what job you are working, who makes the real money? The boss. Who decides if and when to give you a raise? The boss. Who decides when you are going to work? The boss. Who decides if and when you get a vacation? The boss. Who decides whether or not you get to keep your job? The boss. Now tell me this. Why wouldn't you want to be the boss? Then you will make the real money, be able to give yourself a raise any time you want, schedule your work anytime you want (which means around the needs of your artistic career), and have the security of knowing no one can fire you.

Are you convinced yet? You have too many things to juggle as an artist to try to convince someone else to alter your work schedule. You need maximum flexibility and, unfortunately, your job will very likely not have the amount of flexibility for which you are looking. If you work nights, you are probably too tired to work on your artistic career during the day. If you work days - you worry about missing appointments, auditions, etc. Artists have so many things they have to juggle. Serious pursuit of an artistic career can constitute a full time job in itself.

Having your own business will always provide you with a greater opportunity to earn more money simply by virtue of the fact that you will be the boss. However, there are also significant tax benefits to owning your own business, which allows you to KEEP more of the money that you earn. Let's take a very simple example. Let's say that you have a job that pays you a salary of $15,000 per year. Subtract the 30% you will pay in taxes ($4,500). Now assume that you travel 10 miles per day getting to and from work ($750). If you spend around $5 per day on lunch that will total $1,250 and people with jobs tend to spend more money in general eating out, so let's add another $1,000 in food expenses for the year. Without even factoring in things like special work clothes, day care (if you have children), etc you are already at a net take home pay of only $7,500. That's 50% of your earnings! (Next time you are looking at a part time job - divide the salary offered by 50% and see how excited you are about taking it!)

Now, what if you earned that same $15,000 in a home based business? Before paying taxes, you would get to subtract your deductible expenses. If you drove the same amount as with the job - only to and from business meetings - that would be the same $750. Suppose you spent more on meals - $10 per day (2,500) - but these were all business lunches which would mean you could deduct 50% or (1,250). Even if all of your other legal deductions only added up to another $1,000 (businesses allow for numerous deductions: home office, some entertainment, supplies, travel, education, etc.) You would have a total of $3,000 in deductible expenses (car + lunches + other) and would therefore only be taxed on $12,000 earnings. The self employment tax is only 15% ($1,800). Now, subtract the remaining $1,250 (the portion of your lunches that were not deductible) and you are left taking home $9,950.00. That amounts to 25% more money AND you work for yourself! Obviously I have simplified this and you would definitely consult with an accountant when handling your business taxes, but this will certainly give you something to think about!

Do you want another benefit to being an entrepreneur? Yes, there is more! Don't forget that your artistic career is also a business and has to be run like one if you want to be successful. What better way to hone your skills than by building a part-time, side enterprise and making money at the same time?

You may be thinking, doesn't it cost a lot of money to start a business and doesn't it take a long time to begin making money? Not necessarily. It depends on what type of a business you decide to run. For instance, if you have good writing skills, you could work as a part-time freelance writer. Do you type? Start a secretarial service. Substitute teach? Consider a tutoring company. For each of these examples (and there are countless more), you will put very little money down and you can begin to make money almost immediately. The internet is also loaded with business opportunities (although you would be wise to do your research so that you can distinguish the scams from the real money-makers).

All in all, running your own business is going to be far more rewarding than working for someone else. You will have all the advantages listed above and you will have the satisfaction of seeing something you created grow and develop. Even when your artistic career takes off your business can be a nice side income. When you work in a job you do not like, it will sap your energy. This is energy you could put into the development of your artistic career as well as building a business that is of real benefit to you. You will also be far happier. So go for it! What have you got to lose?

Related Tags: money, finances, planning, business, career, artist, financial, creative, art, actress, actor, acting, artistic

Adam Martin is an active Assistant Director (most recently on "Transformers", to be released summer 07), Producer and Director based in Hollywood. He also started Abundance Bound, Inc, (AbundanceBound.com - Financial Education and Planning for Actors and Artists") and his mission is to develop a community of artists able to pursue their creative goals free from the crushing weight of financial stress. Adam and his wife, Miata, are coached by Loral Langmeier, author of the best-seller "The Millionaire Maker", and apply what they learn with her to their clients within the artistic community.

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