Have Fun! I know. That was awful of me to make you sit through 9 endless posts about success, promising some sort of silver bullet or holy grail at the end. It was wrong, but you really needed to go through all of that before learning this bit. Above all else, even if you completely disregard Tips 1-9, remember this one. Have fun.
I admit that I spend waaaaaayyy too much time doing this, but I find it fun. Being creative with digital art and actually making some money from it is enough to keep me going. I wish I had discovered this years ago. CaféPress is ten years old but if I could have had this in college I would have probably done things different in terms of careers and education. I would have taken some graphic design courses and gone back for Internet and marketing courses.
But none of that makes any sense if I don’t enjoy it. It is what I, or what Mongo, would call, “Make Funny Shirt.” Besides having a business model that ensures that if I don’t turn a profit the lights go out at the end of the day, I do this because I have such a weird sense of humor and I need some sort of creative outlet to quiet the voices in my head. Because of that, I find new and better ways to make fun of things that people don’t often think about, within reason. As my two year old daughter says when it’s time for bedtime or a bath, “I want to play. Have fun.” I do. I wish I did this full time and that it paid off like a full time job. Maybe I need to reevaluate my life and goals but for the most part the four or five hours a week I spend in the Mad Doctor’s Lab makes life a little more fun.
So, if you are even the slight bit serious about starting your own site or business, whether it be a POD store or some other business you need to determine what you think is success. Having fun is a major component of my definition of success. If I’m not having fun, then why am I doing it? Sure, I’m making money, but there are other ways to do that. Let me give you one, half related, example that speaks to this. In previous jobs I have had to work on holidays. I hated it. I would rather spend that time with my family, doing something fun. However, if someone is willing to make it worth my while, I’ll do it. The stipulation to that is that if I am coming in on my day off or on a holiday, you will pay me more than I usually get. (A full eight hour shift at time and a half or better, regardless of it being over a 40 hr week already.) The reason being is that for me to give up my time, which is already booked as far as I’m concern, you need to offer something better. Up to four hours of overtime is not worth it, in terms of my time, deductions from my paycheck and taxes at the end of the year. I don’t see the benefit of spending my free time on something that does nothing for me. Now, that might seem harsh and a little cold but obviously someone is benefiting from me being there and the least they can do is pay me what my free time is worth.
That means nothing in the case of friends or family. This is just applicable to business. To connect those dots, I do this kind of stuff in my free time because I enjoy it and it pays. Granted, it’s nowhere near time and a half, but if you actually take the amount of effort I spend and compare against the amount of sales that come in, with no extra work, then it pays the same.
And please, if you have any problems with my work or even need help, feel free to contact me through the site or my fan page. I’m always willing and hopefully able to answer a question. Take care and HAVE FUN!