QUIT YOUR DAY JOB
But not just yet.
You need a plan, right? Something to keep you afloat while you toil away working for the man?
BB, we feel you. And that's why FCF is dedicated to helping other artists and entrepreneurs GTFO of their day jobs and into their dream jobs.
But if you want to be a full-time #dreamer you need a plan that's dope af. You can't leave your life up to luck and timing. That's irresponsible. And leads us to our first part of Plan A:
Plan A - Getting Out Without F*cking Up Your Life
Part One: DON'T BE IRRESPONSIBLE.
If your plan consists of the noble trial that is saving up a bunch of money - and we do mean a BUNCH - and moving to NYC to be an actor, auditioning for three months straight, nailing life, getting picked up by a top-tier agency, getting cast on Broadway or in the next Scorsese film, then you aren't a dreamer.
You are delusional.
Which is GREAT in small doses, when tempered with responsible action and pragmatism. Delusions of grandeur are a great motivator as long as you understand that you are still living in a reality based on trading cash for shelter and food at the very least. Cash is king in this world. You're going to need a plan to get some green stashed away and get some more when you eventually decide to leave the day job behind.
Thus, you need an actual plan and actual paying gigs to start your career. Not just a dream.
Elizabeth Gilbert wrote a pretty great book called Big Magic in which she describes the limiting effect on creativity that stress has on the brain.
If your mind is constantly worrying about how the bills will get paid, it can't tackle things like an epic poem you are dying to write or that script that will make you famous. When you're well and truly stressed the f*ck out, you aren't going to be able to access the emotions that will win you an Oscar someday or sell that song about heartbreak that will get you a Grammy nod.
None of that is going to happen until you can take a minute to catch your breath. And if rent and the lack of cash flow in your bank account is acting like a constant stopper to your creativity, then how the heck do you think you're going to build that epic career? Winging it? Praying? A viral video of you dancing on the train?
No, baby cakes. Nah. You need a plan.
DON'T BE IRRESPONSIBLE. Resolve to make a decent go of your dream by figuring out a plan that could work for you and your individual skillset and then stick to it like your life depends on it. Because, pumpkin, I've got news for you: it does.
Part Two: MAKE A BUDGET.
Charts and graphs scare the sh*t out of people. Why, I will never know. But they really do. People get scared to make budgets for themselves, even simple household budgets, and instead of living within their means, they consistently overspend.
This is how credit card debt happens.
The best way to avoid this is to make a very simple spreadsheet detailing your monthly expenses vs. monthly income. You can download our free copy here.
In this spreadsheet, all you have to do is jot down what you make per month and all - ALL - of your average bills, rent, food costs, travel fees, insurance payments, etc. Then, total the costs of your expenses, subtract that from your total monthly income and find the difference. If you're in the red, you'll know how far beyond your means you are currently living.
If you're in the black, you might like to put your extra bits of cash directly into savings for a rainy day. My mom taught me to do that. When I worked in Corporate Land, I had a nice chunk of around 5K in savings at all times or I went into FREAK OUT MODE. Now that I work for myself, that savings account saves my ass all of the time. All extra cash - even quarters I find in the couch - goes into that account for slow months. Is it anywhere near my nice 5K/month from before?
Nope. But it is something and that something is sometimes EVERYTHING.
So save your sh*t and save your life.
Part Three: BREAK UP WITH YOUR CREDIT CARD.
It's not real money. You don't treat it like real money. And it's fucking you in the butt every time you don't pay it off in FULL every month.
Credit cards are sometimes the only way to get by in a month. I get that. But if you are consistently living off your credit cards because you cannot afford your lifestyle, you are basically enslaving yourself to the credit card companies. And the only way to set yourself free is cut that sh*t up, throw it out, and slowly pay it off. Bit by bit.
If you have so much debt that you can't foresee any way to pay it off within the next two years, then you need to make some significant overhauls in your life choices. You can't keep doing the same action and expect a new outcome. You need to realize once again that you might be delusional.
Some debt is unavoidable. You can't get a job without a decent education and an American collegiate education is expensive. You are going to go into debt at some point for some reason. It will happen. You'll buy a house or a car or a diploma and you'll be in the red. You might fall into consumer debt, which is incredibly common and annoying because why can't we all just have NICE THINGS? The magazines lied to us as children! IKEA is a cruel mistress! Instagram is a facade!
But once you've gotten into debt, it's up to you to get yourself out. You can pick up extra work. You can stop going out on weeknights. You can cease the Starbucks addiction (it's a thing, and I have it. Stop judging me.)
What did I say about the judging?!?