How To Keep The Dream Alive When The Dream Ain’t Paying No Bills
If you are or have ever imagined yourself an entrepreneur, it’s likely you’ve wondered how in the hell you’ll ever keep the dream alive while managing to pay bills.
The goal of every entrepreneur is to get paid to do what you love. Otherwise, what’s the point? Jobs you will hate are easy enough to come by, so suffering through the ups and downs of entrepreneurism has to be worth it.
But the reality is it can take years. YEARS to get to where you want to be, and even when you think you have arrived, things can change drastically forcing you to start over, sometimes from scratch. This, of course, is where the struggle to keep the dream alive while maintaining your household can come into play.
I started blogging 5 years ago, while I was employed, and before I knew a blog could be more than just making a small commission off of my beauty and fashion favorites. I struggled to get people to come to this blog for years, and then last year I learned that I could land readers by reporting on pop culture. I centered my content around pop culture for black women, and they came. In droves. I started seeing real money and feeling like okay, I can do this. And then I began to see a decline. While folks would come once or twice, I had a hard time retaining viewers/readers. I would also see my friends routinely sharing articles from other popular black media outlets before they would share mine. I kept asking myself, “Why do they share this same info from Huffington Post, when you can share it from Lisa a la mode and support a small, black, blogger?” I was determined to get some respek on my name, but the more I tried, the less they came.
The drastic decrease income was depressing AF. Just as I had begun to feel that I had made it as a blogger, I was losing it. But if I were, to be honest with myself, the reason I was losing readers is that I was operating from a space of greed, not passion. I was losing what made my blog me. As a writer by trade with an undergraduate degree in Journalism and a Master of Fine Arts in Writing, I sold out and suffered the consequences.
I’m not beating myself up, though. The lesson in all of this is that there are no shortcuts to get to where you want to go. Of course, we need money. Ain’t nobody trying to be homeless, but in the pursuit of your dreams, you can’t lose sight of why you began and what your ultimate goals are. Do what you can, the way you can, to the best of your ability and the money, will come. But if you are driven by money, what was once your passion will become the thing you hate. And you’ll hate yourself in the process.
If you’re struggling to keep the dream alive while paying the bills, get a job. If you’re too stressed out about income you’ll never be able to focus on doing your craft well. Get a job, but don’t mess with the dream. Keep the dream alive, work on the dream part-time, but don’t try to convert the dream into an overnight cash-cow. It won’t work. Be patient. Ride the wives, and money will come.
This! This just spoke to me. It’s a hustle out here especially for Black Bloggers. But we cannot give up
*insert praise emoji* This! Thank you for being honest, Lisa. Everyone wants to get paid, but when money begins to overshadow passion, authenticity suffers. I appreciate you so much for being very transparent. Oh, and I love your blog!!!
thanks so much! your support means a lot!
Started my business in March and started a full time job in June. My goal is to feed the Dream and watch it grow! I waited a lifetime for this and there Damn sure ain’t no turning back now!!
i feel you!!
Wow this article really spoke to me. I think I have been struggling with the same thing trying to remain true to myself while also trying to transition out of my full-time job. I’m keeping my dream a live by understanding that everything takes time and that it will be more rewarding to myself if I continue to stick to content that I truly love. Like you said, your readers will pick up on that. I think I’m also going to keep the dream alive by making a point to meet up with like-minded people and people I’m inspired by. Thanks for this article.
I ran into your blog via Pinterest and I am happy that I did. I appreciate how candid you are and I am heading over to scope out the rest of your blog. P.S. your fit is bomb! The colors, the textures, everything.
All the best and much success!
OMG…I needed this confirmation. I was telling a close friend today that I must start over. I was let go of my job in February. Keep in mind before I was let go, I was working full time, going to hair school, plus doing hair on the side. These months since I’ve been fired have shown me to take my time with my hair business. I decide i must get a job (that pays) and build my business step by step. I have 200hrs left to complete school. I keeping my dream alive by staying positive and creating another vision broad. I now know I must create a part time schedule for hair while working that full time job. Wish me luck on finding that Job.
Although I’ve had my blog for about 3 years now, I’m just getting the drift of it. My goal now is managing my time to create good, consistent content. It’s not as easy as I thought it would be, but I got a feeling it’s going to make it one day. Thanks for the encouragement girl!!
This was a great read & super inspiring. Like right on time for me with the morning I just had…I have been following you for awhile & love your realness. Thank you!