Public service announcement, guys and gals!
Today I'm making it official. I'm becoming a full-time creator.
In this post I'm going to share why I'm doing and more importantly for other aspiring creators, I'm going to share how I'm going to do it.
Moreover, I'm going to frequently update ya'll of my journey. Good things in life don't "just happen", and making it as a creator ain't easy.
What's a full-time creator and why should anybody want to become one?
In my book, a full-time creator is an entrepreneur who focuses on publishing useful/helpful content online until they reach a critical mass of people who know, like, and trusts them. Once you have such an audience, you can make money in numerous ways. You'll have a following, a good idea about what your following wants, and the means to create and deliver something for them.
I like this because my work will basically meet all my needs and wants as a human. I don't have to compartmentalize my business from "me". I'm not going to be hiding behind the scenes, like with my webstore. I like this kind of authentic, fun, and honest way of doing business.
This is what I wanted to do since I was what... 21 years old?
Back then I was too inexperienced to pull it off, but I feel I'm mature and ready for it now.
What's the path to success as a creator?
Consistently create valuable/useful content. Share it with people. Slowly build up your credibility and follower base. Continually improve the quality of your work. Do this until your reach critical mass.
Once enough people know, like, and trust you, you'll find it easy to come up with ways to make money in a congruent manner. Opportunities will flow to you and you just have to pick the ones you like.
This is what I want to do with my life.
In my case, I'm going to focus on written content and then podcasting, not Youtube.
A very important rule is "Content makes sense in aggregate". Don't expect miracles from single pieces of content (you may get lucky like Daniel Vassalo who got 2000 Twitter followers from his first Medium article, but don't rely on it).
Even a low double-digit amount of content under your name is likely insufficient to gain traction. Hundreds of pieces of content on the other hand can make a dent.
How to make ends meet until you "make it"
I'm the furthest person from "negative vibe guy", but let's be prudent here and state the obvious facts.
You have to fend for yourself. Nobody cares if you end up on the streets due to having made bad decisions in life (except your close family members or friends).
You're probably not going to make any money in the first year, as the mayor payoffs are rather unpredictable on this path and usually happen in the 2nd year and onwards. The challenge is being able to stick to this path until you hit your first "lucky break".
The good thing about this line of work is that your work compounds. Once you have hundreds of pieces of content available somewhere, the results accumulate/compound and you reach the exponential growth curve.
This is what happened with Daniel Vassalo, Nat Eliason, Ali Adaal, and many other successful creators.
I'd rather avoid blowing all my savings and at the very least want to maintain it at its current level.
If you are inspired to do this, I advise you to take stock of your financial situation before you start, like so.
Taking Stock of Expenses/Income
My lifestyle expenses are roughly 15.000€/year.
This affords me a comfortable life eating out, not paying too much attention to most minor daily spending decisions, and a 45m2 flat in the center of Budapest.
It includes any unanticipated expenses, such as when a week or two ago my laptop suddenly died and I had to spend 200€ on repairs or that both of my boots have holes.
I'm also planning to invest roughly 200€/month for the next 6 months (starting December) into a vocal coach and improv acting classes. This is an optional cost that I can stop at any time. It's also a professional and personal investment, so it's worth it.
My rent contract expires next September (in 8-9 months), so if the money situation is getting tight, I could move back to either my small hometown in Hungary or Spain to my family and immediately cut my expenses by 500 euros a month.
My upkeep would only be ~9.000€/year then. Of course, my quality of life would suffer, by losing access to friends, social/sexual opportunities, and such.
I could also apply for some low-end jobs to extend my runway part-time or even full-time, as a last resort. Or maybe someone would love to hire me since I have experience starting, growing, and operating six and seven figures e-commerce businesses? We'll see.
Protoolsmarket.com right now takes care of my expenses. My online store income is a bit volatile and has a downward tendency:
- 2020 Q3-Q4: €9,999.15
- 2021 Q1: €6,162.24
- 2021 Q2: €5,266.69
- 2021 Q3: €3,346.93
I talked about some of the reasons behind the decreased sales in my previous post.
I'm going to implement a couple of steps that require some extra effort and time investment from me, but my quarterly income should stabilize at 4.500-6000€. That should be more than enough to keep my runway stable or slowly growing, thus keeping my stress levels low.
I have a fixed income of 202€/month from a nominal 10h/week position (I can't divulge too many details on this, unfortunately). I'm not doing anything here, except sign a few papers every once in a while.
I don't have a full-time job taking up my time, I don't have any obligations, mortgages, or responsibilities.
No girlfriend either, just 1 casual relationship right now (from Daygame). I'm also going to chase chicks when the desire strikes or opportunity arises, but right now I'm not interested in girls at all.
Of course, part of the creator path will probably be me writing about my financial/business experiments ("small bets"). Maybe one of these bets will bear fruit early?
In summary, I have a 2.424€/year of guaranteed income, and anywhere from 12.000-24.000€/year from protoolsmarket.com.
You already saw the increased activity on my Twitter and blog. I'm going to be publishing useful content and experimenting a lot. There is a learning curve in this biz too, so I'm going to put in my reps.
I've found Reddit is a great community where I could publish and get the initial following. I've already gotten a lot of life signals from readers there. I'm loving this so far!