If you don’t know Danielle, than you seriously should. She’s one of my favorite people online. Quirky, fun, and man does she know how to kick entrepreneurs in the arse. My kinda lady.
Are you doing what you love? Why aren’t you? Danielle has helped countless people figure out how to make money doing what they truly love.
Seriously, I can’t say enough about the lady. She recently launched the Fire Starter Sessions to the tune of massive success, then for her birthday generously let people pay whatever they could for the kit. Another massive success.
The FSS is something I would recommend to anyone who wants to a) figure out what it is they love and b) how to make money doing it.
Anyway, here’s her awesome interview. Take notes, kids. This is pure gold.
Glen: So Danielle, how does one truly figure out what their IDEAL occupation should be? Can you give us a little bit on your “metrics of ease”?
Danielle: Your most valuable currency is what comes most naturally to you. This is a radical concept for so many of us. We’re trained to fit in, to be well-rounded, to multi-task. We tend to push our way through. Fuhget it! When I stopped trying to be great at the things I was merely good at, I freed up my creativity and my intellectual power. And then I got it, I really got it: when I was doing what came so naturally to me, I was more productive, more innovative, more…at ease. Conclusion: easy is right. The “flow” is where the power is.
So when do you feel amazing? What activities cause you to feel useful, vital, better-than-before? When do you have that “there’s more where that came from” feeling? What feels so good and so easy to give that you give it generously? Do more of that — and get paid to do it — until that’s all you’re doing with your life.
Glen: In the FSS you make a huge emphasis on making money NOW. How can putting an emphasis on bringing cash through the door help with the creative process?
Danielle: No money. No business. Simple. I’ve seen so many solo-preneurs get tripped up on getting their branding just right before they can go after clients, or having business cards printed so they can start networking, or putting staff policies in place so they can give great customer service. Once you know what you have to offer, just go get the business. Start. Pick up the phone. Work it. Move the energy. Take the risk. THAT’s creativity.
And there’s nothing like prosperity to fuel your creative fire. Pressure is useful, you know, “necessity and invention” n’ all that. But a zero PayPal account or an empty store will chip away at your innovative spirit. You’ve got to see it working. You’ve got to be eating. Even the most maverick artists need proof of love from their audience.
So my formula is this:
In terms of business growth, FIRST, focus on doing what makes you the most money, the fastest.
Get the money in the door. The whole point of the first three years of business is to SURVIVE.
Simultaneous to doing what makes you the most money the fastest, your SECOND line of action is to focus on doing what makes you the *most* money. The fast money may not be the Big Money. But you need to make time to work on the Big Money-making projects, though they tend to take longer to manifest. And they require the greatest creativity and innovation juice.
Glen: Money and Art seem to always be at odds. This is a massive deal for MANY wanting to stay true to themselves, but still make money. Good money, even.
So here’s the Million Dollar Question: How do you create a personal brand, without selling out?
Danielle: If you’re making art, you are not separate from your brand. I make my livelihood as an artist (of words, philosophy and strategy), and I always cringe a bit when people asked me how I developed my “brand.” I didn’t. I developed my self, my art, and then I put it on display and trusted that the “right” people would dig it, and pay for it.
If you create a personal brand that isn’t deeply personal, you’ve already sold out.
The vast majority of artists I know (from writers and craftspeople, to software developers and designers) don’t have any quams with making money – and lot’s of it if possible. What makes them all weird is the *marketing* of their stuff, they don’t want to sell out and become an infomercial. It understandable, because we live in a culture of false advertising and the slick, hard sell. It’s dangerous turf for sure. But this is where you need to diligently carry your personality forward. It’s not enough to have an authentic, integrity-driven offering, you need to sell it in a way that is true for you. If you’re slick, be slick. If you’re subtle, be subtle. Just be consistent. And above all, be passionately proud of what you’re bringing to the world.
Glen: What’s your number one tip for creatives who want to make a career out of their dreams?
Danielle: 1) Know what lights your fire and go out of your way to fuel that fire.
There’s a reason why every mystic and rocking CEO says, in one way or another, that passion is The Key to success. Because it is. Passion gets your endorphins pumping, it feeds your brain, it supports your soul and gives your life meaning. And passion persuades – and persuasion generates financial freedom.
2) Know how much money you want to make a year.
This makes things very, very real. Dreams and purpose are only one part of the equation. When you anchor the creative to the practical, you’re wielding some serious manifestation mojo. Would $50k or $150k a year float your boat? Great. What do you need to do to bring that in? How many units do you need to ship? How many workshops do you need to fill? What can you do by the end of the day to get where you want to go? Do it.
Thanks Danielle for a wonderful interview. So whatcha think? Is she spot on? Have any questions? Post ’em below.
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