Why you Should Start at the Shallow End of the Creative Pool

You don’t have to dive into the deep end when it comes to starting your creative business. You can take steps gingerly, starting at the shallow end of the creative pool.

In fact, many people that work full-time as artists now started with full-time work and creative work on the side.

Here are some tips to help you start a profitable creative business while maintaining other full or part-time work.

1. Draft a Realistic Business Plan

It’s tricky to start a side creative business when you’re already have a full time or part time commitment. Look at your current work load and draft a business plan where you can realistically fit in creative tasks.

2. Create a Schedule

Being organized and setting up a schedule will be crucial for success, especially in the early chaotic days where you’re not use to handling it all.

3. Set Goals and Daily Action Steps

Set business goals, then list daily actions steps you need to do to hit your business goals. Make sure you cross them off every day!

4. Don’t Take on Too Much

You just can’t do it all! You’ll find that out the hard way when you schedule too much and get behind. Just do a little bit each day, divide your daily tasks into easy bite sized steps. It’s better to work slowly toward your goals than to get overwhelmed and end up doing nothing at all!

5. Set Real Goals and Track Numbers

It’s easy to forget that your creative side business should be just that, a business that turns over a profit. Set profit goals and carefully track every cent you spend. Get serious and set up a business name and get a business license to motivate yourself to behave in a businesslike fashion and really make money.

There’s nothing stopping you from creating and making money for it. Draft your plans, then go forth and create!

What are you going to do right now to move forward with your creative side business?

* Image from MoKoPo Creations

Vanessa wrote this post. She is a full time copywriter and webmarketer with a passion for art, creativity, and thrift. She writes about thrifting, creating, and saving money every weekday on her blog, Thrift Core.

12 comments | Click here to reply

What a great post! I was doing my daily morning ritual of catching up on my favorite blogs and saw this. I’m working on launching my own small business in the next few weeks so this came at a perfect time. I printed it off and hung it on my office bulletin board! 🙂 Thanks so much!


Great advice and it’s nice to know that there are other people trying to juggle a full-time job while growing their creative business on the side. #4 is a big problem for me. I want to do so many things for my business now that I see others doing, but I have to remind myself that I don’t have the same amount of time as they do to dedicate to my business. I just have to be happy with where my business is now and reflect on how much it has grown and to be patient because it will all come in time.


Thanks for the advice! Very practical.


Great advice. It is a bit difficult though to set a a schedule when you have to meet demands from your full or part-time work. Sometimes you just can’t leave when you should. But I’m trying.


Great questions Najia. I just use a simple Excel spreadsheet to track my finances, in addition to a business bank account of course. And then for tax related stuff (quarterly taxes, etc), I bring in an expert. It’s okay to outsource the things that you don’t feel are your strong suits or things that you simply don’t have time to complete on your own.

Here’s a link to ten popular finance apps: http://blog.intuit.com/money/10-ipad-apps-for-small-business-finance/


Nadine, thank you for sharing that. I have the bad habit of being vague with my tasks too. Right now I’m writing my action steps to be specific, starting each one with verbs! You’re right, the more specific, the better!


hi! thanks for the great advice! i started my own business a few months back and so far managing time and keeping schedules hasn’t been a problem…. but what i really could use help with is how do other people running their own small business manage finances!!!?! is there any program or software that you use of keep track of what expenses and incomes are happening… ? would love some advice from someone who’r figured out all this stuff!!! 🙂


Cool Nadine. Thanks so much for sharing a snippet of your story. I completely identify with what you are saying, if I keep it vague, less gets done.


The schedule is totally essential – when I manage to keep my schedule strict, I get so much more done. When I think “Oh, this week I need to do this, this and this” and keep it vague…things fall by the wayside. It’s especially crucial since I’m working full time, trying to keep up with consistent writing freelance work, and grow my baby business from the ground up.


Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment Rebecca and Tania. Setting a schedule as Vanessa mentioned in her post is easy to do, but you’d be surprised how many people I talk to that don’t actually do this. If you are juggling a part-time or full-time job while trying to start a side business, it is even more important to keep a schedule. I use iCal and Google Calendar, in addition to Post-It notes all over my desk, which give me reminders and keep me on my toes.


This is brilliant advice! Thank you so much for sharing, I feel much more relaxed now 🙂


thank you for these great tips

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