I’ve never claimed to be a businessman. Nope. I really wish I was, but I’m not. I always have these really BIG ideas, however, from a business perspective, I sometimes never know quite how to achieve big things.
I’ve read numerous business books (and still keep reading them), worked in marketing and more. But when it comes to MY business, well…..
I watched a documentary about cartooning recently and there was a section in there about a couple of cartoonist (web cartoonist, that is) that got a pretty decent following. A business-type knew of their work and offered to take over the financial/marketing side of things. And, the couple of guys agreed. Seems like things are well. It’s what they needed to become financially well-off.
I think about that sometimes.
Marketing, business and “getting the word out” is not my forte. I wish – at times – I had just a total business guru come along, see my work and offer to figure out ways of making it all happen. I do have people I work with on certain projects (like my partners at BizComics and my website) – which is great – but I’m still stuck in a rut to numerous other prospective things.
Here are several thoughts I’m trying to figure out if I can do or not – assuming I’m on my own and no business guru comes along and gives me a hand.
My Own Painting/Drinking Events: Right now, I’ve been currently teaching painting in the evenings for some extra money (after all, I do have a daughter on the way) and experience. I actually find it fun. It’s at restaurants and participants can enjoy a drink and meal while they paint. I just joke around with them, paint and let my sarcasm rip. So, I’ve thought about opening up my own painting at places type thing. Right now I’m working under someone. No, I’m not an employee – but as an artist, I don’t make as much as the person who brings in the cash from ticket sales. My thoughts are why don’t I just have my own? After all, I know restaurant managers, can hire painters (and do it myself) and a good friend of mine is in the wine business. Why not?
Oh yeah…it takes money and marketing to do this. Riiight.
A Cartooning Talk: I’d love the opportunity to go around and talking about my cartooning career. I’m imagining a slide-show presentation that was fun and all about my journey of being a frustrated cartoonist trying to make it when a lot of possibilities of cartooning are basically extinct. Seems like a good thing, but I can’t exactly say “I’ve made it” with this talk since I’m constantly looking for new ways of making money. I have professional work in publications and so-forth, but consistency is my issue. So, not sure if I am qualified to talk about cartooning when it’s still a struggle for me at times. (Although, that being said, has any cartoonist nowadays actually “made it”?)
Some cartoonists get calls to do talks. I’m assuming they just don’t have my phone number.
Online Cartooning Course: I tried this last year and it didn’t do too well. I would create the whole thing over and try again. Thinking of something along the lines of selling cartoons. Again, how do I get the word out about this? Eh, something to think about. I just have a feeling – like last time – marketing it would be my issue. I have people that read my work on a regular basis but probably aren’t too interested in learning cartooning. At least that is what I experienced when I tried this before.
Books: I’ve got gobs of books I’m working on. My fear is getting them out in public. I had a failed Kickstarter several years ago because I couldn’t get enough attention for it (or people didn’t really find it something they wanted to support). It did have some awesome supporters – but not enough. And I think from a business point of view, I asked for too much money. Anyway, it wasn’t very pleasant. I have a hard time pitching new things. I get overwhelmed when I go to Kickstarter and see cartoons I’ve never heard of just raise $50,000 on a project and I’m like, “How? I’ve never even heard of you guys!”
Well, these are just a few ideas I’m thinking about.
What’s frustrating for me is consistency and time.
I consistently make money off of numerous platforms, but these platforms aren’t growing quickly enough. I have some NEW venues I’m excited about. Here again though, they will take awhile to take-off. I’m hoping they become more consistent, but only time will tell. In the meantime, business as usual needs to pick up. I have a new addition coming, so that’s why I say that. We’ve been getting by okay for now, but I want something my family can really feel comfortable with. That will be numerous sources of income (like I have now), but I need to get some new stuff out there. Baby Fakes will need diapers.
And the time thing. What DO I focus on the most to generate more income? Here’s where making a good decision helps.
So, I’m hoping I make some good business decisions from now and throughout my life. (A lot to ask for, I know.)
I hope I’m not coming across as a “poor me” in this post – because I think all of us have been here before whether you’re a business owner, employee or anything. Sometimes, you just want to make the best decision about switching a job, relocating, hiring/firing, etc. I know I’m not alone. But it is frustrating, right? I always feel like there’s just one, itsy-bitsy element that I’m missing that makes the difference between a few cents and a modest living. Think, brain. Think!
I know many new parents feel the need to make more – so that’s where I’m at. After all, I need to think about sending my child through art school in the future, right?
Chances of a multimillionaire calling me up and putting an ad out for my work on Super Bowl Sunday probably isn’t too likely, so I continue to work away at new ideas and try to prepare for the future. Things aren’t horrible – but again, I want them to pick-up. It’s natural.
And while I’m at it, I’ve surrounded myself with good people that tend to help the cause more than hurt it, so that’s a plus. And I do have exciting, new things that I’m anxious to grow (like BizComics and my website).
While I might not be the best businessman on the face of this earth, I do feel like I have just about every other element that I need. I work hard, dedicated and – well – good stuff. Really, I can take things far. I’ve done it before.
Just those BIG ideas and where to take them. That’s the BIG question.