Time to Pursue the Dream

Jim has a hobby he'd like to turn into a business. His wife is supportive, but they aren't sure this is a good time since Jim is an artist. Dave says he has to have a way to sell it.

QUESTION: Jim in Chicago was just downsized, and the household income went from $120,000 a year to $15,000 a year. He and his wife can live off his severance for almost two years. Jim has a hobby he’d like to turn into a business. His wife is supportive, but they aren’t sure this is a good time since Jim is an artist. Dave says he has to have a way to sell it.

ANSWER: The weakness of most artists is they’re very good at producing the product and lousy at selling it. We have to create a method to sell this stuff. How are you going to sell it? You haven’t got anything else to do right now, so I’d start working on it. In the meantime, you run into something else you can do that makes you a ton of money and the art thing becomes a part-time job that you build up because you’ve got a long way to go from $15,000 to $100,000. That’s a lot of paintings. If you picked up something making $60,000 or $70,000 in the meantime and you worked at building your art business, that’ll be fine. Certainly you don’t want to ignore all of the online ways that you can sell the art—things you can do there to expand your influence and your brand and your name.