First of all, it’s important to note that this financial drought you are going through will end.
Sometimes we are placed in these droughts, to realize that financial resources aren’t what allow our businesses to thrive and succeed. Finances provide us with what we need to sustain our ideas and develop them further; however, it’s our capability, passion, and drive that allow our businesses to thrive. In dry seasons like these, we are tested on how well we can use the resources around us, and what we are able to make out of nothing. I’ve grown to appreciate this season because it has taught me how to become more resourceful, as well as shown me what I am truly capable of.
Here are seven things I’ve learned during this financial drought:
There are a lot of people that are looking for experience and are willing to do things for free. Scout those people out, and form a connection with them. It may turn out that these people are sitting next to you in class, and you guys may have something to offer each other.
If there is an expensive option, there is always a more affordable alternative. It’s important to keep in mind that when I say affordable, I’m not urging you to buy things or invest in cheap quality products. However, if you look hard enough there is always a cheaper alternative that works just as well. This is the stage where DIY curations are your best friend, especially when throwing events. Just grab a group of friends, go on Pinterest, and I guarantee you, your guest will love your decor, not even noticing if it was handcrafted or not.
LEARNING TO DO THINGS YOURSELF IS SO SO SO Important, and has been one of the greater lessons I’ve learned. If you can’t afford for someone to do your hair, or your business logos or whatever you may need, learn to do it yourself! With a little bit (or a lot) of practice you can be just as good as the next. Again, make Youtube and Pinterest your best friend. Study people that have been practicing these trades. You don’t have to turn this into your profession, but by pushing yourself to learn these skills you will save yourself money and have a new set of skills to add to your portfolio or resume.
It’s okay to find yourself in a dry season, but don’t let yourself get too comfortable in this drought. Take the time to start looking into opportunities that will expand your limitations, whether its events, workshops, experiences, meetups...go for it! Going out to these events will expand your network of people and will connect you to more opportunities (maybe even financial ones). Keep in mind, there are many workshops and events that are free, and affordable in your city! Just go on Eventbrite.com and you may be surprised at what you find.
Learning how to monetize my skills. This was and is huge, as you don’t want to stay in this drought forever. It’s important to start taking this time to learn which of your skills can be financially valuable. What services can you provide? Who is your audience? How will you market yourself? This drought affords you time to really build, and focus in on who and what you want to service.
“The next season of ability is dependent on the last season of responsibility.” If you don’t know how to manage the little source of income you have now, you can forget about the lifestyle you may want to live. Budgeting plays a huge role in this, and it’s important during this season to learn how to do it. If you know me, you know I’m big on saving. However, the way I save and budget will look different in comparison to the person next to me, because budgeting looks different for everyone. Take this time to figure out which budget breakdown works for you. Something I like to do is setting up my direct deposit to allow 30% of my payments to go straight to my savings. That way you never see it. Getting rid of the temptation to touch it allows it to accumulate.
Last by not least, the benefits of having a good ole’ 9-5 job. We may not be working our dream job but, many of us have to do it, as we have other responsibilities. Our plans and dreams will not happen overnight. I know the struggle of having an entrepreneurial spirit and not wanting to work for others, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. However, recognize that you are no longer 16 years old, and you shouldn’t just be applying to any ole rat tat tat job. Apply for the jobs that will afford you access to other, better opportunities. Whether that be waitressing, working in a hotel, or doing paid internships within your field. This way you are still collecting, building, and growing inspiration for your endeavors. With that being said, here are great places to look:
For those of you that are in this season of drought with me, and have lost faith….don’t give up. Recognize that everything is happening for a reason, and this season is molding you to be a resourceful entrepreneur. You will come out learning more about your abilities, who you are, and what your vision is, so just trust the process.