Saturday, August 8, 2009

Starting the Transition to Escaping Your Day Job

Day jobs suck. To get one, you have to fill out lengthy applications and then hope you get chosen for an interview. Out of hundreds of applicants, if you do get chosen for an interview, you have to hope you give answers the company is looking for. Even in the interview, you are competing against many other applicants. If you do end up "winning" and getting the position, you usually end up at a dead end job for eight hours a day, five days a week with little hope of advancement. The majority of us stay at these positions only because it is our only source of income. Once you have been in a day job for a while, it is not unusual to feel like you are trapped and can't get out.

The majority of us who write or entertain dream about the day when we can leave our dreaded day job. Comedians want to have their own HBO special. Musicians want to have platinum albums and tour the nation with sold out shows. Authors want to have a book on the New York Times Best Seller List. Actors want to be shown in a best selling film on the big screen.

To start this transition many comedians wait in long lines at auditions like Last Comic Standing hoping to get chosen. Musicians wait in long lines hoping to get chosen at American Idol. Authors send in their manuscripts to agents and publishers hoping that that someone will like their book. The problem with this strategy is that if you try to get famous this way, you are doing the exact same thing as thousands of others competing for the same position. It is kind of playing the lottery. Your chances of winning are almost nothing.

Instead of doing the same things others do, why not make your own path? For instance if you are writing a book, create a website with a blog with such great content that others are compelled to look at what you have to say. In fact, if you get enough of a following, you won't have to go through a gatekeeper. Publishers will go to YOU instead!

Follow a similar strategy if you are a comedian, actor, or musician. Do as many open mics and professional shows as you can. Write your own skits, and post the videos online. Network as much as you can. Be unique and get some fans. It is more difficult to do this without the aid of television and radio, but it can be done. Use the social networks like MySpace, but have your own website with your own domain name as well. Having your own website will build your credibility substantially.

The question of the day is this: Why should you use the same strategy to get out of a day job as you did to try to get a day job?

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