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A Glass Blower’s Companion with Jason Michael -Helping Today's Glass Artist Think Like an Artistic Entrepreneur

Jul 25, 2018

Episode 198: Generating revenue in the "Shared Economy"- (On the Road Edition)
While behind the torch there is nothing worse then stressing about anything, especially bills. On this episode I discuss the different aspects and the importance of keeping a day job or generating revenue until you can TRULY afford to support yourself as a full-time glass artist.
Dave Ramsey, who has helped millions get out of debt and changed families finances for the last two decades, preaches the importance of an emergency fund. He describes the emergency fund as this... "An emergency fund is simply money you’ve set aside for unexpected events in life. We’re talking about true emergencies here, like a car wreck, a hospital visit, or a leaky’re self-employed, or you earn straight commission, then a six-month emergency fund is probably a better idea for you since a job loss could make you unable to pay the bills."  Dave suggests 3-6 months worth of savings should be able to pay all of your bills, groceries and any other necessity that will get you through whatever emergency you may have.        
When starting any business you should already have put away 90-days of savings to pay for the business expenses alone in the case you have Little to No sales. That way you can at least pay the rent, keep the power on and hope that patrons visit and spend money. In the case of the self employed artist  you should have 2-separate accounts, one personal and one-business, each containing a 90-day emergency fund.  This all depends on the type of business you have whether solo-preneur or a larger scaled business with lots of overhead. Either way there are many variables for each situation that will ultimately decide which type of  emergency fund is nedded.
The 3-6 month emergency fund is there to get you through the slow months but also there in case you burn yourself and can't work for a few days or even worse, weeks. What if you severed a nerve in your hand from a sharp rod of glass or something even as simple as slipping and landing on your wrist and spraining it.  If you can't take the time off to allow your body to heal the injury will be prolonged and inevitably not heal properly. Below is a simple method to help you calculate how much you will need to put in savings.
Here's a way to calculate you basic needs for the business: Sit down and write everything you pay to keep your shop running. This includes you average oxygen and propane costs, power(if it's separate from the house or at a studio location), average material bill(refer to B), rent (if paying), est monthly shipping costs, etc..
Once you have this written down plug your number into the PDF form I've made available for printing. You should have a folder dedicated to your business expenses to be able to keep track of your monthly average expenses.  REMEMBER- This is a monthly average so you need to take into consideration the slow times and busy times plus the importance of keeping your books up to date.  This will make the process of calculating these expenses simplified.      PDF LINK
I hope this helps you think about the seriousness of saving.  This is an area that isn't easy to start but once you do it becomes routine and habit.  Art is supposed to be enjoyed. Even wen its production. There is no reason to be stressed out while being creative as it will hinder your imagination and your glass will know it.  Free yourself with a safety net and feel proud that you busted your butt and were able to save a substantial amount of money. This might take 3 to 6 to 9 months to accomplish but as Dave Ramsey says "Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else.    Good luck..You got this
any questions check out Dave Ramsey's website and give his syndicated show or podcast a listen