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NicholasCato

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Oct 31, 2018
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So to get right into it I’m a 25 years old artist currently living with my parents working two part time jobs and im still broke...

I’ve always had a skill for art + entrepreneurship. As a kid I would make comics/zines then try to sell them to my friends and family.
I guess you could say I never grew out of this.

After high school I decided to try my luck at making art for money on a grander scale. I ditched art school and instead spent 8hrs a day for a year and a half perfecting my craft until I could claim the title of a freelancer. It worked and for the next 3 years i fumbled myself through a freelance illustration career.

But the more I climbed the ladder of freelance (if you could call it that) the more I started to see the cracks. The more I started to see how the end goal of freelance - getting the highest paying jobs - didn’t match with my personal vision - making my own projects like the artists I looked up to. Not to mention the inconsistency of work and having your creative energy wasted on projects you couldn’t care less about.
That led me to looking into how can I make my art work for me instead of using my art to work for other people.

Up until this point in my freelance career I was living the life everyone dreams of. Working from home being my own boss waking up at noon working in my underpants..
But I was still in the slow lane. I set my own hours and chose my own projects but ultimately I was still working FOR SOMEONE trading time for money.
And I wasn’t actually living life. Most days were spent inside alone. No friends, no hobbies, no girlfriend. I was wasting some of the best years of my life drawing pretty pictures of other people’s ideas.

So last year at 24, I made a description of where wanted to be by the age of 31:
“On my 4th graphic novel making 100k a year in passive income. Traveling and enjoying life”

Minus a few details like the black 1993 porsche 911 I’ll buy, this is the goal. And the only way i’ll reach this goal is by creating business structures that create my income passively.

I’ve looked over my options for the future and I’m already aware that living off my own personal project is essentially a long play. I have to build a fan base, spend up to a year minimum writing and drawing the books full time, etc.
And to do this comfortably I need to be able to write a book without it having to be a success or my main source of income for the next 5 years, like mr. DeMarco when writing millionaire fast lane.
I need a passive income pillow to sustain my monthly expenses so I can write graphic novels out of a place of pure creative freedom.

That’s where my ‘short game’ plan comes into play.

I’ve had some success with POD t shirt design sites and I’m going to pursue this future to make it a main income stream.

Right now I make around $100 a month from 2 shirt designs. I’ve decided I’m going to turn this into a $5k a month income steam.

That’s all for now as i tried to keep this as short as possible but I would love to connect with other people on this journey hence the reason I’m here haha. Feel free to share your fast lane journey below!

Thank you for your ime
- Nicholas
 

lowtek

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Welcome aboard Nicolas. I like the story. I can relate to the freelancer issues. I recently had a shitty gig that made me question wtf I'm doing. I felt the exact same way - why spend so much energy for projects that aren't aligned with my long term goals.

Hope to watch you climb the ladder of success.
 

Andy Black

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Welcome. Nice story.

Reminds me of a line by Dan Norris: “If your only way to grow you business is to increase prices then you’re not an entrepreneur, you’re a consultant / freelancer”.

$100/mth for work you’ve already done is a good start. How will you scale this?
 

Jeff Noel

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currently living with my parents working two part time jobs and im still broke...

Welcome to the forum Nicholas.

I don't want to sound harsh in any way, but have you made a budget lately ? Just to see what your expenses are ? I do not know the details of your life, and it's none of my business. But, if you're like I was, cutting a lot of useless expenses in my life helped me to regain control of my finances a little bit at first.
 

NicholasCato

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Oct 31, 2018
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Welcome aboard Nicolas. I like the story. I can relate to the freelancer issues. I recently had a sh*tty gig that made me question wtf I'm doing. I felt the exact same way - why spend so much energy for projects that aren't aligned with my long term goals.

Hope to watch you climb the ladder of success.

Thanks for sharing your story Lowtek and nice to meet you! I was in the same boat as you sh!tty gig after sh!tty gig. After a while even the good gigs started to loose their luster. again because I wasn’t living out my dream of creating my own projects.

I look forward to seeing you in the forums hopefully we’ll learn from each other’s successes and failures.

Wishing the best!
 

NicholasCato

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Oct 31, 2018
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Welcome. Nice story.

Reminds me of a line by Dan Norris: “If your only way to grow you business is to increase prices then you’re not an entrepreneur, you’re a consultant / freelancer”.

$100/mth for work you’ve already done is a good start. How will you scale this?

Thanks Andy that’s a great quote to sum up exactly how I feel right now. Done with trying to increase my inherent value!

And the plan is pretty simple. Cast a wide net of different subject matters for T-shirt designs and upload them to multiple POD shirt sites.
Find what resonates the most with my buyers and focus on that niche for the next round of designs.
So pretty much upload more and make more of what my niche buys the most.
 

NicholasCato

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Oct 31, 2018
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Welcome to the forum Nicholas.

I don't want to sound harsh in any way, but have you made a budget lately ? Just to see what your expenses are ? I do not know the details of your life, and it's none of my business. But, if you're like I was, cutting a lot of useless expenses in my life helped me to regain control of my finances a little bit at first.

No worries Joel! Not harsh at all. Any input is appreciated. My expenses are pretty low and manageable at the moment. The problem is I work 2 jobs and probably only get 26hrs in a week combined from the two lol. Luckily I’m in a place where I don’t have that many responsibilities. So the free time I do have goes to creating passive income streams.

Thanks for the input and nice to meet you!
 

Jeff Noel

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No worries Joel! Not harsh at all. Any input is appreciated. My expenses are pretty low and manageable at the moment. The problem is I work 2 jobs and probably only get 26hrs in a week combined from the two lol. Luckily I’m in a place where I don’t have that many responsibilities. So the free time I do have goes to creating passive income streams.

Thanks for the input and nice to meet you!

Then your post replying to Andy is definitely what you need to act on ! Time to make more shirt designs ! Read the following post by @Walter Hay , he's experienced in e-commerce and some of his other posts could help you out.

GOLD! - Ask me anything about eCommerce (Ongoing)

Edit: Also I cocked-up despite reading TMF 3 times! Any advice?
 

NicholasCato

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MJ DeMarco

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Welcome Nicholas, thanks for sharing your story.
 

AllenCrawley

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Welcome to the forum and thanks for the intro!
Minus a few details like the black 1993 porsche 911 I’ll buy, this is the goal. And the only way i’ll reach this goal is by creating business structures that create my income passively.
Ahhh... a fellow Porsche enthusiast.

My dream car is the Porsche 911 Turbo from 1979-1989.
 

srodrigo

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Welcome @NicholasCato.

I feel quite identified with your story, as I shared some similarities (working on others' projects and not having enough time for mines). It's great that you decided to go for it at 25 instead of much later. Best of luck :)
 

NicholasCato

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Oct 31, 2018
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Welcome man. I had some success with POD in the past making around $10/month passively so you're already off to a great start.

Yeah just all of a sudden a year and a half back one of my designs took off with no effort on my part. Decided to finally approach this the smart way
 

wade1mil

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Do you have a website or portfolio of your illustrations?
 

The Abundant Man

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Why does everybody want European cars like Lamborghinis and Porsches?

This is what I want:

53890-1532336916.jpg


e4b63e944c6839c785ce25c23650dd9d.jpg


Roadster_Hero.0.jpg

Okay this one is based on the Maserati Lotus but it's all Electric and has Telas updates

Vanishing-Point-1970-Dodge-Challenger-RT-426-Hemi-07.jpg
 

HackVenture

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Thanks for sharing your story, very cool!

Sounds like you've decided to scale up your POD store but your longer-term goal is to make income from your "4th" graphic novel?

Are you going to start your first immediately? That would be great, it doesn't even have to make much money, but it would make your second come much easier.

As for POD, from my experience this sort of business is more about your ability to reach the niche demographic efficiently and to have a design that speaks to them, more of a "great" design per se so I'm not sure that's the best way to make use of your design skills.

Just my opinion, maybe others can chip in, but I'd love to see you start working on your graphic novels :D
 

NicholasCato

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Oct 31, 2018
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Thanks for sharing your story, very cool!

Sounds like you've decided to scale up your POD store but your longer-term goal is to make income from your "4th" graphic novel?

Are you going to start your first immediately? That would be great, it doesn't even have to make much money, but it would make your second come much easier.

As for POD, from my experience this sort of business is more about your ability to reach the niche demographic efficiently and to have a design that speaks to them, more of a "great" design per se so I'm not sure that's the best way to make use of your design skills.

Just my opinion, maybe others can chip in, but I'd love to see you start working on your graphic novels :D

Thank you for taking the time out to read my story!

Yes I’m currently working on my first graphic novel now and I know it probably won’t sell well because I don’t have a fan base at all.
So the goal with my first book is to release most of it completely free online over the period of a year through comic sites and other platforms just to build a fan base, get feedback, start an email list, etc. then run a small crowd funding campaign just to have first hand experience with the process.
Lots of artists have noticed that once they release the second book in a series, sales for the first book skyrocket obviously because people want the full collection. This is the goal.

As with POD I agree with you it’s best to find a niche and I’ve sort of found one but I’m also casting a wide net with some designs to see if I can hit another one at the moment.
I guess you could say I’m playing the keyword strategy to hit a general audience while also designing the type of shirts I would wear.

Thanks so much for your advice and nice meeting you! I’m going to keep this thread updated with progress so feel free to jump in at any time!
 

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