As I’m writing this, it’s the 25th of May and I have a white towel wrapped around my neck. Why, you might ask? Well, for starters, it’s towel day and sometimes I’m just geeky like that. On the other hand, my very dear roommate just wrote me a little sticky note that says, “don’t panic” (yes, he’s sometimes also geeky like that. ;-)). But how did I get here?
Initially I wanted to write a totally different blog article today. I wanted to give an uplifting speech about making a living and a life in the arts. I wanted to tell you about all the positive (and some negative) aspects of having a broad set of skills that qualify you for so many different things that can save you from needing to pull a double shift at your local diner every Saturday. Then, my computer broke down.
Finance is a tricky thing
Okay, I’m being totally honest here. I spent all my savings on acting classes and a car I desperately needed. I’m basically living from paycheck to paycheck right now and I honestly don’t want to anymore. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands: I brushed up my excel skills (kudos to my very talented sister), browsed the web for finance blogs created especially for millennials (check out Stefanie O’Connell to get started) and created a spreadsheet and a prognosis for the entire year of 2017. I felt like I was in charge. Yes, being self-employed often involves unpredictable fluctuations in cash-flow but I felt like I could handle it if that were the case. And then my computer broke down.
Yes, I was cursing the confinements of capitalism. (I might even have made a geeky joke about hitchhiking to a galaxy where capitalism doesn’t exist. :-P). Then I talked to my roommate about the fact that I needed a new computer and – quite frankly – how much that sucks because I’m currently saving up for emergencies. I just didn’t expect one to come along this quickly. And then he wrote me that little sticky note, stuck it to my now resurrected laptop and it all became clear.
A) Yes, I had made a plan but it apparently needed some adjustments and b) there is always a solution. (In my case, I looked into 0% payment plans and possibilities to cool my laptop from the outside so it doesn’t overheat.) All you need to find a solution is to stay calm and actually try to look for solutions instead of panicking about the problem.
Emergency Cheat Sheet
So, my advice to all young artists out there, whatever kind of problem you are facing:
- Don’t panic
- Make a plan
- Talk to someone if you need help
- Adjust the plan if the situation changes