Living Entrepreneurially by Rethinking the Way We Monetize Our Talents
In 2004, Google directed employees to devote 20% of their time to projects and innovations that would most benefit the company. Branding expert and entrepreneur Dorie Clark believes people should live entrepreneurially by applying this principle in their off-work hours. Dorie Clark is the author of Entrepreneurial You: Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams, and Thrive.
By making time for side bets, new ventures that diverge from your day job.
You don’t need to know where these ventures will take you or how profitable they’ll be. For instance, Clark’s side bets include a foray into the music industry, where she garnered a producer credit on a jazz album that won two Grammy awards. This feat was the result of strategic networking. She connected people who could benefit from each other’s musical expertise, and in gratitude, one of them invited her to help produce the Grammy-winning album.
Afterwards, she found a spot in a two-year musical theatre program, where she’ll learn to compose for that genre. Likewise, your side bets should follow your spark of interest in a project or area. Don’t rely on these wagers for income. View them as part of a holistic entrepreneurial lifestyle in which you do interesting things for no pay, but profit well from your paid activities.
“One of the most important aspects, for me, of living entrepreneurially is understanding when you tip over that first domino, you can’t predict the consequences. All you can do is say to yourself, ‘Does this look interesting?’”quote from Dorie Clark
The dilemma of today’s economy is that many talented individuals aren’t earning what they’re worth. People no longer earn best simply by being a professional – for example, a journalist who writes articles for income.
Instead, journalists like Clark write articles for free but receive big financial payoffs through projects and positions they get as a result of that unpaid work.
Similarly, use four guidelines to monetize around what you do:
- Understand your core
Your entrepreneurial activities must involve cohesive skills and audiences. Clark, a business journalist, earns income from consulting, teaching at a business school, executive coaching, lecturing, publishing books, developing online courses and running live workshops. Audiences from each of these platforms can easily cross over; for example, Clark’s lectures can garner new coaching clients.
- Layer on new income streams
Don’t attempt to do too much at once. Add new projects gradually. Clark adds one or two income streams yearly.
- Create as you learn
As you’re researching income streams, apply that knowledge in new ventures. With only 24 hours in a day, you must be efficient.
- Build on what works
Discern where you’re most successful, and let that information shape future income streams.