Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own and always will be! I’ll never suggest something I don’t use myself. Thanks for supporting the content that keeps this little business going.
I struggle with direction. I always have. On the small scale, I can’t settle on a Spotify station to save my life. On a larger scale, I can’t settle on career path to save my life. Before I went “solo” full time, I had what most people would consider a dream job. I was working in “my” field taking product photos, made a lot of money, had a great work environment with a kind boss, and a dog friendly office. Any sane person would have stayed there until retirement. Then there’s me.
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw
I think of this quote on days when I feel like a particular nut job. Sometimes it helps, most of the time I still feel like a nut job. I’m learning to just sit with that feeling.
Here are the things I do to patch together a career:
Wedding Photography – www.laceybarberphotography.net I’ve been doing this for ages! I started when I was still in college and I’ve shot well over a hundred weddings at this point. It’s still my main source of income.
My Etsy Store – Stickers, Posters, Digital Downloads. This has been shockingly successful for me. To check it out, take a look here!
Vintage – This is my same Etsy store but it seems like this should be a different category. I just use this to break up my day to day design work. I have been a life long thrifter and this is a fun hobby that brings in a little bit of extra cash.
Blogging – When you see affiliate links on this page, they help me make a living! This is something I plan to do a lot more of, because it’s pretty passive. I just write the post once then make sure it’s promoted on Pinterest using Tailwind.
Patreon – This is a monthly subscription of happy, colorful, uplifting stickers! I get a lot of teachers and others who want to share these stickers with students, friends, and family. If you want to learn more about my Patreon click, HERE.
I also run a small “word of mouth”-type print business in my little town. I take a few t-shirt jobs and banner orders every month. That, along with wedding photography, was the bulk of my income for the first few years as a solopreneur. I had a brick and mortar storefront, but since realized that the only way to keep the level of freedom I want is to keep things (mostly) online.
There you have it! If you’re wondering how to make it on your own, I think the best advice I can give is diversify your income. If one of the above sources falls through, I have the others to back them up. If we learned anything from 2020, it’s that shit can fall apart FAST and we need to prepare for the worst as best we can. Obviously, the mix of income sources I listed works for me but everyone will have a different mix! Whether it’s offering online classes, freelancing, or an online store..The possibilities for online income are truly endless.