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My wife read my post about trying to monetize your passion and immediately thought of my sister, Meredith. A few years ago, my sister quit her lucrative job working in the corporate world to become a full-time artist. She’s the perfect example of someone who monetized her passion.
So readers, today I bring you my talented sister, Meredith Hannon. She’ll never share this information, so I’ll share it for her. Let me begin by saying that my sister is way smarter than I am. She grew up going to the gifted and talented school and had a great worth ethic. I’m pretty sure she crushed her SATs, but I have a feeling I never found out the score because she didn’t want me to feel bad about myself.
In my opinion, her credentials don’t fit the typical artist stereotype. She was the president of her high school and also the homecoming queen. She was popular, smart, and pretty. Plus, she’s an extrovert, and everybody likes her.
In college, she decided to major in Biotechnology and then went on to get her Masters at Georgetown in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. After school, she started working and decided that she liked marketing and worked for a huge firm before she decided that what she actually wanted to do was pursue painting.
The Birth of a Passion
One summer while she was home from college, she asked my parents if she could paint her bedroom. I’m not sure what my parents expected, but when it was complete, they were amazed. She had painted a mural that covered all four walls. My mom showed it off to the neighbors like a proud mom would. Quickly after that, my parents’ neighbors hired her to paint different types of murals in their homes.
Over time, she began to branch out from murals. After she graduated from her Masters program, she started to enjoy painting with oils on canvas. She began to take on commissions by the day until she was basically working two full-time jobs. She would work her corporate job during the day and then paint until she passed out at night.
It then got to a point where she was in such demand that she was barely seeing her husband, and she thought, this has got to stop. She needed a better work-life balance. As much as she enjoyed working at her company, she had always had a strong desire to be an entrepreneur.
She read through Tim Ferriss’s The Four Hour Workweek to learn as much as she could before she took the plunge. She was convinced that she needed a business plan and most importantly, to identify three different income streams in order to diversify herself.
Creating a Plan
Meredith determined that she would be able to earn a living and pay the bills if she could do three things: commission work, get her paintings in galleries, and sell at various art shows.
She and her husband talked it over. After they had prayed through the plan, they decided that it was time she pursued painting full-time. She was afraid that if she didn’t take the leap before she had kids, that she may never have enough time to hustle and build the relationships that she needed in order to become a successful artist.
Meredith was fearful at first taking the leap, as she was afraid that painting as a business may take some of the fun out of it. But she was more afraid to not give it a shot and regret it.
So with the safety net of her husband’s job, Meredith took the plunge into painting full-time. This was right as the recession was ending, which was perfect timing. If she had started before that, she feels like she may have become frustrated at the lack of sales due the tight budgets most had. On the other hand, if she had waited much longer, she was afraid that she would have fallen into the routine of motherhood and not be able to dive into the field.
At first, she was putting in 50-hour work weeks, doing everything possible to produce quality pieces as well as tons of admin work beating down doors and forming the relationships that she needed to become successful.
Her Current Status
Now that she is a mother to two small children, she has cut back on some of the hours. I asked her if she has any regrets about jumping out of the corporate world. She said she didn’t. She believes it was the perfect springboard into the lifestyle that they now enjoy.
So, I asked her what was next. Does she have any new goals? Is she complacent where she is? She said she’s content where she is right now, but she re-evaluates her goals regularly. She does hopes to license out her work one day, but at this point, she is taking it one step at a time.
If You Are Interesting In Seeing Her Work…
Click here, and prepare to be amazed!
Readers, would you work two full-time jobs to get the business that you are passionate about underway? What do you think about the fear of monetizing a passion and potentially hating it? Share your thoughts below.