Almost every actor dreams of the day they can quit their day job and live on the bounty of their acting profession. But how do you know WHEN you can quit that unfulfilling day job so you can focus entirely on YOUR dream?
Perhaps your deciding factor is, “Well… when I become a series regular.” If that’s the case then what your statement really translates into is, “When I can financially support myself fully from my personal business.”
For some, your personal business might not even be entirely funded through acting. Actors are creative people, and most likely skilled in many different areas. You may have another freelance business you’re dabbling in (maybe you’re a Personal trainer, Jewellery Designer, Graphic Designer, etc). Bottom line is you’re an entrepreneur, and an exit strategy from your day job requires a clear plan.
Step 1: Shift your wish, to a specific measured goal.
What is your clear end goal? Telling yourself, “I’ll just know when I get there” isn’t specific enough. You’re statistically more likely to succeed when you have a specific clear goal. That goal could be:
- Quitting my restaurant job and moving to LA for 6 months.
- Supporting myself entirely by acting.
- Supporting myself entirely by my freelance job.
Become crystal clear with what your goal is – think of your goal as a lighthouse in the distance you’ll always have your sights on.
Step 2: Calculate the financial amount you’ll need make that goal a reality.
Acting is a tough business to plan for because you may never know where you next gig is coming from. Things to consider include:
Will you have a reoccurring role producing income, or do you plan to live on savings? Do you require $2000 a month in income, or $24,000 in savings to live a year without a ‘joe’ job?
If you’re planning to live in LA for 6 months, how much will you need saved before you leave? What are the exact costs you need to save for?
Want to turn that hobby into a fully supported freelance job? How many paying clients/gigs/contracts will you need monthly?
Determining the operational numbers will result in a clear financial amount to support your dream goal. Think of it as a race, and your number represents the exact finish line.
Step 3: Design a monthly budget building toward your financial goal.
Now that you’ve determined your financial goal, become crystal clear with your current finances. Don’t worry if the numbers scare you – by putting everything down on paper, you’ll find power through clarity. Calculate your:
Monthly Expenses: rent, groceries, bills, entertainment etc. Even factor in an amount for unexpected purchases.
Debt: How much to you currently owe? Those credit cards, student loans, and mortgages aren’t going away.
Assets: Do you have any collateral in case of emergency? Do you have savings? A car? RSP’s?
Income: How much do you currently earn to cover all your expenses? How much do you have left over for savings?
Create a monthly spending budget, and stick to it! You will have a clear amount you’re working toward, taking you closer and closer to your financial goal.
It might take you 6, 12, 24, or even 48 months to reach your goal, but it is a clear exit strategy. When you finally reach that financial goal, you’ll have a supported system with which to live your dream.