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Dressing for success

You may have heard the saying, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have” (anyone know where that originated?) – that is, if want a promotion or advancement within your current job, groom yourself to look like a person who’s already there and, theoretically, you’ll be one step closer to convincing others (and yourself, for that matter) that you’re suitable for the desired position.

While I’m not looking for a promotion within my current paying job, I do have dreams of supplementing my income through writing, blogging, and/or some combination of the two… yet to date I haven’t seen so much as a penny resulting from these nebulous dreams. As a matter of fact, I have actually spent hundreds of dollars (literally) on what to this point has proven to be, for the most part, nothing more than a hobby.

A fun, rewarding, social, expensive hobby.

But if writing the way I’m doing it now is a “job” I have, and earning any sort of an income from my writing is a job I want, then it’s time for me to take steps to groom myself for that position.

Time to start dressing for success.

So, in the spirit of this advice (because one of the joys of working from home is that you don’t actually need to physically dress for success!), I marked the first day of my new four-day work week by heading to our local small business centre where I was able to gather reams of information and practical advice on starting a business.

Why on earth would I do that, you ask?

Because when that oh-so-joyous day arrives (and it will) whereby I do make that first penny from my writing, I want to be ready.

  • Ready with a business name, bank and PayPal accounts, and knowledge of tax implications and responsibilities.
  • Ready with a business plan and a set of goals to help me bring in that next penny, and the next, and the next.
  • Ready with a solid foundation that allows me to focus on doing what I love – writing.

Goal-setting, Step One – check.

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • sandra tyler April 2, 2012

    Just curious. How have you spent hundreds on blogging and what kind of paid writing are you looking to do? I’m a writer, and the only time I really got paid to write was when I sold my first first two novels. Otherwise, I’ve made income off of teaching writing, editingm and judging writing contests. Otherwise, like you these days, my writing is a hobby. Though I have hope that all my posts ,ay turn into something more cohesive. It’s not easy.
    sandra tyler recently posted… B for brontosaurusMy Profile

    • Laurel Regan
      April 2, 2012

      The majority of my blogging costs have been on self-hosting (two years pre-paid), domain name reservation (4 domain names x 1 or 2 years each), and my “Thesis” WordPress theme (I bought the developer option so I could use it on more than one of my blogs). Those costs, in addition to some reference books and other incidentals, have cost me just over $500. Thankfully I won’t have to buy the WordPress theme again (which was around $170), and the hosting/domain name renewal doesn’t come up for awhile!

      I’m not expecting to make any significant amount of money from my writing, honestly. I think I’m pretty realistic about that. I’d love to sell an article here and there, maybe find a place to write a regular (paid) column (if such a thing exists) – that sort of thing. It’s possible to make a reasonable income from blogging if you do it right, but I haven’t yet found a way to make that happen for myself.

      I may not be able to make back everything I’ve spent on blogging – and that’s ok, as I’m really enjoying what I’m doing – but it would be nice to see SOME payback for all of my efforts! We shall see, I suppose.
      Laurel Regan recently posted… Dressing for successMy Profile

  • Betty April 2, 2012

    Oh, Dawn, I believe you are on the right track. I really enjoy your writing, you are so expressive and each post is very well written!

    I’m also very interested in how you are working to realize your dream. I’ll be watching.

  • You’re really on your way, girl! I believe in setting yourself up for success. Don’t be unprepared for that moment, as it arrives on your doorstep, because it will, when you least expect it. You’re a smart cookie!

  • (and I can’t wait to read your paid work, too!)
    margaret christine perkins recently posted… in the garden: aprilMy Profile

  • Jenn April 3, 2012

    I once started with a blog on a hosted domain– and could never figure out how the heck to post daily to it. What a nightmare!! I paid about 8.95 a month for it plus 14.95 a year for the domain. Then I learned I could by my own domain for 10.00 a year and blogger would host it for free. More user friendly for sure!

    Cheers, Jenn
    Jenn recently posted… CausesMy Profile

    • Laurel Regan
      April 4, 2012

      That works too, Jenn! It all depends on how much control you want over your blog – I hate the thought that by maintaining a non-self-hosted blog, it could be shut down at the whim of the company that’s hosting it. Not sure how often that happens, but would rather be safe than sorry!
      Laurel Regan recently posted… In place of several rantsMy Profile

  • Corinne Rodrigues
    April 4, 2012

    My husband always tells me that if I want to be successful at blogging, I should be willing to invest in it. When I did that recently, I started seeing the results. I know you’re on your way to success, Dawn. Keep believing!
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted… How Are You Doing?My Profile

  • Masked Mom April 4, 2012

    Good attitude and a good place to start. I must say that when I saw the dress for the job you want, I couldn’t help thinking of the literal clothing I do (and have done) most of my writing in. Dumpy would be an understatement (overstatement?). 😉
    Masked Mom recently posted… Ways I Am Not A Grown-Up, The First In A Potentially Infinite SeriesMy Profile

    • Laurel Regan
      April 5, 2012

      Thank you! Yeah, one of the things I most love about working from home is that you can wear comfy clothes instead of always having to make yourself look presentable. I hear you on the dumpy. 🙂
      Laurel Regan recently posted… Comedy of errorsMy Profile


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