Leap First via Michael Kavanaugh / by Jen Bachelder

You guys. Remember my post about why I strive to work in art full time? A big push to write that post came from a new contact, Michael Kavanaugh. We were e-introduced by a mutual friend because Michael was looking for full time creatives to interview, specifically searching for some kind of common denominator that makes folks take big risks to do what they love. I'm not a coffee drinker, but the conversation sounded worthwhile so I agreed to a Saturday morning at Starbucks.

What followed was a deep-dive into my career path, from my first art class in high school to current day. We laughed. We cried (from laughing so hard). We left no stone unturned.

After completing his first round of interviews with creatives on a variety of paths, I'm not sure if Michael is any closer to finding his common denominator, but I am flattered and proud to be his first featured post. (I'm also a little embarrassed at some of the things I apparently don't hesitate to say within the first two hours of meeting someone.)

Here's a small segment of the piece. For some context, he's talking about the moment I realized I needed to pivot out of my position as an event producer and back into the art community.

... Jen did something a logical and pragmatic person would do, and she put together what I will refer to as a Super-Practical-Six-Month-Plan to save up money and make the leap into doing her passion full-time—her graphic design and studio artwork.

If you ever find yourself in a similar situation—working a day job you don’t like while pining for a full-time career doing something you love—I encourage you to reach out to Jen for advice on the nuts and bolts of assembling your own Super-Practical-Six-Month-Plan. I am also proposing that she share the secrets of her plan-writing approach in her own blog post, so please send her lots of emails and trash-mail to encourage her to write it. Eventually I will link to it here. (Not a real link yet. Get on the emails and trash-mail, people. )

In the meantime, I’ve distilled the essence of her overarching approach into a few key steps, which are as follows:

  1. Get out a pen and paper
  2. Write down a super practical plan for how to save up enough money in six months to leap from your current job into the freelance or creative profession of your dreams.
  3. Spend one extra second taking notice of this piece of paper before dumping it into the trash.

Three weeks after Jen hatched her master plan, she and her boss had a “disagreement.” Given her definitively warm, witty, infectious personality as certified by me, I can only guess who may have been the instigator.

But when the time is right, the time is right. Even when the time isn’t really right according to the plan you put together and sent to the landfill.

No, I haven't written his proposed post. Yes, he does spend most of the piece talking about trash, which seems appropriate.

As someone who regularly battles hesitation to send her work out into the world, I'm so happy to be part of this project and have the opportunity to encourage someone else to share. Cheers to leaping.


Title Image: Luke Chesser via Unsplash