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income and risk: where do you land?


This week’s question is about income and how much risk we feel able to take in growing or expanding our businesses. Our big ponder was if people who had another breadwinner in the house had a greater tendency to take some financial risks to grow their own biz, or not. So without further ado:

  • If you’re the primary income source do you find that you play it safe more often than you’d like in order to keep the money coming in or are you able to keep taking calculated risks for growth?
  • If you’re partner/spouse is covering the bulk of the monthly budget do you think you’re more willing to take risks with growing your business, and choosing the projects you take on than you would be if you were primary income person?
  • And if it’s even-steven in terms of income with you and you’re partner/spouse do you play it safe or are you able to take calculated risks for your businesses growth?

Leah-Noble-bioMy partner is covering the bulk of the monthly budget, and I also work a full-time job while I build my freelance practice on the side, so I’m really able to choose the projects I want to take on, and take risks to grow my business. But, it’s a daily internal struggle for me, of which projects to say yes or no to. I always worry a little that I *should* take on more than I do, that I’m doing it wrong, that if I turn a client away I’ll regret it. But so far, I haven’t.

Leah Noble is a Nova Scotian graphic designer and writer who is inspired by nature and by other women in business. leahnoble.com

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Lauren-Hooper-bioI am currently in the wake of  launching one new business, Get Messy Art Journal, and am in the throws of launching another new venture, Lauren Likes Designs. My husband and I both work full time jobs, so the financial risk for us looks much different than many self-employed entrepreneurs. Though we are ‘financially secure’ with or without my businesses, we don’t have a large amount of disposable income to invest in new endeavors; therefore we calculate our investments very carefully.

When deciding on the level of investment for these two new projects, we took a look at what was absolutely necessary and what were the ‘good idea’ optional parts. Our general routine is to decide on a price range we are comfortable with, invest the necessary parts first and then evaluate, if there is any left over, if it’s worth the risk to go with the additional ‘could be great’ parts. I tend to launch as bare bones, but as great quality as possible and then allow the income/response to fund and drive the additional expansions and direction. This way the financial risk is manageable, the business is live, a growth plan is already in place and the work or product is truly the shining star and driving force of the project.

Lauren Hooper is a storyteller, crafter and adventurer living in Seoul, South Korea.

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Ana-Maria-bioHaving a partner who brings in the bulk of the income allows more freedom of movement so to speak, you tend to compromise much less when there is no financial pressure involved. If you don’t have to gain money straight away, you have the psychological comfort to nurture an organic growth for your creative endeavors. Besides you are off the spotlight, there are no expectations from others. I think you can venture 100% into unknown ground, explore and thus find the best that suits your blog or business. It may be an extravagance for some, and understandably not everybody can afford it, but I believe that on the long run this approach ends up being more lucrative.

Ana-Maria Calin is your passionate expert to fragrance and smell.

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Susan-Mulder-bioI always joke that I have a ‘sugar daddy’ which is more reality than a joke. My spouse is generous (to a point) and tolerant of my creative pursuits and foots the bill for the majority of art related expenses.  I contribute when I can—which as a visual artist can be seldom at best—and am mindful of how I manage these expenses.  We are not well to do by any stretch of the imagination and this does have a major impact on what I choose to do career wise.  I have to make choices daily and our home budget wins every time. It can be frustrating and limiting but unless I am willing to compromise my artistic voice (um, no) then I have to continue to look for income sources to contribute to the bottom line and be responsible with the choices I make (which means I say no to a lot of things!).

Susan Mulder is an artist, writer and occasional educator who loves her granddaughter and a very strange white cat.

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Do you have a story to share about how your household income affects your ability to take risks with your business? Please share your stories here in the comments or on the Mabel Facebook page.

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AND please submit questions that you’d like to see the Mabel Community answer  in this Making a Living • Creating a Life column to:   info@mabelmag.com, subject line: Mabel Community Question

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