"What do you do?"

Ah, the age-old question. Part of me has always wished my answer was something easy and recognizable, but instead, I always find myself struggling to choose one of several part-time jobs.

Do I say that I am a fitness instructor and have been for the past eight years? Do I mention that my main income comes from being a Digital Marketing Manager for a litigation cost management company (and prepare to answer long follow-up questions to this niche industry)? What about my gig as a writer, the one job that I've vied for since childhood? Or, do I land on fact that although I pay the bills with the above, my passion and dreams actually lie in the gym I have yet to open?

I usually am inclined to say the latter, that I am an entrepreneur at heart, but then the furrowed eyebrows usually fall into place, followed by leading questions on what I really do all day to survive in this capitalistic economy.

You know the feeling. You're motivated by a dream and living off a hypothesis. So, what's the deal with this self-made entrepreneur thing and how can you afford to make it happen? I do these three things to make it work, and with some persistence and the attitude that it's okay to live non-traditionally, you can, too.

1. Be okay with having several job titles

Wouldn't it be easier if we could just say we had one simple profession? Sure, it'd be easier to explain in conversation, but it'd be much tougher to remain an interesting person.

As an entrepreneur, you will already inherently assume multiple job titles before you can afford to hire a team. That's why you're best fit for any real world job in the meantime. If you need to be a barista or waiter, take it as a good time to practice customer service and habits. If rent money lies in being an Uber or Lyft driver, use that time to survey your riders about your product. It's okay to have in-between jobs so long as you know how you can make it work for that end goal.

2. Get creative with budgeting and saving

Maybe you have to move back in with you parents. Maybe you have to stop eating out. Maybe you have to wear the same clothes for a few months. It's okay. This is only temporary. Don't be afraid to make those changes and allow it to motivate you even more.

3. Be lean with your time and money

This is one of the most crucial parts of your self-made status. Take lunches and dinners only where it nourishes you -- a solid laugh session with friends is equally as important as networking events, but don't waste your time when it doesn't feed your soul. Get comfortable with saying 'no' to dinners, people, or purchases that do not fuel the end goal. In this critical time of reaching your dreams, some things have to take a cut but know that the important things you surround yourself with will be here to stay.

Published on: Jul 26, 2017