Take Stock of your Talents to Expand Your Income!

"Print your own cash." That's the advice I heard when I attended a discussion on artist survival by veteran poet Diane di Prima at the San Francisco Public Library. I was cynical about the bit of advice... until I fully grasped it.

As a budding artist, whenever Diane was low on funds, she would just write an original book of poetry to be published and sold exclusively by a small press where she had close friends. Because Diane and the distributors had grown their audience, and because these chapbooks were created in limited quantities, the copies would sell like hotcakes. And she would have sufficient money to pay for all her living expenses for a month or so.

The little skeptic in me thought, Certainly we can't all do that. The circumstance was too particular for the bit of advice to be deemed beneficial. Get real, who can deliver top-notch work under that stress? And whos got such contacts, for that matter, that can organize purchasers in a cinch?

And that's the second that I scoffed at myself. Even I had to recollect my own words of wisdom: Don't take guideposts so literally. Naturally, di Prima's method for raising funds was exclusive to her scenario. But we shouldn't fail to recognize the more significant points in those details. The real - and universal - lesson is that we all ought to:

Take stock of our resources.
Material goods, tools, skills and connections.

Practice business creativity.
Think outside the box.

And always deliver value.
Clearly those books sold because the author| was linked to high caliber creations.

In this respect, I have been printing my own money for a long time! And you can too. In the interests of transparency and concrete examples, here is a broad range of legitimate moneymakers that have worked for me over the years!

As a performer, I have worked theatrically and commercially. As an educator, I have worked (individually and with institutions like nonprofits, schools, and universities) to give lectures, writing workshops, performance workshops, online marketing workshops, as well as one-on-one coaching. I have taken on project-specific assignments in event management, marketing consulting, and arts curation. I have printed out t-shirts - just for kicks, but they made revenue. And I have even, like Diane di Prima, distributed collections of poetry; my first self-published chapbook made around $250 profit.

I refer to these details to demonstrate a very fundamental - and applicable - point. That you can surely diversify, and therefore increase, your income if you would:

 1.    Recognize all your talents,
 2.    Get gutsy, and
 3.    Contribute to positively impacting people's lives.

How are you going to boost your capabilities and positive impact? As you can see, printing your own money isn't necessarily easy, but it definitely can be exciting. So, enjoy!