Quitting Your Day Job: Some Traps Inspired by Life

I recently took some time off work to attend the Oregon Country Fair, a craft, music, and arts festival in Venetta, Oregon with roots in the 60s counterculture (and to Ken Kesey’s family). All goods sold at the fair are made by hand and do not incorporate imported materials. It’s a good place to pick up a one-of-a-kind, hand-made leather jacket or just marvel at the many labor of love trades and skills on display (yay for blacksmiths and mimes!)

Perusing booths and watching circus artists and vaudeville performers got me thinking about the possibility of quitting one’s day job. With the Internet’s ability to network people with niche interests together (and present ways to capitalize on that), there exists perhaps more opportunities for turning one’s passion into a viable living than there did a decade ago.

So back at my day job I created the following traps dedicated to the pursuit of quitting one’s day job (or at the very least making sure your day job is a labor of love or perhaps supplemented by one). Enjoy.

The Etsy Trap:

Many of the crafters I saw at fair have brick and mortar stores in Oregon, but many of them also sell goods (and make the bulk of their living) on Etsy.com, an e-commerce site dedicated to hand made and vintage goods (think ebay for crafters).

The Etsy Trap features tips and tricks for starting and running an Etsy store; educate yourself on copyright and crafting or watch a video tutorial on photographing your goods.

The Etsy Trap also includes some stories of folks who’ve managed to quit their day jobs to pursue something they love. One of my favorites being the story of a science teacher turned artist/welder.

The Kickstarter Trap:

Kickstarter is a website that harnesses the power of crowdsourcing to fund projects of as wide a variety as there is human imagination. From digital preservation projects to art projects to bottle opening iphone cases. If you can convince enough people that your project is worth a buck or two, your dreams can get funded.

And as a side note, critics who bemoan the lack of scalability for sites like Etsy and Kickstarter (I think) totally miss the point. Certainly there are a limited number of folks with crowdsourcable dreams or who are willing to hand craft wine bottle carriers for bikes, but the Etsy and Kickstarter movement isn’t so much about ever expanding profits, it’s about getting to do what you love for a living.

Speaking of what you love, if I were to quit my day job it would be to run away and join the circus (or maybe just teach an Aerial Arts class). For those of you who dream of being clowns, trapeze artists, or contortionists I present the Circus Trap.-Laura

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