Have you ever wondered if you could turn your creative passion into a successful career?
Many of us have hobbies and interests that we enjoy and excel at, and the idea of doing what we love for a living sounds like a dream come true… but how do you actually make that transition?
In the latest episode of the 52Q Podcast, hosts Steff and Micah spoke with Cam Armstrong who has successfully navigated the transition from casual creativity to generating income and creating a sustaining business from his passion.
Cam is the creative force behind CJ Visuals, a boutique video production company based in Brisbane. Cam’s journey as a filmmaker began organically, evolving from delivering leadership sessions to schools around Australia to shooting friends weddings to eventually starting CJ Visuals.
“The big thing I’ve taken away from years of trying to turn my creative passion into a career is, it does not happen overnight” Cam said.
“It is a gradual thing, and I think especially these days, we see a lot of things online, people pop up, they do amazing work, and we think, ‘wow, they probably didn’t know how to do that yesterday and now they’re amazing at it today’. That’s not the case.”
How to Get Started
In the early stages of Cameron’s journey, he adopted a proactive approach by reaching out to people in his network who had already established their own businesses. Recognising the importance of financial planning, Cameron sought early advice from an accountant, a step that many individuals tend to delay but one he believes was essential for gaining a clear understanding of what starting a business could look like.
Cam encourages those who might considering a transition from part time to full time creative pursuits to continue learning. Whether through reading books, watching YouTube videos, or listening to podcasts, absorbing knowledge from a variety of sources was helpfu.
However, the challenge lies in the absence of linear steps or a predetermined formula for success.
“I think that there’s a certain point where you have to go, you know what, even if this fails, even if this doesn’t work out, let’s give it a shot.
“What’s the worst that can happen? I go back to where I was before, and I’ve probably learned a cool lesson along the way.
Balancing Passion and Practicality
For many creatives, the business side of things can be daunting. Invoices, admin work, and financial aspects may not be the most exciting parts of pursuing your passion. However, it’s important to establish practical systems and processes that work for you. Talk to experts, seek advice, and gradually find what works best for your unique situation.
“I started out with my accounts all being on a spreadsheet and then have moved to software. Those things become more automated and those things become easier.
“But at the start… there is just an element of, giving it a go. Finding what doesn’t work for you and what does work for some people.
Cam encourages creatives that you have the freedom to craft a schedule and approach that align with your creative vision.
Defining Your Own Success
Contrary to the societal pressure to always aim for bigger and better, Cam encourages creatives to shun comparison and rather create a career that works for them.
Your aspiration could be to work full time on your passion or working three days a week. The most important thing is ensuring that you enjoy what you do and that it aligns with your life goals.
Listen to the full episode by checking out the 52Q podcast below.