My unfolding story

In 2004 when I graduated from college a few years later than the average person who graduated from high school with me, frustration began to replace my young enthusiasm.  I was a broke artist wanting to “make money in dance”, and completely blinded on how to escape my predicament. Being raised as a preachers kid, I was never short of encouragement from enthusiastic parents.  Reaching for the sky was part of my identity.

At 25 years old I wondered if this was it. Could being an above average dancer with a mediocre career be it? I hated the feeling of reaching far enough to just succeed to a level with my dance talent that kept me comfortable but burned out.

I hated the nagging feeling of having to go work at a high stress full service italian restaurant with a workforce that didn’t add any relief to that equation. I wanted to make money dancing- touring the world doing what I loved.

 

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The truth was beginning to exhaust me- emotionally, physically, and creatively, and I was almost on empty. At that time my perspective on making money in dance was limited-most my peers were equally as uninformed, and frustrated. All I knew was what I knew. Dancers like myself supported their art the best way they could- working small jobs on the side living day to day barely surviving from their talent. This was the main reason I decided to go to college and study marketing-even though my parents told me I needed something to “fall back on”, and I partially agreed with them.  Deep inside I wanted to beat the stigma of being the broke struggling dancer.

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To my surprise even after the education, I was still blinded in thinking success would “some day” just randomly come to me if I was at the right place at the right time- prepared with the right college degree, or because of my talent as a dancer. With this new degree, I should make more money in dance right?

Unfortunately, I ended up promoting myself to a better “looking” job with equal amounts of stress and less time to dance. Plus the amount of money I generated couldn’t merit me quitting the restaurant-that is if I wanted to avoid returning back to my parents home-or persevering on the streets. Gaining emotional relief with my dance time was no longer happening. Making money in dance with a vibrant career that allowed me to tour and see the world seemed to drift further away.

After one unbelievably stressful evening shift at that restaurant, I walked to the car, threw my apron in the back seat and sat in the parking lot- seat stretched back, and silently cried. My mind screamed with emotions of anger, blame, feelings of entitlement embellished with a gnawing restlessness. I mouthed quietly a prayer sitting in my car, and cried. A few months later still angry and cynical-my answer arrived in an unexpected package.

The unexpected

Weeks after my 25th birthday to my surprise a dance friend of mine called me up and introduced me to one of his friends from California who introduced me to a “business opportunity.” I was very skeptical about those ways to make money, since as far as I could remember people were trying to get me into one of  “those” businesses after I would wait on them at the restaurant. They all said I had this “great” extrovert personality, and really to be frank it was my waiting tables face. “I’m a dancer” is what I would tell them.

 

I wanted a job making good money in dance- though I was working at a dance studio, it just wasn’t enough. Honestly if I danced every day the money would be good but fatigue, monotony, and the repetition would have eclipsed everything. It wasn’t the money,  or lack of driving me-it was an unarticulated yearning to live free to move, breath, and be, without stress.

What made it worst is that most who prospected me never really felt genuine for some reason, and it seemed they cared only about me signing up for some program they were half involved in and less about me or my art.  Plus I had a degree!  I couldn’t be one of “those” people right?! I always had trouble seeing how their non dance oriented career path could help me make good money while dancing. It always felt like I needed to be something that I wasn’t, and drop who I was as a dancer and put on this plastic choreographed business persona. At least this is what I told myself.

After sitting in that living room, cautiously joking and smirking, I started to sober up after seeing my friends- who I considered to be more knowledgeable about business, get involved without hesitation. I remember just going along with everyone else so I wouldn’t look stupid- this was the obvious choice to protect my pride. After a few weeks to my surprise it seemed that my education at college taught me more about “marketing” to make money for someone elses company than for making money for myself as a dancer and entrepreneur.

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After being re educated in marketing by teachers-many of them artist like me who actually owned a business for themselves,  I quickly determined that I knew very little about how to make money, and even less about entrepreneurship. I almost let my own ignorance keep me from launching a career path that fit me perfectly, even though I was a full time dancer.  I needed a real “check up from the neck up!” I began to embrace my personal development and drastically shifted my old circle of friends.   (That was probably the most complicated thing.)

 

Within a year I stopped blaming, and complaining about not knowing how to make money as a dancer- that was no longer the roadblock- the biggest issue blocking my pathway wasn’t something, but someone. That person was me. That reality check ignited a fire to personally develop myself- taking full ownership of my choices- freeing me from the seductive comfort of blame. Mentally I broke out of the matrix.  (Thank you Demond Briggs for being my “Morpheus”!)

 

The Journey

Fast forward almost a decade later and my entrepreneurial life has shifted to overdrive!  I’ve launched multiple successful businesses as an artist and managed to still maintain a vibrant dance career. The real beauty is that all aspects of my passions as a dancer and entrepreneur have merged together.  I’m still able to thrive as an artist while simultaneously growing my businesses. I tour the world training dancers every other weekend- sharing universal success principles far exceeding the limits of dance-those who are really hungry get it.

 

To my surprise returning home to a normal life unknown to most in my local community is a luxury- a benefit I’ve grown to appreciate the older I get. I got the best of both worlds- being able to build businesses that work to support my passion, and travel the world living my passion as an artist.  I didn’t have to sell out!!!

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No longer do I have to wake up and fight morning traffic, rush to pay my rent after scrapping together the tips from my Saturday night shift at the restaurant. I work from home- comfortably enjoying my time creating, working, and living. The best thing is that I can now drive by that old Italian restaurant  and not feel the anxiety anymore!  Becoming a successful entrepreneur while being an artist has liberated me to enjoy my artistic life to the fullest!

 

Looking ahead

It’s exciting to live in a time where you can almost instantly communicate with anyone on the planet with tools such as social media and the internet. What’s more amazing is that it’s so much easier for dancers like myself to make more money without loosing their unique identity to do so.

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Achieving success as an artist and entrepreneur has never been easier for those hungry to put to work the tools that are available.

There are singers, musicians, dancers, visual artist, athletes, and entertainers who all share the same common desire to be successful making money doing what they love to do.  At our core we may be frustrated but are equally passionate and motivated.

 

The sad thing is, like me in my early 20’s, many have passion but little experience and practical knowledge to process those dreams systemically in the real world. My mentor told me that most people die at 27 and aren’t buried until they are 72. Something inside dies, and our culture just allows us to live dead going through the “PC” motions, with glimpses of our real aspirations flickering during our latter years. That was my situation at the time, and I didn’t want to just continue letting video games and repeat movie viewings be the apex of my young adult life.

This was one of my main motivations to make money as a dancer- someone had to provide an example, and why shouldn’t it be me? Know this, it can be done. I decided in a time of crisis, remaining committed even when I didn’t understand all I thought I needed to and I’m still in the process- just enjoying it much more now.

 

Lessons Learned

I’ve learned many lessons that I will never forget:  how to choose the right programs to meet my goals, how to build a successful business while not compromising my artistic life, and how to help other artist make more money doing what they love to do.

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I started this website to inspire passionate people by my story, and to encourage you to think bigger! You may be a frustrated musician,  painter,  singer, or even a dancer like me confused on how to make money with your passion.  Know this, by making a decision to grow and learn new skills, applying those skills over time all while remaining coachable, you too can experience the same freedom.

10268330_10154114467470441_2112724661_nYou may be frustrated as an artist and want more than just a get out of jail free car. There is no shortcut my friend.  You must decide to do something different about your situation-maintaining that consistency long after the excitement has faded.

I have experiences, insights, and a template for you to model that can help get you where you want to be as an artist financially. This doesn’t necessarily mean it will go as well for you as it has for me, since we have different levels of commitment and urgency. It is, however a reminder of the endless possibilities available to those courageous enough to confront the impostor in the mirror. That person more afraid of becoming your true self than quitting, yet bold enough to reject the deceiving comfort of just fitting in.

 

Pretending to be alive won’t be enough, neither will playing dead. My story is proof that any artist- committed enough, and open to change, can learn how to do what you love and not limp along the way.

 

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A mentor of mine that recently passed away said that “your life is only as big as the people you let in your heart.” My heart is full of gratitude to have been given repeated opportunities to embrace my success curve- many clues have crossed my path, but I wasn’t ready. I’m glad I eventually figured out what I truly wanted through the process, and that, is freedom.

 

I’m committed to empower more artists this year more than the last-by providing more tools, time, relationship, and knowledge that I’ve gained on my journey to break the broke artist stigma.  As an artist you need to know right now that it is possible for you to make money doing what you love. And it takes TIME and a serious commitment, much like goofing off and procrastinating online.  But you can learn to use that same time to work for you instead of against you.

If you have a strong desire to succeed, a willingness to work, and have a coachable heart anything is possible for you.

 

There is a great team of influence that I work with all over the world. There’s a very precise way how we do it, in ways you are already familiar with, and I would love to help get you on the right path.  

I can show you how to get the success you want, and then it’s up to you to decide if you want to follow along. If you keep taking steps in the right direction I’ll be right there for you with my time.

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You’ll want to define some specific goals, in addition to utilizing affiliate programs that will help you get business and keep business all while you focus on your passion. You’ve got to do something. Or you will, like the majority, fall victim to the fear of failure, and never lift a finger. Don’t be afraid!  Be courageous! There is no perfect time than now, and I am here and open to help you launch your entrepreneurial journey! I hope my story rekindles some dormant passion in you waiting for the right spark. If you stay connected with me long enough it will. But you have to light the match.

Live alive!

I would love to work with you. Let’s work together! 

Jamin Jackson

Artist and Entrepreneur

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