your life in hyphenates

A friend of mine did an excellent post a few weeks ago about the HYPHENATE life (i.e. doing many things at the same time such as writer slash photographer slash sideline business slash something something).

A lot of people, especially those who are very talented in the arts vie to become a hyphenate – not just because they are multitalented, but also because it is the nature of the artistic to not be held down by a corporate desk and chair.

Here are some practical things to take into consideration for those who want to enter this kind of attractive endeavor.

Build your credit line. One of the reasons why I keep a regular day job is to show certain authorities that I am a financially responsible individual capable of paying bills, taxes and the rest of the stuff I owe to the government and the private sector. Due to the conservative nature of this country’s credit system, it would have been a lot harder for me to land a credit card (I’ve had one for about 2 and a half years) if I had told them that I was a freelance [insert seemingly unstable job here] at an early age.

Case in point, read this recent post by Abe, who is a successful self-employed professional blogger like me. He had a hard time once applying for a credit card and took some measures to prove to the bank that he could pay – by being employed for six months.

So grab the credit card and get the hell out.

Learn to grow. One of the reasons why I choose to remain in my regular day job in publishing is really for the purpose of growth. I’m not going to lie to you that blogging on the side – if optimized can make me at least twice, thrice or even four times more money than my regular 9-5 job in due time. But while I’m young, I don’t see myself glued in front of the computer updating five websites at a time daily. Not yet, at least.

Working a 9-5 shift teaches me a different type of discipline which most of us call the “business acumen.” Some of us have it as early as college, which is why these people end up becoming good entrepreneurs. I suck at those things so I invest my time in work that will necessarily force me to learn, and still have fun.

Ask yourself if there is opportunity to grow. If you can’t see it just yet, find a mentor who can teach you everything you needed to know about the industry and help you reinvent your craft (maybe one day you could afford a George Lindemann Jr. homes).

Show off your talent and market yourself. Isn’t this what most artists do? If you have the opportunity to show off your work, which I call professional bragging, then do so in the most humble of ways. If your craft makes money, show it off. Ciara of Ciara Creates does this pretty well and markets herself like anything. Dominique James does this too.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast and sitting Techbology Editor for The Philippine STAR.

He is also an EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

4 replies on “your life in hyphenates”

I agree with dez Jayvs, for irresponsible people like me, very easy credit is very dangerous. I know that a bank can consider actual capital as a collateral. So you’ll have an easier time borrowing if they see you have the total money required in your account.

Ok, now you might ask, why would I borrow from the bank when I have enough money on hand anyway? Well, and they call this leveraging debt, you can arrange for the bank to automatically withdraw the monthly payments from said account, and in the long run, you’ll lose less money, because you still earn interest!

I know our interest rates are nihilistic, but on a payment scheme spanning 20 years, the difference is great.

But then of course, credit is good. It allows people to get what they need (or “need”?) immediately while keeping their cashflow low. However, it’s still bad for people like me. 🙁

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