She’s rubbed elbows with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Sam Smith and Iggy Azalea, to name a few. After graduating Berklee College of Music, Shawna Corso had the opportunity to travel the world, singing backup for a wide range of artists. Though she rocked the stage and loved it, she was ‘the girl behind the scenes.’ Music was a big part of her life, but not everything.
She had so much creative potential – from makeup to graphic design and beauty – and loved anything that put her creative eye to the test. For Shawna, it was never going to be about any one job. It was about diving in, carving out her own path, and getting experience in all the areas that interested her.
Shawna told Invoice2go that like many entrepreneurs today, she began with a side gig here and a side gig there. With each project, she expanded her experience with songwriting, acting, art, beauty, graphic design and fashion. This allowed Shawna to keep things exciting. “I love to keep variety in my life and my routine. It keeps me sharp,” she says.
Small projects led her to bigger and better gigs. It wasn’t long before big name artists started to come to her for creative direction.
These opportunities didn’t just fall into her lap, however. Shawna has the work ethic of a true hustling entrepreneur, and went after her passions. She eventually founded a global company called I Am Beyond – a business that transcends industries, and stands for the life that Shawna herself wants to lead. Through blood, sweat, and tears, her business has taken off, and now she gets to travel the world doing what she loves.
“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Jack London
So how did she do it? If you’re a side gigger dreaming of turning your talents and passions into a full-time business, here are a few lessons you can learn from Shawna’s journey.
1. Be passionate about what you do.
If you don’t love it, you’ll be a lot less likely to succeed. And if you don’t love it, why do it? It’s hard enough to start up a business of any kind. Make sure you have the desire to get out of bed and work hard each day to make it happen.
2. Learn how to juggle.
Not literally, unless that’s your thing. But as a solopreneur, you’re going to be in charge of each aspect of your business, from landing gigs, to marketing and managing finances. If you’re weak in one of those areas, outsource the work to someone who knows their stuff.
3. Manage time wisely.
Of course, there’s also time needed to work on the projects themselves. So scheduling is key. Make sure you provide enough time to complete each job while lining up new work along the way. Reevaluate how you’re spending your time. If you’re not doing it efficiently, find better solutions in the form of scheduling apps or outsourcing. And you may want to stay off those time suckers like Facebook during business hours…just sayin’.
“I believe time is money. Anything that keeps me using my time most efficiently is very valuable and enhances the balance in my life.” Shawna Corso
4. Stay True to Yourself.
If at any time you feel a project is pulling you away from your personal values and passions, it’s time to refocus your work. Stick to those projects you believe in. Your passion for it will be contagious and will keep clients knocking at your door.