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I'm at a crossroads and would love to hear from the 48 Days community. I know I want to be self-employed. I have known this for most of my life. My issue now is that I am under-employed at a part-time retail position. I need money to live and have been looking for any old kind of job to pay my bills.

What I want to do is work for myself. I have skills in problem-solving, general business skills and writing. I am earning my MBA in International business and my passion is fashion design and merchandising. I am just now learning how to sew but I'm doing very well so far. My plan is to continue to work on my designs and sewing skills while earning my MBA and eventually open my own boutique or operate out of my home making personalized garments for special occassions, etc.

My question is this: The above plan should take me about 2 years. What do I do in the meantime to support myself? The job market here in Los Angeles is brutal and I cannot yet do what I love because I am building my skills. I have considered doing image coaching freelance, but, again, I need income right now to support myself and all self-employment takes time.

Thank you sooooooooooo much for any help or insight any of you can provide.

best regards,

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I get asked this question all the time.  You need to go out into the job market with the skills you have. When putting together your functional resume just list your MBA as in progress or list your anticipated graduation date.  Many people make the dangerous assumption that you have to put your professional life on hold while you pursue your education.  If in two years you come out of school with an MBA but nothing else you've made a really big sacrifice and will most likely have a big financial and career hole to dig out of.  If instead you go out into the job market and find a part time job in the fashion industry while finishing your education you will gain the money, contacts, and experience.  Knoxville isn't LA by a long shot but every business I work with that has a lot of creative talent, also has a lot of issues managing creative talent, and getting them to work in a business setting.  If you can market yourself as someone with creative skills and a business understanding you  will have no problem demonstrating your value to companies.  

Thank you for the advice.  Yes, I agree.  I see the MBA as a valuable learning experience and a foot in the door, but experience is key!  Dan Miller's advice to me on the podcast was to get a job with an easy learning curve and one that I wouldn't have to commit a great deal of time to so that I can focus on starting my business.  I've been looking at jobs in retail to add to my knowledge and experience while leaving me with enough time to devote to what I really want to do which is fashion writing and fashion design.  Thanks again!

I agree completely with Bryan.  


You may also seek out a company that could use you as a paid intern...this would add depth to the MBA studies and a concurrent layer of experience in the marketplace when you delve into self-employment.

Thanks, Lee!  That's good advice!  I will approach my school to see if they have any connections to paid internships.  : )


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