On Paving My Own Path

So I’ve recently been thrust into the position of having to find my next work gig and I have to say… I’m not loving it. This is the hard part. I’ve always been a proponent of breaking out of the mold and getting creative when it comes to your work and career but I always forget how hard it is before things gets easy again.

This time is different though because I’m considering paving a brand new path… Making a new way for myself. I’ve mentioned previously that I’m a pharmacist but I think I’ve hit the proverbial wall in this career and I’m ready, really ready, for something all the way new and very different.

On the one hand, I fear leaving the safety and security of what I’ve come to know and have become so good at, but on the other hand, I want something else.

Choices, Choices, Choices… Which way to go?

So I’ve been toying with some ideas… Thinking about where my passions and interests lie as well as what viable skills I can parlay from pharmacy into a new career after years working in the medical industry in various capacities.

So many questions have come up for me… Questions like:

  • Should I stay relatively “safe” and stick with something close to what I’ve already been doing?
  • Where does passion fit into all of this, if at all?
  • Is there an intersection point between what I know and what I like?
  • Could said intersection point be viable and if so, how do I even determine that?
  • Should I throw all caution to the wind and just really go into something I have no safety net for but which I think will work?
  • I’d like to find a mentor… But who and how?
    • On that note… Do I need to pay said mentor or is “the honor of being asked” payment enough?
  • Should I tell people close to me what ideas are swirling around in my mind or just go for it (for fear that I might not hear what I want to hear)?
  • Is it realistic of me to not want to get input from people who might be able to see what I can’t in my blind spots?

Ideas I’m Toying With

Idea #1: Pinterest Marketing For Etsy Sellers

I’ve been selling on Etsy for a number of years and have talked to and exchanged battlefield stories with many fellow sellers and one of the things I know we as sellers all struggle with is social medai marketing for our Etsy shops. We almost all complain about having to handle all that “social media stuff” while still taking care of the day-to-day responsibilities of running an Etsy shop (which often also includes either sourcing vintage items and supplies to sell or hand-making the items that one sells on the site).

To fill this very real need, I am considering offering a service specifically to Etsy sellers helping them set up and manage their Pinterest accounts for their Etsy shops.

It’s very niche and very focused and I think I ‘m plugged in well enough to the Etsy community to make marketing my services not a breeze per se but not as hard as it would be were I trying to offer this service to a community that I was not already established in and familiar with.

Why would anyone pay me for this? Because Pinterest is the proven number one driver of traffic for the majority of Etsy sellers who have any sort of Pinterest presence, even if all they do is just cross post pictures of their products for sale on Pinterest and do absolutely nothing else.

The catch is that most sellers have neither the time nor the inclincation to “do the work” (as Iyanla Vanzant would say 😉 ) that is needed to get the best results from Pinterest and maximize the power of this platform for driving traffic and subsequently lots of sales.

Again, I know this precisely because I’m actively living it. Many-a-time I’ve put the word out to my network and community of fellow sellers that this is a service I’d like to outsource but there’s never been anyone who is filling this need.

So why not me?

It seems like a viable option…

How lucrative is this? I don’t know (because as I just mentioned, I know of no one who is offering this very specific service at the time I am writing this), but I imagine that it’s not bad and I can probably make a very decent income from doing this. I did a Google search (and I actually also signed up a Pinterest VA course a while ago) and from what I learned for both resources, Pinterest Managers can command rates in the range of $300-$1,500/month (and up from there).

This is my conservative estimate. The price ranges depend on just what level of account management is being done and how many hours of account management per month an individual wants. Pricing models vary from hourly rates to monthly packages.

Now multiply that monthly account management fee with the total number of clients I think I can comfortably handle (at least until I grow enough of a client base to bring someone alongside me for assistance if that kind of growth is what I decide I want) and it could quite possibly earn me a pretty penny.

How do I get up and running? Well apparently, it turns out that doing this has been on my mind for quite a while.

I have a folder within my email inbox for all the courses I have purchased and I looked in there to see what Pinterest courses I’d purchased… I knew I’d bought a couple but oh boy…!! It turns out I actually invested in four, yes four, courses on how to “do Pinterest”.

Sheesh…

And would it surprise you to know that I have not completed a single one of them? What’s worse, I have not only NOT started some of them, but I’d even forgotten about some of them! I discovered courses that had completely slipped my mind…!

What a waste of money…

Well, no more. I intend to put them all to good use now. I have the time now to actually sit down and learn, no, master, Pinterest so I’m going to do it.

Granted some of these look like they haven’t been updated in a while because even I know about some of the changes that have happened on the Pinterest platform so I’ll start with the ones that are more up-to-date.

As I mentioned above, I also bought a course that teaches you how to be a Pinterest VA… I can’t believe I’ve been leaning towards this for so long and all these resources have been going to waste essentially… Just sitting and languishing…

It also occurred to me to document my learning process and the setting up of this service right here but I’ve been known to have great ideas and good intentions and fail on the follow-through. I’ll try not to do that this time if this is the road I eventually travel down.

Idea #2: Medical Copy Editing

I had an epiphany… Actually, it wasn’t truly a brand new epiphany but it was the first time I pieced together facts about myself and came up with a new idea.

I love words. I’m definitely a logophile. I’m also a lexophile actually, but that’s beside the point. That made me start wondering how I could combine my medical background with my love and affinity for words.

I know I don’t want to “speak” words publicly necessarily, so becoming some sort of public speaker is not an end goal for me but I like reading and writing so what can I do with those interests…?

Medical writing… I’ve been down that road before and it’s kind of tough but I guess it’s doable. Others do it successfully, so why can’t I? But do I really want to be a writer? A writer of medical information? Maybe. But maybe not.

How about reading other peoples’ words? I could be an editor for medical writers and medical publications!

Yes…! That’s how the idea came to me. And the search was on.

I hit the public library and dug up some really good information. I decided that I wasn’t going to (at least not right now), invest any money into this until I know for sure it’s what I want to do… The last thing I want is another pile of courses that go untaken and just sit in a folder in my email inbox.

And would you believe it…? I actually found some paid courses that I can take for free through my public library… Gotta love it… This really was the break I needed.

Granted, they aren’t the fancy courses offered by the big name univerity extended education departments but still, for free, I’ll make do for now. It’s a good start. A great start.

Why would anyone pay me for this? Sadly, unlike with the Pinterest Management for Etsy Sellers idea, with this one, I don’t doubt it will be a bit (maybe a lot) harder to get clients to pay me. But I believe that I do have some things going for myself that I hope can and will give me an edge:

  • I’ve actually done similar work before as an employee of a medical information company
  • I’m a pharmacist so I have a good foundation in the medical industry

That’s all I can think of so far. Once again, off to Google I went to assess the viability of this career track.

It’s nice because I could get to be my own boss but as just another pharmacist of many, I can’t just walk up to an author or a publishing house all willy nilly and expect them to hand over work assignments to me os easily. Some people have been doing this for years (many are non-pharmacists but have backgrounds in the language arts), and they pretty much all agree that you have to “earn your wings” in this industry.

Also, there is quite a steep learning curve involved in breaking into this field. I considered getting a mentor but quickly got overwhelmed with trying to find one. It was easy enough to track down folks who are currently doing it but then I got cold feet just at the thought of reaching out to any of them and asking them to mentor me….

What makes me think they wouldn’t interpret that as “training their competition”? I for one would be honored if someone asked me to mentor them in something I was really good at but I realize that not everyone is like me.

Then I wondered… Should I approach them with an offer of paid mentorship or just hope they’ll be happy with the honor of being asked? Methinks 10 out of 10 people would take money over honor for their time and effort.

How lucrative is this? It was a bit harder to get concrete numbers on this because pricing is so very dependent on multiple factors. One has to take into consideration things like years of experience, what kind of medical materials will be edited, the certifications the medical editor has, etc.

But all in all, it can become a well-paying gig, but only after one has put in the time (which can be many years) and elbow grease.

====================

So what to do…? I’m going to try.

I’m going to try both, and now is as good a time to go for it as any.

I’ll start working on the Pinterest courses I have right now… Well, at least I’ll start with one. On March 13th, the copy editing course begins and it runs for 6 weeks. I’ll be updating my progress with each right here.

We don’t need more time, we just need to decide.

Bernadette Jiwa, Author of Hunch (& a number of other books)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.