013: Taking Your Creative Passion From Hobby to Business with Jennifer Allwood

Jennifer Allwood is the founder of home decor site The Magic Brush, as well as a business coach who focuses on helping people in creative fields–art, decorating and design–make a career out of doing what they love. A home decoration specialist who has appeared on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Jennifer has over half a million social media fans and coaches over 2,000 business owners on a monthly basis. Her podcast, The Jennifer Allwood Show, aims to give listeners the support and resources they need to succeed.

In this episode, Jennifer discusses what challenges creative entrepreneurs need to prepare themselves for, the importance of social media in getting your creative business off the ground, and how a follower in need pushed her to give back to her community.

 

Show Notes:

  • What is Jennifer most excited about in her life right now?
    • Recently moved into a new house and husband has retired, so she’s focused on redecorating her home and just running her business from day to day.
  • How did Jennifer first leap into entrepreneurship?
    • After buying a house when she was only 21, Jennifer went back to school to take computer courses as she didn’t think she could make a career from her decorating alone.
    • After being laid off from a computing job, she spent a lot of time at home wondering how she could make ugly things gorgeous, so she sought out local decorating classes and went door to door looking for interior designers.
  • Why was her small decorating business so successful so early on?
    • She had a firm grasp of social media and how to use it effectively to score clients and attract business.
  • What unique challenges do creatives face in running a business?
    • Failing to understand that social media is the storefront of the 21st century, and that in order to draw clients you need to be social and build trust.
  • Did Jennifer always have entrepreneurial ambitions?
    • Never. But when she saw the benefits of social media early on she realized there was a market for her work and saw an opportunity. Considers herself fearless when it comes to trying new ventures.
  • What are some basic steps a creative entrepreneur should take?
    • Check out Jennifer’s Hobbyist to Business Owner starter pack: https://bit.ly/2nGUox3
    • Have your site, branding and social media on lock from the outset.
    • Acquire tax ID number, move beyond your immediate social circle.
  • What is the biggest misconception that creative people have about achieving financial success?
    • The “starving artist lie,” that it’s impossible to make a decent living income in the creative space.
    • Thinking of money as inherently evil when the actual problem is love of money for money’s sake. Money is actually a tool that you can use to afford yourself greater opportunities.
  • When did Jennifer first recognize her drive to make a difference and give back?
    • She and her husband are longtime practising Christians, so they have been getting involved with social issues and charity for a long while.
    • Was moved by an online follower’s plight to start giving away items she didn’t need. Wants to make sure other people’s struggles are seen and addressed.
  • What’s Jennifer’s advice for someone looking to turn around the struggling artist mentality or help with their perception of money?
    • Seek out a mentor, be it a therapist, counselor or job coach.
  • What organization is Jennifer especially passionate about?
    • Run to Stop It, which helps victims of the sex trafficking industry find treatment, support and a role in society.
  • Who has been the most impactful person in Jennifer’s journey to do well and achieve financial success?
    • Her children.
  • Who has been the most impactful person in Jennifer’s drive to do good?
    • God.
  • When Jennifer is having a bad day, what does she do to get herself out of her funk?
    • Turning her focus toward other people’s problems rather than her own.
  • What book does Jennifer recommend to those seeking a more successful path in life?
  • What is one thing on Jennifer’s bucket list?
    • Would like to visit Hawaii, which is now possible since her husband has retired.
  • What is the best piece of advice Jennifer has received?
    • Have even the smallest iota of belief that you can push forward and succeed.

 

Do Well & Do Good Challenge Nomination:

“We are looking to have 2500 people donate $100. Now is the time to start saving, working, raising your donation! Children have ran lemonade stands, families have had garage sales, some have worked overtime… whatever your method, we encourage you to get involved at any level! Even if it isn’t $100, your gift is needed! Maybe it’s more than $100. Rally your family, your friends, your neighbors, and let’s see a difference in our community!”

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About the author, Dorothy

Dorothy Illson is the founder of Needle's Eye Media, a full-service Facebook advertising agency. She's also the host of Do Well & Do Good, a podcast dedicated to telling the stories of people who have created financial success and leveraged it to increase their positive impact on the world.

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