One thing I am uber pro at is not sleeping. Even if I am super sleepy during the daytime, when 10 PM hits, I am easily wide awake until 3 or 4 in the morning. That's when YouTube videos of talk shows is the crazy fascinating and I can watch Ellen for many hours.
I stumbled upon this channel a while back, and I was instantly addicted; I watched every interview they had. This clip with Joseph Gordon-Levitt sharing about hitREcord, a platform he started with his brother to encourage artist collaborations. was particularly interesting to me.
Here's the clip:
"There's something about hitREcord that the jobs I get to do in more conventional show business don't satisfy the same way, and I love it. I don't know what I would do without it. I think I would be sad if I didn't have an outlet to write a little story or play a little song. And it's not that I want to have a career as a published novelist, or have a career as a singer/songwriter per say, but that doesn't mean I don't like to write or make music. It doesn't have to be the main thing that I do in order for me to really like doing it."
I've always admired JGL for his very normal life sprung from child acting, the versatility in the roles he takes on, and his deep, beautiful dimples. What he said prompted me to think a lot about Pickles and what I am doing with it.
I get asked often what my plans are for Pickles. Friends I'm catching up with often begin with some variation of, "So, quit your dayjob yet?" I'm sure most of it is just friends flattering me, but the first time I was asked that I was really surprised- I've honestly never planned or thought about taking Pickles to a full time thing. Even when I started selling cards, it was to pass time in college, which then grew (kind of) slowly and steadily over time.
I love everything about A Jar of Pickles- from wholesale invoicing to email marketing to packaging orders to organizing my workspace- it gives me a real joy that I don't quite find in my job, though I have really, really liked working at Stanford. And I have big dreams for Pickles! But right now there's no pressure to "make it"— (kind of embarrassing to admit, but) my sales goals are arbitrary numbers, I still have no idea how the hell to do taxes correctly, and if I have a slow month I don't have to stay up at night figuring out how I'll pay rent.
There is a really strong culture in my generation to pursue your dreams (whatever that looks like: be your own boss, get a SharkTank deal, work out of your garage) and it is an amazing, exciting culture! But, on the flip side, I think you can love doing something without pursuing it as your career. I wholly admire the artists I meet at craft fairs who make beautiful products and are doing their craft full time, but at least at this point in life, it's not for me.
Does this diminish the Pickles brand? I hope not! I hope that it's a testimony to others that you can still pursue creative outlets without making a drastic career change, and it can still be crazy fun and fulfilling.