Five-Year Plans for Creative Types

“I don’t feel like it,” you say, reaching for another cup of carefully brewed cappuccino. “Planning is for other people, and besides, it might ruin my street cred.”

Nothing ruins street cred among creative types like having to work a menial job into your sixties. Sure, we’d all like to be discovered, get paid a lot for our paintings, photographs, words or sounds. But until that happens, it’s best to have a five-year plan, even if you are a creative type.

The first step in your plan should be to decide how you want to be perceived, legally, that is. Are you working in a band? Maybe it’s best to spell out how your royalties will be split. Are you an author, working for him or herself? You might find that you can save more money for retirement by forming an LLC or corporation. Legal Zoom can help you with all the details. Because everything is done online, including the quick and easy payment, you can leave yourself that much more time to be creative. Whether you need a divorce, a contract, or a will drawn up, they can get it done, faster than you can say, “Pass the cinnamon.”

And speaking of retirement, when’s the last time you thought about yours? It’s not like creative types get to have pensions, and with the way social security’s looking right now, it may as well be called social insecurity. Sharebuilder 401k was designed for small businesses (that means you, too, even if you’re only one person), so they can offer great 401k plans that you oversee, you deposit funds into, and you enjoy when you’re ready to kiss The Man goodbye for good.

Another crucial part of any five-year plan should include a look into your credit as well. If you’re prone to over-shopping, carrying debt, or just not caring much, you might want to think about getting an American Express card. Their Small Business Cards are designed to help you build credit not only as a human but as a business. And since you can choose to pay off the entire balance each month, or leave some of it revolving, your credit is not suffering under the weight of all your purchases.

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