Become a Triple Threat & Build Leverage
Strategies for the Multi-Talented: The Creator's Guide to Career Diversification
I’m back and excited to kick off a new quarter with refreshed content and new theories and introduce you to our next cohort of sponsors that will help to level up your creative output.
Let’s get into it!
Today, I’ll unpack the "Triple Threat Strategy," and explore how you can implement it effectively as a creator whether you’re just starting out or a seasons side hustler, but first, l want you to meet our sponsor - AE Studio, a long-time partner of VSNRY and a team of AI specialists you should absolutely use on your next AI-focused project.
Become a Triple Threat & Build Leverage
Navigating your career as a creator isn't a linear path. In today's complex ecosystem, relying solely on a single strategy isn't just unwise—it's a recipe for stagnation. This is why I’m sharing a strategy that has been a game-changer for me: The Triple Threat Strategy
Advice to those starting now: set up 3 paths
#1 - stable role
#2 - entrepreneurship
#3 - high risk, high-reward opportunities
Do all three of these at once until you build leverage.
— LaTecia Johnson (@LateciaRising)
Mar 20, 2023
What is a Triple Threat? It’s someone who is skilled at three things in their particular field. It usually refers to athletes and artists, example: Beyoncé is a triple threat because she can sing, dance, and direct.
For professional creators, becoming a triple threat means building up skills across 3 areas, and then using each of those to build leverage.
Let's unpack the "Triple Threat Strategy," and explore how you can implement it effectively.
1. The Stable Role: Your Safety Net
In a world that glorifies the fast-paced, unpredictable nature of entrepreneurship and risk-taking, the concept of a 'stable role' often gets overlooked or even derided as unimaginative. However, this could not be further from the truth. The stable role is not just a safety net; it's the foundational pillar that supports the other, more volatile endeavors you may pursue.
My stable roles have been in technology – earlier in my career, I took on analyst roles to understand how things worked. Later, the stable roles played more into strategy and operational effectiveness shaping how things operate.
Each role served a purpose it either taught me something or paid me well.
For the roles that didn’t pay as well, the tradeoff is that they had to teach me something I could not learn on my own.
While in the role, I understood the assignment: learn, earn, grow.
The Psychology of Stability
A stable role provides a consistent income and a foundational skill set. This is your 9-to-5 job, a contract with a long-standing client, or a role within your business where you know exactly what to expect. People often underestimate the psychological importance of stability. A consistent income and routine not only provide material security but also mental space. When you aren't constantly worrying about your next paycheck, you free up cognitive bandwidth for creative thinking and problem-solving.
Use the mental and emotional stability offered by a stable role as a launchpad for ideation and creative exploration. Knowing that you have a 'base' to return to allows you to venture into unknown territories with greater confidence. Many dismiss this as 'playing it safe,' but it's about sustaining your capacity to take risks elsewhere. Ensure that your stable role is not just comfortable but also pushes you enough to continue skill-building and networking.
2. Entrepreneurship: Your Passion Play
Entrepreneurship isn't just a buzzword for those wanting to break free from the 9-to-5 grind. It's the arena in which your most daring and innovative ideas as a creator come to life, develop, and get executed on your own terms. Entrepreneurial ventures allow you to flex your creative muscles. Whether it's a side hustle, a startup, or a new service within your existing agency, the point is to engage in something you own.
Visionary Rising (VSNRY) has been this for me, a hybrid consultancy and creative studio launched in 2016, and has operated alongside my stable roles. Having both enabled me a bit of flexibility in the roles and projects I could take on – it meant that I no longer had to take roles out of necessity or stay in places that weren’t additive to my journey.
Owning Your Creative Freedom
In this context, entrepreneurship became synonymous with creative freedom. Here, you're not limited by organizational hierarchies or external constraints. You get to choose the projects, set the timelines, and drive the vision. It's not just about flexing your creative muscles; it's about owning the gym.
It is the ultimate expression of your unique value proposition. Develop it side-by-side with your stable role. Invest time and resources systematically, and don't be afraid to iterate based on customer feedback and performance metrics.
3. High Risk, High Reward: Your Calculated Gamble
In the game of life and career, high-risk, high-reward opportunities are akin to drawing the "wild card." They offer the thrill of the unknown and the allure of outsized rewards. But just like any gamble, the stakes are high, and the room for error is low.
The Psychology of Risk
Our brains are hardwired to both fear and crave risk. The potential of unparalleled gains can often cloud our judgment, making us underestimate the risks involved. Conversely, the fear of loss can sometimes be so paralyzing that it blinds us to genuinely good high-risk opportunities.
Awareness of this psychological tug-of-war is the first step toward mastering high-risk decisions. Utilize data-driven assessments to counterbalance emotional biases. Always have an exit strategy and set predefined limits to your exposure.
An example of this comes to mind from a few years ago when I was making the decision on whether to leave my director-level role in a late-stage, high-growth startup that had just been acquired to join the founding team of an earlier-stage startup that was just getting off the ground. I weighed the options (lower salary in exchange for more equity), factored in the risk (the equity would be worthless if the startup failed), and ultimately decided to go for it (because I’d built up a cushion from my stable roles).
The insights I’d gained from both my stable role and entrepreneurial pursuits helped to de-risk the decision for me, but I also gave myself a year to assess whether it made sense for me to continue that path. After a few months, it became clear that remaining at the startup wasn’t a viable long-term option; so, by month 11, I was out with a bit of a cushion to explore the next thing.
How to Implement The Triple Threat Strategy: Your Actionable Roadmap
While we've explored the intricacies of the three career paths—each essential in its own right—the true test of mastery lies in effective execution. For you, the founder of a creator-led company, it’s not just about juggling these roles; it's about synthesizing them into a cohesive strategy.
Here’s an actionable blueprint tailored for creators like you, designed to actualize the Triple Threat Strategy.
1. Complete a self-assessment.
2. Develop the Structure and Plan
3. Execute and Monitor Progress
4. Adjust and Scale
Phase 1: Assessment and Preparation
Self-Assessment: Before you embark on juggling these three paths, take stock of your skills, financial standing, and most importantly, your risk tolerance.
I recommend creating a breakdown of exactly where you are in these areas:
Identify your top skills that people are already paying you for or that you’ve picked up along the way.
Outline your current salary, expenses, and revenue goals
Define your level of risk (how comfortable are you with 1 or 2 areas not working out? Will it completely bankrupt you if you lose your stable role? How financially secure are you, really?)
Phase 2: Structuring and Planning
Time Management: Already running a tight schedule with your stable role? Use techniques like time-blocking to designate specific times of the week for your entrepreneurial and high-risk endeavors.
Pro-Tip: Seek out salary-based roles that pay the same regardless of your level of input/output - these are typically based on outcomes vs. hourly inputs.
Set up your schedule so that you’re dedicating at least 2 hours per day and a few hours on the weekend to growing in your focus areas. If you have a stable role, your focus should be on starting your own thing. If you already have your own thing and a stable role (because it’s your own thing), then get started on exploring other investment ops.
Financial Planning: Allocate your budget in a manner that sustains your stable role while fueling your entrepreneurial projects and high-risk gambles.
Budget is going to be a big factor in this. The more disciplined you are with your funds, the more things you can do. Your stable role is going to be your first investor - so you’ll want to make sure that you have this locked down before moving into other areas of the plan.
Phase 3: Execution and Monitoring
Continuous Learning: This isn't just a set-it-and-forget-it strategy. To remain effective and agile in all three paths, continuous learning is non-negotiable. Seek relevant courses, webinars, and feedback sessions.
Phase 4: Adjustment and Scaling
Quarterly Reviews: Every three months, review your performance across all paths. Are your high-risk ventures paying off? Is your stable role still serving its purpose? Adjust your strategies accordingly.
As professional creators, the journey toward financial stability, entrepreneurial prowess, and high-risk, high-reward mastery is an ongoing process, not a final destination. The Triple Threat Strategy is more than a theoretical framework; it's a lived experience that evolves with your skills, aspirations, and life circumstances as a dynamic tapestry you weave, thread by thread, with each career move you make.
In a landscape that often rewards specialization, I invite you to embrace diversification—because the true genius of being a creator lies in the ability to adapt, innovate, and take calculated risks. Armed with this guide, you now possess not just the vision but the blueprint to make this your lived reality.
Whenever you’re ready, here are the ways I can help you: