Artisanal Pencil Sharpening

Artisanal pencil sharpening

In todays post I will tell you what to do to make money by doing what you like, and that the craft of Artisanal Pencil Sharpening can be a real proffession.

The story or David Rees the Artisanal Pencil

David Rees made a jump from comic strip author to a proffesional pencil ... sharpener and apparently he's doing it for real and he's awesome at it. Seriously this isn't a joke, see for yourself!

In summary David Rees, cartoonist and comedian, one day during the staff training was asked to sharpen a pencil using small regular plastic pencil sharpener from office toolbox. He liked it so much that he decided to do it for a living and make it his niche. Therefore since 2010 you actually can send your pencil to David and for a 15 bucks he will proffesionally sharpen it, secure the sharp end, pack it into plastic tube, pack wood chips and send it to you along with pencil sharpening certificate. Pretty cool right?

Business Plan, better have it!

David initially planned that once sharpened pencil will get dull over time, pleased with the service customer will send it back to him for another sharpening. He estimated that he will be able to earn about 150$ during a single pencil lifetime until it will meet it's end somewhere at the bottom of the cup with writing utensils. What David did not foresee was the fact that he will get so good at his job that people will keep the penciles originally packed by David, along with a certificate, as a decoration. That's probably why he decided to publish the book "How to sharpen a pencil" in a 2012 and do public demonstrations of pencil-sharpening. But still sharpened pencil is the perfect idea for an original gift.

Wait... Wat?

You are probably wondering where I'm going with this, just bear with me. For those who are working professionals, this means at least 60% of the world population, the work takes an average of eight hours a day in many cases much more. Anyone who for a while licked the freelancing or tried to start up own business knows that you can basicly work around the clock with a break for a sleep. We usually start to work at the age of 20 and continue to work until the age of 70.

Yes artists can do math too

Let's do the math (please don't judge me)

50 years of work 8 hours a day minus holidays and weekends (114 days in 2013 in Poland).
That is: (365 days - 114) * 50 years * 8 hours per day = 100,400 hours of work = 4183.33 days of work = 11.46 years of work = about 15% of our lives

Wouldn't be great if those 15% of our lives or at least most of it were spend doing something you like, what makes you grow, what's fun , what makes you ... no subtext ... excited?. Despite the fact that logicall answer should be "yes" , it is not uncommon that we prefer to stick to the not-so-much-exciting job, which gives us a "guarantee" of stability rather than risk the ups and downs, the latter more often, following the dream. But when you have a solid plan and proper preparation you will not be as helpless as blind child in the fog.

And although the topic of being succesfull and doing what we love for a living is a huge one, and I will not touch so much as a tip of the iceberg in just one post, it seems to me that the crux of the matter can be contained in a single sentence of man who sharpens pencils for a living:

"I need to find a way to get paid sharpening pencils"

It can't be simpler. You need to find a WAY to get paid for doing what you love. Watching videos on youtube with David, you may wondering if he is for real for most of the time, you can laugh, joke about it, you can make fun of it even. But don't get fooled and miss out the lesson in it.

  • Find a way to get paid for what you enjoy doing
  • Take care of your appearance and your work cloths to show that you are serious about your work and your clients are hiring a proffesional
  • Find you niche and master it
  • Review your goals from time to time and check if you are still on track with them. Make sure that you don't need to change course or bounce a few degrees.