This may seem like a silly question – of course money matters! And yet, how often do our choices, as creative people, put money last?
No one became a creative to get rich. For a very few, this is a side benefit, but for the vast majority of creatives our motivation to pursue this path was one of fulfilment or expression – we are either looking to be fulfilled by our career or to express ourselves in the world. And we hope to somehow make a living at the same time.
Therein lies the rub! We hope to ‘somehow’ make a living at what we love, without really working out the details of how that is going to happen…
Recipe for disaster?
It’s like setting out on a journey with a full tank of gas and no clue of where you are heading other than the fact that you are ‘going on trip.’
How successful is this going to be?
Some lucky souls will manage to stumble across something good. Most will drive around in circles.
Our approach to a creative career is often similarly executed. No clear destination, no clear route.
Then we get depressed or down. We think life ‘isn’t fair’ because we can’t fanny about doing what we love and the money magically pour into account.
If only it was that easy.
So it’s time to get real. It’s time to get granular (a horrible catch phrase that means breaking an abstract idea down into its granular components). It’s time to come up with a realistic destination and a kick-ass solid plan of how to get there.
It all starts with understanding money. How to manage it. How to earn it. How to keep it and how to grow it. If you want more of it, then you need to understand it and how it operates.
This is such an important topic that I plan to devote the next few months to exploring money.
Are you ready?
In order for me to focus this on your needs, would you take a moment and write in the comments below your biggest issue about/around money? I’ll add that to my list of things to tackle. Let me help you make sense of how money and creativity can co-exist….
Katy Marriott says
Biggest issue about money? That I like to pretend it doesn’t exist. If I can put something on direct debit and forget about it, hooray. Actual bills fill me with dread. Fees for work done can go unpaid so long as there is *something* in my account; I don’t like to look. I know this is ostrich territory and I ought to grow up, but evidently there is a big bit of my brain which reckons that money is boring and ought to be dealt with by someone else… *hangs head in shame*
Hi Katy, thank you for commenting. I don’t think you are alone in this, I know lots of artists who wish that someone else would deal with the money – it’s one of the reasons why we give away such a huge part of our power (and our earnings) to agents, managers, dealers, handlers, etc. Hopefully over the coming months we can inspire you to take a bit more interest in money and its relationship to creativity. XX
Feeling like every day would need to last 48 hours to be able to make time for both. Probably because I’ve wrongly accepted that the two have to be treated separately. As in I have to do “something” else to make a living.
Alistair, I’m sure what you say will be familiar to many readers. I’ve worked many jobs parallel to my creative work – and it’s a necessary path and one you may need to return to from time to time – but by getting to grips with your finances, and starting to understand what you are producing and for whom you are producing it, can start to bring clarity to WHY you deserve to be paid for it! So the first hurdle is about managing time and the second hurdle is building the belief that what you create is WORTH being paid for! Join us and we’ll explore those things. Thanks for speaking up! Steven
Rebecca Fraser-Thill at Working Self says
My biggest issue about money with regard to creative enterprises is how it ebbs and flows. One month you can feel like it’s all happening, and then you go through a drought for months. The unpredictability is very hard for me to manage. Look forward to hearing what you have to share with us!
Thanks for sharing Rebecca – we’ll look at budgeting to try and smooth out the ebb and flow… it’s a big problem…