As a coach, I’m less interested in helping you make more money and more interested in helping you shift your relationship to money. Money is complex and one of the great lies of capitalism is that having more of it will solve all our problems. In truth, the behaviours and beliefs that have you feeling financially unwell making four or five figures a year aren’t going to magically disappear when you start making six figures.
Economic justice demands that we balance wealth inequality. And while redistribution of financial resources is an important step in dismantling the patriarchy and systemic oppression, that’s not going to happen until we learn to relate to money in new ways. Money is simply a tool and our beliefs and behaviours are what dictate how we wield that tool. So even if you don’t have a lot of money, the skillful use of the financial resources you do have access to can contribute to the larger economic shifts you’re longing to see.
Financial wellbeing accepts that we live within a capitalist system. It separates the necessary work of trying to change the system—which is broken and oppressive—from surviving and thriving within that system on a daily basis. While it can take years and decades and economic crises to shift the policies and laws that dictate how money moves within our society, it takes much less time for you to start working with money on an individual level in a more holistic, just, and supportive way.
As a creative, it matters that you have the financial support that you need to do your best work. It matters that you are able to keep a roof over your head and it also matters that you have the time to create your art. It’s important to acknowledge that, at some point, you just need more money to meet your basic needs. Once your basic needs are taken care of, however, you don’t need that much more money in order to dedicate more attention and time to your creative practice.
Greater financial wellbeing is what will allow you to get the most out of the financial resources that are available to you. The most satisfaction, the most sustenance, the most connection, and the most joy. It’s what will allow you to move through the world in a radically different way because you’re no longer tethered to the capitalist narratives that want you too feel like you don’t have enough. Most importantly, greater financial wellbeing will give you the space and time you need to fulfill your creative callings.
Here’s the interesting thing about prioritizing financial wellbeing: it often leads to more opportunities for you to increase the amount of money that you’re making in a way that’s aligned with your values and creative needs. This has certainly been the case for myself. Being more able to access financial wellbeing has opened up numerous creative opportunities that wouldn’t have been available to me otherwise. What’s more, it’s also allowed me to think long-term about how I’m going to make my creative practice financially sustainable.
So, what does financial wellbeing mean to you as a creative? And what are you hoping it opens up for your creative practice and life now and in the future?