What you have.
Creative folx are some of the most resourceful people I know. Not only do they take it upon themselves to make something from nothing, they’re often working at the intersection of culture and commerce in a way that’s not clearly defined. Everywhere we look in our world, there is art enriching our lives. Despite this, many creative folx have to figure out the way forward on their own and that path can be an emotionally and financially tumultuous one.
I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts, reading books, and consuming other resources related to personal finance. While part of my curiosity is grounded in learning more about the financial systems and structures that I’m working within, I’m mostly interested in finding stories relevant to creative folx. Stories that go beyond the overwhelming advice for people who have stable employment and a clear-ish career trajectory.
While I only began this research process a few years ago, I haven’t come up with much. There’s a point in most of the stories I hear where the narrator moves from artist-as-broke to artist-on-the-up-and-up. The critical, tipping point moment is often skipped over because of a lack of clarity around what happened and/or an eagerness to get to the good stuff. These stories leave me feeling both inspired and deeply unsure of how I’ll cross that divide.
Perhaps more frustrating still is the way that financial advice so often doesn’t match up with the messiness of being human, let alone an artist. In the podcast episode Money Moves, Seth Godin talks about money as a means to keep, “playing the game.” Which I can get behind. At the same time, he slips into talking about a way of thinking about and using money that might not fit into someone’s life who is currently working off a variable income.
It’s the all too common, “Keep your day job,” conversation. But what if your day job and your side hustle and your hobby are all creative and variable? When I realized at 30 that I needed to prioritize creating financial stability for myself, I was self-employed, as I had been for the preceding 10 years. What I needed was a way to harness what I had so I could use it to propel me forward. The way to do that wasn’t immediately clear to me.
Almost two years later, I have pulled together enough resources that I now feel equipped to bridge that divide. From the learning I did on my way to becoming an Integral Master Coach™, to the numerous Akimbo workshops I’ve participated in, learning about money as a creative was not the process I expected it to be. Nor is what I did a financially accessible option or interest for everyone.
This is why I’ve become interested in not just helping creatives get into a healthier relationship with money, but also helping them build creative assets. Because Seth Godin is right, if we get to zero we have no choice but to get out. If, however, you use what you have and leverage your talents to get just a little more traction and a little more money, then you’re more likely to keep making your art. Which is what our world so desperately needs you to do.
So, what do you have that you can leverage to help you move forward?