Some of my creative coaching clients think that being poor makes them actually more creative.
What do YOU think: Does poverty make you more creative?
Do you have the need ‘to suffer for your art’?
Do you love ‘make and do’?
That frugal attitude might help you to save money in the short term, but don’t deny yourself to enjoy life in abundance!
ARE you actually poor or do you FEEL poor?
Who or what makes you feel poor?
And when in particular do you feel poor? What are the circumstances you feel poor? Who do you compare yourself with?
I have had clients who were poor when they were earning £35K p.a., and I have had rich clients who ‘only’ earned £12K. A lot of money challenges are about perception and attitude, and what you think you need or deserve. Many of my graduate clients start to feel poor in their late 20s, when they have been going for a while, when cash flow starts to dry up, but also when they see that there friends start to buy cars and houses, get kids. And they struggle financially.
If you have been trying to sell your work you know that it is hard.
The crafts and design sector in the UK are very competitive – one of the most competitive in the world.
The current recession hasn’t really made it that much harder to make a living as a creative.
It always has been difficult. It is a fact. That’s all.
Do you use lack of money as an excuse?
Blame the recession or lack of funding for not being able to start?
Or dream about ‘if only I had £50K then …?
Just check in with yourself for a second and be brutely honest with yourself …
No doubt £50K would help a great deal, but it is very unlikely to happen (no bank or funder would give you that if you don’t have substantial experience or proof of existing clients).
It has always been difficult to make a living as a creative. It might actually be easier now in the recession as there is less competition – many less determined people have given up. And besides the UK being a very competitive market it is also one of the most vibrant ones for designers and makers!
Is lack of money just an excuse, as you are afraid of getting started?
You need to become more creative and resilient than that to succeed!
You will need to be pro-active, do your research, and become more interested in who your potential clients could be. Get started with finding your niche.
Some creatives try to avoid the ‘money question’ as if it doesn’t matter.
MONEY DOES MATTER!
It makes the world go round. It is what you do with your earned money that really can make the difference!
Especially as a creative you need clients, as without clients or an audience there isn’t really a creative exchange. If your work is gathering dust in the attic, then what’s the point? Your work really will come to life when your work is seen, enjoyed, used by people!
Many creatives struggle with the question: ‘How can I be creative and make money?’
They state this question as a dilemma, it is OR OR instead of AND AND.
Think about the creative possibilities of how you can make it happen over time.
What do you need to do to create AND make a living?
Who are your role models in this area?
What can you learn from successful designers and crafts people (there are plenty of them!)?
The most common money challenge however is creatives who expect that potential clients ‘magically’ find them.
They love the making, and just make, make, make, …
Especially in the first 2-3 years of your business you will actually need to spend as much time on marketing your work as making it. Sorry, very few art colleges told you that!
Yes it is scary to go out there. People can be rude. People might not understand. It is tough, because if they even slightly criticise your work, it hurts.
But people can also be wonderfully supportive, get great enjoyment out of your work, become big fans, and friends even over the years.
But you will never know if you don’t go out there …
Don’t know where to get started as a new creative? Read these 10 questions to ask yourself before you start a craft or design business.
Are you waiting for this ‘magical pot of money’? Then check out this blog post Busting the myth of funding and The Design Doctor: Where can I get funding? You can get here some practical ideas about how to get started with marketing on a limited budget
If you are struggling to combine money and creativity and want to get a more positive attitude around money and finances , then check out the Creative Money Manual by our affiliate partners Mark McGuinness of Lateral Action & Sarah Thelwall of My Cake.
What did you think about this blog post? Did it make you cross or get some insights? I would love to hear from you in the comments box: