Don’t even try to deny it. You want it, need it, gotta have it. What is ‘it’? Money (and what money can buy, freedom). The only catch is, what are you willing to do to get it? Not many creative people like to discuss it, but we dream of what more money could mean to us. Just like many people don’t remember their dreams, we may not be conscious of these deep desires for money and what it means in our lives and careers. Whether you know it or not, how you have handled money has affected your life and career.
Have you ever had money flow into your life easily and effortlessly? Has your creativity produced results people have paid for? Where it just felt right? Where you felt like you deserved it? All we need to do is re create or create it. For creative people, money is a product of our imaginations. We can create things that people will pay for. We must first feel we deserve to be paid for something that comes easily for us and come up with a figure of how much we deserve. That’s why we must value our ideas and our time and decide what they are worth, and then convince others to believe it too.
Step one to having everything you desire is to know exactly what you want and then pick your path and start down it. Once you begin moving in the direction of your dreams, unseen forces will help you along the way. Vision creates power, and so do decisiveness and determination. I know it sounds strange, but it has happened to too many people too many times to discount it. Once you set your sights on something and then commit to going after it, you are not alone anymore in your quest. You just have to define what you want and have the desire to go for it and the discipline to stay the course. You need to get in touch with the feeling, these things will give you when you get them, because prosperity is a feeling, not a number. Then hang on to that feeling and go for the goal. We all wish we could make more money from our creativity or have more creative freedom. That is a given. What distinguishes the dreamers from the doers is that the doers are, well, doing something about their goals while the dreamers are wishing things would improve, someday, somehow.
I think that people fail to reach their dreams because they are nearsighted. What I mean is that they live too much in the moment alone and can’t see more than a few days ahead. Sure, dreams are achieved through daily steps, but without an eye toward the future we can sabotage our long term success by making poor choices in the present. Some short term suffering may be needed for long term gain.
I think we need to look at how we spend our money and ask ourselves if our purchases are taking us further away from financial freedom or bringing us closer to our dreams. It is easy to wander away from our dreams, and if we aren’t careful we can get lost. When you live your life out of whack with your dreams, there is an underlying unease. But when you are on track, you feel charged. You are excited, motivated, alive, calm and creative, and generally you feel whole. If you take charge of your life by deciding what you want, how much money you will need, and develop a flexible plan of how you will get it, then you are in control of your fate. If you don’t have a clue about where you want to go, how you will get there, or how much money you need, then your fate is left to others, and that is never a good thing.
Start by getting to know yourself and what turns you on. What makes you happy, or what do you think would make you happy? You know when you find it: It is the thing that makes time pass differently so that you give all your hours to it and it still doesn’t feel like too much. That is what I am talking about.
I also think we should look at what we don’t want as well. Many creative people do NOT want a traditional career. They see others working regular hours in regular jobs with regular lives, and they want to be different. They don’t think it is risky to want to be freelancers or hop from job to job until they find what they are looking for. They are less likely to listen to those around them who tell them to take the road most traveled. They may have to be ‘starving artists’ until they make it, but it sure beats giving up and giving in to the pressure to trade in a dream for a disappointing, depressing and dreary existence of ‘settling down and getting a real job’. Not gonna happen. That is not to say we can’t support ourselves with ‘day jobs’ to pay the bills until the advance money arrives or we get our big break, but to give up a chance to make money from our creativity for a nice home, fancy car and a steady paycheck is not (usually) the way we want to go. (Despite what someone says, it will not make you happy. Did it make them happy? Okay then).
The Heroine’s Journey will help you uncover some of your unfulfilled expectations, and then once you know what they are, you can start chipping away at them little by little. There is always hope and it is never too late. Let us do some soul searching to see what it is you really want, then figure out how much you will need to get it (and keep it) as well as how you will go about getting it. By the way, you are not greedy just because you set a specific goal of how much money you want to make or have. It is actually a healthy thing to do. How much money do you want? Need? How much money would be enough? What will it take to make you dream come true? Once you can answer these questions, then you can go about getting it. Just like a business needs to plan, you need a financial plan. The dream will dictate what you need to do, but before you begin at least lay out a rough plan of what you think you will need to do. Or if you have the discipline, figure out the exact amount of money you want and then work backward. How much will I need to generate every year, month, week, day, hour? Even if you don’t do this exercise, the fact that you have focused yourself on a money goal will open up your mind to possibilities and opportunities it may have otherwise missend and unleash your creativity and resourcefulness.
Making more money starts in your mind. With the story you tell yourself. You must be able to see it and focus on it. It becomes real. This doesn’t mean that you will do anything to reach this magical money goal. You still do what you love, but maybe you do more of it or charge more for it. You stay aligned with your values and purpose, but because you now have the number, that Star to guide you, you make better decisions with your money and become even more clever as your right brain looks for ways to help you get to it. Then, once you reach it you plot a new course (or stay on the one you were on), but you should never be without a dream to focus on. There is something to be said for gaining some control over you finances, your future, and your life. You will be more disciplined, determined, and driven to reach the dream.
Once you decide what you want to do, the only thing left to figure out is how to support yourself while pursuing it. Once people discover their calling many would be willing to work for free, but you don’t have to. Put it another way, we want to earn money doing something we love even if we don’t make money right away. If the desire to do something is great enough, we will go for it against all odds because we simply can’t let go. There are ways to support yourself while you are working on a dream and we will explore those later in this guide, but for now, deciding what we want our work to be is more important than how to make it work.
So let us go back to what we want in the way of a career and a life. Just like creative people are diverse, so are many dreams and desires (as well as tolerances for what one is willing to do to get those dreams), so it is impossible for me to know what you want. But i’ ll bet it involves earning enough money to pursue your passion, and that is possible. It may not be done the conventional way, but it can be done. This guide is filled with examples of unconventional ways people have been paid to pursue their passions. Leave any baggage at the curb that contains phrases like ‘ I can’t or ‘impossible’ or even ‘but how will I’ Lighten up your load and open your mind, because we are going to go on a journey to your future, where anything is possible and dreams do come true. Once we get to your deepest desires as well as your strenghts, we will be able to find something that you want to do and can do for money that will make you happy, confident and competent, all of which lead to success and fulfillment.