I totally hear your heart’s deepest concern about following your passion and doing what you love, creatively speaking.
You've told me in so many different ways what your main question is regarding your art:
Is it sustainable?
Can I make a living?
Can I make it work?
Can I do this full-time?
Can I succeed at this?
Can I support myself financially?
How do I make this profitable?
Will I have consistent income that I can actually live from?
Will I run out of clients or projects?
IT’S THE MONEY QUESTION.
I used to believe that when it came to the way we earn money, we had to pick something “realistic” or, at least come down from the airy-fairy world and be “practical.”
Then I found out about a company full of professional fairy princesses. I was so excited, but wasn't sure if I had what it took to be one – or even if they had any job openings. A few weeks later, I found out this company had an opening. I interviewed and got the job. I worked for a year and a half as a professional fairy princess. This completely changed my outlook on careers. Many little girls dream of being a fairy princess, but that dream is soon squashed by adults around them who say dream-squashing things like “fairies are pretend.” Nope, not pretend. Real. Fairies are real and they are making real money. Not a bazillion dollars, but an actual, decent, fair wage.
Bottom line? If I can be a fairy princess, you can be anything you want… an artist, writer, painter, world-traveling acrobat, or whatever!
SO HOW DO YOU DO IT?
If I had to distill down the money stuff to one article, and give you specific focus points, (which I do, because I want you to have the best information possible) I would tell you eight things:
1. Cultivate a number-neutral attitude. Whether you are thousands of dollars in debt, or have thousands in savings, the numbers are neutral, meaning they just are. They aren’t good or bad, and they aren’t positive or negative. They say nothing about who you are right now. They don’t mirror your character. Should I say that again? They don’t mirror your character! They don’t reflect who you are right now. Money has nothing to do with your true identity.
2. Cultivate a sense of abundance. If you have five dollars in your pocket, appreciate it. Don’t confuse this with thinking the five dollars is part of your identity (see #2), but just be grateful for the five dollars. Being thankful is the KEY to cultivating a sense of abundance. Don’t just be grateful for the money in your pocket, but ALL the abundance in your life. Perhaps you have an abundance of health, or an abundance or friends, or an abundance of canned corn in your kitchen. Whatever it is, you are rolling in it. YEAH!
3. Be open to your businesses looking different than you originally envisioned. The money-making spot is where your passions and strengths overlap with what the world needs. This is a big overlap space, with lots of room for all artists to make a living. However, the overlap might surprise you. If your community of buyers, clients, or customers looks different than you thought they would, be open and accepting of that, and embrace them. They are your people, even if you thought they would be different people. Love them.
4. Embrace help. Do you have an independent streak? So do I. It’s a huge gift, but also something to regard carefully and beware of in business. Success requires making requests of people, and the steps that grow your business significantly will involve seemingly mind-boggling acts of generosity from other people. For example, someone with a larger customer base might introduce your stuff to their customers. Your significant other might do the dishes a dozen times while you are studying your art. Your best friend might volunteer to provide snacks at your book launch party. Accept these as gifts. Thank them. You also give generously to others, which leads me to…
5. Give generously. Especially give to those you are tempted to view as your “competition.” Give appreciation, offer connections, and offer support. These folks are not your “competition,” they are your colleagues. This is called web-thinking or partnership thinking, and it requires an abundance mindset. The second group of people to give to are your customers and would-be customers. When you find those people who are willing to pay for what you have, treat them with the ultimate respect, love, and appreciation. Give them presents
6. Charge money! It’s your job to make it clear to people that you run a business. When pricing your stuff, find the sweet spot that seems and feels fair to your customers, but that involves a bit of a risk for you. Setting prices should be a little scary. You should ask for a little bit more than you think you can get. Then watch your business boom.
7. Remember that it’s not just about money! Focusing only on money will lead to burnout, and no body wants to be a burned-out artist. That job description usually involves long, sleepless nights, alcohol and drugs, and an early death. I believe in sustainable artistry. For an approach to your art that will keep you physically, emotionally, spiritually, AND financially healthy, follow my 12 Royal Rituals for Art and Income. (You get that info-drawing when you sign up for my free updates. Also, I write about the 12 Rituals constantly.)
Leave a comment telling us which of the 7 steps you would most like to focus on to grow your creativity business!
Jotting down your comments helps every member of this community learn and grow together.
As always, thank you so much for being here. I truly value your presence, your heart, and your art.