When we think about people who are truly passionate about their art, and who look to make a living pursuing it, we often picture an artist starving in a charming garret – someone who is prepared to suffer in order for their art to live.
Well, I’m here to tell you this mindset may appear glamorous in the movies, but in real life, there is nothing uplifting about living with a “scarcity” mindset. As creatives, we are here to inspire the world with our work, and ultimately to be able to make a living with our gift. However, to achieve that aim, to put ourselves in a position to do that, we have to “unlearn” some beliefs and create some new habits.
Whether it’s fear of money, the “undervaluing” of ourselves and our abilities, or anxiety over gaining exposure, we have taken the time to address all these hurdles, real or imagined, so that we can help you on your creative journey.
Money is NOT Evil.
For the longest time art and money have had a strained relationship that still hasn’t been resolved. In order to create and do more of what you love, you need money. But at the same time, too much money makes you a quote on quote “sell-out,” and ultimately disconnects you from your art. Sounds like a catch twenty-two situation.
Probably the most misquoted verse in the Bible has to do with money. Most people say, “Money is the root of all evil,” when in fact the scripture actually reads, “The love for money is the root of all evil.” So, what does that mean ultimately? It means that an excessive attachment to money will not bring us peace or prosperity later in life if that is our sole focus. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work to earn money, or have it.
As an entreprenur you should view money as a tool to help support your craft, and allow you to be able to do more of it. If we keep this concept clearly in perspective, we can rid ourselves of the mind mentality that tells us only broke artists are true artists. And it is when you understand this that you will also begin to realize that your gift and the financial backing to support it, should always go hand in hand.
Giving Away Too Much For Free
One of the hardest things to do, when you become an entrepreneur, is to set a price for your product or service. That feeling is entirely understandable. You almost feel like you have to walk on eggs shells so you won’t offend anybody when they ask for a quote. When you are starting out, it’s tempting to want to set a price a little lower than the competition, just to get your foot in the door, but don’t think you have to give away the farm just to gain business. This is one of the ways to guarantee you will burn out quickly, and ultimately lose your business.
As an entreprenur, when it comes to pricing your service, or setting up speaking engagements, or even licensing your product, please don’t underestimate the value you bring to the table. That said, we would urge you not to be afraid of attaching a stern premium when it comes to your work, but also be willing to negotiate with people if you see a long-term benefit in the deal.
This aspect of business may have you feeling like a contestant on Shark Tank, but the quicker you master this concept, the more you will walk away with in your deals.
Getting the Exposure.
Right up there with the money is the exposure that comes with being a “sell out.” Most artists and entreprenurs may think they can simply rely on their work, that they don’t need exposure to sell, and that they will still be highly successful. This might well be true, but only to a certain degree. Yes, good work is unlikely to go unnoticed, but getting the word out about your latest project doesn’t hurt either. In the modern, digital age, you have the ability to reach, potentially, millions with just one tweet. This gives you enormous selling power and can save you time and money when it comes to building awareness of your latest project. And even if you’re not internet savvy, social media outlets like Facebook now have “Facebook ads;” a platform where you can promote your work using a budget as low as $10.
Obviously, then, it would make sound sense for you to create a plan to promote your work and get it in front of potential customers simply by sharing It on social media or in a monthly newsletter. Even Steve Jobs paid for a Super Bowl Ad for an Apple commercial, so why should you not invest in getting your product seen by the world.
In closing, it is our hope that you walk away with this knowledge. It may be great to experience the hunger of a starving artist but you now know you don’t have to become one to be a true artist. Your talent is a gift for you to give to the world, and money can help you spread that gift far and wide to encourage others. And that’s something you truly can’t put a price on.