Money is an emotional issue. It has to do with our deepest survival instincts. Some people are obsessed with money and measure their complete personal worth through their bank account, while others reject money as a source of evil, greedy, nasty capitalist values.
How to have a healthy, balanced relationship with money? There are countless books on the subject expressing every conflicting view imaginable.
Julia Cameron, in her book The Artist’s Way, describes what I feel is a positive view about creative work and money.
“What we really want to do is what we are really meant to do. When we do what we are meant to do, money comes to us, doors open for us, we feel useful, and the work we do feels like play to us.”
– Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way
It is an essential truth: When you are doing what you most love to do, you are setting yourself up for the greatest flow of abundance and prosperity in your life.
I deeply believe that now, but it took me a long time to get there.
Now, I haven’t earned millions of dollars with my creative career, and I will not promise to give you the secret on how to do that (although there are plenty of other books and courses that make those sort of claims).
I may not be a millionaire, but I do feel that I lead an abundant, prosperous, rich, and fulfilling life. This feeling has to do with the fact that I get to do what I love every single day.
Yes, we all want to earn enough money to feel comfortable and have the things we want, but at the same time, I want you to remember this:
Leading an abundant, prosperous life is not solely dependent on money.
Thoreau put it this way:
“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life, which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”
– Henry David Thoreau, Walden
“Well,” you may be thinking, “that’s all good and fine, Stephanie and Henry, but somebody around here has got to pay the rent and buy the groceries.”
You are right. However, I want you to keep in mind that the goal is to create a beautiful, flowing life full of joy and color and love.
Money is part of that equation, and, some might argue, a big part of that equation. But money alone will not buy you happiness.
Our views on money are often influenced by how our family feels about money and finances. As an adult, you may now have similar views about money as your parents, or you may have rejected their ideas completely. Or you may be struggling somewhere in between.
A few people grow up believing there is plenty of money to go around, more than enough, and that it is easy to earn all you need doing exactly whatever you want in life.
If you grew up this way with a positive outlook towards money, you are very lucky. Most of us have psychological issues from our past revolving around money. These issues – positive or negative – influence our current feelings about money.
Over the years, I have learned that the more positive, relaxed, and trustful I can be about money, the more of it flows in my direction. Showing generosity, gratitude, and appreciation towards others, and learning to network and form mutually supportive relationships – rather than competing – have all been important factors in this equation.
If you get too stressed out and negative about money, you will turn people off.
When you send out signals of desperation and panic, people will not want to buy your creative products and services.
It is sometimes hard to do, but you must get yourself in a positive, confident state before people will want to work with you and send you money.
If you are someone who, deep down, feels guilty for receiving money in exchange for your creative work, remember that the more money you receive, the more you can also help other people who are doing creative things. As you become successful, you will have greater opportunities to support others who are doing their own creative work.
“While prosperous thinking means many things to people, basically it gives you the power to make your dreams come true, whether those dreams are concerned with better health, increased financial success, a happier personal life, more education and travel, or a deeper spiritual life.”
– Catherine Ponder, Open Your Mind to Prosperity
Don’t underestimate the power of taking a few small steps each day to reach your goals. As a creative, thoughtful individual, be open to your own exciting and brilliant ideas. These are exactly the creative ideas you need to make more money.
Start by making notes and acting on at least three small steps towards earning money with your creative work today.
A few first steps could be:
- brainstorming creative services or products you could offer to fulfill a need that isn’t being met.
- collecting ideas about local and/or online opportunities to show and sell your work or creative services.
- listing media possibilities to publicize your work and make valuable contacts (blogs, magazines, websites).
- researching classes you’d like to teach or attend to help you get the skills and information you need (online/offline).
- contacting successful people in your field you want to meet, interview, or assist.
Here’s what Seth Godin, in his thought-provoking book Unleashing the Ideavirus, has to say:
“…if you can get people to accept and embrace and adore and cherish your ideas, you win. You win financially, you gain power and you change the world in which we live… Ideas, not products, are the engine of our new economy.”
– Seth Godin, Unleashing the Ideavirus
What special something can you offer the world that people want, need, and are willing to pay for? It could be something you make with your hands, like a craft or artwork – or it could be skills or ideas that you teach or provide others.
When you are doing what you most love to do, and you are sharing your gifts with the world to help others – you will ultimately find your greatest financial success and personal rewards.
Know that it is possible to earn money with your creative work. If you’re not earning as much money as you want just yet, be patient. Don’t accept the opinion of anyone who tells you it is impossible, because it’s not.
Find your voice, live your passions, muster up your personal courage, and celebrate your creative work. Prosperity loves fresh, creative ideas, and abundance follows courage.
P.S. I’m sending you heaps of creativity and courage from Europe today! You are personally invited to join our community of creative, courageous women meeting here, starting up April 9.