We all have one: a money story. Our own money story begins to work its way into our brains in early childhood when we witness whatever the money stories of our parents or their parents were while we were growing up. Getting to the bottom of your money story is an important exercise in understanding why you treat money the way you do, good or bad, and helps you determine whether you should make some changes.
Working Smarter, Not Harder
My job as a Creative Business Strategist is to help artists work smarter not harder. The goal is to grow their income in ways that are both profitable, to help them attain financial security, and efficiency, so they can maximize their income while also maintaining a balanced life with plenty of time for creativity.
The money story plays a major role in how the artists in my coaching programs approach their businesses. I’ll come back to this again in a bit, but first, let’s talk about the different ways people approach money and see which ones you can identify with. They may feel slightly exaggerated, but you’ll get the idea.
For purposes of growth, I have focused on the negative aspects of money psychology, not to bring you down but because it’s the negative ideas we have about money that can tend to hold us back.
The Penny Saver: This person grew up in a very conservative family, and the idea of spending money on anything other than basic needs, and occasional splurges are totally foreign to them. They usually have enough money to cover their bills but tend to have a low tolerance for risk, so spending on anything that’s not guaranteed such as stocks, real estate, or businesses, can feel very uncomfortable, and downright frightening.
The Dollar Hoarder: This person grew up in fear, where money was always a scarce commodity, and it affected not only the physical well-being of the family but the emotional, social, and relational well-being. There can never be enough money to make sure this never happens to this person again, so they spend all their time focused on “the money”, getting the money, saving the money, etc. just to feel safe.
The Free Spirit: This person grew up in a family where money was abundant, but they had no understanding of its underlying value, or how it came to be in their lives. They were given whatever they wanted or needed, without regard for where it came from. These people tend to spend frivolously and freely, sometimes landing on their feet, and other times, getting hit hard in adulthood, with the reality of the work involved in gaining wealth.
The Money Miser: This person grew up in a very controlling environment, and uses money as a means of controlling others. They can be both enabling, and cheap. They also tend to be the people who never offer to pay the bill.
So which one of these categories do you identify with? How do you think that negative part of your money story might be holding you back from growing your creative business, stepping outside of your comfort zone, and making plenty of money?
When I coach an artist or a group of artists, I encourage all of them to take on this exercise and dissect their own money stories. I encourage you to take on this exercise of really understanding your money story. If you are trying to build a profitable, successful business (whatever that means for you), you’ll have to face the money issue head-on. It IS about the money, no matter what anyone else tells you. You can’t run a successful business or have a secure, abundant life without it.
The Year of the Wealthy Artist
Many artists find themselves continuing to work and work, but financially they are not seeing the benefit of that work. Getting to the bottom of the money story is just part of the journey to a successful online art business and I am here to help every step of the way. I deemed 2022, “The Year of the Wealthy Artist” and I am making it my mission to help as many artists as possible grow their creative businesses into the six figures.