Hey everyone. Welcome back to Money Talks, the place where we get to explore what it means to make a living while living a creative life.
This week I’m excited to introduce you to Cindia Carrere. Recently I read an article Cindia had written about the new role of creativity in the world. She talked about the way in which “former attorneys, engineers, western trained doctors, psychologists and others are transforming into heart-centered healers, speakers, authors, and change makers.” And she said, “The time has come to honor both our heads and our hearts, our training and our wisdom, instinct and experience.”
I agree with Cindia that there is a shift happening. And that’s why I invited her to participate in this column. I love bringing in the perspective she offers. There are entire groups of professionals who are transitioning to living more creative lives. And as Cindia cleverly points out, “how often do we use the expression, ‘starving attorney,’ or ‘starving physician?'” So these folks are cooking up creative lives for themselves without the heavy yoke of old beliefs about what is and isn’t possible in terms of earning a living. That’s got to make a difference, right?
What do you think? I’d love to have you join the conversation by leaving a comment below.
Intuitive for Entrepreneurs
Cindia Carrere is a trusted Intuitive who teaches Coaches, Authors and Speakers how to move past what’s holding them back so they can open their floodgates to profits and peace of mind. HealYourGrid.com
1. Are you earning what you’re worth?
Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what you’re worth, what you’re charging, and the product or service you’re offering may be three different things. But when you align them with the needs of your ideal clients, it’s magic! I’ve heard it said, “Abundance is guaranteed when you combine service with what you love to do.”
2. What does the expression starving artist bring up for you? Oooh, it brings up cultural stereotypes, and a little bit of first-hand experience. As a professional artist and Intuitive making a living from creativity for the past 25 years, I admit, the salad years were a liiiiiitle lean. As a side note – the first thing I thought of when you asked me to write this, was how fortunate my husband and I were to live and create in a 1926 bungalow that we named, “Mabel.” Not only was the name perfect for the era and our home’s personality, but it was a purposeful combination of the words, “stable” and “mobile,” which allowed us the freedom to travel and become more financially stable.
As my fingers hover over the keyboard, I have to ask, as a society, how often do we use the expression, “Starving attorney,” or “Starving Physician?” Personally, I don’t recall ever hearing it, but I did grow up hearing cautionary tales about starving artists, writers and creatives. The images I came of age with, was that of artists and writers either being broke, depressed, suicidal or all three. Pulling from the archives, Sylvia Plath, Hemmingway, Virgina Woolf, Diane Arbus, Vincent Van Gogh, and possibly Frida Kahlo, are a few examples.
The cultural climate is shifting – call it Global Income Warming – as evidenced by Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future who says, “The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic “right-brain” thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn’t.”
Even though this change is coming, a conception still lingers about who is “allowed” to earn big money (movie stars, athletes, politicians, doctors, lawyers, computer programmers, etc.), and who is not (artists, teachers, ministers, holistic/spiritual practitioners, etc.).
I’ve heard people say that if something is a gift, then you should be doing it for free. Why? Aren’t athletes physically gifted, aren’t attorneys brilliant at debate and thinking several steps ahead of their opponent, aren’t doctors excellent at commitment, diligence, and have an aptitude for learning? Everyone who has mastered something, had a spark, an innate gift that required time and devotion to develop.
The same is true with artists, musicians, and heart-centered entrepreneurs. Don’t Creatives have to eat and put a roof over their heads, too? Everyone is entitled to earn a living.
3. Do you have any childhood money stories that have to do with making a living from work you love? When I was in the 6th grade, our class was scheduled to go on an overnight field trip that included pizza and the State Capitol. Hey, this was BIG stuff. I’d been hearing about the annual trip since first grade and it was a rite of passage.
The total costs divided into the number of students going equaled $15 apiece. I naturally assumed my parents would pay for it, as the trip was required, but they said no, I would have to find the money on my own.
I had no idea how to go about it and felt quite crushed under the burden. The pressure was on and I HAD to find a way. (Insert soundtrack for dramatic tension building here), but the inspiration Angels came through. Using well-worn colored pencils, I drew birthday cards and thank you notes with matching envelopes, then carefully wrapped them with ribbon and went door to door in my neighborhood selling them as packages. And they sold – every one of them!
I made my $15 and felt quite empowered having figured out a way on my own, and realizing that my designs were actually valuable enough to purchase.
I remember the class trip even more fondly, felt an incredible surge of creativity, and experienced my first taste of financial independence. Selling those original designs gave me the confidence to ignore all the warnings and become a “starving artist.”
4. What’s your biggest money story currently? When I first started helping Entrepreneurs move past what’s holding them back, I charged a whopping $100 a month. Then I started charging $100 an hour, and now I’ve been paid $1,000 for an hour of my time. For some reading this, that will sound like a lot, for others, they’ll think, “Oh, is that all?” That’s not why I share this. My point is, do you suppose that I had more clients at $100 a month, $100 an hour, or $1,000 an hour?
Initially I would have answered, “Duh, $100 a month, that’s why I’m pricing it that way,” but I was incorrect and uninformed. I learned about something called perceived value. Because I priced my services too low, potential clients didn’t think I could help them. The light bulb went on when I understood that clients have to trust, understand, and believe your product or service can take them to the next level.
As a Creative, my clients are predominately left-brained analytical professionals, such as doctors, engineers, scientists, and ex-corporate executives who suddenly feel a higher calling and are now on their soul path exploring creativity, spirituality, and have become coaches, authors, speakers and heart-centered entrepreneurs. Used to dealing with higher income brackets, they dismissed me as not being serious about my business.
I finally worked up the courage to raise my fees, and during a discovery session, a doctor immediately challenged me, saying my prices were “rather salty.” Instead of apologizing or backing down, I asked, “If I charged $_____ (I gave my old pricing structure), would you believe that I could take you where you want to go?” She paused to think about it, and said, “No, not really…” She hired me on the spot.
5. Do you think the expression, “Do what you love and the money will follow” is accurate? (Would you add anything to it?) I believed it enough to try it out for myself straight out of college, and it has proven true for me. I have chosen to do what I love and enough money has followed. You’ll notice that the phrase isn’t, “Do what you love and boatloads of money will follow.” For some, tons of money will show up, and for others it may be a meager reveal.
I think the essence of that statement is life is too short to do what bores you. Is the phrase, “Do what you hate and the money will follow” any more true or inspiring?
Since we spend so much of our life force and time doing our work, wouldn’t the world be a more joyful place if everyone were doing what they loved? Polls reveal that 70-80% of Americans HATE their jobs, and suicide rates are highest on Monday mornings. For the health and well-being of our country, and the world, I support the concept of doing what inspires you, what motivates you to get up in the mornings excited, and the money can’t help but follow.
To come full circle, sure, there have been some tragic endings for poets, authors, musicians and artists, but there are far more individuals suffering in office cubicles or who end up in the self-inflicted morgue because they were so unhappy, not doing what they loved, and didn’t know there were other possibilities.
Yes, the “velvet handcuffs” of security, insurance, a steady paycheck and other benefits are quite convincing, but personally, I don’t like the odds. We’re either sold a bill of goods that artists starve, or the other choice is to become a wage-slave. Neither feels right. Before I step down from my soapbox, I’d like to encourage anyone reading this to know that there are far more options today than ever before.
What inspires you, and makes you want to leap out of bed on Monday morning to go and do? What information, experience and value do you have to offer? When you lead from excitement, the money, and people you are meant to serve, can’t help but follow.
Money Talks with Sherry Belul appears here on the Mabel blog every 2nd and 4th Friday of the the month, meet us here!