Welcome back to Money Talks. Thanks to folks who have been reading and commenting; each person’s thoughts, stories, and musings add so much more to this ongoing conversation. I’ve discovered something valuable from each featured guest, as well as everyone who has taken the time to comment.
In today’s column, Barb Skoog shares something that has had me thinking ever since I first read it: “I think you need to identify what is most important to you and then set out and do what it takes to make that happen.”
You might read that line and think, “Yeah, of course. That’s obvious.” But I encourage all of us to look more deeply. What aspect of our work is most important? Is it more important to have security for our families or to do our creative work? Is it important that we get paid to do our creative work or do we want to create and give it away? How much money is important to us? How important is lifestyle, travel, health insurance, recognition? What is so important to us that it’s the one thing we know we we would truly regret if it didn’t get created?
And that is just the first half of her sentence! What about the second half: “…then set out and do what it takes to make that happen.” What do those actions look like? How much is mindset vs. skill sets? Does it matter who we know? What are the most effective uses of our time? How hard do we want to work? How much do we want to invest? How much can we really “make” happen?
In my mindfulness practice, I’m asked time and again to return to the place of Beginner’s Mind or “I don’t know.” Each time a brave new soul responds to these money questions, it can be an opportunity for me to start from square one in looking at money in my own life. I hope it feels the same for you!
As always, please let us know what you’re seeing around any of this by commenting below!
bio photo by Stefanie Renée — StefanieRenee.net
1. Are you earning what you’re worth? Ha! This is not a question with an easy answer. Let me put it this way: I charge what I believe I am worth and so therefore when a transaction is made, I feel it is a fair, honest, and valuable experience for all involved.
2. What does the expression starving artist bring up for you? I cringe when I hear that. It’s nothing but full of excuses. “Starving” and “artist” are exclusive of one another. One may be an artist who starves but that has nothing to do with being an artist.
3. Do you have any childhood money stories that have to do with making a living from work you love? I was taught that it’s important to secure your future first, then go play. And for me, that works well with my personality. I become paralyzed if I don’t have my finances in order. I don’t have to be wealthy (in fact, I prefer to live a simple, uncomplicated, uncluttered life), but I do have to be stable. And that means having money to pay the bills and save for a rainy day.
If I can earn money doing what I love, then great! But most of my life I earn money from “jobs” that I enjoy but aren’t necessarily soulfully satisfying. I’m okay with that because I know those jobs give me the opportunity to do what I love without the constant pressure or heavy burden of needing it to support me. And that frees me up spiritually and creatively.
4. What’s your biggest money story currently? I received the best gift from my husband eight years ago. He encouraged me to quit my corporate job and take time to explore what a second career would look like to me — without the worry of actually finding one (or creating one) within a set timeframe. But the fear of not making my own money, of depending on someone else to support me, of living on a tight budget just so I could “find myself,” really freaked me out.
It has taken me a long time to accept this gift from him, to trust that it was freely given (and continues to be freely given), and that our lives are better for it.
5. Do you think the expression, “Do what you love and the money will follow” is accurate? (Would you add anything to it?) I find that expression very passive. I think you need to identify what is most important to you and then set out and do what it takes to make that happen. If we need to identify a way to earn a living to support what is important to us, then we need to incorporate that into our plan. I find that people who are proactive AND passionate about what they want to do in life usually achieve the financial support they desire. Hoping and wishing that money will come doesn’t cut it. You have to go get it. How you go get it is totally up to you. You’re empowered to write your financial story.