What particularly jumped out at me from Sara’s responses were the money beliefs that she learned growing up. For one thing, like many of us, Sara didn’t have role models to teach her that there might be a different path than “trading time for money.” No one ever talked about passive income or wealth building.
Many of us can be really hard on ourselves for not being in a better position financially, but where would we have learned this stuff if not from our parents or in school?
Sara also brought up a great point about religion creating a certain mindset about money. She quotes from the Bible: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Couple that kind of religiosity with cultural beliefs that artists should practically give away their work for spiritual reasons . . . and, well . . . where does that leave us? It’s pretty easy to see where so much money shame begins, isn’t it?
What about you? What did you learn about money from your religion/spirituality while growing up? How about simply from the culture of your hometown? What old hurdles have you had to jump in order to shift your thinking about money? Please join the conversation by leaving a comment!
Sara’s ABC book, “L is for Love and Light,” is encouragement for the child in all of us! Her mission is to inspire creative, passionate living as she urges the zesty, courageous visionaries of every age to step out and be brave! She blogs and shares her work on her website: LiveLifeOpen.com
1. Are you earning what you’re worth? I know that I’m not, but I’m getting there. I’m working on my “money mindset” a lot these days. I continue to open my mind and grow in my awareness of just how my money story has affected me thus far and how clearing those limiting beliefs can have powerful effects in my life. I see amazing shifts beginning to happen, and I now expect fabulous financial growth in my world!
2. What does the expression starving artist bring up for you? It brings up a very vivid memory from when I was 18. I was going to college for Art, and I had a “senior art show” at my high school. I even had a guest book! A “jerk face” (ha ha) from my class wrote in my guest book “Good luck! You’ll be asking ‘do you want fries with that’ while I’m making the big bucks!”
There it is, that misplaced belief that we have to choose: art or money, creativity or food, passionate self-expression or financial freedom. Booo! No thanks! I don’t want to choose; I want both. I now believe that creativity is essential to success in anything, and that embracing one’s creative nature can have huge rewards. I can set myself apart when I infuse my art into my work.
In “The Strangest Secret,” Earl Nightengale says, “Be of service… build… work… dream… create! Do this, and you’ll find there is no limit to the prosperity and abundance that will come to you.” When I’m in a low energy or thought pattern around money, it helps to see money as just an energy exchange. If I have something to offer, that can have a positive impact on someone’s life, it is okay for me to receive healthy compensation for that. It’s all about impact.
I would also like to expand the definition of art/artist. What constitutes “ART”? I love to paint with my watercolors. I also like to write, and speak, and have amazing three-hour conversations about life. I can also get completely lost in formatting a killer spreadsheet in Excel! It’s all my art, anytime I am creating something new, I am tapping into that part of my human nature that wants to make something from nothing, and to me, that’s ART.
Steven Pressfield has an amazing book on this subject, The War of Art that’s worth checking out.
3. Do you have any childhood money stories that have to do with making a living from work you love? I grew up a good Methodist farm kid in Missouri. I heard the lesson loud and clear from the Bible (Matthew 19:24) “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” I made that to mean that I better not ever become rich, or I would have trouble getting into heaven! I know that is a very real belief for many, but it’s held me back for long enough. My understanding of the Universe has expanded, in so many ways, but that notion of wealth being something bad, wrong, selfish . . . evil? It stuck with me.
I loved my childhood. I was raised around farmers, housewives, teachers, and preachers. My parents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors all seemed to fit those four categories. We got by all right. We had the necessities. But I didn’t have too many examples of wealth building, or concepts like residual or passive income. (A “royalty check”, what’s that?!)
There was an artistic, creative, even entrepreneurial spirit always alive deep inside me, but I didn’t have a model in real life for how I would live that out, and I was scared to step out into the unknown or ask questions back then.
I’m actively working on that now. I’m in a group, led by Linda Ryan, and we are working through The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles. He references another Bible story, “The Parable of The Talents” (Matthew 25:14-30) (This one, I don’t believe was stressed as heavily in my childhood days! Hello?!) To summarize: a wealthy land owner gives money to three servants. Two of them invest it and double their money. The third plays it safe, and buries it out of fear. The two that built wealth are celebrated. Since the third didn’t make more of what he was given, what he did have was taken away. “Talent” here is a unit of measurement but I think we can expand that to include our gifts, skills, etc. Wattles states, “The normal desire for increased wealth is not an evil, or reprehensible thing, it is simply the desire for more abundant life. It is aspiration.”
This is freeing for me. I do desire growth. To expand is human! After all, you can help more people when you have more! It’s okay for me to be paid well and reach more people and spread love, light, and joy along the way.
So. That’s the plan.
4. What’s your biggest money story currently? I’m in the game now to leverage myself, and create passive income. I was so limited before. I thought “dollars for hours worked” was the only model. The “good girl” in me still wants to get it right, spiritually. The “brave girl” wants to live her life to the fullest. The “creative girl” wants freedom to keep diving into her creations. And the “mom and wife” lady doesn’t want to choose between t-ball shoes, healthy groceries, and the auto-debit phone bill that’s coming out of her checking account next week. (What can I say, I want it all!)
So I’m doing affirmations. Examples: “It is safe for me to succeed.” “I love and accept that I have ambition and desires.”
I’m studying the likes of Earl Nightengale, T. Harv Eker, and Denise Duffield-Thomas.
I’m stepping into a new story. One where there’s more than enough to go around—and joy, desire, ambition, gratitude, generosity, service, wealth, and creativity all live together in harmony.
That’s my new story. I’ll let you know how it goes!
5. Do you think the expression, “Do what you love and the money will follow” is accurate? (Would you add anything to it?) I think there is a balance. There’s a sweet spot where you are loving what you’re doing, and other people are loving what you do, and it works so well for everyone that abundance just flows.
That’s awesome when that happens, of course. There are some things you will do, just for you, for the joy of the thing, and no money follows. To stop doing that thing if the money doesn’t come would be tragic.
I also think, if you want to make your art into a business, that it’s okay to take other people’s opinions, needs, and desires into consideration. If I’m designing products, there’s an aspect of mass appeal that I’m looking for in the marketplace. I’m still getting to do what I love, but I am taking others into consideration.
That being said, I feel like, with this “ABC” book, I really did it how I wanted to. I hit on some universal concepts that I wanted to make sure my two daughters had a framework for and it has resonated with so many others, too. So, it is a win-win.
This was the first thing I’ve done that was purely creative—a step out into the unknown, an expression of who I truly am—and so just knowing that it exists in the world is satisfying to me. Money following is awesome, and I’m open to abundance there, but having this book for my girls and what it has meant for my family is a pretty awesome thing.