Psychology of money | by Morgan Housel
5 ways for you to be a better creative professional
The book is for anyone to understand the basics or to lay a foundation of financial literacy in one's life. It doesn't matter who you are and what you do, financial literacy and the concept of saving is very new. It is important to know how we behave with our money in general as most of it is often irrational and saving money should not have any agenda in general though it is important to inbuild the habit of doing so as early as possible in our lives.
I come from an era where creative professions were linked with failure, hunger and struggle all lifelong. I work in an era where the creative profession is considered for the strong heart and the risk-takers which eventually tops the chart of life considered successful.
It is sad to see though, many creative professionals often concentrate solely on creating and recreating content to generate a bank of work to prove their worth and many often neglect or shy away from the fact, that let one do what it wishes to do as long as it wants to do and when it wants to do. Money is often considered that corrupts one's mind and hampers its creative vision, in reality, it is the most important factor which let ones mind to be free from worry and create the stuff one wishes to.
If you are a photographer, illustrator, makeup artist, stylist, director, cinematographer, post-production artist or anyone who is a part of the media and entertainment industry, this book has a lot to teach you and I will also share a few aspects of how I behave when it comes to my money at the end of this article.
TO NOTE: Only a few points are been discussed considered fitting the agenda of the blog, though I will humbly suggest you pick a copy if you can. This blog is not responsible for any personal, professional, financial, psychological loss incurred if it may. Any mentioned pointers are to be considered as a mere suggestions and not professional financial advice.
1. Confounding Compounding:
Any aspirant starts their journey to be a professional from mere scratch. It either learns a skill to initiate or hold a mere talent in its native state.
Whereas any portfolio showcasing various aspects of creativity serving a set of premium audiences holds the much-needed growth gained in its past many years.
Eg: As a photographer, I started capturing images solely from a photography point of view minus post-production and creative manipulation though down the line I believed in various other mediums and owing those skills to recreate a bank of images that helps me hold an edge over others in the market.
Similarly, money, when let, grows for decades undisturbed gains power and an edge one needs eventually in its life.
Given said that, the amount is not what matters as much as the amount of time one lets it rest and grow, as like any talent needs its own time for it to get mature aesthetically.
2. Wealth is what you don't see
Spending money to show people how much money you have is the fastest way to have less money
As with any creative profession, things are required to set up its space initially doesn't come cheap. As and when an instant desire to upgrade with the latest and greatest comes to mind that one may feel fit one needs for time being and hence are kept at the top of one's shopping list may sound like a wise call to take. On the other hand, this irrational act of buying robs one's bank of the much needed financial support if and when one may wish for it.
An emergency like the much-needed service of your computer, camera or a subscription of your graphic software must be for the project you need to submit at the earliest.
The latest phone or the wifi-enabled camera. The drone you hold or the accessories you wish to add to your photography bag may create unwanted anxiety and it surely gives an instant satisfaction when finally bought, blame it partial to the social media and advertisement that makes you believe that you need it. The way to have a hold over it is by being rational than irrational about one's needs and being comfortable with what one has and a bit below what you think you can live with, comfortably.
The choice of renting exist to unload the burden of buying things that you may need to sell to buy things you need.
3. SAVE MONEY:
The only factor you can control generates one of the only things that matter. How wonderful!
Having more control over your time and options is becoming one of the most valuable currencies in the world. There is nothing that can force me to deny what is been stated.
As our parents and our grandparents, where saving and the act of investment was directly proportional to various life goals like owning a house, car, planning for a world tour and child education. Saving in the present era should not exactly be pinned to any definite agenda, though the simple act of saving, is a good enough reason to be prepared for anything, which helps you to step up in life or hold you up in the worst of your phase.
4. You will change:
long term planning is harder than it seems because people's goals and desires change over time.
We, humans, are been carried away via various phases in our lives and yet we think we will retain the same characteristics we held decades ago.
Like a child dreaming to be a superhero in his mind which holds no fear or worry of life, eventually realises the world around and hence his goals changes. We change and we keep changing ourselves to best suit our survival opportunities.
A creative professional does have its set of phases to pass through and eventually feels the need to change or grow in various aspects. Our life plans and goals changes and so so does our priority.
In the worst scenario where your creative profession didn't turn up as per your expectation in a definite time period or you need a few years to gain a certain skill set very much in demand in your area, or a sudden personal pitfall, gives anyone a valid reason to save.
5. The seduction of pessimism:
Optimism is a belief that the odds of a good outcome are in your favor over time, even when there will be setbacks along the way
The life of a creative professional is full of uncertainty, one's economy is directly proportional to its standard of living. Yet in the past decades, we have observed and lived uncertainties and hence it justifies enough to be not too sure about the coming times. The future is uncertain and so does the economy.
We may not adore a negative person or an idea though it holds the most power and gains our maximum attention. This desire to survive and the instinct in us as a human lets our minds think about the worst than the best to make themselves prepared well for the pain we all must avoid. The fear to live for months with no work calls or pitches. The anxiety where the bank is not fed well for long is a good reason to think about how we behave with our money and how we set our life in general. A certain amount of self-pampering is good for mind and soul and indeed important, as money earned is not worth it if it was what you finally hold on your deathbed.
Above all, a desire to be a creative professional, where the mind holds the possibility to attain a life considered successful in conventional terms. One's financial planning and the decision will eventually help one to do and create at its own pace, choose the best of the clients one wish to work for, and live in the best environment giving the utmost standard of living.
Tips and Tricks:
1. Buying vs Renting:
As a commercial advertising photographer and a product stylist, I hold no reasons to buy the latest of the camera, computer, lens and else every time it is been launched. Instead, I believe in renting my equipment as and when required. The ability and possibility to reach out to the best of the vendors in the market updating itself with the best give me more reasons not to shed my own money.
2. Buy the best you can afford:
My investment choices are based on the factor of how often I am using it and the amount of time it will require to cover my base expenditure and how much profit I may gain eventually.
Any buying choices must be around the factor of investment vs return.
A high-end digital gadget's self-life vs its depreciating market value is a must think about,
Eg: a computer with a well-built metal body along with a fast, high-end processor which can serve you and your work demands for the next 5 years may cost you 6x, it may seem like an expensive choice to go for versus a system with an average configuration and plastic built costing you 2x and last for a year only. In the case of the latter, you will end up spending 8x more to suit your need in the coming 5 years.
3. Living below my comfort level:
I am not a fashion vista nor my job demands me to be and hence a few pairs of awesome sports shoes, formals and athleisure are all I hold in my closet. My clients demand me in terms of my work quality not how I look like. To add my occasional visits to movie halls, entertainment centres and restaurants and once in a few years, vocational breaks has helped me to be sane enough for those days unannounced.
Given said the above, it is your personal choice to splurge though keep in mind how much value it is adding to your life in general.
4. Saving for the sake of Saving:
Every nation in its democratic nature has led to various advantages for anyone running its own shop. Tax redemptions are not solely for the corporate but even creatives should be aware of. My choice around my money is more about investing in the market and government funds than splurging on things I will not need eventually.
5. Being Rational vs Irrational:
A trick learned years ago is adding all you wish to own instantly on your cart and let it sit for a week and two and if possible for a month. A month is a good enough time for anyone to understand its priorities and eventually one can take a call accordingly. The goal is to educate yourself about what is important vs a temporary gratification.
Thank you so much for reading and I hope it helped you to understand your own relationship with your money better or share it with someone whom you think is an aspiring creative and needs a little nudge in regards to its financial understanding.
I am Shovona Karmakar, a commercial advertising photographer and product stylist based out of Mumbai, India. I specialize in portraits, editorials, people, products and cinemagraphs. If you are looking for a creative professional alike or wish to drop a Hi! feel free to ping me or use my contact form.