Sunday, March 01, 2015

There is no close second to financial compensation

Truly creative people tend not to be motivated by money. 

In fact, most artists struggle to even assign monetary value to their intellectual property, much less ask for the sale. It’s just how we’re wired. Being heard is job number one. 

And yet, despite our most idealistic tendencies, our most benevolent nature and our most romantic notions, nothing beats getting paid. There is no close second to financial compensation. 

Besides, deep down, we know we don’t do it for the money, we do it for what the money stands for. That we’re worth it. 

The secret, then, is making sure we don’t reach a point where every decision feels like it needs to be legitimized by its ability to make money. Because once we lock into that mindset, all the whimsy washes away. All the soul squeezes out of the work. 

Buckminster made a poignant observation back in the seventies, in which he suggested doing away with the erroneous notion that everybody has to earn a living. He said that although a hundred years ago, almost nobody on the planet had a job, our society started inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery to justify their right to exist. We had inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors, he said, but the true business of people was to think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living. 

And so, perhaps there’s a middle ground. A dual citizenship of being heard and being paid, whereby artists are still earning money from their work, but not treating money as the sole arbiter of their creative future.

What mental obstacles do you have around making money from your art?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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