#12: Creatives, Money and Making a Difference- How to Find Balance
Until I started my own business, I had little interest in that topic. I’ve always been an ‘arty’ type, involved in music, dancing, acting, scriptwriting, theatre and film directing. Later, my job was to teach, to educate, to support.
None of these activities had much connection with money-making. Earning money was a necessity, not a goal. The mission for me was always some form of self-expression, storytelling as well as job satisfaction and (especially in teaching) having a positive impact on somebody’s life.
Perhaps not surprisingly, I tend to make relationships and find clients within sectors, where there are similar values. Most of my clients are either creative businesses, coaches or startups driven by a passion for the projects they develop.
We all have a few things in common:
- We need our work to give us a sense of satisfaction
- We want to see transformation we can deliver
- We are not motivated just by earning money
- We want to make a difference to somebody else’s life
- We want to have a personal connection with that someone
Like anything in life, there is a need for balance, as focusing just on one aspect is ultimately narrowing our perspective.
I worked and spoke with people who were so focused on making a difference that they completely forgot that they were running a business and as such had to bring in money. Otherwise, they risked not being able to help others as well as themselves.
I have also met people who were so focused on making money and building fortunes that they abandoned other areas of their lives: relationships, friendships, family members and themselves. Those who were lucky to realise that in time and decided to re-prioritise ended up often letting go of the financial pursuit in exchange for the joy of the little things in life.
In both groups, those who did not realise in time that they needed to open up to a different perspective and allow other aspects of work and life to take priority at least for a time, ended up bitter, felt misunderstood and unappreciated.
In my case, running a business turned out to be a school of life. It highlighted where I was limiting myself and taught me to think bigger. It showed me what was possible, which until now was not even on my radar.
Unexpectedly, my business taught me the importance of balance. By its nature, it forced me to limit the need for self-expression for the sake of it and instead shifted my attention to money-making activities.
I found that shift extremely helpful and I almost regret it didn’t happen sooner.
I’ve learned that changing your focus will not change who you are as a human being.
If helping others is already top of your agenda, becoming more intentional in how you make money, will not change that. In fact, especially if you focus your business around it, it may help you make a difference on a bigger scale.
If your focus is on money-making, then adding an element of extra ‘care’ and ‘support’ (to clients and employees) it will not take away your ability to earn a good living. Changing your attitude will simply make your work more satisfying.
In both cases, expanding on what already comes to us easily and filling gaps in other departments can only benefit our lives and business.
A brand that is financially successful and is making a difference to others, will not only attract a large following but also financial opportunities.
After all, everyone wants to back a winner and be part of a larger story.