The great love-versus-money balancing act

Artists and other creative people have all dreamed of a time in our careers when we will no longer have to do our day job (or other work) just to make money. Then we can spend all our time doing exactly what we most love doing.

But in reality, everyone has to manage the great love-versus-money balancing act throughout their careers in order to provide both the income and the creative expression they want. You’ll even see big movie stars do this – they alternate working on huge blockbuster movies with doing indie films that pay a fraction of the income but provide them with a chance to be more creative.

For the rest of us, it might mean that as a writer, you do commercial copywriting in between books. As a video artist, you fund yourself by shooting corporate videos or adverts. As an Internet entrepreneur, you pick up the odd coding job on to keep yourself going.

The point is to choose the right mix of work. Don’t make the mistake so many do of taking any low-level work to keep them afloat, no matter how ill-fitting. There are far too many creative people stuck in boring temp jobs and punishing sales roles. If the work is a terrible fit for you, you’ll be so drained afterwards, you’ll have no energy for the thing you really want to do.

Aim to find a mix of work – some more like play than others, some more financially rewarding than others – but all of which use talents and skills you enjoy using. Make sure you are in flow. Get it right and you might find your more commercial work becoming symbiotic with the work you do purely for pleasure.

Have you made the love-versus-money balancing act work for you? Please leave a comment – I’d love to hear how you’ve done it.

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