Ep #212: The Creative Entrepreneur Series Part 2: Creatives and Money

The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley | The Creative Entrepreneur Series Part 2: Creatives and Money

There is so much to talk when it comes to creatives and money. There should be little surprise that many of us are operating more like charities or even hobbyists when it comes to money, and we’re proving that starving artist mentality we all know so well to be true. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Many of us don’t have a positive relationship with money because we have inherited and internalized the cultural and societal messaging we have received all our lives regarding productivity, and we believe that having the money we want requires endlessly hustling until we get there. But it’s time to change that narrative.

In this episode, find out what it really takes to start making the money you want as a creative, and how to start making money without the hustle. I’m showing you how you might be accidentally opting out of making money, and three skillsets you need to build to make the money you want.

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • How I realized I wasn’t making the money I wanted in my business, and what I did to change it.
  • What non-cash currency is and how you might be receiving it in your business.
  • The reason you shouldn’t believe everything you see on highlight reels.
  • Why most of us don’t know how to stop hustling.
  • Some things that keep us hustling for our money.
  • Why we have to engineer our profits on purpose.
  • One thing we’re consistently doing in our businesses that is actually harming our profits.

Featured On The Show

Full Episode Transcript

You are listening to the Design You podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 212.

Welcome to the Design You podcast. A show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth and joy, here’s your host, Tobi Fairley.

Hey, friends. Welcome back to part two of our creative entrepreneur series. I’m going to dig right in today because we have so much to talk about when it comes to creatives and money. Okay, so last week we talked about the fact that many creatives don’t even think about themselves as entrepreneurs or businesspeople. In fact, we believe we’re not really great at business in general sort of. Yet we have a business and businesses by definition are for profit otherwise they would be called charities.

And we also have a stereotype as creatives that you have probably heard of. And it’s called the starving artist. Now, there should be little surprise that many of us are operating more like charities or at least as hobbies when it comes to making money. So, a lot of us are proving that starving artist stereotype to be true but it doesn’t have to be. Here is the thing, we look like a legit business in our craft.

And we look like a legit business in what I call in my company the fulfilment and delivery department where we deliver the thing we do which for a lot of you listening that’s interior design, or event design, or some other creative endeavor. So, we know exactly how to do our work. But it’s the other part of the business where things get a little or maybe even a lot dicey. So here I want to tell you something that I adopted a few years ago and it’s been really helpful.

I think of my company like a three legged stool. And the three legs represent my three departments or our three departments. So, the first department is that fulfilment and delivery department. It’s the business of delivering what you promised. So, if you are an interior designer that’s when you’re working in your business doing interior design, doing the design work, the execution of that work all the way through installing it in a client’s home, or office, or whatever kind of work you do.

So, anything and everything that is required to get the project completed fits under the fulfilment and delivery department. If you’re an event planner it’s the design and execution of the event. For photographers it’s the taking of the photos, and processing them, and delivering to the client. You get the picture. It’s the part of our job that most creatives actually like. It’s our art, our craft, what a lot of you would probably just consider your job.

But if we want to be successful as creatives, and by successful, we’ve been redefining success here. But if we want to create money, if we want to create financial success in our business as creatives and really step into the creative entrepreneur role or identity there’s two more legs to that stool that you need to make it stand up, to make it stable. Because as you can envision a stool with only one leg or maybe two legs it’s going to come crashing down.

And many of you feel the pain of trying to balance on just that one leg or maybe two legs all the time in your business and it’s exhausting. So, the second leg of the stool in my business or department is the operations department. So, this is the running of the company. It’s financial tasks like billing, and taxes, and income projections, all that stuff fits here. It’s also managing the team, including things like payroll, and vacations, and making sure they are fulfilling their role, guiding them as needed.

It’s also the company culture and morale, all of that fits here in operations. It’s also making CEO level decisions about the company vision and how you want to execute all of that, how you want to grow the company. All of those things fit here in operations. And it also includes just the really basic office management stuff, the day to day things you have to do to make your company run, all part of operations.

And then we have the last department or the third leg of the stool and that is sales and marketing. So that’s pretty self-explanatory but this is where we attract or repel and close clients in order to make a profit in our business. And it has all of the marketing duties, and all of the sales duties which a lot of you don’t do a lot of sales duties. It has the social media marketing. It has things like PR and visibility, all of that stuff happens in the sales and marketing. So, in my company the podcast that you’re listening to right now falls under sales and marketing.

Now, as you may be starting to notice, there are money implications in all three departments. In delivery and fulfilment, we need to make sure we’re pricing our goods and services in a way that creates a profit for us. And in operations, we’re not only managing our finances but we’re doing a lot of spending of money too, especially if you have a team. Because for most companies payroll is often the largest expense of a company but for good reason, because it helps you scale and grow without burning yourself out.

In sales and marketing, you’re attracting the clients that will be paying you. And so, you’re pitching the pricing to them in order to get a yes or a no. So that’s about money. It’s also the part of the company where a lot of money conversations with clients start. And you either convert the customers or the right customers, or repel the wrong ones. And then there’s also a lot of spending money again in the sales and marketing department because you’re paying for ads potentially, you’re paying for graphic design. All the things you do to sell in your company.

So, circling back to the truth that many creatives don’t think of themselves as businesspeople. And they also don’t think of themselves typically as salespeople. And we also have a lot of people pleaser tendencies which we’ll talk about in the next episode next week. But we have those when we’re talking about our services, and when we’re working with clients. And we have a lot of people pleaser tendencies in our creative minds. So, we’re constantly at all kinds of places opting out of making money.

In fact, a lot of us are accidentally opting out of making money just about every chance that we get. And since we are intending to be for profit businesses, and not charities, and not hobbies, this is a problem. And sadly, one that doesn’t just happen to fix itself the longer we’re in business even though a lot of us think that’s how it works. We’re like we’re not making money but eventually we’ll just magically start making money. It doesn’t happen that way. It’s actually a problem, a challenge that must be faced head on.

And we have to engineer our profits on purpose or we won’t likely have them on a consistent basis. So, besides the fact that we don’t identify as businesspeople or salespeople there’s another big barrier for us creative entrepreneurs with making money and that’s the cultural and societal messaging that we receive about productivity and hustling. In fact, that starving artist piece, that starving artist stereotype is a cultural and societal message but it’s not the only one. So let me explain.

Most of us have an amount of money we would love to make in our creative businesses. For some of us that’s 100K, or what the internet glamorously calls six figures. Or maybe you want seven figures which is a million dollars or maybe you want more. But we have a visual especially since as creatives we are super visual people. But we have a visual of what it takes and what we will have to give up in our lives to create that six or seven figures in revenues.

We want it, we see it but we also have this story happening of all the things we’re going to have to give up to get that money. And typically, that story goes something like, I’m going to have to give up all the time to the business which means taking it away from my family, or my health, or my wellness, or my hobbies, or every single thing else that is important to me. Because to make six figures or especially seven figures, it’s going to take a lot of time or so we think.

And even though there are a lot of people like me out here starting to talk about creating a lot of money without the hustle, or with less hustle we don’t even know if we really believe that that’s possible. If we had to pick one way or the other we’d probably say it’s not possible to make a lot of money without the hustle. Because what we have been told our entire lives by society, by our parents, by our teachers, by all sorts of other influencers, is that you have to work really hard to make a lot of money. And we believe that. It is part of our belief system. It feels like a truth.

So, I even spend personally a lot of time thinking about this because I definitely hustled in my early years in business. And I like to think about whether or not it’s possible to have not hustled. And I personally think the answer now that I know so much is yes because it was not the work that necessarily was making me hustle.

It was the belief system that I have to work really hard to make a lot of money that had me hustling day in and day out and some other things too. Again, we’ll talk about next week, but people pleasing and some other mindsets. But even if it is possible to create that kind of money that we want with no hustle, most of us don’t take that route, just like I didn’t take that route. And there’s a lot of reasons for that, yeah, the belief systems but also we’re excited, we’re passionate.

And often we just have the sheer drive for our business especially when business is new and it’s so much fun. So, we accidentally hustle early on and then we’ve set that sort of habit, or precedent, or mindset that this is the way business works. And especially when we’re taking our advice about our businesses from other people who hustled before us, and trust me, that’s the advice I used to give because it was the only thing I knew until I learned how to not hustle.

But a lot of us are taking advice from people who have hustled, who still hustle and that’s still the message we’re getting and the roadmap we’re following. The other thing that has us hustling for money is that societal collective mindset about what it takes to be successful in general. And we’ve talked a lot about this in some previous episodes but we hear so many messages about working hard.

And if we’re not hearing messages about working hard we’re hearing the, what I call, much overused cliché, don’t work hard, work smart, whatever the hell that means. Because I always think to myself, no one ever thinks they’re not working smart, not typically. I mean some people do on some areas. But when we start making changes and we hear other people talk about ideas and we take them on, which have us hustling, we still think, oh, yeah, this is going to work. This is going to be the thing that works. This is so smart.

So, we usually are trying to do all the things that we hear the gurus and those that came before us say to do which doesn’t turn out to be really smart. But we think those are all the smart things, or at least we did at some point when we started them. But in so many ways they never work, at least not consistently, or at least for me I wasn’t able to do them all, especially at the same time. It was too much. There weren’t enough hours in the day. I didn’t have enough money early on to invest in some of those things, or to pay people to help me with those things.

So, it was definitely a chicken and an egg, chicken and the egg situation for me. And I’m sure that’s been true for many of you. But either way working hard and working smart usually ends up meaning for most of us, being really busy. And since we don’t think of ourselves as businesspeople but rather as creatives or designers, what do we busy ourselves with first?

Yeah, you guessed it, the client work. We have of course filled our schedule with the client work because we have a belief that we have to fulfill those promises, the work that we’ve already gotten a commitment for. That absolutely has to be the priority, which never seems to leave any time for the other two legs of the stool. And if you’re going to make money as a creative all three legs matter, they really matter. So, if those were not enough hurdles to jump through to get to making real money as a creative, I hate to tell you but there are still more obstacles for us creatives.

First, one that comes to mind is the ego stroking external validation we seek from the things, the people that aren’t necessarily making us money. So sometimes they are, sometimes it’s clients but a lot of times we’re not even making that much profit with our clients. But a lot of times these things that make us feel so good aren’t making money, at least in the short run and often not at all. But they require us a lot of times to spend money to do these things. And often they never pay off.

Now, these things that aren’t making us money are different depending on what industry or part of an industry you work in. But just for an example in the interior design industry, those things look like doing showhouses, going to all the industry events and markets to ‘network’ as if all those people you’re networking with were your clients. If they were it would be a different story. You’d probably be making some sales there. But for most of us the people we’re networking with aren’t our clients.

Now, yeah, we might learn something from them but it’s not really adding to our bottom line. It’s often taking away, it’s often costing us both time and money. And spending money on things like having an office outside our home, or having an expensive website, or for some people having a retail store with inventory. These always seem to make it onto our wish list too because they are part of the things that get us attention, get us that ego stroking.

There are so many things we spend time and money on convincing ourselves that these are the things that are going to make us money or that they are good marketing. But it’s often really hard to prove that these things make us money especially in the short run. Now, I’m not saying, don’t do these things ever. I’m not saying, don’t have a good website. But they’re better often to be done once we’ve learned how to really make money. But typically, that’s not the order we do them in.

We do all these things first and spend the money first when we haven’t even really figured out how to make consistent money in our businesses. So, what actually does make us money as creatives? Well, I’m sorry to tell you again, lots of bad news always on this podcast, lots of real talk. But the stuff that makes us money is kind of the boring stuff. And that’s why so many of us creatives struggle with this, because we don’t want the boring. We don’t want the consistent. We don’t want the monotonous stuff that seems too easy, or that we’ll do later.

We don’t want to stick with one revenue stream, or package, or offer that is pretty simple and easy to complete consistently over and over again for our clients until we’re making a lot of money. Not at all, that’s not what we want. We want the excitement, and the travel, and the glam that comes with starting a creative business in the ways that we see on the highlight reels of all those people in our industry that we idolize, that we put on pedestals.

We want the fancier and bigger projects with bigger budgets although we haven’t even really gotten good at making money with the clients that we do have. We think the clients are the problem, we absolutely do. We’re like, if we just had bigger, better clients with more money, then all our money issues would be solved but it doesn’t work that way. We also feel embarrassed about the clients we do have a lot of times because they don’t end up necessarily with completed projects. Or if you’re an interior designer, a full house project.

So, we can’t really start to create our own highlight reel and measure up out in the world of Instagram. So, we can’t really feel like we’re a legit business but often it’s those clients that if we were really focused on learning to make money that would be the training ground that we’re going to need to make money in the future.

And we don’t see it this way because we want a highlight reel too, as if we don’t know that the highlight reel of other people is oftentimes a lie. And a lie for what I’ve learned in a lot of ways is yeah, maybe they’re doing these amazing projects. But the truth is so many of those creatives aren’t charging enough, aren’t making profits and are barely making ends meet if all behind the scenes. They’re struggling with money. So that’s what I call and a lot of us call the smoking mirrors of our industries because it looks successful but financially it’s just not.

But we desperately want those highlight reels to be true. We want to be able to just ignore the consistent things that would work, that could work to create our first 100K, or even several hundred, or possibly a million. And we often pick the things to do first that look most exciting and get us the most applause and attention or what I call validation, but rarely the most money.

And it’s true that sometimes those things may get us name recognition that could help later with making money but they rarely make us a whole lot of money truly because I’ve had all the name recognition in the world. And at many various times of my business, I wasn’t making money or not enough to really be sustainable. And certainly not enough to pay me the amount of money that I wanted to make. It definitely wasn’t happening in the beginning but it wasn’t happening a lot of times later too.

So, if it’s bigger and better projects that we’re getting from these highlight reels and these fancy things we’re doing, a lot of times we’re even getting those before we’re ready. And we often get in over our heads and it creates a ton of stress for us, it’s a financial risk because we don’t really often have enough experience to run these type of projects well.

But it’s also a prime place where we’re going to accidentally but consistently opt out of profit when we lop hours off our bill because we’re embarrassed, or we are giving poor service. So, another reason we give a discount. Or we want a project to get finished even though they have a big budget. They still aren’t willing to spend on the things that we would like them to spend on so we can take pretty, pretty pictures so we discount those things. And it becomes this consistent, yeah, I haven’t even thought about it that way.

One of the only things we’re consistently doing is forgoing profits, forgoing revenues for the sake of the highlight reel, or our ego stroking, or our validation. So, this kind of behavior that we creatives regularly do, keeps us squarely in the red or at least not really making a lot of money. So, you know, red means negative bank account. We might not totally be in the red but we’re not rolling in the dough.

And for that reason, it also keeps us squarely in the hustle, really on that proverbial treadmill, efforting like crazy to pull off what we’ve committed to. And hoping like hell that we end up with a profit at the end. Praying our clients don’t hate us for the way we’re flying by the seat of our pants. I know because I know you’re a creative that all of that is way closer to home than you’d probably like to admit. And that’s been true for me too many times in my business.

Here’s what I want us to think about. One of the definitions of hustling that I think is so important for us to know is this. Hustling is trying to prove your worth through your work. So, it’s about outrunning your insecurities and your self-doubt. Whoa, sit with that for a minute. It’s not just the way you do work, but it’s a certain way of doing work to prove your worthiness, to outrun those insecurities, to outrun your self-doubt, to prove to yourself, to your clients, to your parents, to your spouse, to the world that you are legit.

And I will 100% admit that was exactly what I was doing with many of my clients, and with my family members and people watching, peers, friends, early in my business. In my head I was stressed to the max but trying like hell to prove to myself, and all those other people, and the world that I had what it takes to make it in this business. That’s what had me hustling. But thinking about making real money wasn’t really a part of the hustling.

I mean I just assumed that the money part would take care of itself if I worked that hard because I’d always heard, you’ve got to work really hard to make a lot of money. So, I assumed if you worked really hard you would eventually make a lot of money. But here’s what I want you to know, creative entrepreneur, or just plain old creative if you’re still not calling yourself an entrepreneur, there are three things that we might not realize, our skillsets, not just sort of personality traits, they’re skillsets that we have to have or have to build to really be able to make money.

Number one, we have to have the skillset of selling. Number two, we have to have the skillset of making profit, or even making money. Some of us aren’t even good at creating revenues. So, one, selling, two, making money. And three, we have to have the skillset and you probably didn’t think this was a skillet but I promise you it is, of having a positive relationship with money. And the reason it’s a skillset is because we have to develop that positive relationship with money.

Many of us were handed down a very negative, very sort of cumbersome or problematic relationship with money, by our families of origin, or somebody else that influenced us, or even by the world. So, these things, these three things that are required for creatives to really make good money or a lot of money are not talents and they’re not natural abilities, they’re skillsets. And skillsets by definition are things that you develop.

And the way that you develop something is through practice and intention. Yet how many of us are putting a lot of practice or intention on learning to be a good salesperson, learning how to make a lot of money and having a positive relationship with our money? Most of us are not. So, unless you have put in energy, and time, and attention into learning how to make money it’s not something that’s just going to happen for you most of the time. Because our world is built on the ideals of productivity and hustling.

And we’re either hustling so hard at our craft that we don’t take the time to learn how to make money or we believe the hustling at our craft is the way to learn how to make money, but it’s not. I want you to remember. Hustling means trying to prove your worth or worthiness through your work. That is not the same thing as creating money with your work. Because the way most creatives feel about their worth is that it’s validated not through dollars.

In fact, most of us are actually really uncomfortable receiving money. It feels like someone’s saying we are worth that big amount of money which is not true for most of us because we haven’t done the work to believe that. So, it feels very uncomfortable. And on the flipside, the way we feel most worthy is through praise, not money. Praise from our clients, praise from our peers, praise from the world, accolades, awards, getting published.

Getting these big jobs that oftentimes are not profitable because we are in the way of the profit because we’re discounting things and not charging for things every chance we get. But all of these forms of validation that we most love in the form of praise, or accolades, or awards, these are what I call receiving non-cash currency. So, we take the praise and the validation instead of the actual cash money. And this makes a lot of sense if you think about it because we have decided that getting praise and validation feels amazing.

And for most of us getting paid money especially when it’s a lot of money feels uncomfortable. It brings up a lot of baggage and negative thoughts that we have about money. And there’s a whole lot of them. I mean all kinds of things about like I’ll probably lose this money, blow this money, won’t know what to do with this money. There’s so many, that’s multiple episodes by itself. We probably need a series just on money.

But if praise feels good and money feels uncomfortable then which of those two things are we likely to create more of? Non-cash currency in the form of validation over cold hard cash. Yeah, we’re not going to be creating cash or any other form of money. We’re often creating the praise. And the only thing we know how to do to keep moving ahead beyond getting this praise and validation is to keep working harder. Because remember, we have that sneaky belief that we have to work really hard to make a lot of money.

I remember the day that I blew up my brain back in 2019. I was sitting in – now, I’ve blown up my mind as I call it, a lot of times. The biggest aha moments, the epiphanies. But one of the big moments, it’s on a timeline in my life, I’ll never forget it. I was sitting in The Life Coach School Mastermind event back in 2019 in Dallas, Texas. And the conference had literally started about five minutes prior. But something that the speaker said gave me one of the biggest epiphanies of my life.

And it wasn’t even that she said this. She didn’t say what my revelation was. She said something else but it made me realize. And I have no idea what she said by the way, I just know what my epiphany was. So, whatever she said made me realize that the problem for me with money was something I had not known. So, I wrote it down. And this is what I wrote. The reason I haven’t made the money I want is because I’ve been working too hard. Sit with that.

Let me even say it again. The reason I haven’t made the money that I want is because I’ve been working too hard, T-O-O, too hard. Because I’d made a good bit of money over the years. I’d even had a seven figure business to this point for several years, for many years. But all of it was through hustling. So, it was never sustainable. It was pretty freaking miserable more often than not. So, I could never rest or take a break because if I wasn’t hustling there was nothing coming in.

The thing I was offering at the time was mostly full service interior design. And then by 2019 I had started offering other coaching things. But they were still all based around me working really hard. And the design wasn’t really profitable enough to sustain the company compared to how hard my team and I had to work to pull it off. And in some ways that was true for the coaching because of the way we were thinking about it. So, we were hustling that way. And I was giving my entire self to the business which felt exhausting many days. It felt soul sucking in so many ways.

And really kind of more importantly or most importantly, it never got much easier because when you’re hustling it just doesn’t. You have to hustle more, and more, and more because hustling, which again means I was trying to outrun my securities was me efforting to try to gain approval. I was killing myself to prove my worth. I was jonesing for validation for all those years. And as long as you’re doing that, even if you are making some money, you’re mostly still taking non-cash currency. So, for every dollar of validation you get paid in praise you’re not getting paid in dollars.

Hear me on this. And here’s an example. A lot of times we’re like, “Well, I didn’t make that much profit on that but we have an amazing project for our portfolio. And the client is so happy.” And how many of us run our business on portfolio pics and the client is so happy year, after year, after year without ever really making the money that we hoped for, that we thought we would make, and that we desire, and that we need?

And when we do finally need to rest and we stop hustling the money’s not coming in at all if we’re not working. So that’s what creates that feast or famine for most of us. So, here’s the thing that I want you to see as a creative with all of these thoughts and mindsets, and the love of non-cash currency, and discomfort with actual cash currency, you’re only getting paid a fraction of what you could be earning. And let me even say it this way. If you’re hustling you’re only getting paid a fraction of what you could be earning without the hustle.

Now, I get this is a scary concept for us creatives and kind of for people in general but especially for us. Because first of all it requires us to peel ourselves away from the dopamine hits that we’re getting each time we receive all that validation. We have to start validating ourselves instead. And this feels sort of lackluster at first.

I think about it sort of like sugar. So, have you ever heard the concept that if you eat a ton of processed sugar that when you eat a natural sugar like a strawberry, some fruit, it doesn’t really taste sweet enough to you anymore? Because you’re so used to the manufactured sugar that is designed and engineered to have the stronger chemical flavor. So, for you to really enjoy and taste the natural sugar again you have to detox or remove yourself from the processed stuff.

And that’s kind of how I think of replacing external validation with our own internal validation. At first it’s going to feel not sweet enough. But once you get used to it there’s nothing sweeter than not needing other people’s validation or approval in your life. Because once you do that you are able to self-motivate and to do hard things, and to achieve more than ever before. But you’re also able to stop the hustle because you’re not needing to prove yourself anymore.

But few people actually ever get there to self-validation and not hustling because that chemical hit of dopamine which is an actual chemical that gives us the warm and fuzzies in our body. That chemical hit that comes from other people validating us. So essentially that processed sugar coated approval that we’re getting from other people is very hard to wean yourself away from. And because of that it’s very hard for most of us to ever stop hustling. In fact, I realized just recently that it doesn’t feel for most people especially creatives, it doesn’t feel safe to stop hustling.

Think about that for a minute. It doesn’t feel safe to stop hustling because that’s all we know. It’s the only thing we’ve ever done. And it’s the only thing that has made us any money at all. Now, it hasn’t made us the money we want. We definitely haven’t achieved financial freedom or even anything close to it for the most part. But what money we have gotten has come through the hustling, which to go along with it had all of the praise and validation so that’s all we know.

And since our hustling brought us some money even though the profit from it might have been small or sometimes non-existent, it did bring us the validation. And trying to walk away from both the money we’ve known how to make and the validation all for the promise of more balance and less exhaustion, even though that sounds amazing just doesn’t compute in our brain. It feels too scary because our brains still have the belief that we have to work really hard to make a lot of money. Our brains are freaking tricky, y’all.

And so now we’re being told to work less. I’m telling you all the time, work less, anti-hustle, stop hustling. Create balance but to create balance, to stop the hustle and in our brains stopping the hustle for us because we think we have to work really hard to make a lot of money and hustling feels like working hard, in our brains if we’re going to create balance and stop hustling that must also mean we’re going to stop making money. Wow, is your brain blowing up right now a little or a lot? I would imagine it probably is.

No wonder we’re not anti-hustle. No wonder we haven’t created balance as creatives. No wonder that we’re still having the FOMO and showing up at all the things and doing things the way we’ve always done it even though we’re exhausted, and burned out, and constantly saying, “I want more balance over this burnout.” No wonder we don’t ever create it because we’d have to stop hustling which our brain thinks means stop making money. And we’d also have to give up that sugar coated processed validation we’re getting from our clients and our peers in the world.

So, here’s what I want you to know, that making money and let’s even say it this way because I think this is more important, making money without the hustle is a skillset. Remember, we talked about this a little bit ago. Making money at all is a skillet especially making money without the hustle. And how do we create skills? We practice them, we try them, and we fail at them, and we learn from the failures, and then we try again.

And when people start to practice working without the hustle, the dangling carrot of validation and the dangling carrot of the highlight reels, and watching other people hustle doesn’t go away. In fact, everywhere we look everyone else is typically hustling. And so, we feel very uncomfortable, and afraid, and unsafe trying to do things a different way. So, we might try it for a little bit. We might rest for a little bit.

We might believe in the concepts of anti-hustle, it might sound amazing but we usually succumb to the pressures of what’s happening around us and we go back to what we know, the hustle and the validation. You may have even heard the saying that the pain we know is less scary or less painful than the pain you don’t know. So even though it’s painful it’s familiar. And that seems less scary and more safe to most of us than the stuff we don’t know. And most of us don’t know how to work without hustling.

So, what does all of this mean for us creatives? Well, first I want you to know you’re normal. Hustling is definitely the norm. So, loving the feeling of validation from others should also feel like the norm. It’s all wrapped up in there together. So first, you’re normal.

Second, it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault that you believe that hustling and productivity are the way to make a lot of money. We’ve been told that our entire lives. And we can find so much evidence for why that looks and appears to be true. And it’s interesting because we’re afraid to stop hustling. But have you ever heard the acronym of FEAR, false evidence appearing real? And I would say that hustling and productivity looking like the best way to make money or the way to make money is false evidence appearing real.

But the way to change both, your bottom line and start making the money you dream of and also doing it without killing yourself, so that may mean no hustle but it probably at first just means less hustle, is to develop the three skillsets that I mentioned a bit ago. We’ve got to learn how to sell. We’ve got to learn how to make money – without the hustle. And we’ve got to create a positive relationship with money so we’re willing to receive it and receive lots of it.

And you’ll definitely know when you haven’t developed these skillsets. When I say that you probably already know. You’re like, I don’t know how to sell or be comfortable selling. I don’t know how to make a lot of money without the hustle. And I don’t have a positive relationship with money. Also, very normal if you haven’t worked on these skillsets.

But what you may not know is that these skills are about 90% your thinking, your mental game. The amount of personal development work or thought work you’ve done around selling, and around making money without the hustle, and around your relationship with money. So, it’s not that you have to hustle more to create these skillsets. It’s not that we need somebody else’s roadmap for how to sell, or how to make money without the hustle. Because if that were it we could have learned this a long time ago.

What it takes is practicing the thinking, the mental game that creates results for you around selling and making money without the hustle. And creating a positive relationship with money. So, we’re going to get into mindsets a lot next week, not even necessarily all these mindsets. There’s a lot of other ones in the way too. But I want you to know because you hear the term ‘money mindset’ all the time. And we’re like, “Yeah, I need to work on my money mindset.”

But I want you to know that being a great salesperson, being really good at making money without the hustle and having that positive relationship with money is money mindset, all of it. And it’s practiced. It’s a skill you develop mostly with your thinking and then by taking action from a different place.

Because I promise you right now, your thoughts about selling, and your thoughts about money, and your thoughts about stopping the hustle are not the thoughts that are going to create the financial results you want. They’re kind of, if we’re being frank, they’re kind of shitty thoughts about selling and money because I had them too. And I still have some of them and I constantly work to root them out, to discover, to become aware, to see what’s in the way. So, it’s not easy to do but dang is it worth it.

And the payoff is to stop the hustle, to create balance, to create the money that you’ve wanted. And here’s what I want you to know. I’m here to help you with that. My team is here to help you with that. I’m a certified master coach, master, basically thought coach, mindset coach. I have two other mindset coaches on our team. And this is the exact work we do every single week in Design You.

So, we’d love to help you, see what’s going on in your brain around selling and around money so you can create the life you dream of while still being 100% your authentic creative self. We’re not going to change you. I’m not going to make you not creative. We’re just going to help you see how your thoughts are holding you back.

Okay friends, I’ll see you back here next week when we go deeper into the creative entrepreneur series and see what else is happening in that creative brain of yours. Okay, so I’ll see you then, bye for now.

Thank you so much for listening to the Design You podcast, and if you are ready to dig deep and do the important work we talk about here on the podcast of transforming your mindset and creating a scalable online business model, there has never been a more important time than right now. So, join me and the incredible creative entrepreneurs in my Design You coaching program today. You can get all the details at TobiFairley.com.

Enjoying The Show?

Hi! I'm Tobi

I help creative women (and a few really progressive dudes) design profit-generating, soul-fulfilling businesses that let them own their schedule, upgrade their life and feel more alive than ever!

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that are happy with it.