Posts Tagged ‘Goals’

The Formula for Success = You + A Dream + A Decision

I’ve written before that much of financial planning comes down to you. In my time working with people, I’m always sad when they want to talk about all of the reasons they can’t get ahead. They worry about politics, the government in general, rules and regulations, the stock market and more…

Yet there’s also something very exciting to be found at the other end of the spectrum. It’s inspiring engaging with clients who are passionate about life and everything they are “up to” in the world. These are the people who rarely have much to say about the negative external forces.Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 2.22.30 PM Rather, they focus first on their own actions.

If you really want something, including financial security, there’s a five step process to getting it:

1) Decide. I’m not talking about hoping or wishing. You have to actually decide what’s going to be in your future. Several years ago, I worked with an artist who decided she was going to stop talking about “one day selling her paintings,” and instead, was going to actually do it. In less than 2 months, she sold her first piece.

Making the decision to change your financial status means that you’re going to do something about it. We’ve all felt the difference between hoping and deciding in our own lives. When you first decided to shoot your short film, finish your script or stage your solo show; when you decided it was time to lose weight; when you put down the cigarette and said, “That’s my last one.” You have to decide. Without this step, no magic happens.

The rule = You have to ask for it before you have a chance of receiving it. (more…)

5 Creative Ways To Achieve Your Goals In 2015

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the acronym SMART when referring to goals. That means that your goals should be:

2015 LeapSpecific
Measurable
Actionable
Realistic
Time-Sensitive

Example: Instead of, I’d love to lose some weight this year, a SMART goal would be: I’ll lose 15 pounds by July 1st.

My Problem With SMART Goals

Really, I don’t have so much of a problem with them….as much as I think simply “SMARTing” your goals doesn’t necessarily fit our community. Don’t SMART goals sound—well, there’s no nice way to say this—boring? And as creatives, we want more than that from our goals, don’t we?

Here are five ways to create better goals in 2015 that’ll motivate you to get up and start moving!

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Lowering the Cost of “the American Dream” – Part II

(This article continues the discussion on lowering expenses found here)AmericanDream2

In our first installment two weeks ago, I discussed ways you could drop the cost of the American Dream by lowering your essential expenses such as groceries, car expenses and apparel. Today, I’d like to tackle lowering the cost of the “extras” that USA Today calculated are important parts of what many consider a happy lifestyle. We’re creative people….lowering the cost of creative activities should be easy for us, right?

USA Today assigns $17,009 to extras, and breaks them down like this:

Family Summer Vacation: $4,580

Entertainment: $3,667

Restaurants: $3,662

Cable, Satellite, Internet, Cell Phone: $3,100

Miscellaneous Costs: $2,000

Good news! All of these costs can be lowered without giving up any happiness. How? Let’s dive in!

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Create a Business Plan for Your Craft and Your Life

Letters On A Board Spelling Money And BusinessA business plan…. many creative people I know shy away from those two words….

First, they’ll tell me, their craft isn’t a business.

Second, they’re overly in love with the term “winging it.”

Yet, if you talk to top artists in nearly any field, they have a workmanlike precision to their art. They seem to be in the right place at the right time. How do they do it?

After studying successful people, I’ve found they all have one thing in common…. One thing that they may not all admit to, but that I’d refer to as a “business plan.”

A business plan is something that helps you focus your thoughts. It helps you decide where your opportunities are in life, so you can manage your time most effectively.

Sound like something you want for yourself and your craft?

Great! Then let’s help you climb to the top, shall we? (more…)

Masterminds, Mentorship and Success

Masterminds, Mentorship and Success

You’ve probably heard the saying, “We are the product of our friends.” This is so very true. It shouldn’t surprise you that nice people who are knee deep in debt often have friends who are also debt-ridden. Perhaps they share feel good lines like, “I don’t need money when I have love.” While love won’t bring you more money, the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

On the flip side, some of my most creative friends also hang around with very creative, motivated people. They help drive each other toward success. They visit each other’s productions and exhibits, deliver honest critiques and push one another to constantly better work. Consequently, everyone wins.

What Pack Do You Travel With?

I was reading about dolphins and wolves recently. Both of these creatures work together in teams to survive. While they may not be strong or fast enough to catch prey on their own, they outsmart their food to win. It’s the same for successful people.

In his classic book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill extolled the virtues of creating a group of like-minded people with which you could share notes and deliver success. Now, “who you travel with” is no longer an accident. You’re actively searching for people to be near who are going to inspire you, cajole you, antagonize you, and make you stretch mentally. They’re going to make you push for more. Like a wolf or a dolphin, they’re going to help you thrive.

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Fighting Past “I Can’t Afford It”

How often have you caught yourself saying: “I Can’t Afford It”?  That’s one of the most disempowering phrases we can use in our creative lives. “I can’t afford it” is the financial equivalent of “I don’t deserve it” or “I’m not ready for it.” Of course you deserve it, and of course, you’re ready.

You just have to tell yourself that you are ready, you deserve it, and all you need is a plan.

Now perhaps there truly are some things you may not be able to afford. Like this yacht…

However, more often than not, you could (and should) be breaking down life into two columns:

–       I don’t want it.

Or

–       I am creating a plan to have it.

Let’s explore these two options: (more…)

Non-Conformists Are Born to Be Better Investors

Remember high school? Were you a person who wore what everyone else wore or did you stand apart?

I’ll bet you didn’t follow the crowd. That’s rarely the artist’s way.

Why do I bring this up? I only mention it because it turns out that creative people – those who are willing to go against the grain – should be great investors. Consider this: a financial company (Blackrock) sent out an email recently discussing the fact that many investors chase “negative returns.” Apparently, people try to guess where the market is headed; and Blackrock detailed just how horrible people are at guessing. In fact, it appears, when most people decide to turn right, the best decision was to turn left.

There’s Value in Turning Left

Everyone’s heard the mantra “buy low/sell high.” This even applies to your art, doesn’t it? Often I meet struggling artists who wonder “How come I’m not a sensation yet?” then they proceed to take the same steps as the herd.

It didn’t work in high school and it isn’t going to work now.

To truly get ahead, in your art and with your money, you need to turn left when everyone turns right. (more…)

Why You Need to Start Saving for Retirement NOW! …A Success Story

I recently received this email from an actor who just finished working through the Artist’s Prosperity Home Study System:

Miata,

I just have to write and tell you how excited I am to have found you! I’ve been an actor for five years, struggling along with everyone else, and I finally decided that enough is enough: I need to put together a plan so I can really focus.

All of this time, I thought I had already been focusing on my art, when in reality, I was part-timing everything: my job, my family and my craft. Now, you’ve put me on a path that I don’t think I could have accomplished myself. I have an emergency fund, a separate checking account for my business, and for the first time, real hope for the future. While I have yet to score that elusive “great part,” my auditions are much better. I believe this is because I come in focused and without worrying about “how broke I am.” Sure, I still worry about money, but not in the “OMG, I need this role” desperate way that I have in the past.

Thank you again for what you do. I just wanted to let you know there are people out there who appreciate you very much.

Jessica

It is rewarding when we hear from folks who have started to take control of their financial futures, because the unfortunate truth is that many people simply never will.

I was just reading some statistics from a group called the Employee Benefit Research Institute. While most Abundance Bound readers are self-employed (and not employees of others), we frequently fall into these same traps and the results of their recent retirement survey weren’t encouraging: (more…)

The Art of Stealing Good Financial Habits

The Art of Stealing Good Financial Habits

I was recently drawn to a new book by Austin Kleon called Steal Like an Artist. As an artist, who also works with many artists, I thought it was an important book to read…especially since I don’t feel like I (or any of my clients, for that matter) are thieves.

Kleon says that in order to maximize creativity, you must realize that everything has already been done before. Creativity is seldom about finding a new subject; it’s more about placing your own spin on existing work. I think this is true. Shakespeare’s plays are all stories that had already been told. He told them better. Monet wasn’t the first person to paint people, landscapes, or buildings. He just improved on the existing process.

 

What does this have to do with money?

So many people want to be great at money, but they don’t realize that to be good at something (ANYTHING), you should emulate the best work of the masters in that field. Only then will you begin to practice good money management techniques.

Artists often tell me that financial books are boring. My friends in the financial industry tell me that much in the art community puts them to sleep, too! The person who achieves greatness is the one who can dive into an area and keep practicing until they become great. The funny thing about becoming great? Those areas that used to be boring are suddenly some of the most exciting parts of the task, once you understand the nuances of the trade.

If you’re a painter, what would you say to a person who stated, “Painting like Jackson Pollack is simple!”? How does it feel if you’re an actor and someone remarks how easy it is to just pretend all day? You know the truth, don’t you? It takes years of practice.

It’s the same with money management. (more…)

Setting Goals That Stick in 2013

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the strange place I found inspiration for my 2013 goals. This week, I’d like to address New Year’s Resolutions head-on. Every year millions of people write out a fresh list of goals in the hopes of making the next twelve months better than the previous dozen. We creative people are no exception: in our world, it’s often the well-disciplined artist who ends up on the road to loftier goals, while the dreamer without clear, concise milestones spends another year chasing the same first-tier plans (and never can figure out why he doesn’t achieve anything….). You know the ones; they’re the artists with grand ideas, fantastic plans, and nothing to show for it except a series of excuses.

One mistake that even big businesspeople make, is that they set professional goals, but forget about the fuel to get them there. It might not be the most glamorous activity, but remember your financial goals; don’t just focus on your art. By making sure that your financial picture is healthy, you’re bound to have the fuel ready to have a wonderful 2013 in your craft. By placing well-executed goals, you’ll get where you want to go faster, and with less bumps along the road.

 

 

Some Financial Goals to Act On

Emergency Fund – If you don’t have a cash reserve, now’s the time to start one. Anything can happen…and probably will….in 2013, so you’ll want the protection to know that when bad news occurs, you’ve got the money in the bank to easily get through it.

What’s a good reserve? Generally, I recommend having at least three months expenses in a safe place away from market fluctuation (like a bank account). (more…)