Posts Tagged ‘money management’

Looking to Clean Up Your Finances?

Looking to Clean Up Your Finances? Copy Successful Health Programs

AppleCoins

A brilliant artist friend of mine recently wanted to lose weight. He picked up Tim Ferriss’ book 4 Hour Body and within a few months lost 20 pounds. He and I discussed how he finally was able to take off weight he’d talked about losing for a long time. His answers enveloped many of the themes I’ve covered when I work with people on effective money management. Let’s get creative today and see what lessons about money we can learn from health and weight loss programs!

It Starts With a Spark

One point he made that grabbed me was when he said, “I just one day decided I had to do things differently. It was like I flipped a switch. I’d had enough.” That’s true for better money habits, too. Every person I’ve met who decided that today was the day to get their financial house in order didn’t “take it slowly.” Sure, maybe they didn’t try to change ALL of their financial habits in a single day, but with one decision—to be different—they began either cleaning up their credit card debt, building savings, tracking their expenses….whatever.

I can usually tell when someone comes to me whether they’re going to be successful or not based on their attitude. If they simply say, “I’d like to change,” they rarely do. However, when someone can point out all of the reasons they NEED to handle money differently, I know they’re in business.

(more…)

Hiring Pros? 5 Guidelines To Save You From Delegating to A Scammer

moneyHiring Pros? 5 Guidelines To Save You From Delegating to A Scammer

When I read about young Nickelodeon star Drake Bell declaring bankruptcy, I thought immediately about how vulnerable we are as artists.

If we want to succeed we have to be able to focus on our work. That focus means that we need to become good delegators, and often it’s the financial parts of our lives that are at least partially handed off to other people.

Why do we hand off something as important as money? That one is easy. Finance can feel cold and calculating, or boring to someone just learning. Certain aspects of our financial lives might require the ability to decipher contracts, understand interest rates and follow obscure metrics. That can be overwhelming…and underwhelming at the same time! (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…)

Becoming Your Own Simon Cowell

Okay – tell the truth. Even though it can sting a little…don’t you find you appreciate honest, good quality feedback? There are very few people who give us straight advice about anything…especially finances. How am I doing? Could I do better? What needs improvement?

In short, many of us need a Simon Cowell.

I find it kind of painful to watch many of the auditions for shows like American Idol. If you think about it, doesn’t this kind of sum up the average American – Dancing – With – The Voice – Talent contestant’s thought pattern:

  • Decide that it’s easier to work your way through a competition than to pay your dues and learn your craft.
  • Fail miserably (and publicly) because you weren’t ready for prime time.
  • Blame the judges for not seeing the unique talent that is you.

That might sound harsh…but notice the contestants who make it through the audition process and even go on to win. Hear their story. Usually, they’re the ones who came to the show most prepared.

Imagine you’re going to perform for Simon Cowell:

Shouldn’t you make sure you’re absolutely polished before the show? What will you do to make sure you’re ready?

You’re going to hone your craft until you know every inflection, every note of the performance. By the time you’re finished, you’ll even know what the writer was thinking when they wrote the song. You won’t just sing it…if you’re ready, you’ll feel it.

When it comes to financial planning, it’s the same. (more…)

5 Lessons from 2011

This time of year I like to look back over the last twelve months and reflect. For me, life is about making mistakes–mentors have told me that if you don’t make any mistakes, you aren’t moving fast enough. This year has been a whirlwind, so I must have made some real doozies!

While it certainly can be difficult, I try not to dwell on my missteps as long as I learn from them. At this time of year, I also like to learn from events and the mistakes of others. There are five that I think are well worth reflecting on before we march into 2012:

1) Don’t Wait on Government…In Fact, Don’t Wait.

Politics seemed to enter our life more than ever this year, with Republicans and Democrats waiting to the last minute before passing legislation in several key areas, including funding to keep the government open!

I’ve met people who’ve said that they can’t do any long-range planning because they’re unsure what measures the government is about to pass, or they aren’t sure if the tax structure is going to change, or they want to wait and see who the next president is.

Most artisans work on a 1099 income basis, so some important areas such as health care and small business taxes can have a big impact on your bottom line.

….but does this mean you should wait?

Waiting on the government doesn’t make any sense to me. Is it better to have a plan in place that you may need to adjust or to have no plan at all? I’d always prefer to revisit my plan when the government finally decides their actions, than be held hostage to whatever political problems crop up.

The Bottom line: Plan now and adjust as events occur. (more…)

The Balancing Act: Tools to Manage Your Money

A friend recently asked me to review her spending habits. We’ll call her Linda for this piece, although that’s not her real name. Like many artists, Linda struggles with a budget because she’s constantly on the go. Between workshops, auditions and performances her life is chock-full of lightening quick money decisions. Spend more on parking to get closer to the theater? Grab lunch on-the-go to network with other artists? Hire better stylists to look her best for the next audition? Linda’s life is a constant barrage of decisions whether to spend, spend more, and still spend more.

Surprisingly, when I looked through her financial life, I could only advise her of a couple money management techniques to help her improve. Linda’s financial life was in better shape than the majority of people I see. How did she do it? To make up for the constant stresses in her life, she’d made five great decisions that were helping her balance art and money. You can copy each of these five methods in your everyday life to efficiently control the flow of money out of your wallet.

(more…)