Are You Winning Awards In Your Life?Award

The Oscars nominations were announced two weeks ago. As always, I was surprised by some picks (Emma Thompson and Forest Whitaker being ignored were big shocks to me) and had lots of fun reading the choices to discover which of the films I’ve seen and which ones I still have to hurry up and watch!

The Oscar announcements started me thinking…over the course of the last year, I’ve given you financial tips and tools to help you focus on your craft. So now, it’s award season….

What award would you deserve to win this year?

While some people roll their eyes at award season, it’s a great reminder that our time here is finite. It seems like just yesterday we were watching the Oscars, 2013 version, and we’re already checking boxes to guess who’ll win in 2014.

What did you do with that twelve months?

Hopefully, you’ve accomplished a ton. I’m hoping you deserve to win whatever your craft’s version of “Best Actor” would be. Or, if you’re just beginning your journey, you’re a frontrunner for “Most Promising” or “Most Improved.”

For many of us, the concept of “winning” is personal, so we may scoff at this idea. But let’s be clear about my analogy; I’m not asking what others see in you. I’m asking which award you deserve.

Once, in high school, a teacher said to me, “Well, at least you’re doing your best.” I remember the discussion well because I clearly wasn’t doing my best. I was coasting through the class and was happy with my middling results. What this teacher knew, though, was that my own sense of right and wrong were far greater than anything she could have said to me.

Most of us, especially in the arts, aren’t motivated by the condemnation or the accolades of others. We strive to do as much as we’re able do on our own terms. So, when I ask, “What award did you deserve this year?” you hopefully have the pulse on exactly where you stand.

What if you didn’t? I’m sure there are some people reading this who feel like they could have accomplished more.

Well, that’s the great part of all this. As they say with the Oscars—to those of us who weren’t nominated– “There’s always next year.”

You can choose right now to take whatever shame you throw at yourself for not getting it together this year and use it to your advantage in the next twelve months. You can tell yourself that next year is the year you win your big personal awards.

So, start out with the easy stuff: your money management picture. Automate your savings. Put together a simple plan to pay off debt. Plan your meals. Cut the cable or the home phone. Find good help.

That’ll create more time and resources that can go towards your life as an artist. Make this task of financial management so sublime, that from this moment, you ready yourself to walk your own “red carpet” in 2015.

I’ll be in the front row applauding!