In an industry such as ours, money is often a byproduct of enjoying the work that you do. This can often lead to us, creatives, feeling awkward when it comes to discussing “business”, as if the motive of creating to make a living, as well as for the passion, takes something away from the final work produced.
I frequently meet artists who have little savings, stopping them from taking that risk on a 3 month contract at a dream company because what if the contract doesn’t get extended? Or stopping them from trying their hand at going truly freelance. In other words, they’re unable to take risks in their careers, with these missed risks possibly resulting in missed rewards.
“Live as if you were living already for the second time” Victor Frankl in his book on the human search for meaning.
In order to put yourself in a position to take these risks you need what is referred to in this blog post as “fuck you” money, I personally wouldn’t go as far as calling it fuck you money, more peace of mind money. However, in an incredibly fluid industry, in which a project can be pushed, or put on hold at the phone call of a client, it’s incredibly liberating to know you’re covered for 4/6 months if needed. In this time you could work on personal projects, apply to the various other studios in the area or even have a go at setting up your own studio and getting your own clients.
I have my backup currently at 6 months wage with the rest split into various stock funds (mostly Vanguard if anyone is interested), this is money I’ve slowly accumulated over the years, putting it away when I can. You’d be surprised how much you can save eating hummus everyday, just ask my mates at work. As uncomfortable as it may be for some of you to think about money in this way, thinking of yourself as a business that has these emergency funds on hand if it hits the fan will put you at a considerable advantage, allowing you to take up those sudden opportunities and open yourself up to the bigger rewards.
All the best