“So what do you want?”, I ask her.
She tells me: “To live comfortably off my art”.
I tell her it’s not a very ambitious goal, and that while a bit of modesty certainly isn’t bad, having a modest ambition is going to make it difficult to reach that level of comfort and stability she wishes for.
See, it’s easy to have the wrong perspective on money.
Money isn’t evil, it’s just something you can use.
It’s a tool for other things: investments, buying time, training and materials.
On another level, it’s a scorecard.
When you make a lot of money, it means you have your systems nicely tuned and your art business ticking along.
But it’s not a measure of success on an artistic level.
Your artistic success is measured by how accomplished you are as an artist.
If that goes together with a high income, then it’s a measure of how accomplished you are as a professional artist – one who owns and runs a creative business.
And if that’s what you’re aiming for – if you really want to live from your art and not have to worry, you’ll need to set your goal high.
You’ll need to be ambitious if you want to reach financial success or independence.
They say that there’s far more tragedy in setting the bar low and reaching it, than there is in setting the bar high and not reaching it.
If your goal is modest, your choices and actions and opportunity-spotting will be tuned to that modest goal.
Which means you’ll work towards that lower level of success – and you might reach it but you might just as likely fall short.
In which case you won’t get to live from your art.
But if you set your goal high, if you’re ambitious, your entire business will be reformed to reach that higher goal.
And while you still might or might not reach it, at least it becomes much more likely that you’ll reach a level of success and income that will actually pay the bills.
Your mindset, your choices, your ambition and your results:
What have you chosen as your goal, what do you aspire to?