Let’s talk money today. Because in our industry nobody does, and so of course, I know I must.
A bit of a disclaimer first: Here at Khullar Relph headquarters, we’re nowhere near “rich” and still have a long way to go before we hit our financial goals. In fact, the only reason I feel qualified to talk about this topic is because of the many (many!) dumb financial holes we’ve had to dig ourselves out of.
So here are some mistakes that I, or writers I know have made, and by simply avoiding these money sucks, you’ll have moved thirty places forward in your financial game.
Ready? Here they are:
- Buying into the “starving artist” mindset
- Staying in debt intentionally.
- Not putting money aside for taxes.
- Continuing to work piece by piece (freelancing) instead of building assets (creative entrepreneurship).
- Blaming the industry for your low income and sales.
- Always looking for freebies and not investing in learning.
- Asking for what you think “you’re worth” rather than what “your work is worth.”
- Putting too much weight on the big break (the “six-figure book deal”) at the expense of smaller short-term wins.
- Focusing exclusively on making more money without learning how to manage it when it arrives.
This last one is particularly insidious. Because here’s the thing: When you start making more money? You’ll be spending more as well. And if you’ve been living in the save-pennies-on-daily-coffee mindset that most writers need to embrace to survive the initial years, this is going to be especially hard for you and will hold back your growth.
What many people don’t understand is that managing money as a new writer with very little cash is an entirely different energy to managing money when you have a whole bunch of it. It’s like training for a mile and expecting to run a marathon. They’re two entirely separate skillsets. One requires you to scrimp and save every penny, and the other requires you to release, let go, and actually spend money to free up time and space.
Most people assume that if they were good at managing money when they were broke, they’ll be good at it when they’re rich. In fact, the opposite is true. This is why you hear of people who’ve won the lottery but go back to nothing very soon after. It’s not that they’re all idiots (though some certainly are), it’s that they have no clue how to handle the emotions surrounding abundance when they’ve done nothing but experience scarcity their whole lives. This is why, if you want financial success, you need to start changing your relationship with money before you make large amounts of it, not after.
Anyway, again, I’m no financial expert. But I have worked with a lot of mentors and coaches to further my own growth. And I have made a lot of mistakes, many that you can now easily avoid.
P.S. Another big financial mistake (for writers) is not being surrounded by other creatives who are reaching for the same goals. You can easily avoid that one by going here: