April 5, 2021 • Newsletter
This Month’s Money Message: Diversify
One of my favorite things to talk about is the portfolio career framework. By thinking about ways of earning money in different categories—starring role, supporting cast roles, and production assistance work—it can be easier to meet overall income goals for a creative career.
But that framing is often defensive in nature: We think about having other sources of income to hedge against uncertainties in the industry.
But the truth is, this doesn’t have to be a defensive strategy. We are all better off when we are surrounded by variety. When we can use different parts of our brain.
So that is this month’s theme
You probably know the main way you’d like to spend your time and earn money: That’s the starring role in the context of your portfolio career. Anything you do that is related to your starring role, in that it provides additional technical support, community support, and/or financial support, counts as a supporting cast role. It’s not exactly the same as your starring role, but it’s close, and it provides tangible and intangible support. Production assistance work is unrelated to the starring role, but it still provides vital (financial) support.
It is in understanding these components and deciding how to mix and match them for your own benefit to make your career work for you.
Teaching about creating activates different parts of our brain than creating does. Editing activates different parts of our brain than drafting does. And playing as a substitute in a musical group activates different parts of our brain than composing something from scratch does. It is these differing perspectives that make us whole people, whole creators.
Generally, those various roles represent opportunities for income, enabling someone to build a portfolio career that generates revenue to support costs, savings, and taxes. The point of this diversity, of course, is to enable someone to say yes to opportunities they choose to say yes to, rather than ones they must accept.
The same is true of the voices we surround ourselves with. It is better when there is a variety of perspectives. Throughout my career, I have been the beneficiary of the wisdom of others, and both I and my work have grown as a result. Thank goodness.
With that in mind, here are three things to know, do, and believe this month:
Know: How you organize your income in a portfolio career.
If you are earlier in your career, take a moment to brainstorm opportunities in these categories. If you are a bit more established, this might be a chance to check in with your balance of income to see if it is still working for you.
Do: Create your ideal portfolio career.
Compare the ideal version of your income breakdown to what it looks like right now – and what it might look like for 2021.
Believe: You are capable of earning enough to support your goals.
It’s not easy, and it isn’t always clear how it might work. But I completely believe in your ability to create a model that works for you.
What We’re Doing
This month, we wrap up a few more conversations around taxes, including with the Lincoln Theatre’s Incubation Program and the Chelsea Symphony. We’re also celebrating creative students through financial literacy workshops with Oberlin, Cal State LA, and the Art Academy of Cincinnati.
What We’re Talking About
Lately our coaching conversations have been focused on strategic planning around revenue. We’ve been doing a lot of work with clients checking in and “auditing” those portfolio careers to develop next steps and revenue goals for 2021.
Creative Coaching (1 hour, $110)
If you’d like to chat with me to answer your own questions, feel free to find a time that works with your schedule. Fair warning: These slots are full (ish) for the next month or so.
There is strength in varying perspectives, just as there is strength in varying sources of income. I can’t wait to continue growing with you as we all work to make the world a better place to live and create.
Until next month…