January 4, 2021  • Newsletter

This Month’s Money Message: Believe

Welcome to January – a month of renewal, rejuvenation, and restarts. But that feels sort of silly this year. After all, this January feels considerably less refreshing. I certainly don’t feel particularly rejuvenated. And I suspect it will be another year before all of us – especially those in the arts – feel the hope and optimism that normally accompanies the start of a new year.

And yet, we still believe.

To believe is to “feel something to be true,” regardless of whether it is or not. It is a powerful idea, rooted in contradictions. It’s a funny thing. It can be used for good, or for ill. It can lead to wonderful acts; it can lead to disasters. We need it to remain hopeful; but the wisest among us see its shortcomings.

So what do we believe in, exactly? Anne Frank believed in the overall goodness of people. Brené Brown believes we are all doing our best. There is plenty of evidence to contradict both beliefs. We see the evidence every single day. And yet, a belief can transcend evidence. What’s more: Holding the belief can help you find the evidence. It is a form of extending grace, sometimes to others, sometimes to yourself.

So what do I believe? I believe in your ability to accomplish your financial goals this year. That’s not magic. It isn’t delusional optimism. It isn’t even blind faith. I believe in your ability. I believe you are capable. I believe you can.

I believe in your ability to accomplish your financial goals this year.

What’s more: I’ve seen it in action. There is growing financial research that suggests the belief in your ability to manage financial tasks is as important as financial knowledge or actions. I see that in clients, students, and friends every day.

As you think about what this year will bring for you – whatever you want it to bring – you can borrow some of my belief as you build your own. You are worthy of financial investment – both in yourself and in your creative work. You can manage your tax obligations, even if they are especially complicated this year. You can set aside money for your future, despite the systemic issues that make it hard to do so. You are capable of capturing the real value of your work.

And as part of that belief, you may identify gaps. You may realize you need some more knowledge to manage your tax obligations. That’s okay. You know how to find tax knowledge. You may need some help identifying the most strategic investments to make in yourself. That’s okay too. You have a network of support to help you do just that. You may struggle to set aside funds for saving. That’s okay. You know how to reset habits, even if they are ingrained.

With that in mind, here are three things to know, do, and believe this month:

  • Know: This year’s financial goal. EGL’s Note: Be specific here… Think about stating the exact amount you want to save, the exact number of sales you want to make, or the exact amount you want to invest in your practice. The “rightness” of the number is far less important that your specificity in articulating it.
  • Do: Organize last year’s data. EGL’s Note: Take some time while the skies are gray to sort and organize your income and expenses from last year. Give yourself plenty of time to track the income you may have had from various sources: Emergency grants, unemployment, and even other states.
  • Believe: I believe I am capable of achieving the financial goals I set for myself. EGL’s Note: Of course you are capable. You do hard things all the time. You can do this hard thing too.

What We’re Doing

This year is starting off slowly and deliberately, thank goodness, with individual artist conversations, and a couple of events around planning, including one with the Texas Commission on the Arts and another with the Catalyst Art Lab. Things will get busier next month as we begin two six-part financial wellness workshops for creative individuals…

What We’re Talking About

This is the month to talk planning for the year – especially with the idea of beliefs in mind.

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.



I believe in your ability this year. It’s going to be a tough one. It’s going to feel long. Goodness knows there may be moments when it feels like the world is against you. I still believe in you. And if you need some support, we’re here to help you believe in your own abilities too. Until next month…


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Arts & Numbers

You don’t have to do this alone. Arts & Numbers is a comprehensive financial guide for creative individuals… and anyone else with a passion for something other than accounting and finance. This book aims to provide basic information on finance and financial matters for creative entrepreneurs to take ownership of their financial situations, thus ensuring their long-term success, creative and otherwise.

Written in short story form with fictional anecdotes supporting the financial advice, Arts & Numbers promises to be an easy and useful read for creative entrepreneurs at any stage.

Check it Out