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As a creative, we all have personal goals. We have dreams of using our art or craft to make an impact on the world. Or, we wish to do nothing else but produce our creative product at a level that makes us happy.
However, reality does bite and idealistic dreams so not pay the bills. This is probably what sucks the most about being a creative.
If you are a professional creative whose career is built on your creative product or art, such as a designer, artist, photographer, craftsman, writer or entertainer, the goal is to generate income and create wealth through the chosen creative product or art.
Here is one way to chart your creative career and work towards goals that can help secure you financially so you can continue to produce your creative product without being a starving artist.
There are three distinct stages of a professional creative’s career and being aware of the three stages will help you chart your career better and make the necessary decisions to support that stage of your career.
There is no specific timeline that any of these stages follow. Different creatives will spend different amounts of time in different stages of their career. The difference is due to the nature of the art, chosen market, health, personal choice and financial goals of each creative. However, each successful career will follow these three stages.
New Creative Professional – Building Your Brand and Dominating Your Niche
When you are at this first stage of your professional career, you should be working hard to identify & create your value, build your brand and dominate your niche market.
You will investing and lot of money into your creative product and marketing as well as reinvesting money earned back to enhance your creative product and brand.
This is not the stage of your career to be miserly and to count your pennies. Reinvesting your money to grow is essential to propel you to the next stage of your career.
Established Creative Professional – Making Money with Your Brand & Creating Wealth
As you establish yourself as a seasoned creative professional , there will come to a point where you have to be smart and try to make as much money as possible. That means you need to start monetizing your brand and generating as much active income as you can.
Essentially, you will be leveraging on the goodwill of your brand that you have spent years building and getting maximum dollar for your value.
One of your goals at this stage of your career is to develop other streams of income and develop extra income ideas. This includes looking for business & investing opportunities to purchase assets that will generate you additional passive income. So, at this stage of your career, you should start investing your active earnings in income-generating assets to grow your money.
These income-earning assets can include:
- Businesses (that do not require your consistent presence to run)
- Real Estate
- Mutual Funds
- Precious Metals. E.g. Gold & Silver
- High Interest Earning Cash Deposit Accounts
You can learn more about investing for creatives here.
At the same time, you will also look to find ways to reduce unnecessary expenses and manage your money better.
Veteran Creative Professional – Reinvesting & Further Growing Your Wealth
As a veteran creative professional, ideally at this stage of your career, you are producing your creative product because you want to or are working towards retiring as a creative because the money you have earned in the second and this stage of your career is working for you.
The final stage of your career should be one where you (hopefully) have made some significant money and your income-generating assets are maturing and/ or are giving you returns, dividends and profits that can replace your income as a full-time creative or at, the least, cover your monthly/ yearly expenses.
As you continue to perform and earn an active income as a veteran, the returns from your assets will be reinvested back for compounded returns. At the same time, you will continue to invest your active income into more assets until you decide to retire as a creative.
Essentially, your wealth should be growing for your retirement or will allow you to comfortably embark on another career out of interest.
For more information on investing for creatives, read this article here.
Which stage of your career are you at?