Today I want to share something with you which has brought so much value into my life. And it’s not about art so much, but money!
Ann Wilson, The Wealth Chef, is an author, speaker and financial empowerment activist. She has a mission to bring financial intelligence and health to as many people as possible, having achieved her own financial freedom some 12 years ago. I dabbled in her free on-line content for a few months, to see if she was a mentor I could work with, and I liked her holistic, practical and baby-step approach to money and wealth creation. My trust in her and her methods grew, and in July 2016, having never done an online course in my life, I took the leap and enrolled in her Financial Freedom University. Doing FFU was not where I began, but I have never looked back – the work continues to transform my life.
Right now Ann is offering a time-limited, free video series called “The Freedom Workshop” which you can take a look at here http://bit.ly/2xbHqeJ. Ann usually does it as part of the warm-up for her next Financial Freedom University class, but whatever the reason you choose to watch, the free content is absolutely transforming in itself. It may completely change how you view your money world and what you may have believed is the way to create sustainable wealth.
As an artist, one of my greatest challenges has surfaced in the form of finances – receiving money for my art, spending money on my art, and valuing myself enough to be able to do this in a healthy and balanced way. While art has been the primary trigger forcing me to look at these issues, they illustrate how I value myself as a person and as a member of us – the family of humans.
Earlier in my life, I had no problem valuing myself and what I did in monetary terms – or at least that’s what it feels like in retrospect. In fact, earning money and creating wealth seemed easy and effortless. But, in the last 10 years, as I changed careers and became a full-time artist, the cracks began to show. Suddenly I no longer felt confident. I didn’t know what to charge. Sometimes it felt fraudulent charging for something I loved to do, and other times it felt as though I could never be paid enough to compensate for the blood, sweat and tears involved in a project. I would become paralysed, like a rabbit caught in headlights, when faced with commissions, and procrastination and perfectionism became my ever-present shadows. I didn’t know how to handle this person I had become and, sadly, I responded with ever-mounting pressure on myself, self-criticism and judgement, instead of kindness, understanding… and more love. As a result my art became fraught, and my creativity went through longer and longer dry spells. Sales dwindled, or would fizzle out into nothing as they’re neared completion, and I lost hope, regained it and lost it again. I have been through times when I hated my art and felt a complete failure because making a sustainable living from it proved so elusive and difficult. My finances mirrored this state of affairs with my savings shrinking and I had no plan on how to stop the leaks.
I reached my rock-bottom in late 2015, thank goodness, and finally began asking for help – from my guides, higher self, the Universe – anyone who would listen! I realised, with sudden clarity, that I needed a mentor. I needed someone, who had what I wanted, to teach me how to get out of the hole I was digging myself into. As I set the intention to create just this, the leads began trickling in, each one a “baby step” that led me into a path of financial and creative healing that is still on-going. Each conversation, each person and each opportunity, whether through negative or positive consequences, helped me clarify my goals better and define what I was searching for.
My path eventually led me to The Wealth Chef, and then joining FFU. That decision, which was a huge stretch for me, moved my life and healing onto a whole new trajectory, one that still leaves my head spinning! In one short year, I transformed my financial reality beyond what I thought was possible, and was left in no doubt that my financial ship was officially turning around. I finally had the tools, knowledge and guidance to take responsibility for my money, and I’ll talk more about that soon.
But what I did not expect was the creative and emotionally healing that occurred on levels I am still finding out about. You see, as humans, we really only have three areas of life at our disposal that exist as teachers for us – wealth, health and love. Our relationship to, and experiences in, one of these areas relates to all of them, as well as to our relationship with ourselves and life. These three areas are amazing conduits for healing and self-enquiry. I thought I was just doing a money course, but I now realise I was healing my art and my life. I was learning to use money as a tool for transformation.
Wealth has the greatest potential to act as a catalyst for my overall growth and expansion. It’s a life teacher for me this time around and undoubtedly a true passion of mine, rivalling my love for creativity and healing. The things I’ve learned have ignited a desire to share this information and to do my part, whatever that looks like, to shine a light upon the financial fear so many of us creatives (and we’re all creative) live with, as well as the shame, taboos and stress we so often carry around in this area of life. Personally, I’m tired of the social media images we all tend to hide behind because we’re too afraid to be vulnerable. The not-so-subtle message is that vulnerability is, at worst, weakness and, at best, a very bad marketing strategy! So this is a heads-up that I’m going to be talking more about money, more about empowerment and more about what’s been really valuable to me, in the future.
If any of this resonates with you, I absolutely know you’ll get so much out of this video series. Watch the first one here, and let’s be the financially empowered, creative leaders we are – its time!
Till next time, much love xxx