… but focusing too much on money is a mistake.
I’m not saying that money isn’t important. Money matters. It isn’t everything though. It’s not even the most important thing. If you think it is, imagine having 50 million dollars in the bank — and no family, bad health and 6 weeks to live.
In Steve Jobs’ famous Stanford commencement speech, the billionaire said: “It’s not about being the richest guy in the cemetery”. He went on to explain that your life work should be about making your own, unique dent (or ding) in the universe. I call that doing work that matters.
Many years before Jobs’ era, Henry Ford said: “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business”. He was right. Money for the sake of money isn’t what it’s about.
A wise man once told me the secret to never letting money get in the way of your health or happiness. He said that we should strive to make enough money, so that we don’t have to worry about money. Now, that’s a different figure for some people than others. However, it puts money in it’s place and allows you to focus on what really matters — what really counts.
Get yourself as financially strong as you need to be, so the lack of money can’t force you into bad decisions. Then:
- Make your art.
- Do work that matters.
- Make a difference.
No one should become the stereotypical starving artist. But if the focus of one’s work is exclusively money, both you and your art will suffer.