Are you passionate about growing a profitable future for your business with your art but are not sure how you might “invest” in that future for yourself or your business? Does the word “investing” make you feel like walking into a minefield of unknown territory that might eat you- or your money- alive?
As artists, we are often not taught the “rules” of how to run a profitable business, or not exposed to the resources we need in order to do so. Investing- whether for ourselves, as in the stock market or mutual funds, or in our business, as in reinvesting to enable further financial growth- is often the furthest away from our range of knowledge and understanding. That’s why I have a special webinar called Investing For Artists coming up this Spring. If you’d like to receive notice of when it will take place, click here.
The fact of the matter is that you cannot truly take control of the financial growth of your business until you have three financial actions in place, and investing is the third one on that list, after revenue and income. However, there is a common feminine energy that often comes into play when it comes to taking this kind of control, which is to back away from it entirely. I use the term “feminine energy” because it doesn’t just affect women, but men too who harbor a fear of truly stepping into their power around their financial lives. There has been a perpetual message sent within our society that women should be paid less than men, and that we shouldn’t be the decision makers around finances. The only way we can put a stop to the idea that women should not take control of our financial lives is to make a strong decision for ourselves right here and now that that story is no longer true. The only way we can put a stop to the idea that women should not take control of our financial lives is to make a strong decision for ourselves right here and now that that story is no longer true. Click To Tweet
I myself learned this the hard way, but once I did I began a journey toward financial empowerment and I’ve never turned back.
When I was younger I was privileged to have a father and an uncle who instilled in me the belief that I didn’t need a man in my life to take care of me. They both told me at a very young age that I could take care of myself, that I was capable and able to do anything I wanted on my own. I internalized this belief, and had a certain confidence that the other girls my age didn’t always have.
My uncle started talking to me about the stock market when I was six years old. He bought me some blue chip stocks when I was still in high school, and told me to hold onto the them- never sell them- because they would gain incredible interest over the years. They were meant for long-term growth, and I could build upon them as time went on.
When I was in my mid-twenties I found myself, like many of my colleagues, struggling to make ends meet as an artist. I found myself in one particular moment in a huge financial bind as I was producing a play I had co-written with a friend and needed to pay off my credit card debt in order to afford the down payment on the theater. I decided, instead of asking for the money from my parents or uncle, to sell my blue chip stocks to pay off the debt. I figured it was the responsible thing to do because I could make that money back and invest in other stocks to make up for the ones I sold.
When my uncle found out what I had done, he was not only upset but also heartbroken. I thought he was overreacting at first, but when I asked him to explain he said, “you messed that up, Alexis. You should never have sold those stocks because you stole from your future.”
Something resonated with me when he said “you stole from your future”, and I started to take a deep, careful look at why I didn’t think about it in those terms.
You see, with the amount he invested in those three stocks initially at the age I was, they would have been worth well over $500,000 by the time I was 60. Had I invested in three more of the same myself, I would have had over $1 million in my stock portfolio alone by that time. I didn’t see the big picture at that point, because I was quite frankly too afraid to look at it.
I repurchased those stocks on my own to make up for the loss, but it wasn’t until years later that I realized why I couldn’t see how damaging selling those stocks was. It wasn’t about the loss of potential future income- that can always be replenished. It was about my hesitation to step into my own power. When we take control of our financial life, we step into a different phase of power. Click To Tweet We become more of the person we are meant to become, and that means we actually grow up, become an “adult” and create an incredible space in our lives to spread our wings and fly.
I became interested in this part of growing my business and my own financial future, and began to learn more about the techniques of investing. I saw how I could merge my investing decisions with the heart of my vision I had for my business. As I continued to make these decisions I saw how gratifying, yet scary, it was to give myself that level of power over my own financial life. I often felt like I was in foreign territory, vulnerable yet free. The more I eased my way into making investment choices for myself, the more I realized I was opening a door to my future that was not at all bound by anyone else, and that level of confidence enabled me to approach my work as an artist through a new set of lens: my own.
As artists and business owners, we owe it to ourselves to invest in our business for our art to fulfill the vision we have for our work, pay ourselves an income that creates a healthy, nurturing life for ourselves and our families and finally invest in our future so our money goes to work for us. This last piece- investing in our future- can feel the most terrifying because it means we no longer have to fit into the old “feminine” story that women make less than men and that we need a man- or a “male energetic figure”, as it were- to take care of us. We can do it on our own and we can do so with whatever we have, right here, right now.
Are you interested in learning more about three simple rules of investing and how you can begin to invest in yourself and your business now, no matter how much you have in this moment? Then sign up here to join my special Investing For Artists webinar coming up in this Spring!
I believe artists are hardwired to run the best businesses in the world. Help me prove my belief by taking action and sharing a theme that is integral to your art in the comments below or on Instagram using #artistsinbusiness and tag me: @alexisfedorpics!