Have you ever made money with your art and found yourself right back at square one after paying off bills and then investing in your day-to-day life? Have you felt like you may never get ahead in your own game, making sporadic amounts here and there? Or that you may never be able to give up your “day job” to spend quality time on the work you’re meant to create?
I’ve talked about the importance of investing, and how you can actually steal from your future when you don’t put your money to work for you. But I’d like to address the fact that it is not only possible but simply easy for you to begin investing now, regardless of the amount of money you may bring in or have in your account right now.
I’m going to be offering a FREE WEBINAR this Spring on how you can avoid this situation once and for all called The Artist’s Guide To Smart Investing. CLICK BELOW to reserve your spot now!
I have certainly felt this way, and let me tell you, it took me years to figure out how to get out of that continuous pattern. There were plenty of things I understood about money- that I needed to save in order to build my future, that I needed to pay off my debt, that I needed to start to write more items off for my taxes. The problem was I could never get ahead enough to begin any of those things, and didn’t know how or when I would.
Then this happened:
I was visiting my uncle in Campbell, OH- one of the most desolate and crime-ridden areas of the city of Youngstown. It used to be a booming steel mill town, where Eastern European immigrants lived and worked until the mill closed down in the early 80’s. My uncle is an electrician by trade but became a jewelry maker out of his passion for working with his hands and his wonderful eye for detail. There was a place he liked to go to about 10 years ago to buy vintage facets for the stones he would polish. It was an old thrift store where a woman named Rita ran the cash register.
Rita was about 75 years old at the time, and my uncle would always stay to talk to her (I think he took a liking to her!). Her husband has passed away decades ago, so she passed her time working in the store and making crocheted table runners that she would sell at the flea market on the weekends. I would listen to their sweet conversations, jumping in every now and again, as she would ask me questions about my life in New York.
One day as we were leaving the store my uncle asked me, “do you know how much she’s worth?” I knew if he was asking the question the answer was likely going to be more than I would have thought. So I left it to him to surprise me. “No, how much?” His answer blew me away.
“About eight million.”
I stopped dead in my tracks, with the first question out of my mouth being, “then why is she working here?” My uncle laughed. “She enjoys herself and the people she gets to talk with. It’s not for the money- she has all the money she needs.”
Then my second question: “how did she get the eight million?” And here is the answer that changed my whole life around:
“She invested, Alexis. She invested with hardly anything at all.”
My uncle invested- but he had made a pretty good living working at Packard Electric as the head electrician. Rita had been working at the thrift store, making less than minimum wage for two decades and before that she was a secretary, making about the same amount. Her husband made as much as she did while he was alive. I couldn’t wrap my brain around this, so I needed to know how she did it.
My uncle said with a hint of admiration, “she invested wisely and consistently and let the money go to work for her. She did better than me, that’s for sure!”
At my probing, he went into great detail about how she managed to accumulate more than anyone I had ever met- including some of the top entrepreneurs I was getting to know at that particular point in time. It’s much to share in a short amount of time, but to sum it up, here is what Rita did:
1. She never allowed herself to have debt
2. She spent less than she made
3. She invested what she saved into stocks and other types of investments that she personally chose, and watched them multiply over the years
5. She learned more about investing as the years went on, and reinvested consistently
Simple, clear and the most powerfully inspiring story I had heard about the possibilities of not having to make a lot to put your money to work for you.
So here was the formula I came up with for myself: I needed to figure out how to take what I had in that moment and make it so I would spend less than I earned, put what I saved into savings and then my savings into investments that made sense to me.
This is how you can make your money work for you, no matter how much you are making right now.
Want to learn more about how Rita did what she did, how I did the same in my own way and how you can too, regardless of your current financial situation? I want to share that with you in my free webinar: The Artist’s Guide To Smart Investing, coming Spring 2016. Click below to get on the list!