Welcome to day one of Creator Money Week. The purpose of Creator Money Week is to help creators set themselves up to be paid. I’ll be talking about money all week long here on the blog and the Content Creatives Podcast. You can tune into episode 110: Your Relationship with Money for an audio version of this blog post. Before we start asking to be paid and discussing the business side of the influencer industry, we have start at us and our perspective around money.
I grew up with a negative relationship or bias around money.
My family immigrated here from the Philippines with $1,000 and 3 bags of suitcases and started all over (again in the mid-90s). I grew up seeing my parents work multiple jobs and make ends meet. My family lived pay to paycheck most of my life.
My mom used to say, “money is the root of all evil.” As I pulled out student loans and worked part time jobs for college, I continued this negative association with money. I was financially stressed out and knew that I needed to have a return on my investment (my business degree). I ended up completing four college internships and during my senior year of college, I had three job offers lined up before winter quarter.
Even as I graduated college in 2014 and received a healthy salary of $55,000 a year during my first year out of college, I struggled with my relationship with money. It wasn’t until I read Rich Bitch by Nicole Lapin that I realized that I could have a different relationship with money. I learned I could prioritize different types of debt (student loans vs. credit cards) and still budget in fun into my lifestyle.
I’ve been working on improving my relationship with money and turning around my financial narrative over the last 5-6 years. The two biggest factors in my journey so far have been embracing mindfulness in my life and intentionally improving my financial literacy (reading books, taking my first investment course, listening to podcast, etc.). I learned that as I paid down my student loans and continued to build my emergency savings, my shame and stress about money started to shift.
I look back at my journey as a content creator and realize that as I started to improve my relationship with money, I started making more money. I started replacing feelings of stress, anxiety, and shame with accomplishment and belief in myself. As I grew more confident in my ability to earn money, I set bigger financial goals every year.
Here were/are my financial revenue goals of Emma’s Edition:
- 2014: Launched Emma’s Edition during my senior year of college. I had no financial revenue goals.
- 2016: I had no financial revenue goals. I was at 2,000 followers on Instagram and had just started taking my blog and Instagram seriously.
- 2017: My financial goal was just too breakeven and cover the cost of photography.
- 2018: $10,000. I met this revenue goal.
- 2019: $40,000. I met this revenue goal
- 2020: $100,000. I met and surpassed this revenue goal.
- 2021: $200,000. I’m on track to meet this revenue goal by the end of the year.
I share my story with you because I know it wouldn’t have been possible for me to take Emma’s Edition full-time without having a healthy relationship with money. Money used to make me feel sick and now I’m excited at the opportunity to earn money, save for future business ventures, and projects to remodel our home.
Now it’s your turn to reflect on your relationship with money.
How you feel about money is your starting point in setting yourself up to be paid in your career – especially for content creators and influencers who want to start making money.
If you are thinking about your bias or attitudes towards money for the first time, here are questions to ask yourself:
- How was money discussed growing up in your household? Point of stress? Or maybe money was a tool for fun and leisure?
- Do you think money is evil?
- Do you think money is the path to freedom?
- Are you choosing to live with a scarcity mindset? (Obsessing over the lack of something)
- Or are you choosing to live with an abundant mindset? (There is plenty out there for everybody)
- Do you feel uncomfortable talking about money with your friends, partner, or family?
- Do you feel like you can achieve your financial goals? Savings goals? Paying down debt?
Do you have a negative relationship with money?
If you find that you have a negative relationship with money, here are a few tips in helping to turn around your financial narrative:
Tip 1: Focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have
If you find you’ve been choosing to live in a scarcity mindset, you might be focused on limitations and constraints instead of opportunities. You can start to practice gratitude and write down on what you do have. For example, you might be saying, “I’m not making enough money with brand partnerships.”
You can start changing that narrative and reflecting on things you have and accomplished like,
- “I’ve learned over the past few years that’s possible to make money with brand partnerships.”
- “I’ve built an engaged community over the past few years.”
- “I’ve learned my photo editing style and how to create a cohesive aesthetic on Instagram.”
- “I learned how to create my first reel”
While all these statements might not be directly related to money, focusing on what you have and learned is a great way to start shifting your narrative.
Tip 2: Start to train your mind to recognize possibilities
One the biggest things in turning around your financial narrative is realizing that you can consciously shift your thoughts and retire old patterns of belief that aren’t serving you anymore. Even if you haven’t made any money yet as a creator, you can start with the fact that it is possible to earn money by building your community and brand online. You know this is true. You’ve seen your favorite YouTube stars, influencers, artists, etc. build their careers and take their creative passions full-time.
You can start to replace old patterns of belief like, “It’s impossible to make money online”, because you know it is possible to make money and build a business with the internet.
Additionally, you can start to explore and research revenue streams. Knowledge is power. If you’re feeling confused or if you’re feeling there is a gap in your knowledge as a creator, you can research different ways of making money. (FYI- we’ll be covering revenue streams later this week).
Do you have a positive relationship with money?
If you find that you have a positive or healthy relationship with money, you might have already built your 3–6-month emergency fund or already investing. You might already feel good about money because you know it’s possible to earn more money each year. You might be ready to head into day 2 where we talk about financial goals.
Whether you have a negative, positive, or neutral relationship with money, being aware with how you feel about money is the first step in setting yourself up to be paid as a creator. There is no right or wrong way to define or nurture your relationship with money. Each person will spend money based on their values, will hold debt based on their circumstance and risk tolerance, and have different saving goals.
Thank you for participating in Day 1 of Creator Money Week. Day 2: Set Your Financial Goals will go live tomorrow!
Thank you for reading!