To help you begin your journey towards financial stability, one of the first areas you’ll need to address is your mindset with regards to money. Many of us believe—consciously or subconsciously—that starving and struggling is an automatic or necessary byproduct of a career in the entertainment industry.
The truth is, it’s very difficult—if not impossible—to flourish when you’re in a place of financial stress and insecurity. Perhaps you’re tired of going into opportunities desperate to get the job—not so much for the love of the work, as for the paycheck. When we bring that energy with us into the room, it can keep the interview or audition from going our way.
The first step to creating positive changes in your financial life is to honestly examine and shift any deep-seated, negative attitudes you may have towards money. Remaining aware of and managing your financial conditioning is a lifelong process. There is no box to check that says: “I'm done. I've arrived.” Personal psychology plays an important role in decision making over the course of anyone’s financial journey. Because conditioning is a part of who you are at the cellular level, you may be prone to rationalizing and accepting your current financial position, even though you may know it's not where you want to be.
People are conditioned about their money beliefs from a young age. This “financial conditioning” is determined to a great degree by those who provided care for us and were influential in our upbringing.
Relative to money and finances, what ideas did your grandparents have about money? Consider how these ideas led them to behave in relationship to their money. Were they big savers? Did they think they couldn't afford things? Were they saving it for a rainy day? Or did they believe that money is the root of all evil? Perhaps they lived through the Great Depression or other financial hardships, thereby creating a scarcity mindset rather than a prosperity mindset. In this case, unless your parents decided to think and behave differently toward money, you were probably conditioned with the same scarcity mindset that was passed down through the ages from one generation to the next.
Another way the generational scarcity mindset can impact your conditioning is if you were never taught to have conversations about money. Maybe you grew up with the understanding that money was a taboo topic. If you’re not taught to talk about money, it stands to reason that you would not be equipped with the proper mindset or tools to learn, acquire, manage and grow your financial profile.
Did any of those who conditioned you teach you the very basics of personal finance? Did they teach you how to balance your checkbook; the proper use of credit and credit cards; the basic use of cash management; or how to budget and pay your bills? Did they teach you how to invest or put money away so that it compounds interest for you? If you can answer yes to even one of these questions, you're in the minority.
We encourage you to take some time to write down some of the beliefs you have about money. Examine the list and ask yourself which beliefs continue to sabotage you. Now, make a second list of what you would like your thinking about money to be. Start carrying these lists with you. Stop yourself when you find you’re focused on a thought from the first list and make a conscious decision to shift that thought to one of your new, empowering beliefs.
Will you be the one who makes the commitment to take control of your financial education, taking the time to learn and develop the tools you need to get to the financial place you want to be? Will you be the one who accepts responsibility for changing your negative attitudes about money and who stops the pattern of a generational scarcity mindset?
The only way you can do this is to start right now! In so doing, you create the opportunity to raise your financial consciousness and in turn have the ability to influence those around you.
The Entertainment Community Fund offers a complete financial wellness program, free for everyone in performing arts and entertainment. We invite you to learn more and participate in our workshops, designed to support you in the implementation of a personalized financial plan of action. Learn more about our Financial Wellness Program.