In-house Interpersonal: Design By The Numbers

Not a “numbers person”?

by Ilise Benun

In my last post, I proposed that any trouble creative professionals have dealing with money – and especially talking about it, whether you are negotiating a promotion or a new job – are related to a lack of self confidence.

Today, I propose that this lack of confidence is also related to a creative mindset that sometimes manifests as a “financial fog.

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You know the financial fog because your head goes fuzzy when someone starts talking numbers. All the intelligence you exhibit in other areas of your life seems to evaporate. Somehow you can no longer do the multiplication you learned at age nine.

Creatives often say, “I’m not good with money,” which more than anything is a self-fulfilling prophecy, primarily of a psychological nature. Suffice it to say, you’re not alone. There is hope, as this fuzziness is not a genetic condition.

One of the reasons dealing with money may be confusing and talking money may be angst-inducing is because, like most creative professionals, you have not been trained in the financial aspects of business. Which isn’t to say you need a business degree. But you do need training and guidance. With education comes competence. And with competence comes confidence.

In reality, money is simple and logical. It doesn’t conflict with or corrupt your creativity. It’s math, after all, and most of it is not all that complicated. Numbers either add up or they don’t. If they don’t, there’s something wrong, and if you look closely, you can usually figure out what it is. But not if
 you’ve already decided you can’t or just don’t get it. That’s up to you. It just takes attention—focused attention.

What happens when you’re in the financial fog?

P.S. For more on this “business mindset” whether your work in house or moonlight on the side, check out my 3-part DesignCast series, The Creative Professional’s Guide to Money, starting Feb. 10, 2011.

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