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  • Nour Boustani

HOW TO ESCAPE THE BROKE CREATORS PRISON

You write, write and write, but you are still broke.

You create, create, and create, but you are still moving slower than an aging snail financially.

Tomorrow things will be better, maybe next month, next Christmas, or three years later.

You don’t know! You only have to write, and things might come your way.

Stop! It’s time to rethink your method.

Why should life be that hard?

Why should you suffer from financial pressure anymore?

Why should you struggle to send your kids to the best schools or put the best food in their stomachs?

Why should it feel impossible to treat yourself with the best clothes, food, and things you deserve and always desire?

If it feels that people don’t appreciate your work, you are right; they don’t!

I will not encourage you to keep creating stuff that doesn’t sell or tell you that success will come your way eventually if you keep going; that’s a lie.

Perfectionism and narcissism don’t put food on the table; they only feed our egos and empty our wallets.

Nothing comes your way if you don’t create work that makes people pull out their cash and beg to buy your product.

If you think I’m being harsh on you, you are taking it too personally, and there is someone much more difficult on you than I.

It’s your brutal old enemy, the market.


I know how it feels to struggle with making money as a creator.

Ten years ago, I was in your place; I was a young artist full of passion and love for art and beauty.

I gave up on everything my entrepreneurial family taught me about how to focus on selling and making money.

I devoted myself to painting the objects I love, thinking that my art would give me the comfortable life I desired one day.

I would prove to my friends and family that following your passion will give you the best life you deserve.

It did not take too long to realize that I was going nowhere. If I weren’t lucky enough to have a financially supportive family, I would have become another starving artist.

I looked at my father’s friends’ young children; they were around 25.

They had no college education. They didn’t read books or bother to create.

They seemed to have great times, traveling to the most beautiful places, eating the best food, hanging out with the most relaxing people, and enjoying life.

These people did nothing but carry the experience of their families, which is trading. The same things my family tried to push into my head for years.

At that moment, I realized that my stubbornness and selfish ego had gotten me to where I was.

I focused so much on creating work for myself, and I forgot I had to create art for people if I wanted to make money.

A trader is no genius; they travel around the globe to look for what people want, buy it from one place, and sell it to another!

They don’t sell random products or products they think people would want.

They only sell products with high demand; there is money on the line, they have to be highly profitable, and that’s how they get rich!

Wealthy writers, programmers, designers, or artists rarely create products that don’t sell.

The market reads specific genres and types of stories; they are interested in particular topics and styles.

If your ego thinks they don’t appreciate your work, it’s because they don’t understand it.

Your creation doesn’t solve an urgent problem, or it doesn’t include something for them to brag about to their friends on social media.


Common issues with creative creators

I see six situations with financially broke creators that can shift their position instantly if they work on improving.

1. They only focus on their passion, style, or what they think people will love; instead, they have to market research and find what is selling.

2. They over create and seldom promote; instead, creators should spend at least 50% of their time promoting their work, finding agents, and connecting with potential buyers and distributors.

3. They spend their time on low-income activities that make little to no money; instead, they should spend their time freelancing and finding a high-paying client.

I only blog because I already have enough income to cover a good living.

I use blogging for relaxation and organizing my thoughts, not because it will make me $100 a month.

Most creators aren’t aware of the concept of time equal value and finding the best investment of your time for the highest monetary results.

You could spend four hours writing an article for your blog that makes you $10 a month or spend the same four hours looking for a client that pays you $100 per post; which one would you choose?

4. They only get social with the same group of people like themselves; instead, they should expand their network and hang out with people that might be potential buyers.

5. They overprice or undervalue their work; instead, they should consult with professionals and get feedback on the market value of their work and how to increase it.

6. They reject opportunities for not being good enough; instead, they have to grab every opportunity by the neck and give it their best shot.

Most agencies or people who claim to do creative work deliver low-standard results and charge a premium.

If you have been writing for a year or two, you can work for a paying client.

Most clients don’t understand the concept of a high standard as you do.

Their standard is to follow a structure that solves their problem or gives them more pleasure.

Always take the opportunity first, and figure out things later.

You are smart enough to deliver!


It’s okay to work for the market

Becoming commercialized doesn’t undervalue your work.

It makes you more marketable, and that’s not a dirty word; it’s just a word that people with money understand.

Being commercialized doesn’t mean making t-shirts and mugs of your art; it means looking at what the market wants and creating styles, genres, and stuff they like to buy.

Keep writing about the story you love, paint the objects you admire, or code the exciting programs that interest you, but consider them a side project and personal studies. At least for a little while!

Even the greatest artists of history had to create commercial work and make a living. We are no different!

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