[More thoughts on “How To Be Creative”.]
31. Remain Frugal.
The less you can live on, the more chance your idea will succeed. This is true even after you’ve “made it”.
In 1997, I landed the dream job. High-paid advertising copywriter. Big office. Big apartment in New York. Glamorous parties and glamorous backdrop. All feeding the urban sophisticate narrative etc. All good.
The trouble was, even though I was being paid very well, I was still broke by the end of the month. Life in New York is a costly business, and I was determined to experience it fully. I sure as hell wasn’t saving anything.
Like they say, education is expensive. And I ended up paying top dollar.
Because of course, one day the recession hit, the job dried up and I nearly found myself on the street. Had I lived a bit more modestly I would have been able to weather the storm better.
There are a lot of people out there who, like me back in New York, make a lot of money, but spend it just as quickly. The older you get, the less you envy them. Sure, they get to go to the fancy restaurants five days a week, but they pay heavily for the privelege. They can’t afford to tell their bosses to go take a hike. They can’t afford to not panic, when business slows down for a month or two. The have to keep tapdancing, whether they like it or not.
Part of being creative is learning how to protect your freedom. That includes freedom from avarice.