It’s so easy to throw around words that sound positive. Not only is it easy… but it makes you feel good.
When I say a word like ‘diversification’ I feel great. Especially when I’m talking about finance to a bunch of creative people.
It’s just such a good word. It’s such a good idea.
And when you tell someone else to do it, you get all the good feelings with none of the complicated realities.
… when you do it yourself…. cue complicated realities.
Splitting myself between worlds
After about 4 months of purely focusing on finance (and a little bit of vacation) I’m back in the opera world.
Except it’s not that simple.
I’m in the opera world… doing 6 hours of rehearsals, practising, trying to memorize and character study and all that stuff.
But I’m also still in the finance world… doing client work, making appointments, and trying to grow my practise.
And the more diversified I’ve become, the more I evenly spilt myself between these two income streams (and, let’s be honest, sources of identity)… the more difficult it becomes to balance things.
I’m not saying it’s impossible.
I don’t believe that at all.
But it is more complicated than I would have thought, and it deserves mentioning because I often throw the world ‘diversification’ around for all it’s glowing benefits, and forget to mention the fact that, especially for creatives, it’s hard.
Less risk. Less time.
I get a ton of benefit from this spilt. I love working with two different sides of my brain. I love meeting people in very different fields.
And I love the fact that I feel better about my financial future, knowing that I have more options to support me and my family.
My diversification has muted the riskiness of my future.
But I also have less time.
Less time to really spend in the creative process.
Less time to challenge myself to the excellence that the operatic craft demands.
And that’s been frustrating lately.
Can you split your focus and still be excellent?
I’m not a very egotistical man.
But I have an immense pressure (which I put on myself) to be excellent. As excellent as I can be in any field or pursuit I attach myself to.
It’s one of the things that drew me to opera.
It’s how I’ve felt in studying finance.
And the question that drives me crazy right now, is whether you can be diversified in the way that I am right now and still be excellent.
I think I can be. I think there’s a way to make my time more efficient and my study and practise more precise.
But maybe that’s hopefully naive.
Time will tell.
Rags to Reasonable Community Outreach Coordinator
Emily Nixon is an actor/writer/director/filmmaking Swiss Army Knife. She is also a big money nerd and Community Outreach Coordinator for Rags to Reasonable.
She came to this work after becoming completely fed up with living paycheque-to-paycheque and being too afraid to look in her chequing account. She is passionate about empowering other artists and variable income earners to keep doing what they love and feel confident about their finances.
Email Emily at email@example.com