Anybody that’s been in the creative world for a few years learns quickly that talent isn’t enough.

Sure, it’s nice.

But as you get older, you see more and more talented people get passed by people who have a host of other skills. Skills that might not have been as sexy as talent, but are helping them do some pretty cool things.

It seems like in the arts, talent should reign supreme, but we all know that the people who work all the time aren’t always the most talented.

They’re the people who have managed to take all the skills they have and leverage the crap out of them.

And we can learn a ton from those people.


‘More’ sounds great, but doesn’t solve anything

“If only I could sing high notes like *fill in the name of tenor A* I would be famous.”

I spent years believing stuff like that.

I wanted more ability, more talent, more skills, and I couldn’t seem to develop the way I wanted to.

What I wasn’t doing was looking at what I could do, and really figuring out the best way to leverage that into getting more work.

I thought there was no way I would be marketable without being ‘more’.

And I’ve fallen into the same trap as a financial planner. There’s so much to learn in this new field that it can be easy to say:

“When I know as much about insurance as *fill in the name of planner B* then I’ll be able to easily find clients.”

Surely more technical skill will solve all my problems.

Except that’s all bullshit, because getting ‘more’ doesn’t help me manage what I have that’s better. In fact, it can make the problem worse.


Everyone wants more money

There’s a general understanding that if we had more money things would be better.

That’s what I assumed would solve my financial issues coming out of school.

But it didn’t. When I started to make a steady paycheque, doubling what I had earned previously, my life didn’t change all that much. I ate better and I had more sweaters.
Having more money didn’t make me better at using my money. How could it? It’s a completely different thing.

That’s why this focus we have on ‘more’ is often misguided. It seems like the right thing to want, but the truth is that most of us aren’t ready to use more of anything.


I think it’s time to separate the idea of ‘having a lot of money’ with ‘succeeding with your money’

Having a ton of money or talent can make things easier… you just have more to work with, more of a cushion when things go wrong, but it’s not the same thing as success.

The task we’ve all been given is to take our resources, whether talent or money, and turn them into a life.

That’s the real skill.

And that’s the skill that you can develop and master no matter how much raw material you’ve been gifted.

And that’s the skill that can lead to success however you choose to define it.

(If you’re curious about how to start building those kind of skills, check out the HOW TO GET STARTED section of the site or sign up for an OFFICE HOURS session and we can talk it out.)

Emily Nixon

Emily Nixon

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

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