Nobody likes to talk about money. And that's especially true for creative people. But as you grow your audience, it's important to get comfortable and confident valuing yourself — and your work — fairly.
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Think of money as a tool to create what you love.
Your time and skills have value. Price your work accordingly.
Let your North Star guide you to new goals and the best ways to monetize.
Ask other Creators how they break down their fees.
Hi, my name's Nicole McLaughlin and I'm a designer and upcycler based in New York city. And today I'm gonna be talking about creativity and money because it's a topic that's important to what I do. I made my personal passions, my full-time job. And so now money could be kind of seen as taboo or a little bit weird to talk about but I wanna try to break that stigma and let's break it down.
Making your passion your job
So I was working in the fashion industry and it was around that time that I started to realize the amount of waste that was happening. And it kind of just made me wanna do something about it. And so on the weekends and at night, I was doing these personal projects, just experimenting with materials. And it honestly just made me feel so excited and fulfilled. And so I made the decision to quit my full-time job and to pursue my passion, which was upcycling.
Balancing money and purpose
Something that even I struggle with sometimes is like making money in an authentic way. It's like being able to monetize what you do and making sure that it's still aligned with your values. When I'm making a decision I always will think about what is driving me and that is sustainability. Sustainability always is my north star. So I create to design products that will leave a better future and to be able to use a voice the best that I possibly can. And so this looks different for everybody, not everyone's goal and mission is sustainability. It could be various different things, but I'd say having that north star will always help you when making difficult decisions.
Valuing yourself and your work
Making my passion my full-time job was a really big transition, especially knowing that I had to make money in order to be able to survive and to be able to fund the things that I wanted to do. And with that, I had to create, kind of a pricing structure that went along with that. So for me, it made sense to break it down in three ways. So I'm making a physical object. So to create that, the time that it takes, that's one price. And then the IP and my ideas, how I got to that place. That's another price. And then to be able to post that and share that to the world on social media, whether that's in feed, in Reels, in Stories, that's another price. It's great to be able to get these amazing brand partnerships, but ultimately, I still wanna create for me and myself, this is still my real passion and I wanna be able to fund that. So in order to be able to do that, I have to make money. I have to be able to get those funds to be able to invest it back into myself. I wanna wrap it up so nicely.
1/ Valuing your time is a really complicated thing, but it's something that you really need to take into consideration. So knowing you're worth when it comes to the amount of hours that go into something, it's not always about the project itself, but it's about the time that it took to get the skillset to be able to do those projects. So I'd say that's a really big takeaway.
2/ And then also the integrity that goes into that. You're gonna be making decisions that are complicated and knowing what's best for you and your business, that's really important. And integrity is by far one of the most important things that goes into making these decisions. It's hard valuing what you do and your work.
3/ And I'd say the best place to start is talk to those around you, who support you, and reach out to those who you aspire to be. And you'll be surprised by the responses that you get. It's really a great place to start by having these conversations around money, around what to value yourself. And a lot of people have been there and been through these situations.
So it's really nice to be able to have those people who support you. At the end of the day, use money as a tool to be able to create what you love and surround yourself with people who really care about you and support you in your goals and know that your work has value, and it's so important. And we'd love to see what you create.