Take it all off the table?

I had a wonderful experience a few days ago in my business/financial life, and I realized it connected terrifically to the way I try to grow as an artist. As I believe I’ve mentioned before, I own a small business that staffs product demonstrations in addition to creating musical theater. I noticed that, due to a training SNAFU, I had a product line with no trained staffers. In other words, I either needed to go do the demonstrations myself, or wait until the beauty care company’s trainer returned from abroad. The company’s regional manager was fine with waiting- but I realized that, with careful scheduling, I could accommodate this company and simply do the demonstrations.

When I sent the regional manager the planned schedule, he was noticeably appreciative. I just earned major brownie points with the product line, and will also have some extra money coming into my business this month because of it. Which led me to ask the question- when should you ever leave money on the table? I believe, if you are truly overwhelmed with work, projects, commitments, and energy draining relationships, then of course you should streamline. Maybe after an assessment of your life and schedule, you truly realize that making a few extra bucks isn’t the best use of your time. But when life presents you with a short term opportunity to better your financial position (not to mention strengthen your relationship with your colleagues), and you think you MIGHT be able to fit it in, maybe you should consider it. I think this is a slightly different variant of “say yes”. You’re not doing something that’s completely new, but you’re making the most of the opportunities presented to you.

When the world hands me these sorts of financial situations, I often try to directly apply the “found money” to my artistic development. That money wasn’t there before, so why not use it to do something that will move me forward? I know that committing to an extra day a week at a day job might not be satisfactory long term. But picking up one extra shift or short term gig might be beneficial, particularly if it allows you to directly use that money for theater tickets/laducas/whatever you need to make your art even better.

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