Free Audio Seminar: 5 Essential Money Skills for Creative People

This post is part of the Creativity and Money series.

OK it’s time for some solutions to the artistic and financial conundrums we’ve been discussing in the Creativity and Money series. πŸ™‚

Having talked about the reasons creative people don’t talk about money, the creative benefits of money, and 5 big money mistakes we’re prone to making, it’s time to give you some solid practical answers to the issues we’ve covered.

Audio symbolTo do this, I’ve teamed up with Sarah Thelwall, founder of MyCake and an expert on financial management for creative businesses, to record an audio seminar about 5 Essential Money Skills for Creative People. And you’re welcome to download it for free. πŸ™‚

Sarah ThelwallSarah has a very unusual combination of creative and business skills. We’ve been talking about these issues for years, and I know she has solutions to the challenges many of you face, so I’m delighted to be able to introduce her to you.

I think we’re a pretty good double-act – I deal with the ‘mindset and creativity’ side of things, and Sarah deals with the hard numbers in a very user-friendly way.

You can get the seminar – for free – here.

It’s a 75-minute recording, and we’ve done our best to pack it with useful advice. Topics we cover include:

  • How to earn a good living from your creativity without selling out
  • What Mozart thought about money
  • How keeping regular accounts can change your life (seriously)
  • Why your reasons for charging low fees are almost certainly bad ones
  • What to do about crap clients
  • Why you shouldn’t try to sell to everyone
  • How to keep your expenses in check

I’ve personally learned a lot from working with Sarah – she’s a fount of useful advice – so I hope you’ll find the combination of our different perspectives useful.

About the author: Mark McGuinness is a poet and a creative coach. For some free advice on aligning your creative and financial goals, listen to the audio seminar 5 Essential Money Skills for Creative People.

How to get creative work done in an "always on" world

Productivity for Creative People

Mark McGuinness' latest book Productivity for Creative People is a is a collection of insights, tips, and techniques to help you carve out time for your most important work – amid the demands and distractions of 21st century life.

β€œOf all the writers I know, I have learned the most about how to be a productive creative person from Mark. His tips are always realistic, accessible, and sticky. It’s not just talk, this is productivity advice that will change your life.”

Jocelyn Glei, author and Founding Editor, 99U

More about Productivity for Creative People. >>

Responses to this Post


  1. Now that I listen to it again I’m amazed at how much we managed to pack in to an hour and a quarter. If there is anything in here you want more information of please do ask questions here on the blog.

    The good news is that sorting this stuff out isn’t rocket science … don’t delay, play it today (sorry, haven’t done enough punning, alliteration or general word play today, was bound to leak out sometime).

  2. What Mozart thought about money? Now that was interesting. Do you think it would have been the same for Shakespeare?

    I fully think that the love art as a primary goal will always eventually lead the more money in the long tail. Unless you have very little talent artistically? (if there is such a thing)

    Then maybe you can manipulate the world in a way leads to profit independent of talent.

    Geoff Talbot
    Blogging & Commenting in Seven Sentences

    • Oh yes, Shakespeare had a similar attitude. He even had a reputation for being a bit ‘tight’ with money!

      I’m afraid I don’t share your optimism re money and the long tail. The long tail is great for aggregators like Amazon who can make a profit from thousands of low-volume products. But if you’re the artist creating said low-volume products, you’re not going to make a lot!

      Being great at art doesn’t guarantee turning a profit – at some point along the line, someone needs to work out how to do the selling. πŸ™‚

  3. Days later, your free audio that I listened to keeps re-appearing in various ways. For one: integrity in my finances monthly. My sense of my self worth has increased. Ideas for marketing are arriving daily as I am still while working. I noticed a BIG time issue of selling my work vs ‘the tax man’ and filling out year end forms. (old mindset: Why sell? Just keep creating. NEW mindset: you are so gifted: SHARE your gift)
    You two are awesome! Thank you. Jan

    • I’m so pleased you like it and I’m very pleased that little phrases are sticking in your mind/coming back to haunt you. When I was learning to race boats a few years ago there were a couple of books by Bill Gladstone that the crew practically quoted to each other during races … orders to the trim team of ‘sail with the sails you’ve got’ when we complained that the boat team weren’t bringing us new sails fast enough. I then had the pleasure of a training week in Florida with Bill and spent much of it reciting his own instructions back to him they were so ingrained in my memory …. that’s what we’re aiming for here with phrases like ‘selling your self short is as bad as selling out’

    • Our pleasure Jan! Delighted to hear it’s having the desired effect. πŸ™‚

  4. Enjoyed listening to the 5 money skills audio. Really great, practical financial advice and tips. I particularly loved Sarah’s points about not selling yourself short when pricing/quoting your fees. I definitely need to work on this area. I had a client once say to me that they thought I wasn’t charging much for my services, and I wonder now if that client had low expectations of my abilities on hiring me. Her comment really hit a raw nerve and certainly made me feel as if I was an inferior amateur at the time.