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I love a challenge. That fuels my personal budgeting, retirement planning, and part of my writing career. Money is a pain to deal with, but when you gamify it, it becomes fun. Finances can be like a game, and I savor the challenge of getting it right.
As of late, I became aware of how much I thought about money. It was more than I was comfortable with.
Could I jump on a trend and write this book? Could I monetize this idea? Could this book be more profitable if it was a second edition? When you have a monetizable hobby like mine – writing – it’s easy to fall into the “money mindset” all the time (and it’s easy anyway).
When I decided to take time to have “space” for creative work, experimentation not planned works, I found monetization sneaking into my calculations. Could I do X not Y with this fun project and make money.
My reaction to this realization was “what the hell is wrong with me?” Why was I seeing so much in term of money – and not even in the fun way of gamifying it.
The truth is our society emphasizes monetizing everything. Hobbies are side hustles, a job is an endless treadmill of promotions, you can sell your memorabilia, etc. Companies want you to use their service to turn your grindset mindset into their profit – use their services, their marketing, etc. We’re drowning in the idea that everything has to be for the money.
Worse, for the money is an excuse for bad behavior. If it’s for the money it’s treated as OK, no matter how awful a person you are – which is probably why many a Forbes “30 over 30” young entrepreneur ends up in court. Money excuses all ills and all ill behavior.
Thanks to this realization, I’ve been reclaiming my vision and joy of creativity without the view of monetizing everything. There’s space in my plans to just mess around. I feel more free, more creative, and more connected to people. When you remove finance from every interaction, you discover real human interactions.
I recommend my fellow creatives take a step back as well. Are you unconsciously monetizing everything? Maybe it’s time you stop – before you stop being a creative and just become a profit optimizing machine. Or, worse, end up on the Forbes 30 under 30 and then in the news.
(And if you’re over 30, don’t waste the time or wisdom you have monetizing everything.)