Necessity is the mother of invention, they say, and yes, from my own experience, I can confirm that financial pressure can inspire creativity and productivity and drive us towards our goals. Many inventions in the history of mankind were born out of desperation and misery.
However, one of my goals is to enjoy life for as long as possible. The stress I feel from lack of money feels unhealthy. Unhealthy for my body and mind.
In addition, we always talk about creative freedom. But how can creativity be free if I depend on it to pay the rent this month?
Lack of money can make you inventive, but it also has the potential to lead us astray. It makes us accept commissions we don’t want on terms that aren’t ours. We begin to throw our principles overboard and, in the worst cases, lose the fire within us with which we started.
We need to protect our dream from these influences. Financial reserves are, therefore, so crucial for self-employed and freelancers. My finance accountant opened my eyes when he explained that most startups and freelancers don’t fail with their businesses because their products, service, or ideas are wrong or bad. They fail because of financial mismanagement (find more here).
A new car, the most expensive smartphone, or a bigger apartment are worthless if they sabotage our passion.
Austin Kleon puts it this way in his terrific book “Keep going”:
“Do what you love” + low overhead = a good life.
“Do what you love” + “I deserve nice things” = a time bomb.