portfolio

What do you have to show for?

As a creative professional, you have a portfolio with the creative work that is the value you have produced during your career.
Those who are considering purchasing your services need to see some concrete aspects of the projects you have done earlier. Musicians, filmmakers and authors register their work either as a discography, filmography or bibliography. Similarly, your stakeholders are interested in how much you earn, because it shows how your creative work fits into the world. Find out your total career income, from the first pennies you earned to your most recent wage. It is mandatory to keep records of the current year’s income. 
It makes sense to know what you have earned throughout your career. A portfolio of creative projects is a collection of works or what is called an opus. The works comprise what represents you as, for example, an artist, architect or actor. This collection of finished paintings, erected houses or past performances is the proof of what your work is all about. You can also represent the rewards and income as proof of your creativity, a sign that others have enjoyed your work and has given them valuable experiences.
Money works both as recognition and as a recompense
Creative professionals are often more interested in accumulating projects than making money from them. An increasing interest in money may help you gain financial independence. The financial independence will liberate you to pursue other values like i.e. autonomy, income, recognition and status. The rewards you receive from your work are salaries, awards, or other types of recognition. They help you make a living and establish a status.
To work less and make more, all you need to do is move the needle on one metric: The effective hourly rate.
–James Schramko
People who look at your career and the actual creative production from it will enjoy the experiences of your work, and the rewards you have received will influence them. If no one experiences your work, it has no purpose. If people buy your work, document and collect it, it will make it more valuable for you and for other stakeholders. Everyone wants their work to be recognised, and money works both as recognition and as a recompense.
It is important not only to document the recognition you achieved as prizes but also to document the prices you have gotten for your work. The income will affect your own experience of the work. It is important for you to know the value of what you have done so that you have a reason to continue producing. It is also important to know what value you and your work have for other people. To continue toward becoming financially independent, you need to recognise that money is something you trade your time and energy for.
Gain independence while you live
So, how much have you earned during your career? You may have previous tax returns somewhere, or you can get them from the tax authorities. Make statistics about what you have earned over the years. This is the first step towards having the means to be financially independent. A life without work is not a goal. But sometimes illness, old age or unforeseen situations can prevent you from working, and then your financial independence will take away a great deal of worrying. 
What does it mean to change your relationship to money? It means having enough money for you to shift from being dependent on money to making mindful choices for the use of your money. The accumulation of means is not for you to get rich before you die, but to gain independence while you live. It is not important to have a reputation as a wealthy person, but to provide proof of a rich life. Your portfolio shows you are a creative, and money in the bank shows that you have created value from your creativity.


  1. Creative work will cause manifestations; as a representation of the works and as assets.
  2. Both a representation of your opus and the rewards you have received will give people an impression of your work.
  3. Everyone wants their work to be recognised, and money works both as recognition and as a recompense.
  4. Your means will make you gain independence while you live. 
  5. Good work with a suitable recompense makes you believe in yourself.
  6. Financial independence is important proof that the work is valuable to others, and that they are willing to pay for it.
When you calculate the income of your career, you will find out if you think you got paid enough for your work or not. The result of your calculations will either increase your confidence by realising that you made good money with your efforts. Or, it has made you even more in doubt about your value as a creative professional. If you believe in the value of your work, you will have a better chance of negotiating a good return. 
If you do not think that your services are worth high prices–neither will anyone else? Have you ever learned to negotiate? Accept that you will only get crumbs instead of the whole bread. A deal is about more than money. Negotiations are the beginning of the project. If the negotiations gets too painful, there may be a reason to stop the project before it starts.
A suitable recompense makes you believe in yourself.
It’s time to build your self-worth. Bad work with a high price or great work with a low income will reduce your self-belief. The purpose of the work, and what you are worth, lies in the work itself and in the rewards you get from the work.
Financial independence prove that the work is valuable to others.
Prove this to your employer or your customers so that they believe in you and think you are worth the investment they are about to make. Having something that convinces people you are a master of a valuable skill will make it easier to claim a fair wage for your work. What have you got to show for? After you have a portfolio of  the works you have created and a portfolio of the income you have earned.
This shows that your belief in yourself has influenced others also to believe in you and the work you create. Working for financial independence is like working towards absolute autonomy over your work. Money earned is a scorecard. It is important to prove that the work is valuable to others and that they are willing to pay for it.

Exercise: Make a portfolio of your work assets: body of work and economic results.