Sustainable CreaLuc

Day 077 Week 11 Q1 Monday, March 18, 2024

Many creative outliers, driven by their passion and love for their work, have been able to monetize their creativity from time to time. After all, musicians Play Music. They do not Work Music even though they do work on their music.

However, the larger number of creative outliers are probably earning their living doing something other than their most creative work. This is because employers often prefer to pay for the known rather than the unknown, as it is less risky. Another reason is that creative outliers are so psychologically and emotionally rewarded for what they do that those who hire them can usually get away with not paying them as much as they would have to if this were not the case. This can also be true for engineers working for high-prestige companies who are doing fabulously interesting and impactful work. People who work for world-class outfits doing super desirable things do not have to be paid as much as more boring, less rewarding work. A terrific example of this also exists at highly desirable institutes of higher learning where grad students can be used as brilliant, underpaid, semi-slave labor in exchange for enhanced prestige. 

The combination of risk aversion and psychologically self-rewarding work can contribute to less sustainable compensation for idealistic creative outliers than they need to progress with their lives. What we truly need to be sustainable is work that is creative, lucrative, and lasting at the same time. I call this CreaLuc work, but unfortunately, it tends to come in waves rather than a steady stream until some amount of fame and recognition is achieved to reduce the perceived risk from the perspective of the employer, decision maker, or permission giver. In other words, the funding sources.

Some of us have coped with this by prooving ourselves early in our professional engagements as after we have proven ourselves, it gets a lot easier to find CreaLuc work, but not as easy as one would imagine, for the unknown is still risky, and the unknown is what creative outliers are drawn to.

There is a reason that so many composers, artists, poets, musicians, actors, dancers, writers, and inventors earn their living doing other things. Most of the world is frightened of change and the unknown because they can not predict the outcome. Being engaged by someone secure enough to trust their own judgment and experienced and personally valued enough to provide the needed cover for addressing the unknown.

Suppose you want to continue to be a creative outlier and not have to do it around everything else but make it the primary thing that you are doing. In that case, you need to find a business model, which means it needs to be both creative and lucrative because creativity is intermittent and the normal work. The world is not that interested in intermittency, which is why most managers prefer to have people who are less creative and more cooperative.