By Steven Pressfield | Published: March 10, 2014
Elizabeth Lada, like many of us, struggles to decide which job to take. She asks …
What to do when you have a number of medium-sized talents, and the ones that make you money aren’t quite as fun to do (that would be painting/illustrating) and the ones that are more fun to do are not (yet? ever?) remunerative (that would be screenwriting and playing music). How to focus? Reward so many hours of doing the money-maker with a half-hour of the fun stuff? Focus exclusively on the money-maker until some (arbitrary?) goal is met? Do the fun stuff first and wait till the deadline for the money-maker is looming and work like crazy?
Steve: This is another great question and it kind of goes back to an old axiom in Tinseltown, which is “one for love and one for money,” and, uh . . . A lot of actors and writers and directors kind of go by this, where they’ll make a movie that they know is a commercial slam dunk to make enough money so that then they can do a project for love. And I think that that is another possible, there are pitfalls to that, but I think it’s a pretty good way for some people anyway to do it.
So, again, if you’re thinking about a year, you can say “Okay, I’m gonna do, for the first three months, I’m going to work on this project that’s going to bring in some money, and that’ll bring me enough to do the next four months, so that I could work on my web series or whatever it is that I really love, and then meanwhile I will book the last three months to do something for money.”
And, again, one of the great skills that you have to develop if you’re going to manage your time is compartmentalization—to be able to work on one thing and then bring down the gate and work on another. So Liz, this is one way to look at it. One for love and one for money.