by Kristina Leonardi
Artists and musicians do it. Actors and writers do it. Designers do it. Nonprofits and entrepreneurs do it. To some extent, we all do it. We strive to maintain our authenticity, creativity and vision of who we are and what we want to express in the world while trying to earn a living in it.
Last week I attended a lovely event hosted by In Good Company highlighting the journey of fashion designer Selia Yang. She reinforced once again that for successful creative types, every decision cannot always be 100% creative - to truly exist and thrive, you must understand and often defer to the financial/commercial aspect.
These types of lifestyles are the 'roads less traveled' for a reason - if it was easy everyone would be doing it! It's a path that takes faith, determination, perseverance, and, perhaps most of all, courage.
The word courage is made up of the Latin root for 'heart'. There is no doubt that to do what you want to do in life, you need lots of heart - in the form of love for yourself, others and your work, and the passion and conviction to forge ahead, even if you don't know for sure where your next meal will come from.
There's a reason they call it show business, and although nonprofits are not for profit, they still need money to do the work they do. How to achieve that balance of being who we are and supporting ourselves is an eternal quest with no silver bullet answer. At the end of the day, we need to be able to decide as individuals just how much we can compromise ourselves for it.
When choosing to live a life that is most true to who you are, you need to be aware of what things you might have to sacrifice to make things happen. But as challenging as the path can be, there is always a payoff for sticking with it - we wouldn't have all the beauty, innovation, entertainment and opportunity in the world if others hadn't done so!