November 5, 2013


“Making money is fairly easy. Making money while doing work that truly matters is not.” – AJ Leon

I’ve been having a lot of conversations about money recently. I have conversations about money with my family portrait clients all the time, given that’s what I sell in my business. But the conversations lately have been totally different.

I spoke at length with the inimitable Greg Hartle earlier today – an experience for which I am truly, utterly grateful. We talked about many things money related, but most interestingly was his comments about the emotional attachments we tend to make with money. Basically we have these “financial flashpoints” in our lives – moments that give us our deep-seated emotional beliefs around money and what it means to us. The way to overcome our positive or negative emotions around money is simply to break down those flashpoints and understand what the beliefs are. By understanding them, we can then move past them.

I chatted with Srini Rao a few weeks ago about our respective debts, and how we both feel about them. Short version: we hate them. But, in the context of today’s chat with Greg, we’re clearly attaching emotion to the money, when we should be dealing with it in purely practical, non-emotional terms.

In Fargo, I spoke with AJ Leon – author of this quote – about his company’s approach to making money, and how he navigates through his various social and humanitarian projects, his art projects, and his actual paid work. AJ’s business model is to earn enough profit doing his regular client work to then fund his other projects. He’s a hugely successful entrepreneur, and it seems like he launches a new project every other week.

These conversations are, to me, hugely interesting and important, as I plan our family’s big around-Australia adventure, and the necessary business and life redesign to go along with the trip.

Today’s IQ is particularly apt for me. I can make money very easily – I walked out of University into a $100,000/year job at age 22 – but what really makes me happy is making money to take care of my family’s needs, while doing work that truly matters.

I am grateful that I get to do work that truly matters for my family portrait clients, and at the same time enjoy a hugely abundant lifestyle with my family.

This simple act of being grateful has already transformed my relationship to money over the past week or two, and I can only see it improving from here.

Wow. Kinda deep. Kinda off-kilter with my regular programming.

Hopefully just as helpful. I’d love to hear your thoughts on money, and what it means to you. Drop me a line!

With love,
Israel. xo



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