I'd quite like one of these when I grow up. Courtesy of Mat Skull. Usual rules apply.
Or, otherwise titled 'When cashflow goes bad'.
Ahem. Anyway...when I was in University, one of my flatmates decided that he wanted to be an Actuary. Given that he's probably the brightest mathematician I know (and this includes a chap at Merrill Lynch), it seemed to make sense. His overall life goal was to - I kid you not - to own and swim in a Scrooge McDuck esque Money Bin.
A pretty fair ambition, if a little bit fantastic. You're probably wondering what this has to do with the post. Well, yesterday, I had a couple of financial realisations, and how they impact on my behaviour.
1) I'm pretty poor at the moment. Sadly, freelancing doesn't quite cover all of my living expenses (yes, I really needed that goldplated bookmark). And as you may or may not know, you need money to live - especially to truly experience a great city like London. So this lack of funds is a bit of a pest, to be honest - especially when I'm poorer than I was as a student.
And yes, it does impact on what I do at the moment. Which I detest. Still, I'm reminded of the Fight Club quote "It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything". I may not have lost everything, but this period of my life has certainly helped give me perspective.
I hate being beholden to anyone, hate being in debt, and hate feeling like I'm one shopping trip away from living in someone's pockets. It could be argued that I'm living the plot of Keep The Aspidistra Flying, which would be hugely ironic, as it's my favourite book ever. It has helped strengthen my resolve - I'm not going to get sucked into any truly bad financial situations, and hear me now, I'll make a success of things. Just you wait and see.
2) Being 'close to the money' is damned scary. Marcus's post about this really resonated with me. You see, I have another confession to make. From a comparatively young age, I've had an idea of the financial rumblings at my father's agency. And after having a conversation with him yesterday, to say it put my own worries into perspective would be pretty fair.
This really strikes a chord with me, and this kind of financial osmosis is why I'm so happy to be a part of Ad Grads (apparently we got into Campaign today - woo hoo!). If I can impart on graduates the importance of having an idea of just what financial pressures are at play in an ad agency, well, then the blog will have partly have done its job.
Advertising is not just London (much as I love the London ad scene). And in some ways, being aware that London is a little bubble, with clients willing to spend big on the latest ad/social networking trend, and that, if you get in, you're damned privileged...well, that should be said to everyone. Realising that cash is the deciding factor behind everything is a lesson everyone should learn. Bluntly, we are all here to shift product.
Essentially, money breeds cold hard reality. But it also breeds unreal expectations, and the sooner those are kept in check, the better.