Why Dedication Is The Key To Make Ends Meet

The Problem with Halfheartedness and what bad pricing of your work has to do with it.

There is a variety of reasons why we, sometimes, lack dedication and the main problem is, that it shows in our work, which in turn attracts less people to get in touch, buy, commission or whatever your goals are..

It shows through your work, that you are not 100% behind yourself, or that you´ve planned wrong because of other commitments.

So, at first, I want to clarify what kind of dedication I´m talking about - to avoid confusion:
The act of dedicating or the state of being dedicated, the complete and wholehearted devotion, esp to a career, your art, music, etc.

Surround yourself with determined peers

A quote, which expresses very much the importance, of what I feel, makes dedication worth thinking about:
"When I work, I work very hard. So I look to work with people who have that level of dedication. And I depend on that from everyone. From the director to my crews that I work with."
Tom Cruise 

The main Problem of halfheartedness, or specifically a lack of dedication is buried in a variety of origins, without going too much into psychology, I´d say childhood and genes as also habits are the cause.
And of course, the people who surround you, to add to the quote above. If you want to play beach volley and you are the only person who really likes to play, the fun is really gone fast.

When working or going for a working method to get dedication to work for you, the following things might be interesting for you to consider:

Reasons for halfheartedness

Exogenous and endogenous factors that can cause halfheartedness or lack of dedication

Exogenous factors can be:
  • Environment
  • Peer pressure
  • Friends and peers, colleagues
  • Distraction, interruption
  • Time, a schedule dictated by others or illness, etc.
Endogenous factors are the following:
  • Mood
  • Primary needs
  • Inspiration, or lack thereof
  • Motivation
  • Feelings about something

There are countless factors, but these are just the most important ones.

What your pricing strategy has to do with dedication

A good theoritacal approach to illustrate the circumstances that can lead to the before mentioned factors, can be many things, for example a bad pricing strategy: When you base your pricing very low, chances aren´t higher that you get hired, but assuming you get many jobs for, let´s say 25$ an illustration, you´d have to do around 100 illustrations a month, to make ends meet! The situation and problems that go hand-in-hand with the cause (the bad pricing) should become evident by now. To do 100 illustrations a month, you can´t be fully dedicated, in fact you are a factory worker if you can handle that, a cog in the machine, nothing else.

Let´s say you´ve learned from this and do illustrations for $250, congratulations, only 10 to do in a month, which seems a bit more realistic but still hard to keep your dedication up consistently.
The thing is, the less dedication you put in your work, the less you get hired, so the numbers above are very unrealistic, however, if you can get clients to appreciate the dedication to your craft, they are eager to pay more, which in return means you have to do less in a month to get by and more fun doing so as well.

So, I think I don´t need to explain more, until now you should get, what dedication and a pricing strategy does to your work.

If you, for any reason, find it hard to be 100% in a flow when working on your art or commissions or whatever, it might prove helpful to get back to your childhood.

Kid´s have the strongest ability, a gift if you will, to be 100% dedicated and attached to the moment.
If you watch them, it is only external such as interruptions or distractions or primal needs (if internal at all) that can pull them away from playing.

So, get back to your childhood and imagine what made you feel warm and fuzzy inside and all into the moment, when time flies and nothing can get you away from what you were doing, not even your favorite television show.

Actually what you need to do, is to decide how many time you need to get into a flow, what kind of work attracts dedication in you and how much you need to make ends meet and you should know the answers.

Following, you find some of the most important components of dedication, if you take care about these, dedication should come to you, nearly from itself.


Motivation is important, it will get you straight into the mood and your habits. Motivation can come from internal or external sources. If from external, from friends, peers or colleagues, it is important that the motivation is true and not just to encourage you. If you work alone, freelanceing or something else, it can be hard to motivate yourself but not impossible. I encourage to read biographies of people related to your field, collaborate with determined clients or colleagues and post your work online to get motivational feedback.


Inspiration is a no-brainer, but too important to dismiss. The way we perceive the work and achievement of others has a conscious and unconscious effect on us. It is vital to understand the unconscious effect. Hard to learn but observation is the key here. IT is the same as training yourself to recognize dreams when you wake up. It is what makes you feel unsettling and unhappy with yourself, whenever that happens, pay attention what you have seen, heard or otherwise consumed before. It may have had a bigger impact on you than you might imagine. The better you can observe yourself and the more you are in sync with your subconsciousness, the better are your results and the more your dedication shows in your work. 


Curation as in being a curator of your own work. A reminder of keeping things up. But a curator does many things, he takes care of your roots, foresees where you go, decides what is good for you and reminds you on reminiscences. It´s work is precious in terms of asking questions, motivating you and deciding which kind of inspiration is useful for you. Train your curator and the inspiration and motivation will come to you and the result, as mentioned before, will be dedication as well.
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Oliver aka Fantasio is a creative blogger who likes to share his insights about art, marketing and social media. Follow Fantasio on twitter or facebook


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