The True Meaning Of Financial Freedom For Creatives.

From financial freedom defined by Forbes as being in control of  finances and  life choices, to Wall Street’s mojo as financial freedom being a monetary backup that allows a person do what they want, we are all wrapped up in the idea that financial freedom means a life free of financial cares or a life with unlimited possibilities. However, Daniel Chukwu, funding member of NGD approaches this concept differently, and during a surprising 20-minute drive along the Third Mainland Expressway, shares his unique perspective on financial freedom for creatives and what aspiring designers should aspire to achieve.

Are you a budding designer earning from your creativity or a seasoned pro with enough cash in reserve? Daniel’s insights are invaluable. Read on to discover his perspective.

Daniel The Businessman

Daniel is an award-winning, self-taught creative entrepreneur  from Lagos, with expertise spanning marketing communications and creative strategy. With decades of experience in the graphic design industry, Daniel is the founding partner of  Surkreo and Bamboo Digital. Among the NGD community, he is remembered as the founder of NGD itself back in 2008. Daniel’s skills and passion for the industry were the driving forces behind the establishment of NGD – he  is a visionary in the field with enough photoshop experience to speak authoritatively on what maters most to designers.

Daniel’s Thoughts On Financial Freedom

According to Daniel, creatives often perceive financial freedom as a life devoid of worries or the ability to travel leisurely. However, he contends that financial freedom, especially for creatives, is about comfortably pursuing one’s dreams. It’s not a life without financial concerns but rather a life where creatives can afford Uber rides to get to meetings quicker or 5G connectivity to make the job go faster.  In essence, it’s the ability to…. buy time for yourself!

When I first started making money from graphic design, the first thing I did was to buy a washing machine and later invested in laundry. My aim was to cut down on non-creative tasks in my life and have more time to solely focus on my passion. Young designers in the industry shouldn’t be aiming for a reserve in the bank but rather struggle to earn enough to chase their dreams without restraint.

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Why a Life Focused on Design Matters

In an era where work-life balance is a hot topic, Daniel makes a compelling case for prioritizing a life centered around design.  According to him, creative skills generate income and satisfaction, and the more time designers can allocate to their craft without distractions, the greater their income and satisfaction will be. Essentially, buying time for yourself equates to more money.

The design curve is not a short one either, and designers require time to master tools like Photoshop, typography, and immerse themselves in concepts like minimalism to generate aesthetic imagery.

In Daniel’s view, saving money while still performing manual tasks like laundry is counterproductive and impedes long-term earning potential. True freedom, according to him, is achieved when you are free to dedicate your time solely to design.

Combining Daniel’s Theory with Wealth Creation Tactics:

Daniel’s theory to designers is mindset shift , not only does it redefine financial freedom to creatives but it elevates the purpose of work. He suggest for insatnce that designers realising the value of time saving measures will eventually want to work only with clients who can pay them enough to afford such measures thus bolstering clientele.

However, when the ideal clients are bagged and the figures start rolling in, having a plan in place to maximize your earnings is a bonus.

Here are popular  systems you can employ  to make the best use of your earnings:

  • The 50/20/30 Rule: Allocate 50% of income to needs and obligations, with the remaining half split between 20% savings and 30% discretionary spending.
  • The 75/15/10 Rule: Invest 15% of your income to potentially generate passive income while saving 10%, with the rest allocated to expenses.
  • Maintain Your Tools: Taking good care of work devices like laptops is more cost-effective than replacing them, reducing financial strain.
  • Prioritize Health: A healthy lifestyle can prevent costly medical bills, making it a wise investment. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid  common stress triggers for graphic designers.
  • Practice Self-Control: Avoid impulse purchases and prioritize items that contribute to your work efficiency and overall quality of life.


Discover a World of Design Insights

The NGD Blog is a hub for design enthusiasts, offering a wealth of insights from designers of all backgrounds – from those who made it big on Amazon to those who discovered their passion while in Bible school. Each read provides unique insights into uncharted design territories.

If you’re seeking practical guidance, check out our learn guides, for guides on your favorite software and marketing tips to help you secure your dream clients such as Linkedin for graphic designers .

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