In the classic book The 80/20 Principle, author Richard Koch lays out his 10 Golden Rules of Success, applicable to both business and to life in general. I have my own particular take on them, which is a little different than Koch’s, and are more specific to the creative lifestyle.
If you’re passionate about doing something, do it right in order to garner the best results. If you’re a chef, you buy the best, freshest ingredients to create the best dishes. If you paint, you want quality pigments and a properly stretched canvas to give your work a strong foundation. If you’re in any sort of professional field, you want the best possible education. Money follows the same old adage that applies to accounting or writing computer code: garbage in, garbage out. If you don’t invest wisely, you get what you pay for.
Koch refers to this rule as “exploit capital leverage”. If you’re a professional creative, making investments in your materials and yourself will result in end products that are worth more. High-end jewelers don’t sell inferior grade diamonds. 5-star rated steakhouses don’t sell cheap cuts of meat. If you have to cut corners, do it on things that aren’t important and don’t have huge impacts on your life or your creativity.