Does Making Money Freak You Out?
Right, let's chat. I've noticed that whenever the idea of earning money comes up people freak out. Creative people in particular lose the plot. How dare I suggest that they could make money out of their writing/art/music? Ring a bell for you?
Let's take a look at what money is (or should be). It's a representation of a value. It's a universal form of value that means you don't have to hand over two goats for a haircut. It's kind of useful. Is there anything evil about trading a cake for a variety of biscuits? Nope. What if you want to trade the cake and a kettle and a few books and some gardening time for a television? That's a bit complicated. What if you could just say that all that stuff and effort was equivalent to x amount of money and then trade the money for the television? More efficient. Has anything evil happened yet? Nope. Hang on though ... that was an evil, capitalist transaction!! Shock!!!
Admittedly, with the protests and all, this is a tricky time to talk about money but it's also a crucial time to talk about it because - whatever the result of the protests, and I'm not partisan, I can see points on both sides of the fence - you need to eat. You need to pay rent/mortgage. You need heating and water. Even if you truly believe that you can construct a utopian global political structure in which we all ohmm our way through life on nothing more than manifested camomile flowers (and as a hippie at heart, I yearn for that day) for now ... the way you get your camomile flowers, incense and environmentally friendly laundry soap nuts ... is by trading money for them. The way you get the money is by providing value to other people.
So, here's my shocking revelation for the disillusioned and creative. Ready? I think you're valuable. In fact, I think you are SO valuable that if you take the songs you write and the books you pen and the hemp bags you sew out into the marketplace I believe you could provide so much value that people will WILLINGLY hand over money to you. That is capitalism. You can then pay taxes on your earnings and help those less fortunate than you. That is socialism. If you polarise all this too much, you'll lose sight of the fact that, when it works, these things can work together and both create and share out wealth. You don't need to hurt anyone to make money. You need to provide value. The people who see the value will give you money. Will that mean they starve? No. Will that mean that if your hand-crafted jewellery is so scrummy that they can't resist it that they'll go without Starbucks for a month to buy it? Probably, and that's their choice, because most of us live in democracies in which we are free to make those choices. A blessing.
If I can help anyone, let me know. If I can't, I wish you well. If you want to share your conflicts about the point where creativity and earning a living meet, and how you've overcome those or how you'd like to, feel free. I have a feeling it could help a lot of people if you're honest and brave.
Thanks for reading this.
First posted on Google+
P.S. Since this is such a big problem for so many people, I've now (Sept 2012) made a product to help you with it Money Acceptance with Ray Higdon.