On a call I did recently, one participant declared that her intention for her work was “to be paid for being me.” We laughed, but it seems to me that beneath our light-hearted response, we recognized a potent desire that’s worth taking a little more seriously.
Getting paid for being me. It brings into vivid focus that internal clash between our traditional brain that says “no, no, you get paid for creating value for others” and our more free brain that says “wow, wouldn’t that be great, to make my living through just being who I am.”
If “getting paid for being me” is a possibility, I first have to let go of my old notions of making money. As business owners, most of us have been trained to think in terms of being financially rewarded for delivering outcomes to people. Giving them clean carpets, a report or financial plan, or a 12-week program . I have to be willing to consider that I can offer not just an outcome, or my time on an hourly basis, but that I could deliver value simply through sharing my unique access to universal wisdom.
“Getting paid for being me” means not that I just sit at home and collect the dough while I watch Oprah and bake cookies, but that I create work that capitalizes on what I do with the least effort, on sharing what is obvious to me (but often not to others), and on revealing my passionate thoughts, beliefs, and insights.
It means creating some vehicle for sharing myself with others: programs, products, services. It means developing my own distinctive style and expertise. It means having the chutzpah to believe that I have something to offer that no one else can and having the hubris to ask people to pay me for it.
So, in essence, “getting paid for being me” means creating a business that allows me to be rewarded for my message and insights, not my labor. First, I have to recognize for myself what I bring to the table and second, be able to communicate its value to others. And what’s vital if I am going to do that is to have a darn good story to tell about what is happening for people in the world and what I have to offer that is different. I need a way to make my vision of what is possible so clear and so inviting that people are willing to pay to learn more.
On a Visionary Communication call a few years ago, guest Laura Naughton shared the distinction of fitting ourselves into our livelihood versus designing a livelihood around who we are.
As long as we fit ourselves into the traditional molds, the molds matter more than we do. We are expendable, replaceable. We get paid for performing the work expected of us. When we have the courage to design our work around who we are, when we are willing to value what our lives have developed in us, then we truly have a chance to grab the brass ring of being rewarded financially for sharing from the depths of who we are.
© 2007-2010. Isabel Parlett