I just finished reading Derek Sivers’ book, Your Music And People. Whilst it is written primarily for people in the music industry, many of the principles are applicable elsewhere. As you can imagine, there are a lot of musicians struggling to make a living from their art. He gives an alternate view of focusing on money when making music. Most probably think of sell out in this case and sometimes this maybe correct. Remember some of those song lyrics specifically mentioning brand names?
Thinking about money is not a bad thing.
Instead Derek says if people are giving you money for your music then it’s proof you are giving them something of value. Focus on making money with the music and it ensures the value to others. This applies to every business. If you aren’t providing value to your customers then they won’t pay for your product or service. In turn this leads to you not making any money.
Markets determine the value of products and services. Money is just the means to exchange one thing of value for another. As Tony Robbins says, money is not the solution and merely a vehicle to give you what you want. Be it freedom, a roof over your head or something else.
Thinking about money is not a bad thing. Some people go out of their way to avoid the subject. This is not a good idea. Sure, it’s a measure of wealth for some, however, it is not wealth itself. It’s a measuring stick. Nothing more, nothing less. Something that measures cannot be part of what it measures.
When I was consulting, there were a number of people within the organisation that knew how much I was paid. My invoices had to be approved for payment. The people included any of the partners (not just the ones I negotiated my contract with), the finance manager and the accounts payable people. I didn’t have an issue with them all knowing. I was confident in my value to the client. If they weren’t receiving value then they would not have renewed the contract each year.
Don’t be afraid of your prices or telling people if they ask. Provided you are not being ridiculous, it is up to them to decide if they will receive value for money. Why else will some people pay $300 for a brand name pair of jeans when there are other jeans available for $50?
So don’t be afraid of being called a sell out purely because you are taking money into account when creating your product, service or art. You don’t have to suffer for your art like some appear to preach. Another perfect ‘sell out’ is skateboarder, Tony Hawk. You can still skate daily and make money. You don’t have to live on the poverty line just to do kick flips!
Learn to relax and talk about money
- Are you comfortable speaking about money with clients or customers?
- How can you create more value and in turn earn more?