Sunday, May 12, 2013

Give your best, freely investing out of your heart.

I'm repeatedly running into the same obstacle, no matter what I do in life.

I hate charging for things I would do for free. This is why we play "name your own price, so long as it covers my costs" when I sell you art ... and, it turns out, this is preventing me from selling anything on my new site, too. So far, anyway.

Now, I have a few minor solutions to the problem. It turns out that if it is "a product" like the prints I'll eventually make available here once my printer gives me his price list ... or, say, a mug at CafePress with my art on it, I have no problem charging the recommended prices. They are no longer the art I poured out ... they are objects with my art imprinted upon them. See the difference?

How this has translated to my new site is that I'm making the content and eventually the ebooks, easily downloadable and free to share, so as to encourage anybody who needs it. After all, it's more important to help someone than to sell something.

On the other hand, I need to sell stuff so I can pay for things like rent and food and stop depending on family to support me. So, I'll be creating tangible booklets containing the information from my site ... after adding and rewriting and generally turning-it-into-an-actual-book-instead-of-a-collection-of-blog-posts. Then ... I'll be making them available through a POD publisher at their suggested price.

It's all very odd, when I look from outside and consider the usual expectations and how people seem to think, on average. Inside, it's the only way to be and I don't know how to see differently.

So I'll continue choosing not to do anything unless it's something I'd do for free.

If you have to pay me to motivate me to do it ... then you're paying to receive lower quality work from me. Well, you would if I agreed to accept your attempt at motivation, that is. I'll just do the work for free, because I want to ... and then if you find it valuable, you can pay me.

I'm left trying to figure out this whole "make a living from your work" thing.

Do I attempt to add value to the world? Yes.

To individuals? Yes.

Do I expect to be paid for this?.......  Uh ...

I guess I need to be paid for it to provide for my family.

But the reason for doing anything in the first place is because it means something to someone ... the world is better for having done it, and that is enough of a reason isn't it?

If I contribute a lot of what I am worst at because it is expected or I'll get paid, and never offer my best because nobody thinks to ask or knows that is is of value to them, then of what worth is my gift?

So I focus on sharing what I have been given ... and when people say it is a gift, I am thankful that they see it too, that the beauty of what I offer is really more than I could have forced myself to contribute because someone expects it. It flows through from outside myself while being entirely my own.... If that makes sense....

This whole mentality is just too idealistic, isn't it? Guess I'll have to figure out how to live one way or another ... but I believe this awkward path is the best way forward.

Either I'll learn to think differently somehow ... or there is an alternative route that people usually don't consider.

In the meantime you can all have fun watching me stumble around trying to figure it out.

Oh ... and if you want to do something truly, incredibly amazing ... then share with friends, acquaintances, and coworkers who are caught up in despair. Link it to college students who are struggling with life decisions. Post the URL where the broken-hearted share their grief.

And maybe even consider sharing your story of finding growth in the midst of a shattered world with the community.

This isn't just my story.

It's our story ... and how we encourage one another. Invest your story in the lives around you.

The weaving of our paths through life is a growing glimpse of the beauty beyond the veil.

Now I'm off to figure out whether I can offer Creative Hope Mentoring (That's one possible name for the personal mentoring I intend to offer, anyway.) for free and let people pay me if they feel they've grown .... or received value ... afterward. Do you think it'll work?