the charity of mindful earning

rose cut diamond ring

Can you spend mindfully if first you don’t earn mindfully?

It could be difficult to preach getting paid what you’re worth with unemployment at an all time high and even more people around the world suffering underemployment. But both underemployment and unemployment is a cycle perpetuated by undervaluing ourselves, the things we produce, and the people who buy them. You can’t make money if no one is spending money – and you can’t spend money if you’re not earning it.

Mindful earning is not something just for entrepreneurs or business owners, it’s not just for freelancers either. Truly understanding the value of our work is something for all employed people, and especially all creative employed people.

Whether creativity is in your job description or not, its part of what makes you so great at your job. Being creative with your responsibilities is probably the thing you like the most about each work day.

And it predisposes you to not demanding what you’re worth. You take your abilities for granted, you extend yourself beyond your job, your create solutions that no one else could have created. And when you’re not earning what you’re worth, you’re less likely to be able to put money back into the economy, vote with your dollars for the causes you value, and help to put the economy on the track to sustainability.

Mindful earning is the opposite of everything that makes you resent or fear money.

It’s the opposite of everything that makes you feel the scarcity in life. Mindful earning doesn’t necessarily make you rich but it does make you abundant. And when you feel abundant, you’re more likely to turn your money around in generous, sustainable, and life-giving ways. Your abundance helps others find their own abundance.

Mindful earning isn’t a zero sum game. If I earn more, it doesn’t mean you have to earn less – quite the contrary. If we are mindful of our own worth, our own value in the economic cycle, we all can rise together.

This week, examine what you believe your work is worth. Examine what you need to be paid to contribute to the economy & society the way you’d like to. Examine what is holding you back (your own mindset, your employer’s mindset, your coworkers, your family) from achieving your earning potential. Examine how earning more – mindfully – will allow you to become more abundant.

And take a step in that direction.

{ rose cut diamond ring by Dreams and Jewelry }

12 thoughts on “the charity of mindful earning

  1. Hey Tara,

    This post comes at the perfect time for me. I’m trying to determine the price point for a creative tutorial that I’ve been working on all weekend–and will be working on some more today :)

    This is the first time that I’ve really struggled with price. With my creative products, I have a set formula that I use every time, so it’s much easier. With an informational product, it’s a little bit more tricky. I’m trying to listen to my gut…and not listen to my inner critic when I’m deciding on price, because I completely agree with you when you say that you should earn what you’re worth.

  2. Seems to come at the right time for me too! Like April, I am working on tutorials, (PDF patterns) and pricing is tricky. I was prompted to take action on this project by your article, Tara, on creating an e-product that was published in Design Sponge last month. So I just have to follow through and get the pricing right. Thanks for this!

  3. Excellent Tara! My husband and I have been discussing this lately as he has not seen a merit raise in years and yet continues to go above and beyond with his creative skills at work (he can’t help himself). We are creating a plan to be debt free (mortgage aside) in a year which means I too need to earn my worth. I realize as I am rearranging my skills and services on a revamped website, that I have not factored in what my time is worth. The amount of time I spend just entering information on a computer is part of my job. I have been underselling artist’s doing similar work because I am looking only at my material costs. On the other hand I look at some of the sales on Etsy and wonder how they can possibly be making any profit? It is tricky as April points out but in the end I have to believe in myself and support myself. This is not just a hobby for me. Thanks for the much needed boost.

  4. This is so true! Does anyone else out there who has a day job find that being devalued there predisposes you to devalue yourself regarding your own business?
    I recently was “rewarded” for years of busting my rear end and working massive overtime, with a pay cut that’s making it tough for me to pay the bills, let alone invest in the creative community the way I’d like to. So this is an issue that has been on my mind for a while.

    The good thing about running my own business, though, is that I have control over how I value myself!

  5. So true. My biggest lesson was leaving my job – on maternity leave – and being replaced by 3 full time employees. And I had felt guilty asking for a raise!

    Gwyn – It’s safe to assume that not everyone on etsy needs to make a profit!

    Thanks for this Tara. You could write on this topic every day!

  6. Absolutely correct! I was rewarded for years of hard & creative work, that helped our store become a success when so many in the company were doing poorly, with being downsized. Now I’m in a job that pays more, but with no creativity & I’m not allowed to help this business be more successful, like I know I can. I’m often told I ‘should be grateful to have a job’ in this economy, etc. To me, this has become an excuse to pay people less than they’re worth or keep them from fulfilling their potential.
    Thank you for more great insights!

  7. Beautiful soulful writing Tara. I live a simple but abundant life choosing to put a focus on the things that are important to me – health and wellbeing – while resisting the pressure to subscribe to a fear mentality. Etsy has been a fabulous forum of creativity where I have learnt so much and been able to share the simple joys of communication in commerce. Thank you.

  8. Thank you Tara, your words came at a time when I most need it. The kind of gifts I make seem to fall outside most known reference points, especially my larger pieces. I don’t even like to wholesale them, because shop owners just do nor understand a craft form in wire and glass they don’t recognize. What I make will last for generations, and that’s another reason to price it accordingly.
    I really appreciated your post, it’s a very important topic for everyone, not just the self employed artisans.

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