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Abundance, Scarcity and Why the Fuck Aren’t I Making More Money for the Amount of Work I Do

As artists and as humans: if you fear scarcity, the solution isn’t necessarily abundance. To quote Brene Brown:

“Abundance and scarcity are two sides of the same coin. The opposite of ‘never enough’ isn’t ‘abundance’ or ‘more than you could ever imagine’.”

Which is to say the opposite of ‘never enough’ is simply:

Enough.

Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking

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Yesterday I wrote a (private) rant. In it I freaked out.

About money.

And the lack thereof. Sometimes it really grinds me down.

Pick yourself back up off the floor. Bloggers and authors are real people too. Not all of us make six figures a day whilst sipping our chai latte on a Bali beach. Not yet, any way!

It is a sentiment I have noticed a number of soul friends expressing recently – whether it’s New Year, post Xmas, benefit cuts or changes, or the whole EU VAT mess. A lot of us are experiencing a lot of shitty money-related stress ATM. I shared it privately with my friends. They felt heard and seen. Glad for my post. And so, inspired by Roberta Smart’s call to arms for #RadicalHonesty, I decided to share an edited version here in the hope that it might resonate too.

It’s a yucky feeling that. Not having enough.

Yesterday I was doing my profit and loss for last year. My profit was up a little bit from last year. (Hurray! I never take for granted being able to pay the mortgage with my creativity.) Despite two months off sick, letting go my two regular paid contracts, and starting two businesses. I should be happy. But I was nowhere near what I had projected. What I had hoped for – that hazy goal of financial relaxation. Bolstered with a plan. Of not needing social welfare support. Of being able to stand firmly on our own two feet. And not flinch every time a new bill comes in.

I remind myself that we’re in the richest 10% of the people in the world. But we’re amongst the poorer of our country people. And most days we feel it.

But here’s the rub. It’s out of choice. We’re well-educated, with every opportunity to have a nice fancy well-paid professional career in banking or science or secondary school teaching.

But we choose not to. We chose to follow our dreams, to focus on family first, on work satisfaction, on living our values. We have impoverished ourselves by choosing the path less travelled.

We have also set up the opportunity for infinite income potential. And total work-life control.

But dreamers get bills too.

Where I differ from a lot of people is I am prepared to take the risk. To follow my dreams. I believe I have a choice, where most people don’t see it that way. Because some crazy part of me thinks that this work is worth more than financial stability. That how you live is more important than what you have. I get a lot of gratitude from people for what I do.

I have a lot of gratitude to all those who support me. For the life I get to live.

But though gratitude warms my heart. It doesn’t pay the bills. So I try doing stuff that does pay the bills… and start losing followers. For selling too much stuff. Even though it is stuff so close to my heart.

It reminds everyone else that they don’t have enough money either.

And as we know, that feels yuck.

Reading Amanda Palmer’s great book, The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help
I realise our state of some months flush and many months tight in the cash flow front, is common to most creatives.

It’s just we aren’t hanging out with other artists, musicians and writers.

All our friends with young kids have jobs. With salaries. Or decent regular incomes. And yes, they might hate their boss, or find their work boring. But the money comes in.

Many moments you envy them this stability.

But you know you’d rather jump off a bridge than have this prison cell yourself.

The other choice is the one you’ve taken, the DIY path. So suck it up. You get the fun and freedom… and long, long days work for often little or no financial reward.

You try reminding yourself that you’re privileged. That most people would kill for your work. And most days you know it. But today, with a crashed car that needs replacing and both sets of parents wanting the family to travel over to see them… and the kids needing new shoes… and the water charge needing paying. It just feels bleeurgh. There’s not enough to go round. Not enough money. Not enough energy. Not enough me to work any harder.

And then you see some manifesting shit on Pinterest (I’m a hopeless sucker for them, I have a whole fecking Manifest board!!)You know, THIS sort of thing…

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Or another person telling you you if you spend 2 grand on their course they will free you of your poverty consciousness.

And here we are again. I am the problem. Blocking the path of abundance. I’m not zen enough. I’m not wanting it enough. I’m blocking it.

Yuck. I get what they mean. I get the point. Yet the problem is whilst abundance is ours, in myriad streams and ways, it is not currently accepted by the tax man. Or Aldi.

So here I am trying to walk someone through my accounts and all I can think is FUCK I work a lot for someone who earns so little.

And I know that the course I’m about to launch could make me a buck or two. It could be our financial buffer that I’ve been longing for. And that freaks me out too. I keep putting back the release date. Because what if it isn’t. And what if I price it too high… and exclude those who need it. But I want to value the fact that I have spent an entire year working on it, that it contains almost every, single thing I have learned about publishing and self publishing in the last five years, and it contains more words than any of my other works.

And we’re back again – to not enough and I want more. And I hate this feeling. This way of having to interact with you.

Why even with this work does it all come back to money? To things that people want and can’t afford. To making marketing pitches and hussling. To being good enough, so you can have enough. God I long to be free of it all – to have financial stability… and be able to be generous with my work – to share it freely… and prosper. To be free of the endless worry of “where’s the money going to come from for this…” and “please buy my stuff.”

I’m reading Russell Brand’s Revolution… and I think – why the FUCK am I worrying about money. Why am I contributing at all to this insanity. This is the whole point of our system – to hypnotise us into being money obsessives, working harder and faster, in the desire to increase our wealth, so we can afford the carrot on the stick being dangled in front of our noses. Us creatives, dreamers, hippies and new agers try to keep to the side of it, but still find ourselves caught in its web almost  as much as those inside the establishment. It is the system that binds and underpins us. We might clothe it with other words. But that’s what we’re doing. Working ourselves silly, to contribute to the governments and corporations which prosper from our earnings. Zapping our life energy in exchange for dollar.

I want out. Out of that system.

Often I do that exercise – what would you do if you won the lottery. Truth? I’d be doing exactly what I do right now. My Amazon orders would be larger. We would travel far more. I’d be less frantic in the amount I take on.

But I’d be here, writing, connecting, sharing, painting, helping other people co-create and share magic…

Because it’s what lights up my life. It is my life.

Today I am grateful for enough.

But tomorrow I long for more.

Isn’t this the way?

Like this? Want more? Have you read my Mindful Money series?

Abundance, Scarcity and Why The Fuck Aren’t I Earning More
Naming Your Price
Our Matriarchal Inheritance
The Blessing of Money
Guilt
Finding your inner entrepreneur
Beyond Money

Check in on Friday for a fab (and historic, it being our very first one!) guest post on saying no more to free work.

 

  1. Zoe
    Zoe01-14-2015

    THIS is where I am currently too Lucy. I feel it a lot right now, on all sides. But then of course I would because it’s what I’m focussed on!!

    It has taken a SHIT TONNE of self work for me NOT to open the bills as soon as they come in the door and immediately start to hyperventilate about them whilst squirrelling pennies away to try and pay them. That was my default state, which meant I could never actually do the WORK I needed to do to pay the bills….

    This is the creative/entrepreneurial merry-go-round.

    So I got off it. Someone asked me recently whether I thought it wasn’t “irresponsible”, all this advice on just doing what you need to do, getting the support you need etc regardless of your money lack. I totally got her point BUT I also see the flip side now too – it’s actually irresponsible of us NOT to give ourselves that support. Because you can’t drive a bus without any fuel in it…

    Everyone else goes to work, into an ecosystem that is, in many ways, supportive. Why should we not expect the same?

    Because the tax man doesn’t understand that. Because the electricity provider doesn’t give a flying F. Because your child needs new shoes and it’s IRRESPONSIBLE of you to think of yourself first. Right?

    It IS a fight, this journey. Every bloody step of the way. But the only way forwards is to surrender, with strength and grace. Not to give up, not to kowtow, NOT to freak right out, but just to stay with your gut wisdom and strength. Radiate from that place, and if the energy isn’t there then tend to it.

    Rinse and repeat :)

    • lucyhpearce
      lucyhpearce01-14-2015

      Boom! Great response Zoe!

  2. Rachael Moon
    Rachael Moon01-20-2015

    oh i KNOW this one! I woke through my profit and loss for last year recently too…guess what- sales are up!! But so are expenses… :( its so much easier to fall into the “we don’t have enough…” mindset than the abundance one…but i have to keep reminding myself of the abundance of the universe…there is enough and the universe will provide…
    and i have to keep reading posts like this to remind me! loads love Rachael xxx <3

  3. Rachael Moon
    Rachael Moon01-20-2015

    oh i KNOW this one! I wrote through my profit and loss for last year recently too…guess what- sales are up!! But so are expenses… :(
    its so much easier to fall into the “we don’t have enough…” mindset than the abundance one…but i have to keep reminding myself of the abundance of the universe…there is enough and the universe will provide…
    and i have to keep reading posts like this to remind me! loads love Rachael xxx <3

    • lucyhpearce
      lucyhpearce01-20-2015

      Glad I’m not in this alone, Rachael – thanks for sharing!

  4. Donna
    Donna01-28-2015

    Love this Lucy. Yes I’m often extremely jealous if employed friends with their holidays and sick pay and regular salary that gets paid no matter what. But I wouldn’t swap for the world. Thanks for sharing. Me too. X x x

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