Photo: Painting art

Do you ever feel uncomfortable asking people to buy your book or product or service?

I’ve had this experience many times, first with my music and paintings, then with the release of my book, workshops and online courses. Labors of love. Outputs of my creative expression. If I created these entities out of my own need to connect, create and communicate, why on earth should I ask someone to give me something for it? Why shouldn’t I offer it up altruistically? What about the universal law of reciprocity and balance?

Also, many of us grew up in a time before social media and ‘influencers’ and the hyper-focus on showing the world what we’re doing every second of the day. We might have been raised to look down upon “bragging and boasting, tooting our own horns and seeking the spotlight”. These belief systems are tough to break, and yet, there might be a way to shift the dial.

What if we look at the promotion of our ‘oeuvres’ as offering gifts of value and simply seeking some energy (currency) in exchange? To keep the universal mojo moving?

When you ask someone to buy your book or service, it isn’t about taking. 

It’s not about selfishness or ego or greed or conceit. 

It’s about the gift of potential transformation.

It’s an exchange of value. Time and attention for perspective and connection.

When you invite people to take action in their own journeys, you demonstrate responsibility. It makes you a contributor to others’ growth, progress, expansion and community.

If you have value that, through sharing, might help people, you have to get it out there. As Voltaire wrote (and Spiderman popularized), “With great power, comes great responsibility.” 

What about your unique, magical, very human, experiential creative power?

Without the exchange, the cycle is left incomplete and the human lessons will never realize their full potential and value in the world. The energy stops flowing.

What if you have a message of growth that might help people heal themselves, maybe even change the world? And what if your followers/customers are looking for those messages but don’t know where to find them?

Most humans yearn to learn, to lean in to the challenges of life, to experience their best potential and find meaningful connection with the people around them.

As a creator, are you not responsible to contribute offerings? If you hold back because you’re too nervous or uncomfortable to put yourself out there, are you not withholding, in a sense, love?

Personal growth has value. Valuable growth requires action and investment. For example, most books cost less than $20. What a tiny investment compared to the possible returns of living a fuller, clearer and more balanced life.

Psychology experiments have shown that the more people pay for something, the more they value it. People need skin in the game. If they are not willing to invest in their own growth and development, it won’t happen. It’s that simple.

An exchange of currency – money for another form of energy – is a simple equation. In physics, work is a measure of energy transfer and refers to the force applied by an object over a distance. A.k.a. your creative work transferred to someone else’s experience of it.

At my core, I identify as an artist. As such, I believe my role is to fully experience and observe life and then share insights, perspective, and as I age, hopefully wisdom. There’s no sharing without a human on the other side, consuming that which I create.

I have often been transformed, sometimes for a moment, sometimes for a lifetime, by an offering from another.

So keep putting it out there! Connect, create, communicate, and exchange your work for money. Believe in yourself. Believe in your work. Believe in the impact you can make in the world. 

Offer people the opportunity to learn from your experience by investing in your products and services.

How might this shift your perspective regarding selling your work? 

How might this shift your perspective regarding buying the work of others

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