Best selling author Nick Williams started off as the owner of a small business and has now morphed into an inspired entrepreneur. In this article, he reflects on the new paradigm – Doing what you love and being paid for it.
In June 2009, I was listening to Paul Potts, winner of the 2007 Britain’s Got Talent show, being interviewed by Steve Wright on BBC Radio 2 on his Big Show. When Paul appeared on Britain’s Got Talent, he was working selling mobile phones, but astonished the judges and the audience with his incredible voice. Steve Wright asked Paul whether he loved singing as a child, or whether he came to singing in later life. Paul responded, “Yes, I’d always loved singing when I was young.” Steve then asked him why he ended up selling mobile phones rather than singing professionally, Paul answered by saying, “No-one ever told me when I was growing up that I something I loved could be a career.”
Most of us can relate to that: doing something you loved and then getting paid for it simply wasn’t a career option that we were aware of or encouraged into, it wasn’t in our consciousness, we didn’t believe it was possible, so it was not really in our mind so we never pursued it.
We are part of a shift in consciousness. Previous generations had believed that making money doing something you love was the preserve of a privileged few people who were either especially gifted or especially lucky. Today, more people than ever believe it is possible, and it is. I was listening Desert Island Disks on BBC Radio 4 in November 2003, and the castaway was Sir Christopher Frayling, at the time Rector of the Royal College of Art, Trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum and Chairman of the Design Council. After one of his disk choices, when asked about creative careers he responded, “We are now finding that 90% of the graduates of the College of Art are able to successfully support themselves from their chosen vocation in art.” 90% – that’s pretty amazing. Original courtesy of cristoffercrusell on flickr” class=”aligncenter” width=”300″ Whilst there has been a long time myth of the artist who is poor and struggles for their art, it needn’t be that way any more. Whatever your chosen creative field, there has never been as much potential and possibility as there is today for you to succeed in it, both creatively and financially. One of the most self-betraying things you can say to yourself is, “I really love doing that, but I can never make a living doing it so I am not going to do it.”
Don’t work for pay but be paid for your work.
The sad reality is that most people work for pay, and if they weren’t paid for what they do their work, they probably wouldn’t choose to do it. You can do what you love, and work for love, not money. But they are willing to be paid for doing what they love. The bottom line is this: for so many of us, money is the compensation we receive in return for doing something we’d rather not be doing. Most people work for pay, not love. When you are doing what you love, you are doing it because you love it. And you can get paid for it. Here is a wonderful distinction that I offer you that I heard from the poet, singer and songwriter, Leonard Cohen. Now 75, and incredibly popular again after his song Hallejuah was featured in the film Shrek and the UK TV Show The X Factor, he has been a professional artist for over forty years. In an interview I heard him explain, “I always thought I was in my career as an artist for the long haul. I was able to satisfy the only dictum I set up for myself – I didn’t want to work for pay, but I wanted to be paid for my work, and I was able to achieve that, and that’s an incredibly lucky turn of events.” I love that idea – don’t work for pay, but do be paid for your work. Make that your dream and your goal. It is perfectly possible, and never more so than today.
Create income by adding value
So obviously the biggest question is how. Whilst I think it is important to understand some of the how’s, an over-eagerness to know all the how’s can be a massive obstacle. All businesses come down to these three ideas:
1. Package what you love and what you do into deliverable programmes, products or services that people want and need
2. Find the people that want and need what you have to offer
3. Exchange your programmes, products or services for money = give value to people
The most important thing to understand about making money doing what you love is this: the money is a symbol and measure of the value that you bring to people and to their lives. When you add a lot of value to their lives, people will spend a lot of money with you, as long as you are willing to ask for and receive money in turn. When you do useful things and people know about them, you will create income.
You may not have thought of it this way, but in your employed career you have already been paid, albeit in the form of salary or wage, for the contribution you’ve made and the value you’ve added to your employer’s business. The shift is that your income as an Inspired Entrepreneur directly correlates to the value you add. You have no entitlement to income as an entrepreneur, but you will receive income because you add value to people’s lives. Income is directly related to ‘exchange of value.’ Here is a practical demonstration of how it can work:
* When you offer £50 of value to 1 person, you’ll earn £50.
* When you offer £50 of value to 10 people, you’ll earn £500.
* When you offer £50 of value to 1000 people, you’ll earn £50,000.
* Or when you offer £5,000 of value to 100 people, you’ll earn £500,000.
Help people solve problems for profit. It is about giving great service and contributing to the lives of other people. It involves at least three different aspects:
1. Serving and contributing to more people.
2. Serving and contributing to people more often.
3. Honouring yourself to receive more.
The value of what you offer lies in the eyes of your client or potential client, and in my experience you may underestimate what people are willing to pay you. When it comes to making more money, sow more to reap more. Become a blessing and you will be blessed.
People pay for your unique energy
Energy is about giving people experiences as well as a product or a service. When you are operating at a high energy, you will seem more attractive to others and people will be drawn to you.
Let me give you an example. Have you ever been to see a live concert performed by someone whose music you enjoy, even though you already have most of their music on CD? Then why bother? The answer is energy. I love Bruce Springsteen and have been to his last two live concerts in London. But why did I spend £100 on a ticket to hear his songs again, most of which I already knew off by heart? The reason is that being in the presence of such energy is an experience all of its own. Singing along with 30,000 other people to ‘Born to Run‘ is a transcendent – even spiritual experience – that I do not get when listening to Bruce Springsteen on my iPod.Author and teacher Alan Cohen writes: “People will pay well to bask in the energy of someone fully alive and authentic in what they are doing, and rightfully so. Because we are spiritual beings at our core, it is the spirit in which we live that fulfils or undermines us. When you deliver the riches of your soul to your clients, you will uplift them and you will be well rewarded for your investment. Then everyone wins.”
If you are not yet clear about the work you were born to do, you can download your free copy of a nine part programme to help you discover it and become an inspired entrepreneur now at: www.inspired-entrepreneur.com