The Art Of The Ask: If You Really Valued Yourself & Your Creativity You Wouldn’t Be Broke

Red and green tissue paper. Wire stems. Elmer’s glue. Scissors. 6-year-old hands.Voila! Handmade roses for sale.

Phoebe and I crafted our fragile roses with love. We took the elevator down to the West Village streeet below and stood together on the street corner. We held the dozen roses in our mittened hands. Blew breath smoke into the air.

“A dollar a rose,” Phoebe called out to the crowds rushing by.

“Would you like a rose?” I said, smiling sweetly at a tall man in an overcoat. “How about you?” I turned to a tired-looking woman carrying a toddler.

They sold in minutes. Phoebe took off to the candy store while I dashed to the nearby curio shop and bough miniature creatures. My obsession at the time. I think without realizing it I felt the perfection of these small animals — tiny hippos, delicately wrought birds, microscopic giraffes — somehow balanced the crazy pot- and wine-soaked hippie parenting. It was the late 60s. The miniatures were perfect; the adults were not. We kids had to stick together, scrap together. We were resourceful. We earned with pure delight.

Where was that little girl?

Somewhere the innocent confidence, the ease of exchange got lost over time.

Somehow, the natural joy of creation and its value to others split apart. Art became noble; money became filth.

Only recently am I healing that split.

What’s your money story today? What was your money story when you were a kid?

Today I spoke with Sarah Graves, PhD., about art and commerce. About money and creativity. About the new paradigm. Sarah — who is a writer as well as a money and finance coach — is hosting a lively and groundbreaking series of tele-interviews called “Girlfriends Talk About Money.” Our conversation will “air” this Friday. Here’s the link:

Come join. Let me know your thoughts. And if you listen — you’ll hear a special offer I make toward the end. I invite you to participate. The first two people who do the assignment will win a 30-minute Creativity Consultation with me, a value of $97. We can talk money, memoir, the art of the ask — you name it.

In preparation, I invite you to write a childhood memory or moment when you sold something you created. Share your stories. Let’s circulate that creative currency and fire up the conversation. Isn’t it time writers figured out their worth, and entrepreneurs got in touch with their unique stories?

Spread the wealth of the written word. Speak your truth. And don’t be afraid to Ask.



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3 Responses to The Art Of The Ask: If You Really Valued Yourself & Your Creativity You Wouldn’t Be Broke

  1. Rachel March 12, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    Dear followers and readers,

    This is a complex issue. We have more angles to cover. More parts to write. More phases to illuminate. I wrote that title to provoke. To capture your attention. To sound a wake-up call.

    It’s tricky. It’s deep. This topic. This dance. And the world is shifting. Publishing is over as we know it. Writers who made their livings from writing can no longer do so. Teaching writing is saturated too. It’s scary. The old way is gone. It’s also thrilling. New ways are open.

    It’s the Wild West.

    More than ever, we must connect with our audience. Our followers. Our readers. Find out what they want, and need. What makes their heart sing. And let it inform and inspire our creative impulses. Unleash our imaginations in service of sharing stories and offerings things others will invest in. Sometimes it can be a creative project — with crowdfunding or other cool and modern methods. Other times it can be taking what we know, what we care about, and meshing it with something people want and need.

    I’ve seen my own creativity increase since I’ve shifted my attention this way. For years I focused more inwardly. Figuring out my own voice, my own perspective. Now I can turn outward.

    See if any of this resonates, or fits. Or offers new ideas for supporting your wild and creative self in the world today. Don’t hesitate to join the conversation — and ask questions. Much more to be discussed.

    Much love,

  2. Daniella March 12, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    Rachel – Thank you for your candid, incredible insights in this post!

  3. Holly March 12, 2013 at 8:30 am #

    Money has always defined my family. My parents grew up relatively poor. My mom in the basement apartment of her uncle’s house where her mother, my grandmother, worked as the maid, mom didn’t have a bedroom of her own and slept on the sofa. My dad grew up poorer, according to him. His family lived behind the plumbing shop where his father worked. He has many memories of being hungry. He transformed the shame into fuel and is a self made man. By the time I graduated high school, Dad was a millionare and a generous one- helping many friends and family with giving his money away.

    Me, I never understood what Dad made. I didn’t care. All I knew was he worked so hard that he was angry all the time and it was my job to make sure when he got hime he wouldn’t get angrier. I was judged by classmates as having more. When in reality I had different aesthetic taste. I always wanted to be a writer, but my mom, an artist- ironically questioned how I could ever make a living doing it. That question caused me not to go for a writing career when I was young. But now at 44 I am. Because the drive to tell a story is more important to me than keping quiet. I hope one day that writing will bring in more than the $50 I’ve earned per year. I am lucky though, that I have a partner who supports my writing and our family. See moeny is so complicated- it’s defined me- I’ve been judged by it, from coming from money and then working hard to earn my own, not wanting to take form my father to prove I could make it like he did. I’m still hoping to do that.

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