An Empathic Artist’s Struggle with Money- Am I Giving Too Much?
I awakened this morning to a familiar message from a new follower of my artist page. As soon I began to read it, the proverbial punch in the gut instinct began to kick in. I’ll paraphrase the fan message here with some side notes and feedback from my whiny inner child and then from the more sensible Higher Self.
Subject line: Cancelling and Feedback. (May as well have been OUCH and oh no!)
Client: Hi Pamela and team: I have found much inspiration in Pamela’s free content on Youtube and had really wanted to join her Mystery School before it got postponed (Inner child: Please note- that offering got cancelled due to lack of signups, again. Double ouch).
Client: So I was quite excited to have the push to join and get a discount to The Galactic History class — which I am very much looking forward to. (Inner child: Yay, I did something right! Woo hoo!)
Client: Even with the pdfs you sent, the Patreon site is not easy or intuitive to navigate and the kind of content it contains is not as resonant as I’d hoped (Inner child: Ouch again, because Patreon is the only artist medium that doesn’t charge more than my mortgage to use. I do hold random feedback polls once a month and more than 85 percent of my patrons claim it’s easy to use. Patreon is the poor, beginning artist’s site. We can only give back to you from our current resources).
Client: In our busy lives, and especially when it comes to seeking out content that helps us remain attuned and journey into higher realms, we need simplicity and ease. (My whiny inner child crawls further into her dark corner, because while this patron email is in the small minority, it’s the third one in a year. Then I hear little Pamela stomp out of her corner and toss her frustrated hands up into the air as she bellows out to no one: “What do you want me to DO! It’s all I have to work from! No one on my team knows how to program a community build on my cheap word press website. Do you know how much it would cost?!-Insert the 5 digits here and then proceed to take out a high interest loan to afford it).
Client: So I am going to unsubscribe and continue to stay connected with Pam (please don’t call me that, inner child whines) on Youtube, where oddly, her content is much easier to navigate and much more organized than on Patreon! (A now angry inner child belts out: “free” is what you mean to say. You’re there because it’s FREE. Of course it’s easy to use- youtube has paid programmers who know the proper code for easier navigation).
Client: Also, I wanted to point out that as someone trying the basic membership out for only 8 days, I’ve already been charged $26.66. (Inner child pops out and all but bursts into tears: Oh…my…GOD! It’s $13 dollars per month for access to thousands of channelings, classes, behind the scenes messages, blogs, paint nights, sound healings, discord and sometimes more of my inner child whining. Is it too expensive? I lost 20 patrons overnight for no reason that the polls indicate anyway. Polls indicate that it isn’t too expensive and that it is easy to use. What am I doing wrong?!).
(A Higher Self voice takes over: Pamela, you are an artist who gives too much. This is your problem. No, $13 dollars isn’t too much to ask for an entire month’s access of your hard work. You simply give too much. Let this be the year that you stop working yourself into the ground in response for more complaints and lower financial support.
Let this be the year that you un-list a good portion of the free content you’ve put on youtube and humbly ask that people support artists. Not just you, but all artists. Let them support widowed or single moms, small businesses and families like yours. Let them actually SUPPORT you. They can’t support you if you keep giving everything away for free!).
Client: I know running a business is not easy, and that you are juggling many platforms and services to stream paid content. But I wanted to share this feedback with you in case it sparks interest or a thought. (Higher Self Voice: Thank you. I needed this feedback. You have brought me once again to the place in my life that let me know that I don’t have to be the proverbial, starving artist. I don’t have to keep working myself into the ground for little to no cost simply because inner child says,
“But they won’t find you. They won’t see you. They won’t appreciate you. They won’t value you.” Those are lies. The truth in this case is that FREE isn’t valued. FREE works you into the ground. FREE sets the precent of more FREE. It sets the expectation that you can also support yourself and your PAID team, and your four children for FREE. Maybe they assume you have a day job, a trust fund or what not. It’s not realistic. There needs to be a balance. You are not a starving artist. Stop acting like one. I love you!”)
I wanted to burst into tears when I read this email. Not just because it wasn’t the first one, but because the truth meant I needed to change. For empaths, CHANGE is a dreaded word. It means we really need to put ourselves out there into unfamiliar territory. We will be treading deeper waters without a life vest, save our own talent, effort and our own ability to trust that Higher Self knows what it’s doing.
For empaths, this often feels like being in a tug of war between money (to support employees and kids) and Higher Self’s creativity. Both are important, so we are left wondering, “What now? What do we do?!”
It means that our ego cannot do it alone anymore. It means less hard work, and more smart work. It means facing fears of lack of support, fears of our art not being seen or discovered, and of course the worst: our art not being appreciated.
Higher Self: “The truth is empaths cause themselves to be undervalued and under appreciated by following the path of the starving artist. You were undervaluing and under appreciating yourself by giving away your hard work for free. You were causing your own expectations to not be met by having unfair expectations to begin with.”
Inner child: “What? I was expecting them to support artists. I was expecting that if I gave away my time and effort, I would be supported without having to force a payment or beg.”
Higher Self: “So you gave them something for free, with an expectation to be paid? That they would simply know what to do here?”
Inner child: “Yeah but doesn’t everyone…”
Higher Self (interrupting the crying, frustrated inner child): “Yeah but what? Doesn’t everyone know they should pay for something you say is free?”
Inner child: “Well, when you put it that way…..”
Higher Self: “You can’t expect others to think like you, value things (and people, and art) the way you do. In a creative world, they aren’t you. They are free to go only by what you put out there. If you want to be respected, empath, you and only you can show that. If you want appreciation, appreciate yourself first and value yourself first. How many years has your work been free at this point?”
Inner child: “6 years….”
Higher Self: “Being on earth requires a create balance, empath. Energy given is energy received. Energy received must be returned. If not, the giver dies. Am I clear?”
Inner child: “I have been sick for 6 whole years. You are clear.”
Higher Self: “Good. Now go forth with love and value yourself. Show those in your school what it looks like to value, love and appreciate yourself. Empaths have struggled with this since the dawn of earth’s existence. You are not alone, but why keep doing what isn’t working?”
Inner child: “Mom would say GET A REAL JOB”, you know.”
Higher Self: “This is your real job. And this is the only one you’ve had since that boring desk job you had straight out of college. This is your heart. Don’t sacrifice it.”