Now more than any other time in history, we have been able to get paid for our creativity. It’s amazing.

When I first started my work as a coach 6 years ago (before Instagram and before the YouTube blow up) I felt like I was standing on a stage yelling into an empty forest with a bullhorn, “ARTISTS SHOULD BE COMPENSATED FOR THEIR WORK!” and no one was listening.

It felt like it was a constant battle to get creatives to see their worth, the importance of advocating on their own behalf and to get them to care about business. Even worse it was definitely an uphill struggle to get organizations and companies to invest in creative capital.

Now? Things have gotten so much better in a lot of ways. With the constant barrage of stars like Issa Rae and Franchesca Ramsey going from YouTube to creating shows on major networks like HBO or writing for ShondaLand, or artists being plucked from obscurity and hoisted onto main stages to open for Beyoncé because of their Instagram following, and signing deals with companies like L’Oreal, creatives are understanding that to be an artist is to have value and that value can lead to opportunities that were once just stuck within the throws of their wildest dreams.

Those dreams are really coming true in some instances.

It’s exciting to watch and quite honestly, gives my heart some relief because now I see creative people taking the business of their art seriously. It’s refreshing.

However, it also creates a new problem.

Now that access is available to technology, the playing field is more level and the gatekeepers are no longer present. To get around them all you have to do is buy a camera and flip a switch and you’re reaching your audience. That being said a new paralysis has developed.

Now the problem is, “Well if “so and so” can do it, why haven’t I yet? What’s wrong with me?” Then stories of“No one likes me.” I’m not good enough” ensue.

Maybe it’s the same problem we’ve always had, but it’s just dressed differently; the need to be loved, accepted and feel like we are enough.

Whether you consider yourself an artist, creative, entrepreneur, or some combination of these, in this day and age, you want to and/or expect to be compensated for your creative output. Good for you.

But what happens when you don’t?

Is your self-worth wrapped in whether people buy your work, spread your message or pay you?

Would you create anyway even if no one liked it?

Is your value wrapped in how many “likes” you received on your Instagram post today?

Would you go down the hole of self-hatred if no one came to your show, purchased your latest product or if your launch didn’t receive the numbers you wanted?

Here’s the thing, we can’t source our value from the outside. People are fickle. They want creativity, entertainment, magic all in less than 10 seconds.

Seriously. Think about that. Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram stories are 10 seconds max.

Not to mention, just as much information that is flying at you in a day, it’s doing the same for other people.

If you create only to GET something from the world verses GIVE something to the world, you’re always going to be miserable…and you’ll end up resenting your creative expression to boot.

IF we are to truly thrive as people in this wild, magical but incredible FAST world, our self-worth and our creativity can’t be wrapped up in what attention we receive from others.

We can create because we NEED to as creative beings.

We can create because we need to release our divine expression and put our art in the world because we want to give and share something with the world AND we can also expect to be paid for it. These things are not mutually exclusive.

However, if we are not paid for it, we can’t take that to mean there’s something wrong with us as people. That we are unworthy, unlikable and not enough.

This goes back to releasing the outcome of what happens the MOMENT after you create that thing.

You have no control over what the world thinks or how they feel about your work, whatever it is.

You do have control over how you feel about yourself in every moment.

Be an artist.

Do your great work in this world.

Let the Universe work out where it lands. Whether an offer, customer or big studio comes your way or not,  

You are needed. You are worthy. You are enough.

Now, get to creating.

With Fierce Love,

Jo-Ná

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