Does the word “money” break you out into a cold sweat and cause you to panic?
Do you think that because you’re helping others you don’t deserve to pay yourself a decent wage?
If you act from your heart and follow your passion, you may start to wonder if it’s disingenuous to earn a decent living from it.
Does making money make you heartless?
let me share a secret
When I’m speaking confidentially to people, they tell me things that they won’t tell you.
The tell me they’re terrified that they aren’t earning enough to sustain themselves, let alone sustain their business.
When they aren’t able to contribute their share, they feel guilty.
Tears stream down their faces when they consider the future and the things that they may not be able to do – send their children to school, buy a home, live a little bit, plan for old age.
They feel as though they’re letting people down.
They feel like failures.
what money really does for us
Money allows us to exist.
It allows us to put a roof over our heads, food on the table, and clothes on our back.
Money allows us to pay the bills.
And it means that we don’t have to worry about all of life’s necessities, so we can go on doing the work we love. We can help others, we can make a difference, we can create impact.
I think about survival. Does providing for yourself and your loved ones make you heartless?
I picture the alternative. You have to go out an get another job to make ends meet. You divert from the work that matters and limit your impact. If you want to put 100% of your focus on your business to help others, does that make you heartless?
let’s get honest about money
Without money, your business will fail.
If your own needs cannot be met, your focus will shift towards fulfilling those needs, rather than staying on course with the steps you need to take to build your business.
Understanding your finances will enable you to feel on top of things. Feeling on top of things will help you to focus. With focus, you will make progress. Making progress will get you where you want to be.
over to you
Have you shied away from the financial side of your business? Are you resentful for putting in blood, sweat and tears without knowing how your needs are going to be met? I’d love to hear how you see the relationship between heart and money, so leave a comment below and let us know.
Alicia Weston says
It’s quite simple. Everyone needs to make a living. My view is that if I can’t make a living doing this stuff, then I’d be forced to, I don’t know, go and work for a bank or something. And then all the people that benefit from the impact of my socent would be completely in the lurch. So, then it becomes obvious, doesn’t it? Pay the socent people a decent living and everyone wins. Pay them nothing and all the beneficiaries lose out.
Danielle Anderson says
I completely agree, Alicia. It’s so important to pay yourself a decent living so that you can continue to provide your services to those who need it! Otherwise, as you rightly point out, you would need to find an alternative source of income which would take give you less time to work in your social enterprise. Less time to give = less impact to make
Jeff Mowatt says
As a social business we understood and had argued that paying employees a living wage in line with local conditions was a key part of the business model. In practice it was quite different for ourselves.
In 2011 I created as report on request of SBS100 which ended
“The amount of $5 million in payment outstanding from beneficiary government agencies for use of intellectual property is carried forward to the financial year ending in 2011.”
What this reflected was that we had deferred our incomes in favour of the project . Our work, a proposal for microeconomic development and social enterprise in Ukraine had been channelled to Ukraine’s government and called to the attention of USAID and the Senate.
The plan was given to Ukraine’s government on condition that they act on our childcare recommendations – which they did, announcing 400+ rehab centres for disabled children.
USAID however determined that they would do their own social enterprise initiative with the British Council and several corporate partners.
As an American overseas without health insurance my colleague died unable to afford medical treatment.
A few weeks ago, much of his thinking was regurgitated at a conference on Inclusive Capitalism, which struck me as somewhat ironic
Danielle Anderson says
Hi Jeff, thanks for your valuable insight. In hindsight, do you think you made the right decision in deferring your income in favour of the project? What impact did that have on you as an individual outside of your business?
Jeff Mowatt says
We had little choice really Daneille, having committed to funding the mission which began to consume all revenue as business declined through typical problems like late payment and we couldn’t get any supoort in terms of publicity from the organisations funded to provide it. Yet we were able to create influence on what was subsequently described as the social economy and on the policy of government in Ukraine: