Aligning with our spoken values
Freemium as a business model has us all a bit blind to the true cost of things today. Words like "inflation" and "time value of money" don't make it into our understanding of today's cost of living, and many of us have never thought about the lifecycle of our global economy. We all say, 'teach them to fish', but our approach suggests our mindset is actually, 'give us the fish'. Don't believe me?
When you think about:
- Getting a job or a raise: do you consider what it takes for that company to stay in business? To provide jobs at livable wages, quality products and services to ensure continued clients and customers? Have you thought about how clients and customers can afford their offering? Your role in that ecosystem? Or do you simply expect companies to produce jobs, fullstop?
- Cost of gas or groceries: do you think through the cost of the entire lifecycle of your purchases? Or do you just fret about the price you pay?
- Volunteers and 'Free' Interns: do you ensure they get to network for paid opportunities? Or do you focus on squeezing from them everything you possibly can? Are you teaching them to fish or getting free labour?
- Fundraising and sponsorship: are you strategic about how much you ask and of whom? If that burden is sustainable? Or could you care less about how they get paid as long as you do?
- Starting a business: do you accept the cost of the tools and services you'll need, honour the industry's needs by offering quality and charging the true price of your offering? Or do you find the cheapest (regardless of quality) path forward and underprice the industry?
Closing the Gap and the 1% Myth
Can you see the disconnect? Someone has to keep the flow of wealth (and well-being) going to ensure the wheel keeps turning. We assume that angel investors, venture capitalists, the stock market (i.e. your investments) and the government (i.e. taxes you pay) should take care of any shortfalls, but if we all stopped paying, how would they find the funds to do that?
Do you see how we keep passing the buck without looking back?
Isn't it time to close the gap? Perhaps once we realize that our global economy is not a line but a cycle, we can begin to take a more responsible lens on fundraising, sponsorship, 'free' internships and volunteering. Even the 'Pay it Forwrd' philosophy is a cycle, or the first person paying it forward would wind up empty... and then we all will, wouldn't we?
And the 1% aren't to blame.
In all spheres of life there will be people who seek to thrive at the expense of others. If you're paying attention, you'll have to acknowledge that those of us ignoring the full economic cycle are among those doing that very thing. Still, that mindset wouldn't be what made the 1% wealthy. Those who have wealth and remain wealthy among us today (the mystical 1%) are those who got wise to our current systems and the forces at play that move the economic cycle and leveraged them instead of complaining about them. If you're equally dedicated to becoming wealthy, you will be. We all find time for what truly matters.
If you shift your thinking, and stop critiquing the wealthy, you just might be comfortable accepting that you can have wealth too. Then you can do what you want with it. It always comes back to our own self worth.
If we want Free...
The current 'free market' wouldn't work if it were free. It would collapse. There are those who already think it's collapsing.
Of course, there is another more concrete, right-brain option. Are you ready to go back to the mindset of abundance that eliminates the financial system? I'm not being sarcastic; there are schools of thought on this that are not capitalist, socialist or communist. We would require a more responsible mindset, a more mindful approach, to how we value our selves, each other and our world, for a truly free system to work - but it's possible.
While we live in the current financial system, however, how about we practice honouring ourselves, each other and our world, now. Let's acknowledge the global economic cycle as we make decisions about our money. Just a thought.
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About the Author
Crystal-Marie Sealy, MBA, is a keynote speaker and entrepreneurial strategy consultant focused on sustainable business models for established entrepreneurs and professionals transitioning to entrepreneurship. President and founder of Successiory and her signature "Your E.A.S.Y. Affluence Business Model™ by Successiory", Crystal-Marie works with professionals who want to build sustainable (livable) business models around their lifestyles and create sustainable client community on social media. She also speaks and delivers workshops at business and motivational conferences on authenticity, entrepreneurial strategy for pricing, process, feasible schedules and client social media community. Connect with her and subscribe at www.successiory.ca