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Today I’m going to share a personal, somewhat embarrassing, truth.

I thought I was using Gift Economy pricing, and the model of offering things as part of the gift economy, to spread love and enough-ness in the world.

I think for a while, that’s what it was doing.

But then something began to happen; or rather, something was already happening in my business, and I got it all tangled up with the gift economy pricing.

I did not make as much money last year as I expected to make.

What I made is in the four figures, and I am being completely honest with you here because I find that the less money shame I hold onto, the less that shame can cause me to hang onto damaging beliefs or sabotaging business practices.

I wanted gift economy giving and receiving to change the way I behaved around my money, and to change the ways I was able to do my work for others.

But because I slipped right back into fear and scarcity every time another month went by and I was still scraping to get my bills paid, I began to equate “what others can lovingly give me” with “this is how much I deserve to be loved”.

I’m sure you can see how damaging that could be. And it was.

I let it happen, and then I realized it was happening and my pride — and my fear — did not want to do anything about it (because then it would be obvious I’d done something wrong), so instead I kept waiting for it start working.

And, therefore, it did not give me what I wanted.

Because what I really wanted was to be told I was loved.

That I was worthy.

That I was enough.

That my hard work was worth a financial exchange that would enable me to live my life with my basic needs met, and some of my wants and desires as well.

Asking someone else to love you first is not the way to understand your own worth.

It can’t hurt, maybe, but it does cover up the real issue: whether or not you really know, deep down, that money does not equal love.

Do you know this? Do you really truly know this?

I think I do now.

Be the change

Welcome to our new feature: the Changemaker.

In each Changemaker post, we’ll offer you links and information to help you make useful, interesting, sustainable changes in your life and workflow. Some of this stuff will stick, some will be just a rung on a ladder to something better. Enjoy!

Clearer Marketing

Do you have an e-commerce website, or a store page? Whether you have a handful of items or several thousand, Website Magazine’s article, 4 Months to Better Product Pages, lays out a four-month plan for intentionally changing your product pages into something that is better for your customers and better for your bottom line.

“Every retailer struggles with deciding what information to put on the product page and what to leave out. Including too much info can overwhelm customers, according to Benjamin Utterback, the lead community manager at PrestaShop, but not having enough information can worry a customer due to fear of the unknown.” Read more…

Better Writing

I’ve had Scrivener for a while, but I am still learning to use it as well as my author services partner-in-crime LaVonne; this article at Lifehacker lays out how extremely useful and extensive Scrivener is for any type of writing. In conjunction with something like Evernote, I could see Scrivener becoming my go-to writing app.

“If you’re a writer of any kind, Scrivener’s worth a look. It’s a bit overwhelming at first, but it’s intuitive once you get used to how it works and what it can do. Plus, even with all its features, it’s still a lot faster than Word when you’re working with larger documents.” Read more…

Support Great Authors

I hadn’t heard of Patreon — a Kickstarter-esque platform for self-publishers — before Ellie Di Julio began using it recently. Not only am I blown away by the usefulness of the platform itself, I’m also linking Ellie’s Patreon campaign because she is a truly talented writer (not something I’d say of everyone, because I read a lot), and I want her to succeed beyond her wildest dreams.

“And I literally can’t do it without you. Like Blanche DuBois said, ‘I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.’ But in this case, you’re not strangers: you’re fans. Folks who not only want to read what I’m writing but want to show support in a concrete way.

Your pledges will fund me and other artists – painters, illustrators, musicians, coders – who make the dream work. You won’t just be my hero; you’ll be a true patron of the arts. It’ll be you and me, changing the world and making magic – together.” Read more…

A You-ier You

My coaching client Heather Rees was birthing a beautiful soul care kit into the world during our work together, last fall and early this year. After a time of work and love and more work, Heather launched the Soul Revival Kit, and graciously gave me a free pass inside.*

If you’re craving the kind of deeper-than-skin-deep care for your body and soul, perhaps the Soul Revival Kit holds what you need.

“It’s a journey of the senses.

A journey down pathways that lead you toward expansion of what you already have – but have forgotten.

The senses are our portals inward, connecting us with our soul. And likewise, our senses our the soul’s connection with the outer world.

Recognizing this is the first step toward using the senses as a practice – as a way to wake up, be present and claim all the benefits that await.” Read more…

*I am using no affiliate links for the Kit; I’m genuinely recommending this to you with no strings attached.

Share with us!

What change-inducing things have you read, done, experienced, or created lately? Leave your love for these things, and links if you have them, in the comments.


Opt-ins, freebies, pink spoons: these are all names for that thing you’re offering like a carrot on a stick to get more signups to your list.

I like carrots, but I’m not a donkey.

And unless you are a carrot farmer selling organic free-range artisan carrots to discerning vegetarians with disposable income, you can’t just pull one out of the ground, wipe off the dirt, and offer it to your list.

Let’s back up a bit here.

What’s an opt-in freebie for, anyway? What is its purpose?

At its simplest, an opt-in freebie is a useful thing you are giving away to the pool of potential customers inside your target market, in exchange for the privilege of showing up in their inbox from time to time.

At its most complicated, it is not just a freebie, but a pink spoon — a taste of what you already do — that primes them to want more, converting them from a cool or warm lead into a customer ready to plunk down cash for your products, services, and artisanal carrot experiences.

Do you know your target market well enough to make something they want?

It’s all well and good to spend a few days writing up a short ebook, or series of autoresponders, or a worksheet, but if you don’t know who you’re talking to or why they want to listen to you, you are probably wasting your time.

The process of making things is good and useful in and of itself, so don’t be discouraged if you have already spent time making something that nobody seems to want.

But to be blunt — and I know that’s what you need right now — stop creating freebies that are just as useful as the hand-painted ash tray you gave your Grandma when you were nine, even though she doesn’t smoke.

We all need to stop adding to the noise.

Before you join another giveaway event, or brainstorm new opt-in gifts, take a moment or several and consider whether you actually NEED to add something more to the pile of PDFs and audios we all have taking up space on our devices.

And another revolutionary thought to consider: do you need to tie the gift to your list?

What if you give something away purely to be a useful part of your community?

What if you provide an enticing small droplet of what you do, in a way that can be used without anyone feeling beholden to you?

What if you remove the strings and just give without reserve, trusting in connections instead of numbers?

What do you think?

This is a discussion worth having. Marketing needs to be done for good reasons, not just ‘because we did it this way last time’ — let’s make the new economy a better place to be.

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