Can we take a minute to talk money?
We all need it, and I know it’s a seemingly British thing not to discuss it, acknowledge its existence or seemingly even write about it, but as far as I’m concerned it’s integral we do. As women we need to discuss the dollar (or you know, the pound).
But I would say that because I believe in self-worth and not being scared to talk money.
Culture and money have always been inextricably linked, the sooner we all accept this and story fearing ‘money conversations’, the better.
My intention here is that this post should empower and reinforce by naturalizing the discussion of money, for all of us, so we can earn what we deserve.
We need to deconstruct for a moment why I even feel the need to include that disclaimer.
I’m sure a man writing this wouldn’t do the same but it’s sadly, somehow indoctrinated in we women that talking money is not a ‘female’ thing to do. It’s crude. Impolite. Unnecessary.
Well, a BIG ‘no’ to that.
As a director/producer I was in charge not just of the creative side of productions in TV and film but in many cases, the budgets too and they were often pretty big budgets at that.
Female directors are still regarded a risk by the film industry when it comes to pulling and making big budget movies and TV series. It’s changing slowly, as women like Sofia Coppola and Sam Taylor-Wood (who also studied at Goldsmiths’ University of London as I did, and I admire hugely), are proving.
Yes it’s sexism at play and inequality-female actors are not paid the same as their male counterparts as has been widely covered in the press, but there are also too few female execs making the decisions at the top, with the power to commission women and stories that feature women as leads-stories about women for women.
The same is true of ethnic minorities
And this isn’t just playing out in Hollywood either-
Women like you and I, every day often pause before asking about budgets, what fees are on offer for freelance work, whether there’s more in the pot, we worry we’ll be regarded too forward, too presumptuous, to ask for what we feel we are worth.
Not all of course, but some, might struggle-
To seal the deal.
Over the years, I have stopped pausing.
I have asked the question, negotiated, asked for what I feel is fair.
It’s second nature now.
As a blogger I put the hours in, I manage a small team, I constantly hone my voice, do my research, never cease to keep improving or trying to improve at the very least, and when it comes to commissions, the big or the small, I deliver to the best of my ability.
Of course art nor business is ever smooth running.
I pick myself up when things don’t go to plan or I’m rejected from jobs I crossed my fingers and toes for, but most of all I CRACK ON.
Those three words became the mission statement on a panel I was privileged to speak on at the British Library recently when notable women kept returning to it.
Panel speakers included one of my business partners, Jessica Huie (Colourblind Cards and Jessica Huie PR), and Kerrie Dorman (The Restaurant Mentors) who made that statement originally.
It was something covered again in mine and Jessica’s workshop ‘Turning Passion Into Pounds‘ for Stylist Magazine.
Bucking down and cracking on.
Yes to that.
Whatever happens, whatever knocks, turning points (good or bad), simply crack on, sisters.
I almost forgot something else hugely important to me.
Sharing experiences in life, and in business.
Building a community, a future, a flexible way of working where before there wasn’t one that worked before.
Making one plus one equal success.
I’m a blogger but also a consultant too, whereby I often recommend others for work, which means dynamic, exciting and sometimes huge contracts-and nothing feels more exciting or rewarding than getting others gigs.
It’s a buzz.
It’s simultaneously altruist yet self-serving, so oxymoronic then, and why’s that a bad thing anyway?!
That’s what giving is right? Sharing, learning, reminding yourself of what you know and garnering insight and fresh perspective from others. Marrying skills and experience and thriving.
Doing good is satisfying for the receiver and the giver.
But back to money, creative pursuits need not be rewarded financially.
Why does doing something you love have to be, literally at the expense of earning power.
You don’t have to suffer for your art. The democracy of online and its lucrative nature has turned that on its head.
Yet still, why is ambition and financial potential diminished or devalued still, today, for women in nearly 2016?
Why are we scared to stand up and say we want more. More jobs, more opportunities, more money.
Can more women please talk money, stop fearing discussing it, so they negotiate freely, with greater confidence, go get the bank loans to launch their new businesses or garner investment, and seal the deals because until that side of business becomes the norm for women as it is men, we freelance self-employed ladies will keep on struggling.
Know your worth and put it out there. Stop being scared to discuss money.
Make that a new year’s resolution worth sticking to.