Do it for love-when making money, marketing, and “developing” your business can be deadly distractions

Continuing the theme around unconventional wisdom from last week...There is a lot out there right now about doing work for your market, your audience, your branding, your tribe and of course the money.  So much content is written about money-and especially the relationship between women and money.

I think its fantastic by and large. There are so many women out there who are afraid to ask for what they are worth-to assign a dollar value to their work-and I do feel collectively like movement is happening around this issue. Women are stepping up to the financial plate more and more.

Its especially insidious then, the way that our work gets intertwined with our need to thrive economically. They are obviously connected as many of us get paid for our work and many more of us dream of taking our heart’s deepest desire and creating a career around it-visions of doing what we love and getting paid for it dance in our heads and we are told that we can, we can–especially after we buy this product, use this method, write the sales page this way.

Its all bullshit.

There is ONE, uno, un, 1 motivating force that illuminates your work and your life.


Consider this quote:

“One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is a signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly is lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.”

Annie Dillard from The Writing Life

Those are the words of someone who does what she does for love. “Anything you do not give freely and abundantly is lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.”

Notice how she did not say “anything you do not give freely and abundantly after calculating your bottom line, changing out that sentence that came straight from your heart for one with that’s more targeted to your “audience” or “marketing yourself correctly” is lost to you?

No. She is saying-give it away, right bloody now or you have failed!

You can feel the love permeating every word in that quote. It shines out like a bright beacon.

Does she get paid for her writing, hell yes! Should you get paid for your work? Absolutely. But would you do it anyway? Even if you did not get paid would you do your work? As Gillian Welch says in her song “Everything is Free“:

Someone hit the big time/they figured it out.

We’re gonna do it anyway/even if it doesn’t pay.

That’s how you know if its the work of your heart or not. You do it-because doing anything else is just not compelling. You do it because you are in love with it. If I have the choice to be with my husband and son or someone else-my husband and son win, every time, hands down, no contest. I love them! They are my own special ones! Compared to them everything else is just a little flat.

Don’t’ get me wrong. I have coaches that I adore, I seek out professional training when I need it-I have spent good money on learning about marketing-but all of these things are nothing, less than nothing if the love is not there-pushing, stretching, motivating me.

We are surrounded right now by a lot of well intentioned bad advice.

Our desire-especially us ladies-to get paid what we are worth and to attribute real worth to what we do is awesome-but it also renders us open and vulnerable to marketing and sales pastiche-and at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how you write that sales letter because baby, if you are not in love with what you are doing then you shouldn’t be doing it!

If you do it for love, real love, then you do it right because:

–love is demanding-it expects the best-it motivates you to be better

–love is wise-it sees through fakes and hacks with x-ray vision

–love is undeniable–sooner or later it will force you to sit down and do what needs to be done

–love returns-real love is reciprocal-not balanced, not tit for tat-but it will give back whatever you put into it-often when you least expect it and most need it.

–love speaks for itself-when you see a person in love you know that they are blessed by angels right there and then-there is a transcendent and untouchable quality to their lives-even if they are killed in a terrible accident we know their soul is untouched and blessed.

–love tells the truth, let’s the chips fall where it may, and trusts-because tomorrow is another day and another chance to love.

If you are doing what you love and making awesome money then rock on!

If you are not doing what you love and making awesome money then try to do a little bit more of what you love everyday-just for you and your angels.

If you are doing what you love and not making money-you have options and you need to know this before you call it quits:

you can do something else to make money, you can look around and see where your work is broken or not translating and what people or supports around you might be able to help you with that problem.

You can scale back your plans and dreams and let’s be honest-shoe budget.

What you cannot do is commit infidelity.

Don’t cheat yourself, your angels, the best lights of your heart.

Now, you might realize you were wrong about your love-most of us have been from time to time, and you may need to correct your oversight, but if you turn your back on your true love then the angels take note, the faeries narrow their eyes, your muse shrugs her shoulders and shuts the door…the loss to you and those around you is incalculable. I promise you-however hard it is to be true to your love, it will be that much harder to deny it.

So don’t.


20 responses to “Do it for love-when making money, marketing, and “developing” your business can be deadly distractions

  1. Awesome post Bri!!! There is much energy (finally!) around this topic and hopefully everyone in need of space to reflect and encouragement to commit to their heart and do what they love is appreciating it in abundance. I know from experience that when we do what we love, we may find (financial or other) resources coming from seemingly unrelated places.
    This past week I reaffirmed my coaching offer as: “Have a Love Affair with Yourself” and am beginning to see everyone I interact with as a “client” I can help fall back in love with his/herself.

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you…

  3. Bri – Love, love, love the Anne Dillard quote + Gillian Welch + Erika Lyremark! This post resonates on so many levels with my experience this past year: that feeling of having so much information stuck up in my head and being compelled to get it out, to share it, to teach, but not knowing or trusting that I could… While at the same time hearing the drum beat of “this must be profitable to be valuable.” What a mind job we do on ourselves if we forget love and abundance.

  4. Dear Bri,

    “Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.”

    Like everything else, this requires balance. There are those of us who want to give so much that we overwhelm people with information – too much for them to absorb at once. People leave us numbed with overwhelm and don’t come back anytime soon – if at all – because it took them too long to integrate what we were saying for them to remember who said it and the value it had for them.

    Sometimes you do want to hold something back. Not because you are being stingy, but because there is a time and place for everything and the time for that item is later.

    My soul-sister Leah Shapiro and I learned this the hard way the first time we ran our popular Unleash Yourself! program. We wanted to give it all and we did. And by week 3 everyone was overwhelmed and couldn’t take in anything that we said in week 4. So we’ve revamped the program to spend more time on the spot where they got stuck and we’ll do the stuff from week 4 another time.

    Timing is everything and there’s no point in talking when nobody’s listening.

    Just my two cents.

  5. I just love what you said about whether you’d do your work without pay. I know that I’ve found my heart’s work because I would DEFINITELY do it for free — in fact, I was doing it for free BEFORE I launched it as a business. I can not stop myself from connecting people to resources that get them healthier.

    (This little, wonderful moment of validation brought to me by the fabulous Bri Saussy.)

  6. Miss Bri on said:

    Karen-have a love affair with yourself-yes oh yes! I love it!

  7. Miss Bri on said:

    That’s the other side of this Theresa-of course you would pick up on it-even if you are making bank-if you heart is not in it you will be drained!

  8. Miss Bri on said:

    You are so welcome Gin!

  9. Miss Bri on said:

    Christie! YES-I know right, Annie, Gillian and Erika are like the trifecta of awesomeness! We can do such a mind job on ourselves-its so important to watch out for that.

  10. Miss Bri on said:

    Hi Kelle-I definitely see what you are saying here, although I would say that the post (and Dillard’s quote) are referring to your creative, heart centered work itsefl-whereas what you are talking about sounds like it deals more with how your present and package it (which definitely bring about their own challenges!) Thanks for commenting.

  11. Miss Bri on said:

    I think that you are so bringing up an important point here Jessica–because you are right-that is so often how we discover what we should be doing-by looking at what we are already doing! xoxo

  12. Well said! When we access that love dimension magical things begin to happen. I resonate most with “inspired” marketing than most of the b.s. that’s out there today. Inspired marketing is seeing this or that and going within to ask yourself is this best for me. I see so many grasshoppers out there in business. The best advice I ever got was to pick 3 things and do them the best you can. It really cuts down on the overwhelm and feeling of needing to be in a million places at once. Great post – thank you!!

  13. This I love! The other day a friend and I were having lunch. She was concerned about the $4.95 price of the bowl of chile. Then proceeded to question the price I’m paying for workshop presenters. Yikes. Paying people for services is not the same as throwing money in the trash. I love thinking that my money will help others buy food for their kids, attend colleage, buy gas. Thanks for this. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

  14. Bri… your writing the last few weeks and this post in particular are so gorgeous I am just loving you across the miles.. And have to say this made me laugh out loud:
    “Notice how she did not say “anything you do not give freely and abundantly after calculating your bottom line, changing out that sentence that came straight from your heart for one with that’s more targeted to your “audience” or “marketing yourself correctly” is lost to you?” it.. guilty at times.. but this is an incredibly compelling piece of writing..
    beautiful. beyond.
    Love you-

  15. Thank you, Bri. I just dropped right back into center while reading this post – it’s so helpful (and vital) to remember to listen to my Self, and so easy to be distracted by all this well-meaning advice. BIG Gratitude.

  16. I’m trying to think of something to add to the conversation…but really, I think you wrote a fantastic post here. It reminds me of what Shenee and I have talked about to each other before, how you HAVE to be doing something you love…because that’s the only thing that’s going to keep you from giving up when you’re having trouble with the external stuff (the packaging, marketing, describing it clearly etcetc). The external things can mess up how other people perceive it and how willing they are to participate in it or pay money for it, but the internal force – love – will keep you going until those pieces are all fitted together.

  17. Danielle Dowling on said:

    Oh mama. You know I love that quote by Anne Dillard. You had shared it with me a few weeks ago + it had hit home so much that I in turn shared it with my world. I absolutely adore reading your blog. It is clear that it is full of love, wisdom + compassion. Thx you for your beauty. xx

  18. Loved the quote by Dillard and your insights. This is beautiful Bri. Deep inside, we have an inexhaustible well.

    “I promise you-however hard it is to be true to your love, it will be that much harder to deny it.”

    Bring it sister.


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