Money Mondays: Earning Beautifully

by admin on January 23, 2012

Each Monday, I’ll be posting an update on changing my money story, or a review of a product/book that has had a huge impact on my shifting financial landscape. This week, I’m posting a review of Tara Gentile’s The Art of Earning* and a wee confession.

When a deer drinks from a stream,
the earth does not weep at the loss of water.
The value is cyclical.
The earth is thankful for the deer,
the deer is thankful for the water.
And the stream keeps flowing.
~Tara Gentile, The Art of Earning

Many of you know that I am a little obsessed with the work of Tara Gentile. I started following her through connections on Twitter, and through her work that expanded beyond Scoutie Girl and the lifestyle blog. I could see she was on to something big, and I wanted the information. At the time, I wasn’t completely dedicating myself to A Forest of Stories as a business venture, so I didn’t invest in her products or services at that time. And then Tara released The Art of Earning*.

When the guide was first released, Tara offered a pay-what-you-can sale. At the time, I had $9.89 in my PayPal account, and I used it to buy The Art of Earning*. I included a note with my payment, saying something about how I knew the guide was worth 10 times what I could afford, but promising that I would tell others about it, and pay her generosity forward. {I hope I have well by this promise.}

This post is more of a book review than a plug for this guide. If you’re familiar with Tara’s work, you know that she is about creating the “You Economy”, a new economy where creative energy and inspired work has both meaning and value. Our artistic pursuits don’t need to hold in poverty or scarcity: now is the time for us to be “thriving artists”.

I mentioned in my first money post that Tara is one of the people I look up to when it comes to changing your financial story. In The Art of Earning, Tara tells the story of how she has a history with money that is both healthy, and sometimes unhealthy. She shares the stories of others who work as creatives, trying to find the balance between sharing our art and living a vibrant, abundant life.

Let me be up front: This book isn’t about getting rich quick. It’s not about playing financial games or taking big risks {except on yourself}, it’s not about manipulating your customers to pay higher prices or to buy more {though, when you charge what you’re worth, you often find that you do have more clients, and you are earning more}.

It’s a book about faith: Faith that our creativity has value and worth, and that it can stand as currency in the new economy.

It’s about meaning, or as Tara says in The Art of Earning:

You are genuinely a purveyor of profound meaning.

Near the middle of the book is this quote from The Communicatrix that really shook me to my core:

You’re scared that the small, not-so-good part of you
will override the big, pretty-okay part of you and ruin
everything. That you will be left alone, reviled and
ridiculed for the incompetent/vain/flat-out-evil devil
you are.

But I don’t think you should wish away evil any more
than you should wish away time. Instead, wish for the
alertness to stay on your toes. Wish for help from the
muse finding creative ways to slay your dragons. Wish
for courage. Wish for vision.

Then get that show on the road.

Above all the talk of earning more, of changing your financial relationship, of finding new ways of being an economic force, is the conversation Tara has about doing MORE in the world when she has more. Remembering that money is a flow, that the world is filled with abundance, and that my having more wealth does NOT mean that someone else has less wealth is critical to changing my own money story. I grew up with so little, and I was always aware of those who has less. I’ve always had a global heart, so the idea of earning more in a month than half the world’s population earns in a year {decade?} is terrifying to me. How can that be right? How can I have abundance when so many have so little?

Through reading this book, though, and examining my story about money, I realized this:
If I earn more, if I charge what I am worth and do the work that I am really damn good at, then I have the abundance to do the things that are world-changing for me — travelling and collecting the stories of women across the globe. If I have wealth, then I can have the tools I desire {a DSLR, a hiking pack, a plane/train/bus ticket} to travel and bring to all of you the stories of these women. These women from whom we can learn great things.

The converse is sadly also true:
If I earn less, if I hold myself back and do not reach my own potential, then I am always living in doubt of myself, in doubt of my work, and I’m never travelling to the places where the untold stories live. I’m never backpacking through India, or climbing the hills of Palestine, or trekking through the wild islands of Scotland.

If I do not believe in my true worth, I am not being of service to the world.

All this, from an eBook* written by one woman.

These thoughts, these recognitions, are why I believe in Tara’s work, why I follow her and study with her and share her brilliance. It’s an honor to share it with you.


Sometimes, when we put ourselves in the world, we get what we are seeking. A generous benefactor has offered me a place at Tara Gentile’s Art of Earning LIVE workshop in Philadelphia this February. I’m working on raising the funds to purchase a train ticket and find lodging for the two-day event. So many of you have been kind to me in the past. I am always deeply grateful. I am not asking for donations for this trip, though some have suggested that I do. Instead, I would like to offer my services: intuitive tarot readings, copywriting, editing, and one-on-one coaching. Providing my best work to you, and sharing my personal wisdom, means that I am one step closer to being that beacon of change in the world. Interested in a project that you haven’t seen me talk about? Email me. I love correspondence.

Philly, here I come!!!

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