Every human being is endowed with the capacity to think. The capacity to think and put our thoughts into a practical form means we have everything we need to earn a living. Cynics alert! Surely – it can’t be as simple as that! What about market forces, and skills, and products, and money, and the rest that economic theory has to say about it? I don’t claim to discount that all these factors matter…but I want to talk about human capacity first and foremost and this is a matter of the mind. Ask yourself – do you think that you have reached your full potential, developed and expressed all the creativity there is within you and exploited every opportunity ever presented to you? Could you say, there is nothing in there any more, the tank is empty? I suspect not. And not by many miles. Secondly, without taking into consideration other people's current wealth, status or background, do you think that there are those out there who have more or less the same abilities as you have, work just as hard (or as little) as you do but seem to be financially rewarded much more than you do? Someone is shouting YES! So, if you have answered No and Yes to the last two questions, this is what might be happening and it has nothing to do with the state of the economy:
- You define “success” by a multiples or magnitude standard, not necessarily attached to what you need to live on. It is other people’s definition of success or what you think success feels like having their salary bracket, job title, house size and so on.
- You underestimate or downplay your own abilities.
- You don’t feel brave enough or suitably equipped to make yourself stand out.
- You don’t know where or how to access the people or knowledge to help you unlock your potential.
- You are uncomfortable about earning money, specifically, you have an “imposter syndrome” and don’t believe that people would genuinely pay you for doing what you love and are good at.
- You have not engaged with the people who would exchange their money for your time, effort, knowledge and skills or you are not willing to make the exchange.
- You have not made connections with the people who will challenge, support, mentor and positively critique your work.
- You are not using the technology available to do things faster, help you scale up or broadcast what you have to offer widely.
It is worth taking a moment to honestly reflect on any one of these things - before we unquestioningly accept that we are worse off today that we were yesterday because of another story on the breakfast news about the fall in share prices and the rate of inflation. True, these are economic indicators but have nothing to do with our capacity to earn a living.