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What Would You Do For Money?

MONEYFew people would pose naked for a magazine cover.  I wouldn’t. Wait … if they paid me a million bucks, I would give it some serious thought.

We all have a price.  Just ask Kim Kardashian.

Most of us would do pretty much anything for those we love. Sacrifice for love is an act of nobility and honor.

What about when we do it for the money?

I have to ask myself: how many times have I sold myself out for money? A lot.

Every time I took a job that was beneath me but the money was good, I sold out.

Each time I worked for disrespectful jerks but the money was good, I sold out.

Doing jobs that went against what I believed in, for the money, was a major sell out.

I didn’t know then what I know now. That selling out was valiant.

I always thought that agreeing to a job just for the money made me a bit of a loser. Where was my integrity? I can tell you where it wasn’t. It wasn’t sitting in the dark or going hungry or doing without. It was  there providing for my family.

I was the one who was willing to eat crow so my kid could go to camp, have a good Christmas or go on that field trip. I was the one who took crap jobs to keep the utilities on and the mortgage paid. I was the one who sold out to keep everything else together. 

I’m no hero, that’s for sure. But I think sometimes we just need to suck it up. I can guarantee you that when you meet a 75 year old waitress; that wasn’t her life plan. Don’t pity her; admire her. She is getting it done and taking care of herself the best she can for the moment. How can doing what she needs to do to live be a sell out? It isn’t.

I recently ran into a friend working as a retail clerk. For most of her life she was a topnotch highly paid professional. In these precarious times she found herself without work. She was embarrassed to be seen selling perfumes and cosmetics. I was embarrassed for her. She explained to me that her husband also lost his job and they needed the health insurance. It was all she could get for the moment. On my drive home I thought about how much I admired her for being able to swallow her pride in order to keep her family insured and a roof over their heads. Some would say she sold herself short. I say she is being brave, smart and humble. I’ve always known she was the former but I have a strong hunch she is new to the world of humble. Eating a piece of humble pie is good for all of us. Best we remember where we came from as we look to where we are going. Judgment has no place in the real world anymore, yet most of us can’t resist. Too bad, as pity little good comes from it.

If you have to depend on social programs that’s okay, they are there to offer a helping hand. I’ve collected unemployment and for a brief time in my life I also collected food stamps. Neither was awesome but it was, as I reminded myself every stinking day, only temporary. And therein lies the rub. Never become so complacent in your situation that you never change it.

Selling out for the greater good is a noble act. But it should be a short term deal. Living up to our own expectations, following our own dreams is what we need to get back to as soon as possible. I try to keep my eye on the prize; and as life has shown me, the prize has rarely been money.

And so, if you find yourself on the wrong end of your self esteem because you feel you have sold out in a big way, I urge you to reconsider and look at the big picture. Chances are pretty good you’re doing the right thing for right now.

Everything has a price and we will almost always pay it. The real question is: is it worth it?

I can tell this: you paying me a million bucks to pose nude for a magazine cover, definitely not worth it.

That being said, I’m open to all offers.


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Carol Cassara - This is such a good topic. Although I’d finished an MS and dropped out of a PhD program just a few years before, I found myself living in a new place at age 33 and unable to get a professional job. I worked as a temp secretary for two years with no embarrassment at all. If you have a firm sense of yourself, your circumstances won’t embarrass you, nor will the fear of judgment from others–or the judgment that comes. If you have mouths to feed and bills to pay, you don’t have the luxury of worrying about selling yourself out. Kim K? a whole different story & her frame and acting as a role model for young women sure is a pet peeve of mine. Thanks for this interesting post.

Joan Cooper - Deep subject, Tammy.

Now that money has been invented I suppose it will never go away. Most of us are not well trained in the handling of money. I understand that in Colorado they teach finance in the lower grades in school. It is very successful. We need to grow up understanding how vital this is.

Pose nude for a million? You bet – any offers?

Joan Cooper

Jeffrey Davidson - Eating humble pie every once in a while probably never hurt anyone. It probably contributed to the strength of their character.

It is noble to be able to support yourself and perhaps even more noble to support a family so that they can get an education, have health insurance, etc. I applaud and respect those who do especially when it not the type of work they chose for themselves when they went to college.

Like most, I too have taken work just for the money when I did not particularly like the client or felt that it was “beneath me.” As you mentioned, I “sucked it up” and did my best to make it temporary and then moved on.

As far as the $1,000,000 for a nude cover photo, if they want to pay I’ll accept the fact that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

Tana Bevan - Intense. A montage of memories of things I’ve done to survive suddenly appeared. Up from those deep, dark places where they’d been squashed in an apparently futile attempt to annihilate them. Make that EXTREMELY intense.

Question: If the prize you sought turned out to be a mirage, how do you trust your “sight”?

Tammy - Hi Carol, so happy you enjoyed and related. I have never felt embarrassed about what others thought of me, but I’m guilty of thinking less of myself in some of those times when I felt I worked beneath myself. No longer the case. I’m not pride filled, but I’m realistic. Doing what needs to get done to keep the lights on and the gas tank filled is never anything to be ashamed of. Very happy to have you here, Carol! Thanks for that.

Tammy - Joan, learning money management 101 should be class every kid is taught. If not at home, in school. I’m still learning as I go along. As far as posing nude for a million bucks … truth is, my price is probably lower. Thanks so much for the read and the comment!

Tammy - Hi Jeffrey, humble pie never tastes good when you are forced to eat it. I should know. But it certainly is a building and learning experience, no doubt! Humble is something many of us forget when we get in to the real world and puff ourselves up for business reasons. Best we all remember where we came from and what it took to get where we are. Wonderful hearing from you!

Tammy - Tana, I get it. Some things are best left forgotten, and some things are not. Best to keep in mind the price we have already paid for our accomplishments, and keep in check the one we are prepared to pay for our future successes. As far as keeping your eye on the prize, I’ve learned to be careful what you wish for. More than once I’ve strived for (and got) something that turned out to be not worth having. I chalk it up to experience and refer to it as needed. As I get older, my “sight” gets better. So happy to have you here!

Tana Bevan - Do you see the irony? If what you say is true, then as our eyesight deteriorates (along with other parts of our anatomy lol) our “sight” improves. Further confirmation “The Big Guy Upstairs” has a wicked sense of humor.

Definitely a thought-provoking post. (Or thought-stirring-up post. *smiles ruefully*)

Suerae Stein - You nailed it, Tammy. Humble pie is just plain necessary sometimes, and it probably does just what it needs to at that time. We have to do what we can to survive… while that doesn’t mean we should sell illegal drugs or rob banks, we should be willing to work hard to keep our families alive and safe. Very well written – kudos!!!

mel glenn - Good column, Tammy. You combine admirably the practical with the ideal. You keep your eye on the prize, but are also cog- nizant of paying the rent. Question: Is there any work that is beneath us? I think the strongest instinct we have is survival.

Tammy - Hi Suerae, Thanks for the good review, so happy you enjoyed the read. Yup, I’ve discovered in my years that humble pie usually comes to the table when you think you need it least, but in fact, you need it most. I’ve learned to never think less of myself as I earn my way through this life. Something that took me some time to know. Love knowing you are on the other side, Suerae. <3

Tammy - Hi Mel, I don’t think there is any work that is beneath any of us…unless, perhaps, it is illegal or immoral. Our strongest instinct SHOULD be to survive, don’t you think? I mean, it’s inbred. Taking care of ourselves and our family means that we/they don’t go without and that no one else has to pick up the burden. No shame there! LOVE having you, Mel. You are my pleasure.

Ande Lyons - Been there, done that, have the Tiara!

Especially for the kids. Why, I’ve even gone without Spa Treatments so my precious treasures could go to camp and other enrichment programs! 😀

Doing what we have to in tough times is necessary. However, don’t get stuck in the low or high paying gig you don’t love. Remember it’s a temporary place until you can figure out a new strategy.

Ideally, one is feeding their soul AND their body through their work. But when that path gets paused, be sure to feed your soul in other ways until you can get back on track.

BTW: if there was really good lighting and amazing photoshop skills involved, I would absolutely pose nude for a million dollars. Woo Hoo!


Tammy - Ande, such good advice! Love how you mentioned how we should never settle for a HIGH or low salary if we are not doing something we love. Took me years to learn it. Money isn’t the answer to happiness. It is the answer for a financial and healthy security, no lie. But without happiness, I’m not sure of the worth of it all. And just between us girls, I don’t think there is enough lighting in the world that could help me. Bah! Thanks for the read, sweet Ande, and for the great insight.

Kitt Crescendo - Tammy, this one made me tear up. In fact, your friend’s situation drew a lot of parallels for my husband and me in our life. After losing my job we’d agreed to let me pursue my dream of writing. Then he lost his. Although he didn’t stay jobless for long, the position he took was not what you’d call a dream job. He does it right now to keep the roof over our head and a steady income through the door. I keep working my dream, and have begun to take temp jobs again in training and sales for additional income. Hopefully, one day, I’ll be able to repay his faith in my dreams by being able to financially support us so that he can chase his.

Sue - Would like to sign up for emails but I can not read those obnoxious codes!

Tammy - Kit, this is what I call a love story. Two people supporting each other the best they can. I have a feeling that you repay him everyday for his faith in you. Just a hunch. Another hunch I have is that your incredible writing will pave your way to your dream. This post hit close to home for me. Real close. So glad that we shared it together. Thanks for that.

Tammy - Hi Sue, so sorry about those goofy capcha letters. It’s a necessary evil to keep spammers away. Ugh. BUT, I went ahead and subscribed you using the gmail address that you provided privately to me. You will receive an email from Feedburner/Witty Woman Writing asking that you click on the link provided to confirm that you indeed signed up to receive the blog. Hope to see you on the other side, my friend!

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