Can we take a minute to talk money.
We all need it, and I know it's a 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.
This post is meant to empower by the way, but time and time again I receive emails that women in particular are struggling when it comes to negotiating and feeling confident to set their fees for freelance work.
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 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.
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, and when it comes to commissions, the big or the small, I deliver to the best of my ability.
Of course art is never 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 include: Jessica Huie (Colourblind Cards and Jessica Huie PR), Kerrie Dorman (The Restaurant Mentors) who made that statement originally.
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 for you, or you.
Making one plus one equal success.
I'm a blogger but also a consultant too, whereby I often recommend others for work, which means big, 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, chatting to two business partners recently on projects which kick off over the next year, we left the meeting with the shared statement, 'let's go make some money' because while we want intellectual and creative fulfilment from our projects, we want the dosh that comes with it too and why ever wouldn't we?!
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 years resolution worth sticking to.
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