NEW: The Lemonade Stand

My name is Megan Dougherty, and I’m for sale.

It’s true; I can be bought and frequently am.

“What?” you sputter (I can hear you from here), “on Forget the Box, a girl who can be bought part and parcel? Nay, I say! Nay.” But I can be. I think you can be too.

Don’t misunderstand me when I say ‘bought’ I don’t mean that I offer ownership of my person to the highest bidder, I mean that I am and have access to resources that businesses, governments, churches and even other people consider valuable. My brain is real estate and my money is a desirable product. My labour has a price, and so does my creativity. It’s all in how you look at things.

From a very early age I looked at the world through the lens of business. My first business was a lemonade stand at neighbourhood yard sales when I was seven, and from the first clank of a coin in my tin cup, I was hooked. The lessons continued when I was in high school and looking for my first after school job. I realized that my CV was a piece of marketing material, and I was trying to sell myself to a company! I got a job at a fast food restaurant, and realized that in recognizing and patronizing our brand, customers had sold us a little part of their minds. They allowed our company to set up shop in their brains and stay there until hunger struck them. After that I saw business everywhere and in everything.

It wasn’t always an easy journey, learning to see myself as a product; I had my predictable anti-capitalist phase. It passed when I realized that as a desirable product, I had power. My vote may not count for a lot (first past the post, my ample fanny) but my dollars mattered. I can choose to work for and buy from a gargantuan corporation, or I can support local independent business owners. I can work for a company, or I can reclaim ownership of my internal resources and create my own.

That’s a key word: Create. It’s a concept that I mean to address a good deal in this blog: the creativity and artistry that is in business, particularly small business. I think we can all agree that big business, if not inherently evil (a point I could argue), lacks the personality and charm of an independent entrepreneur.
A small business owner has to be as creative as a painter, as disciplined as a dancer, as motivated as a politician and as driven as an athlete. I want to examine here the art of entrepreneurship, our status as products, living during a consumerist era and the people of our city who do it best. Montreal is a city of artists, activists, entrepreneurs and idealists, all of whom are trying to make their way in and their mark on the world and all of whom deserve a chance to be heard.

So that’s why a girl for sale is writing at Forget the Box. I may never convince you to view yourself as a resource, but I may be able to introduce you to some wonderfully creative and interesting people making their livings through sweat and application. I may be able to entice you to discuss with me the ups and downs of our buyable culture. And lastly, hopefully, I may be able to get you to look at the world, once in awhile, as a marketplace of ideas in which we play a vital role.

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8 comments

  • Welcome aboard Meaghan! I’m really excited to have a business perspective here on Forget The Box. I can’t wait to see the different topics and ideas that you’ll be bringing to the site.
    Cheers!

  • I’m looking forward to it as well Chris! I’ve got some fun stuff coming your way.

  • This is awesome! I’m stoked to read what you’ll be getting up to next–are you planning to interview local artistically driven entrepreneurs as part of your column?

  • Hey Jess,

    That’s definitely on my list of preferred topics. Make sure to suggest to me any you think deserve a shout out.

  • Hey Megan, great post – I really enjoyed reading it, and I’m looking forward to more. Will there be a subscription option to your column, or to the blog in general?

  • Hey Danny,

    Thanks for reading! I know a subscription option is in the works. It should be available within the next few weeks. I’ll let you know!

  • Great job on the column Megan! I’d love to read more about how to turn creative endeavors and projects into a money-earning enterprise, and some of the things that we artsy types neglect to think about – taxes, marketing, etc.

  • That’s a fantastic idea Jessica! Wouldn’t we all love to get paid doing what we love? I hate how often a brilliantly creative artist or crafts-person get’s burned, or never even get’s started because they lack just a little bit of know-how. I think you’ve given me a really good idea for a post or two! Thanks! In the meanwhile you can check out Crafster’s <crafty business advice. There’s oodles of goodies and tips there until I get to that dedicated artsy types post!

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