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 â€˜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.
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.
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?
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?
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!