What I Wouldn’t Do For Money

12:01:00 PM

Nothing says it like a list that says, "I am a strong, independent, I-make-my-own-money, pay-my-own-bills woman...with principles."

What I Wouldn’t Do For Money | Awesome in Manila

This post is inspired by Pamela Redmon Satran’s 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.* (I like me some chick reads, ok.)

What wouldn't I do for money or love? I'd save the love part for Valentine's Day but the question on money comes at the best time. As I sit down on my short and long-term, big girl goals for 2016, I'm realizing the #RoadToSuccessfulAdulting is an expensive one. If I want to feel the least bit fulfilled next year, I'm gonna have to work extra to earn extra to experience extra. Ya feel me?

But even with a great financial pressure hanging over my head, I'm not desperate enough to throw my principles out the window just to make good money. I thought I'd share with you a list of what I would rather go broke than do because I'm preachy like that and throw in a few rants GIFs for good measure!

1. Promote a product or experience that I do not genuinely enjoy.

This one specifically applies to Awesome in Manila. The general (and, well, the only) rule in accepting sponsorship deals for this blog is that I should personally like what the other party is selling.

What I Wouldn’t Do For Money | Awesome in Manila

The first customer is me - the blogger and I consider it a social responsibility to be extra picky for my readers. I can't encourage other people to buy something I myself won't be willing to spend on.

2. Represent anything that goes against my core beliefs.

This one also applies to my day job. Earlier this week, I had to refuse a new account that was being passed on to me because the product and what it's all about pose a conflict to my faith. I am a Christian before I am a writer, so I needed to put my foot down on something that I can't nor am I willing to represent.

Do I judge the makers of the product and its market? NOPITY NOPE NO. That would be hypocrisy as I used to be part of their market. I chucked the vice a long time ago though, so even if I weren't a Christian, I still would say no.

What I Wouldn’t Do For Money | Awesome in Manila

Fortunately, I was #blessed with bosses who understand and respect differences. They handed over a different account to me instead. All's well that ends well. (Translation: Either way I end up with more work.) Romans 8:28 is the real deal.

3. Exploit people.

Google defines exploitation as "the action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work". The more obvious crimes are forced prostitution, trafficked labor and modern-day slavery, but I say it takes a few other "lesser evil" forms that even perpetrators themselves might not realize it. Scamsnetworking (chill, I don't mean all), false leads on investments and even those SMS baitsare forms of exploitation as well.

4. Agree to be underpaid.

Can I get a...

What I Wouldn’t Do For Money | Awesome in Manila

Was there ever a time when freelancing wasn't synonymous to being underpaid? 'Cause if there was, I'd like to know the coordinates so I can go there with my imaginary TARDIS and figure out what they did right and where it all went wrong.

This is a real problem, guys and girls, and we all need to wake up and smell the stench of sewer gas burning through our self-worths.

Others view the whole "freelancers are underpaid" issue as an entitlement mentality (and to some extent it is, though it's not always baseless) but to those who know that they are able to bring good work to the table, being underpaid is an insult. The fact of the matter is, some clients who haggle down to substandard rates do so because they don't see the value of the work. To those employers, freelancing is not a "real" business, and writing and visual arts are not "real" work. Though they see the need for creatives, they don't necessarily see our skills as worth investing in. (Bless the clients who think otherwise, for they are so far and few.)

Sometimes, all these clients from hell need from us is a bit more patience and proof. Reason if you can.

What I Wouldn’t Do For Money | Awesome in Manila

But if you're dealing with jerks who refuse to pay properly, DROP THEM. As long as there are freelancers who will work for cheap dirt prices, there will be clients who will pay cheap dirt prices. (That said, you have to be reasonable too. Don't overcharge.)

2015 has been a great year in freelancing for me. Not only was I able to make good money out of it, I also discovered the power of saying "NO" to being exploited. I probably refused more projects than I accepted but when I do the math, I still earned more than I would have if I took the ones I didn't.

5. Overpromise and under-deliver a service.

Okay, now this is another freelancing problem but this is the part where freelancers are the problem. Bear with me as I'm about to get brutally honest.

What I Wouldn’t Do For Money | Awesome in Manila

(Because sometimes, honest is exactly what we're not.)

Some freelancers have a habit of biting off more than they can chew. I've watched other people promise potential clients a service that a) is not necessarily their strength orworseb) they know not a zip about.

A is forgivable when it ends up working to our advantage. Being good at something is a process. Part of acquiring new strengths is to step out of our comfort zones. If we take it as an exercise, hopefully without forgetting that it's a job that needs to be done and done well, it can work out for us.

But B is just heartbreaking. B happens when we get so caught up in the idea of making money that we don't stop to think if we can actually deliver. More than anything, it's a matter of keeping our integrities intact. I have put out fires started by other freelancers who overpromised and under-delivered, and you don't want to know what clients end up saying about them.

6. Marry someone I don't love.

Especially if they happen to be old, dirty and (quickly) dying.

What I Wouldn’t Do For Money | Awesome in Manila

Let's leave it at that.

7. Gamble.

I like a good poker game if it involves fake money. Like Texas HoldEm on Facebook. But if it actually involves cold, hard cash? Count me out.

I'm not impervious to the fact that there are people who have amassed wealth and built empires by gambling. Starting the night with a few poker chips and walking out with gold bars? I see the allure. There is always the possibility of being the luckiest guy in the room (and yes, I know poker is as much a game of skills as it is of luck) and all you need to start with is a chip.

What I Wouldn’t Do For Money | Awesome in Manila

But, real talk: Even if the odds do turn out in your favor, the sad fact is gambling can only make you suddenly rich but not successful. (If you're not careful in choosing who you talk to about your winnings, gambling can also make you suddenly dead.) Y'all nodding because it's true.

As for me, I just can't be trusted with easy money. If it's money that I didn't work to deserve, it doesn't mean anything. I wouldn't feel right about putting it in the same place as my hard-earned savings, so I'll most likely blow it all on needless things without much thought and regret.

What I Wouldn’t Do For Money | Awesome in Manila


There is one thing I'd be willing to do for money and, compared to everything in the list, it's an absolute fun-killer. 

One word
(And maybe a few other things but this one's top of mind.)

Let's hear from you

Would you do any of these things for money? What else wouldn't you be willing to do?

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