How Much Can Buy You? / $1900

   This is a question that is not discussed enough. However, if you watch closely, the answer is all around you. I speak to many musicians on a regular basis. They are my friends, associates, and some that are not as close to me anymore. Within the confines of our relationships that deal with money exchange, we learn so much about people and what their ceilings are. Business is pretty straight forward for the most part. Get the best quality for the least money. But is that really a consistent and reliable model to follow? What happens when the best quality also costs more? Do you grab it or do you settle to make more money?

   Then there is the question of when do you get paid? Think of all the things that you buy with your money and then ask yourself how many of those things can you get by just asking for them without paying? How many people would work for a day, two weeks, or even a month, and not be concerned about when they will be paid for their services? I would guess very few. I actually respect businesses that ask for their money upfront before they render any services. It puts the responsibility on them to deliver high quality serve to you right away. Also, if you believe in a certain product or person, you will pay in advance because you are totally confident that you will receive exactly what you paid for every time.

    In the world of entertainment, there is an underlying understanding that once you perform, you will have to wait for your money. The strange thing about this, is that the recipient gets their value right away. If you pay $250,000 to book a major world class band at an event, they play and you feel it right away. So how could a band make this much for about two hours of playing? A trust has been built many years ahead of that gig and the prize to the recipients is the mood, the feeling, the energy, the release, that comes from just sitting or standing there and being totally affected by whats in front of you. I believe that only certain people have the ability to create that energy per and over again no matter where they are or what mood they are in. That is why they can command those prices.

    There is a concept in most major cities called,"daily work". The short and simple story is that you work all day from 8, 9, or 10, to 5 or 6. At the end of your day, you get a check. How you spend it, where you spend it, or who is with you does not matter. The pay is not measured by work effort, its measured by one thing and one thing only, time. You could be white, black, tall, short, Indian or Thai. If you show up for the correct amount of hours and do even mediocre work, you will get paid. How much is the pay you may ask? The pay is very little. Minimum wage to be exact. So for minimum wage, how much can be expected and how much can truly be received?

    My overall message here is that our gifts, talents, and uniqueness can be marginalized very quickly if we allow it. I like to call it trying to buy a Mercedes for Hyundai money. One of my favorite price points is the Apple model. Each product costs what to costs unless you decide to buy it privately. There are no discounts in the store. You cannot beg to pay less or pay some now and pay some later, unless you have a card that they provide or your own. The quality is always up to a certain level. If it's not, they will make sure that you are happy by doing whatever they can. If it means giving you a brand new product, they will do it without hesitation. Also, when something new is released, people run to the store to feel it, try it, and learn more about it. The trust is there, the emotion behind it lingers from the last time, and the price is almost irrelevant. That is powerful.

   So what would you but if I gave you $1900 today right now is cash? It's a number that each reader will feel in a different way for sure. Would you pay bills, buy shoes, go on a vacation, help a friend, save it, or just take 10 friends out to eat? I still pay close attention to what money means to me when I am out in the world and I still amaze myself. Long story short, I did whats called a mystery shop for a high end store in Soho yesterday evening. The name of the store is not important for this story. What is a mystery shop, you may ask? Its when a company pays you to check on their business to see if the quality and company standards are being upheld while they are not around to watch. What a great concept right? I love doing them for many different reasons.

    Retail is a tricky animal. You can name one item that you are looking for and there are 20 different prices that you can pay for it. However, to pull form my earlier words, if you pay minimum, you will get just that most times. So I tried on a sweater and a jacket in this amazing store. The quality was off the richter scale. The jacket was priced at $1900. When I put it on, I was lost in the experience, truly. The material was so solid and so unique, that I did not think of the price. The truth is, I did not look at the price until after I tried it on. I was not there to buy, I was there to gather service information. However, this coat got my full attention right away. I knew that if I stepped out into the cold with this jacket, the cold would find another person to make cold. The hood was like some protective helmet for a super hero as well. I was amazed. The sweaters did not affect me the same way. They were nice, just not exceptional. I never looked at the price.

     So why $1900? I asked myself. You could buy a car with $1900. You could buy 20 jackets, a month of meals, 4 trips, 6 musical instruments, and so on and so forth. However, we are just concentrating on this jacket for right now. Was it worth $1900 to me? I have to say it was. I saw myself wearing it for at least 8 years. The strength was phenomenal. It was unique, well made, durable, neutral in a smokey grey color, and very comfortable. Having all of those things in one piece of clothing is worth the asking price in my opinion. I didn't need to know anything else after that. I will research this company further, because I am so impressed with their integrity and their attention to detail. On a side not, their staff was on point as well. Nice people who knew how to showcase their product flawlessly. When it can be done that well, why do it any other way?

     In closing, I gain inspiration from times like this. Time is only as valuable as what you put into it. For some people, time has the same value across the board, and they learn how to manage that. What we choose to say, do, wear, or offer, somehow creates our worth for others. We get to set it up from the inside out. It still amazes me how I get treated differently when I am wearing my best clothing versus when I am just in jeans and a t shirt. Should it matter?Yes it should, and yes it does. I don't need that jacket, but I would like to have it. I see myself in it walking around the city. When you see or come into contact with something or someone that you identify with, I believe you should get closer to them or it and find out why. Some would say that $1900 for a jacket is just preposterous and a blatant waste of money. To those people I would say, show me the item that you have spent the most money on in your entire life and ask me if I thought it was sensible? Thats not my call. We are all moved by different things. That is the beauty of life. I challenge you to go into a very high end store and try on the first thing that gets your attention. Pay attention to how it makes you feel, how you move in it, and do not look at he price until the very end when you are leaving. Don't think about the money, think about the experience. I would love to read about your experience. Leave a comment if you should be so inclined.

      Thank you once again for being here. It matters to me and I am very grateful.




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