Monday, March 25, 2019


I did gig about 5 years ago where the CEO of a big company asked what motivated his employees to work hard? He answered for them "Money! We all like Money! If we didn't like money, we wouldn't be here..."

This comment really stuck with me to this day. It might have been a throwaway line" to this big CEO, however, it resonated with myself because it has never been a motivation to my work in all honesty. I was really lucky to know what I wanted to do for my career at an early age. I always played piano and in high school my teacher Mr. Hamill took us on a field trip to Berklee college of Music. Here I found out what Music Engineering was and I immediately fell in love. I was a science geek in grade school and loved music as well. My decision was set firm, I wanted to be an audio engineer so I could use technology and play with music at the same time.

Throughout my high school career, I directed every decision I made to get into music college and get into a music engineering program. When I finally did, my college career was dedicated to getting a job in the industry so I could sit behind a console, play with buttons and have the ultimate control over electrons and sound pressure waves.

Money was never my motivation, money always seemed to be there, it might never have been enough, I might have been "poor" in some people's eyes but I never was homeless and I never went hungry. I always made my car payments and I had some extra to take my girlfriends to a nice dinner. I had a 401K, a stable income, but it was not my "motivation" for working. I would have done the work for free, because that's what I always wanted to do, I could never dream about doing anything different.

I wasn't a dummy however. The first thing I did when I got out of college is hired an accountant to do my taxes because I was self employed and freelancing. I was lucky to have a great mentor who taught me about tracking expenses and not letting people walk all over you. "Get paid what you are worth, and don't take anything less than market value because undercutting the rest of us will get you on the 'I don't want to work with this guy' list real quickly." he said. So what did I do?

I worked for free...
To a point...

When I needed more experience, I worked for free. When I felt comfortable, I used "standard rate". This showed my clients that I was serious about the work, and not just the Money... because I was serious about my art. But, I found that my clients not only respected this but were more apt to pay standard rate despite my little experience at the time because they saw the time investment I put in.

So, after hearing this speech by Mr. CEO, I rechecked my money situation. I'm still ok. :) The money is there, not much of it, but it's there and I am comfortable with my life and my career. So, Mr. CEO... Money doesn't motivate me, but it's a nice byproduct of enjoying what I would be doing normally.

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