Throughout my entire life I have done a shit ton of work without being paid money for it.
Free music editing, free script supervising, free agenting, free writing, free record producing, free teaching, free show producing, free ghostwriting, free moderating, free directing, etc.
(BTW, when I say “free” I only mean without pay… I have always been compensated in other ways such as experience, access, relationships, practice, expression, etc.)
And EVERY time I worked without pay it was because I WANTED to.
I perceived there was something of potential value in it for me in the situations I ELECTED to create and/or accept.
Quite typically it was because I saw those situations as STEPPING STONES leading towards the dreams I wanted to fulfill.
Sometimes those stepping stones lead to dead ends. Sometimes they lead directly to where I wanted to go. And most times they lead me onto paths different and even greater than I ever anticipated.
Regardless of outcomes, I ALWAYS felt fully empowered.
I am looking to USE situations (including ones where I wasn’t getting paid) as stepping stones.
And therefore, I never felt used.
For me, I don’t feel like I am being treated like a DOORMAT because I have always been looking for WELCOME MATS that I will elect to use as my STEPPING STONES towards my journey.
I felt that way when I was poor, scrapping by and knew no one in the industry. And I feel that way now.
This is just my perspective based on my experience.
Thanks for letting me share.