If someone calls you a sellout, do this …

If someone ever calls you a sellout for making money from your dream, ask them how long they’ve been refusing a paycheck at work.

Ask them if every two weeks they march into HR and hand back their salary.

Ask them if they cancelled their direct deposit because being financially compensated cheapened their job somehow.

Ask them if they refused their raise last year.

Ask them if they shot blocked their bonus like an angry Mutombo.

Ask them if they turned a cold shoulder to an unexpected sales commission in the hope of keeping their craft pure.

Or just ignore them all together and go back to doing work you care about.

Your choice really.

Getting paid for your art means you get to keep making art. Sellout is a compliment.

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5 Comments
  • Kristy
    Posted at 09:42h, 20 July Reply

    This article is great. I am not an artist but it has always bothered me when people call others a “sell-out” . What are they supposed to do, refuse the compensation that often comes with growth, success and hard-work?

  • Bennyboy
    Posted at 15:39h, 20 July Reply

    Should you first ask the if their job is their dream? I think you may be confusing selling your self short at the dead end job. Vs sellout which is when you are passionate about some so much that you invest youself and you principles and you sell your principles short for personal gain. Just google the definitions.

  • Megan Tegtmeyer
    Posted at 13:50h, 21 July Reply

    I had to look up the definition because I haven’t been called this yet. I’ve been called just about everything else. Here’s the definition of “sell out” from the Urban Dictionary.

    One who betrays a cause for personal advancement.

    The popular definition of sell out allows it to be used as an insult towards anyone in show business. On the contrary, there are many bands which are considered sellouts which are not.

    For instance, Green Day. They are considered sell-outs because they are a punk band who was popular on MTV. Green Day never stated that they would never be on MTV, thus they are not sell-outs in that sense. They never changed their musical style for monetary reasons, thus they are are not sell-outs in the more literal sense of the word. If Fugazi were to sign up with Sony records, they would be selling out because they preach against major labels.

  • Bill
    Posted at 19:18h, 28 July Reply

    AMEN to that! To be able to spread your resources around, you need to have resources to spread around. Bill Gates could not do what he does through the Gates Foundation without all the hard work to get to be one of the richest men in the world. To have a big impact in many ways you need to have big resources, and to have big resources you need to do what you do with honesty and integrity and creativity and ambition and take the success you attain (whether big or small) and leverage those resources to touch others.

    Don’t be ashamed if you are making gobs of money. Rather, use that to bless others. Don’t be ashamed if you are living paycheck to paycheck. Rather, use the resources of who you are to bless others. We all have something to give. Some have wealth and other tangible resources, while others have personality and joyful resources

    Are you using yours? Am I using mine?

    Thanks for the provoking observation, Jon!

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