Making Money vs. Making an Impact

With this whole tutoring business I’ve started I find myself constantly trying to balance the innate drive to make money, and ensuring that I don’t overload my schedule to the point where my services are inefficient. That being said, as of yesterday I’m now $41.00 “in the black” (look at me, using business terms – just kidding! I had to Google that). After months of working tirelessly, it’s nice not to see big ugly negative figures on my excel spreadsheet.

Side note: LOL @ the fact that I thought I wasn’t making any money for a few weeks because my excel equation was wrong – hey, I’m human!

Anyway despite this, every day is a constant battle between knowing that I do more work that I charge for, and being boxed into charging said fee because (1) I have a conscience and a slight inferiority complex that never allows me to think too highly of myself *exaggerating*, (2) to get my initial clientele base, my rates need to be competitive and (3) I simply don’t think people are willing to pay for educational services. It’s a little dismal if I stop to think about it for too long and I’ll admit it, some days it’s harder to fall asleep that others. Some days my dreams get a little too noisy. Some days I cannot stop entering things into excel or my stuffing my calendar to the brim to see what the maximum dollar figure is at the end of the month. My mind these days is a never ending tug-of-war of the “could be” vs. the “should be” vs. the “would be” vs. the reigning champion of anxiety causing thoughts: the “what-if“.

But anyway, I mean I’m just putting it out there. I told someone recently that “buy-and-sell” businesses have it easy. People tend to underestimate the value of a service, of labor and of pre-service preparation. When you sell goods however, people can make sense of paying money for tangible, physical things. Just recently I had to explain to a client why I charged the full fee for a session, despite the session being cut short because of their tardiness. Now, I have no problem explaining these details, because communication is key to any healthy relationship, but I couldn’t help but think if I would have experienced the same judgement, if I was selling an object rather than my time and effort. See I don’t charge people for my work out of class, answering emails, correcting work, creating lesson plans and effective presentations – many teachers don’t get paid for “out of class” work. Sometimes I just wonder how…or if there will ever be a time when my income will equate the amount of work I actually put in – I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one wondering about this.

That’s why sometimes I hate the idea of having to make money. I’ve spoken about it before. The distraction of making money takes away from all the little joys we can get out of life. From where I stand it’s such a burden, a preoccupation, a deterrent from doing thing benevolently. I can neither escape it or accept it, I cannot love it without hating it…I cannot stop thinking about it, without thinking about not thinking about it.

So let me know if you feel the same way, what you do to cope, how you rationalize the mental slavery that ensues from this drive to make money…how do you strive the balance, how do you make peace with it all…

Tell me I’m not alone – even if it’s a lie.


One thought on “Making Money vs. Making an Impact

  1. Welcome to the real work of business, the only thing that matters is what you think about yourself. Just a note, business is a challenge for everyone, retail is no bed of roses. I once told a friend of mine if you really want to find God, start a business, before long you are bound to find yourself praying. The stress doesn’t end, but neither does the satisfaction. Look up the word “vocatio” and John Calvin’s views on this, you are Presbyterian.


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