Yesterday, TED posted the TEDTalk of Amanda Palmer. The name sounded vaguely familiar, but because I kept seeing tweets saying that “Palmer Wins TED,” I thought, I’ve gotta watch this talk. So, before I get into some of my thoughts it, I’ll let you watch it.
Apparently, there’s been a big hullabaloo over Palmer accepting $1,000,000 through Kickstarter, but continuing to ask musicians to work for “free.” I’d rather not get into that discussion, but I think it’s important to mention before moving on.
Amanda Palmer: A big congratulations! This TEDTalk certainly created news yesterday. For some, it’s because she didn’t answer questions that some had asked regarding the Kickstarter funds, for others, because she raised some important ideas about the music business. It’s certainly not easy to challenge mainstream ideas and even harder to do so with so many people who think you’re wrong (and are shouting that at you).
The Art of Asking: For some, there is nothing harder than asking for help. Asking for what you’re worth. People who are just starting their own business often have lots of problems trying to figure out just how much they should charge. Much of this has to do with psychology and our ideas of self-worth, but there’s also the cultural stereotype that it’s not okay to ask. It’s so great that Amanda could demonstrate how asking is not something to be afraid of.
Vulnerability: On the topic of asking… I remember reading about people who pose as beggars — not for the money, but to gain the experience of what it’s like to beg or ask for money. It’s not something that I’ve done, but after watching this TEDTalk, it’s an experience that I think is certainly worth considering. It might shatter stereotypes of what it’s like to ask for help and would certainly foster a greater sense of empathy.
Trust: Without getting too much into a philosophical discussion, it’s great to see a tangible example of someone who “trusts the flow of life,” and is rewarded for it.