Cash, Intimacy and Writing
Photo courtesy of Thomas Galvez.

Cash, Intimacy and Writing

Written by Emilie

Topics: Goals

I was tweeting with my homeboy Abe last night, and he kind of blew my mind…

He mentioned that he sometimes likes the weekly emails I send out to the Puttytribe better than my blog posts. This was a bit of a shock to me. I mean, I put a lot of effort into those emails since I really want to give a little extra to the Puttytribe. But I didn’t necessarily think the emails were better, just different. More intimate. Anyway, his comment sort of made me rethink things.

My Approach to Email vs Blogging

I approach the blog and the Puttytribe emails in two very different ways. When I write a blog post, I tend to stick to “the rules” more. I pay close attention to structure and style.

But when I send out my emails, I usually just sit down and write about whatever’s on my mind. I try to be conversational and intimate and write like I’m writing to a friend (cause I am). My emails are far more casual and less polished than my typical blog post.

Casual is Good

I already knew my approach to emails worked. Not to brag, but my open rate is around 60-80%, while the average, they say, is between 20-30%. Plus I get some awesome replies to each email (which I adore– keep it up)!

I even write about my approach to newsletters in my forthcoming book, Renaissance Business and encourage others to do the same with their lists (as opposed to simply reproducing blog content, which is what most bloggers do).

But I never considered using this same tone in my posts. You know what though? I think Abe might be right. I think some of my casual emails might be stronger than some of my well-polished blog posts.

More Experimentation to Come

Now, I’m not going to stop my weekly newsletters or change up my style. I do like giving the tribe a little extra something that they wouldn’t get on Puttylike. I still want that content to be special. However, I’m thinking that I might allow myself to experiment more on the blog and be a bit freer with my style.

So just for fun, I’ve decided to replace the post I had originally scheduled for today with the email I sent out to the Puttytribe yesterday. (I did add subheadings though because, come on, they’re subheadings!)


The Original Subject Line: I Might Sound Like a Raving Capitalist, but…

This is a taboo topic, but I’m going there anyway.

About a week ago, I did something really scary for me: I set a target yearly income for myself. Like an actual number for the amount of income I would like to be making by my next birthday. Not the amount I could survive on. But an ideal. A number that would make me feel 100% comfortable.

I’m not sure why I’ve been so hesitant to set a number before this. I set a whole lot of other massive goals for myself all the time.

Is wishing for money… wrong?

For some reason, money feels different. Admitting that you want money feels dirty. Greedy. Wrong. It’s as though wealth is the antithesis of doing good in the world. Like the more money you make (or strive for, or admit you want), the more harm you’re inflicting– somehow.

Perhaps this is what happens when artists and creatives become self-employed

Maybe now that we’re “entrepreneurs”, we fight against the stigma of greed and try to show the world that we’re in it for the art, not the money.

But that’s silly.

It’s incredibly silly.

There’s no virtue in starving

The idea that the more money you make, the less good of a person you are, is completely insane!

In actuality, everyone benefits when you’re comfortable. Having the material stuff taken care of means that you can focus on your work and on contribution. It means you can do more good in the world.

The universe responds when you set a big goal

Another cool thing that happens when you set a massive goal like this, is the universe starts responding. I can’t explain it. It’s just true. Within 24 hours, I received a flood of new coaching requests.

But what’s even cooler, is my brain started working overtime, coming up with new ideas– books to write, courses to teach. All of these really awesome ways to help people more! In fact, my creativity has been overflowing since setting this goal. (I woke up twice last night, in the middle of the night, with cool project ideas. It was actually rather annoying.. Heh.)

So no, wishing for money is not inherently bad. Sometimes its pursuit can push us to look for creative ways to solve problems. And sometimes its attainment can free us and allow us to do our most meaningful work.

It’s time that us artists and creatives get over this.

What about you?

Have you set a target financial goal for yourself, or have you let the fear and stigma get in your way?


ALSO, If you’d like to get in on more of these personal emails, make sure to join the Puttytribe. There should be a sign-up form just below, as well as on the sidebar.


  1. Juventud says:

    You know what Emilie? Abe was right. I also had this thing somewhere in my subconscious. I read your emails the moment i recieve them and give some time to ur blogs. Thats me ;)

  2. Abe says:

    There’s the common saying that you have to know the rules before you break them, and that’s what I think is happening here. You’ve hit a groove with your blog writing Em–the structure, format and tone of posts is something I look forward to reading every few days, as do many others here.

    But the newsletters, man..some of them from the last few months just made me stand up and clap, they hit me right in the gut! I think that’s because the structure and formatting and discipline you put into your blog writing is subtly affecting your freeballing emails (yes I went there haha). Kind of like as multipotentialites our “primary” mode of creativity for many years affects how we approach other disciplines we pick up.

    That’s the beauty of intersections to me. The overflow, the overlap, the novel combinations and patterns that emerge when X and Y come together. Keep it up Emiliie!

    • Emilie says:

      I love how you brought this back to multipotentiality and the intersections. I think you’re right. I think that even though I’m not focusing on writing a well-structured article in my emails, that stuff is there, affecting my writing in the background. But because I’m not focusing on it or worrying about it, my writing comes from a more personal place. I just write what I feel in that moment.

      I listened to a BlogcastFM interview today where the guest was saying how there’s a direct correlation between how much emotion she puts into a post and the response it gets. I’ve definitely found that to be true as well.

      <3 <3

      Thank you, Abe!

  3. Tessa Zeng says:

    This is fascinating stuff, Emilie, and I’m so glad you shared it. I, too, find myself juggling various modes of writing on my blogs (now 2, ha), newsletters, etc. It’s like different parts of our voice coming out to play. All as authentic as can be, but it’s interesting to see what people respond to.

    We talk about branding ourselves and marketing to a tribe, right? Now what if there are subdivisions within that brand meant for different kinds of work? That’s a topic I’d love to see someone break down :)

    • Emilie says:

      Definitely. There have been times when I was totally surprised that a particular post went viral, or when a certain post that I thought was really strong, didn’t elicit much of a reaction. You can kind of get a feel after a while, but there are always surprises.

      It’s also especially important not to fall into a rut and keep writing in a particular style (or about a particular topic) simply because you know it “works”. I think your work needs to evolve right along with you, even if it means a radical change. (And scanners tend to have those, so..)

      Lets talk about the subdivision thing the next time we hang out. And btw, we should really start video taping our convos. Heh. They’re such gold! :)

  4. Joe Dixon says:

    This is a really interesting post for me, Emilie. I’ve recently been hearing a lot about mailing lists. (Not that I’ve really been actively looking for it, but apparently that’s where the universe thinks my virtual self needs to be.)

    One of the main things that’s been putting me off it is not really being able to think of things to write about. But I think this whole unstructured, free flowing thing might be really good for emails. More like personal letters. I do know that yours are pretty much the only ‘regular’ emails that I read more often than not.

    Also, in answer to your questions about money, I recently had a similar revelation. Having enough money, and not having to worry about it, means that you are free to do your best work. The challenge (something that’s been on my mind since I read “Four Hour Work Week” a couple of years ago) is to find something that makes money but isn’t ‘work’. What’s that new cliche that’s around? “To get paid for things you’d do anyway.”

    Great post. Definitely something to think on.

    • Emilie says:

      Hey Joe,

      It’s interesting. This is pretty much the theme of my book! Not just the email list stuff, which I do address, but the whole idea of getting paid to “do things you’d do anyway”– which for us means getting paid to be a “full-time” multipotentialite.

      I like the idea of turning many of your interests into one digital business because you’re essentially get paid to be a scanner. Your multipotentiality becomes this thing that fuels your business, both in terms of providing content and giving you the diverse skills and creativity necessary to run the community itself.

      I like it. :)

      Thanks for the comment, Joe! You’re awesome.

  5. Rene Pyatt says:

    I love the goal you set for yourself, Emilie! To be honest, I did not read the newsletter this week. Mostly because I’m so busy trying to clean up a mess… But, I did get to the post and saw how supported you felt in setting your goal! I love that. I so badly want to believe that the universe supports us in all things, and I am looking for proof.

    Leonie Allen at Goddess Guidebook also talks about setting money goals in one of her eBooks. In fact, she has a couple worksheets about setting the goal and then breaking down exactly how you will get that income (5 new clients, 3 webinars with 20 participants each, etc). This makes the goal specific and measurable, which is both motivating and realistically attainable. That’s one of the topics we teach in my student videos.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Rene,

      I’m not sure we ever really get proof until we arrive there ourselves. I actually believe in a combination of blind faith and a hardcore plan. On one hand, you need to be able to just believe that it’s going to happen, shut out all the self-doubt, etc. Even to the point where other people think you’re nuts. Meanwhile, you absolutely need a plan.

      And also thanks for pointing me towards Leonie Allen’s stuff, and for the webinar example… You actually may have inspired an idea.. :)

  6. Josh says:

    My favorite thing about Twitter and the likes is stumbling across a link to some good thoughts. That’s what just happened. I’ll be reading your stuffs now.

    All good things, Em.

    • Emilie says:

      Hey, thanks Josh! It’s nice to meet ya.

      I’m enjoying your blog as well. It’s funny, the word ‘service’ has been popping up a lot around me– in the context of my financial goal actually. The idea that money comes from creating value and that as entrepreneurs and freelancers, we “serve” other people. I really like that way of looking at things.

      Heh.. this might develop into its own post. :)

  7. Jeff Goins says:

    I am finding the same thing with my newsletter. I think it’s because it feels more private and personal that I’m able to be more like myself and more honest.

  8. I 100% agree, again.

    1. Allowing expression to flow easily and naturally out generates impressive results + response. Maybe I can do more of this :)

    2. “Do you do it for the love?” “Do you do it for the money?”
    Why. Do. So. Many. Think. They. Have. To. CHOOSE?

    It’s not some big SACRIFICE.

    You blend them — you do it for the LOVE *AND* THE MONEY.

    Sigh, thanks for listening :)

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