Have you ever considered whether you really respect your natural talents and gifts? Ted Williams of Columbus, Oh, respects his. Even on a cold winter's day, on a street corner near where he lives (but not for long) on the streets of Columbus, Ted respects his gift. Watch this video to see what I mean.
See? Ted, who worked in radio before falling prey to drugs, alcohol, and homelessness, won't just perform for you for free. He only gives you his best voice if you exchange the privilege of hearing it for a dollar. After this video went viral this week, Ted received job offers from all kinds of businesses, from radio stations to credit unions (for voice over work). He won't be living under a bridge for much longer.
Of course we should all make sure we do something every day for someone who will never be able to pay us anything for it. But outside of the occasions when you intentionally give something away, make sure you charge what it's (and you) are worth. Lead by example. Show others that you respect your gift and they will do the same.
We don't have to rely on the government or anyone else to do that for us. Thank you for sharing your gift, and for setting an example for everyone: never give up, share your gift, and make sure you are paid fairly for it.
UPDATE: According to this MSNBC article, Ted has been offered a job with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and will be featured on NBC's Today Show any day now.
Question: Do you respect gifts and talents you have to offer the world? Are you charging a fair price for your talents? Fair for you and for your customers?