$27 Nail Polish, Priorities, and the Luxury of Scarcity
Recently, over at Design*Sponge, Grace posted about a high-end designer showroom she visited near her home. In between the racks of pricey designer goods, she found something in her budget.
It was nail polish. The nail polish was $27 a bottle.
An unsuspecting commenter made an off hand comment about “budget” nail polish at $27 a bottle and how “successful” a woman must be to afford such a luxury.
Grace saw an opportunity:
“Comments that make women feel bad or guilty about being financially successful ultimately keep us trapped in a place where we don’t feel comfortable to demand higher salaries, raises or ask for freelance rates that are fair.
I don’t think we need to applaud or approve of perceived “extravagant” purchases all the time (though it’s important to note that just because someone buys a $27 bottle of nail polish it doesn’t mean they don’t cut back and conserve in places others might not), but I think female business owners deserve the right to enjoy the fruits of their labors.”
Grace believed (and I concur) that the comment was just a joke. But I think we all realize the Truth of these type of jokes. We make jokes and laugh at them because we’re uncomfortable.
I’m sure $27 nail polish made a lot of people uncomfortable.
But the problem with the jokes, as Grace rightly states, is that they create an atmosphere of shame around money & what we spend that money on.
Because we’re already uncomfortable about talking money, those off hand comments only silence us completely.
Silence is the enemy. Not money. Not even a bit of luxury.
Ultimately, spending money is about priorities.
Your every day purchases — and especially those luxurious little splurges — reflect your personal priorities. Those priorities are dictated by values and personal preferences. They’re dictated by what you perceive as “needs” and “absolutely hafta haves.”
We assume others priorities are the same as ours. We assume we know what others spend their money on. We assume that people that make the same amount of money we do live life with relatively similar lifestyles.
These assumptions are all false.
What I have learned over 3 years of growing a business, learning how to make more money, discovering how to lose more money, and launching new products & services with regularity, is that I can never truly understand how others will prioritize spending the money they earn.
Who’s to say that people won’t spend their hard earned benjamins on your crazy idea? Who’s to say that people won’t pay what you need to charge for your creation?
This isn’t about $27 nail polish. It’s about creating the success & multidimensional wealth you need to make the choices you want to make while empowering others to do the same. Give people a chance to choose you.
But what really gets me, is how easy it is sit back and say, “Not me!”
Living with scarcity is a luxury.
It is easy to sit back & make off hand remarks about other people’s spending priorities. It is easy to assume that what you have is all you will ever have. It is easy price your products or services in a way that doesn’t challenge your customers — or you.
It is easy to play the game you’ve been taught to play.
I dare you to discover abundance.
I challenge you to work towards financial candor.
I am pushing you to discover the means to splurge on what you truly love.