My name is Megan Dougherty, and I’m for sale.
It’s true; I can be bought and frequently am.
“What?” you sputter (I can hear you from here), “on Forget the Box, a girl who can be bought part and parcel? Nay, I say! Nay.” But I can be. I think you can be too.
Don’t misunderstand me when I say â€˜bought’ I don’t mean that I offer ownership of my person to the highest bidder, I mean that I am and have access to resources that businesses, governments, churches and even other people consider valuable. My brain is real estate and my money is a desirable product. My labour has a price, and so does my creativity. It’s all in how you look at things.
From a very early age I looked at the world through the lens of business. My first business was a lemonade stand at neighbourhood yard sales when I was seven, and from the first clank of a coin in my tin cup, I was hooked. The lessons continued when I was in high school and looking for my first after school job. I realized that my CV was a piece of marketing material, and I was trying to sell myself to a company! I got a job at a fast food restaurant, and realized that in recognizing and patronizing our brand, customers had sold us a little part of their minds. They allowed our company to set up shop in their brains and stay there until hunger struck them. After that I saw business everywhere and in everything.
It wasn’t always an easy journey, learning to see myself as a product; I had my predictable anti-capitalist phase. It passed when I realized that as a desirable product, I had power. My vote may not count for a lot (first past the post, my ample fanny) but my dollars mattered. I can choose to work for and buy from a gargantuan corporation, or I can support local independent business owners. I can work for a company, or I can reclaim ownership of my internal resources and create my own.
That’s a key word: Create. It’s a concept that I mean to address a good deal in this blog: the creativity and artistry that is in business, particularly small business. I think we can all agree that big business, if not inherently evil (a point I could argue), lacks the personality and charm of an independent entrepreneur.
A small business owner has to be as creative as a painter, as disciplined as a dancer, as motivated as a politician and as driven as an athlete. I want to examine here the art of entrepreneurship, our status as products, living during a consumerist era and the people of our city who do it best. Montreal is a city of artists, activists, entrepreneurs and idealists, all of whom are trying to make their way in and their mark on the world and all of whom deserve a chance to be heard.
So that’s why a girl for sale is writing at Forget the Box. I may never convince you to view yourself as a resource, but I may be able to introduce you to some wonderfully creative and interesting people making their livings through sweat and application. I may be able to entice you to discuss with me the ups and downs of our buyable culture. And lastly, hopefully, I may be able to get you to look at the world, once in awhile, as a marketplace of ideas in which we play a vital role.