When providing a service, one generally wishes to seek their own good in so doing. Meaning, they seek what about providing the service personally helps them. This is logical as well as understandable. Humanity is inclined to selfishness beyond our greatest comprehension (for more on this watch here), and it is safe to say that everyone must be lead out of themselves. After all, that was the primary and first goal of “education,” to lead one out of themself. So then, when providing a service, one is generally concerned with oneself first and foremost: this concern is manifest in its most obvious and fullest extent in the acquiring of wealth. There are, then, two primary ways to acquire wealth when providing a service.
Provide a Need:
If I have access to all the food supply on earth and charge people to buy any food, then I automatically have economic leverage over the rest of the population. Of course, situations of need are not nearly this extreme, but they do occur. When one individual can supply a need that others will pay for, then they have a business. However, if an individual is not supplying a need, their business could be more tricky. This is why, excepting the last couple hundred years, the primary businesses were ones that supplied needs. People would do business only out of physical necessity. Nowadays, things have changed.
Provide a Want:
With advances in technology, the needs of most people are able to be more readily meet than ever before. Since this is the case, there is now a wealth of business opportunities for supplying wants. A want is different from a need in the obvious sense in which a good father would teach his children: “Needs are food, water, a house, and clothes; wants are toys, TV, candy, and decorations.” Although there is a distinction between wants and needs, there is a further divine within the category of need. Needs usually take on the form of what gives a person or group pleasure. For instance, I could want a subscription to Disney Plus. This wants springs, in all usual cases, from the want I have to lay around and watch hours of video, motion picture, and acting on screen. I could also want a pass to the local gym. Both of these are wants, not needs. However, the regular person will purchase the Disney Plus subscription and not the gym pass. And this is obviously because I get more pleasure out of entertainment on a screen than I do in staring at my body. Thus, wants generally devolve into the most pleasurable wants; and the service that provides the most pleasure will generally make more money.
Why I Won’t Make Money Here:
In light of this, what I’m supplying at this blog (and also through YouTube and podcast) is not a need. It is a want. Furthermore, what I’m aiming to do (produce some-what quality intellectual content) is not inherently pleasurable for someone to have and use. The regular person would much rather watch Disney Plus than read or listen to something that uses more involved brain power (whether my content or someone else’s). In other words, my audience is small and their priorities list is tight. Additionally, the majority of those who have read what I have written disagree with what I say and are unlikely to come back again. People make money because they provide another with a want or they provide another with a need that gives one pleasure (even lifting weights or other “unpleasurable” things have a great reward of pleasure at a different level of complexity). I am not providing any immediate physical need nor am I providing something that gives any sort of pleasure to any large audience.
Why I Do It:
Why then, would I choose to do what I’m doing? First off, I believe in what I’m doing. I believe that people need to and should see what is Good, True, and Beautiful. I do believe that our culture is falling apart and that that fact is terrible on nearly every level. I also do it because I enjoy it. Some may try to respond to this by saying that doing it for my enjoyment is selfish. They very well may be correct. But, I could write and talk to myself all day. I could also use my time to make money doing other things than maintaining a website, podcast, and YouTube channel. I could do things that would bring me more pleasure (because doing these things is not always pleasurable). However, I see lasting meaning in my attempts, both for others and myself.
In the end, I do not see vast potential for making money with my work. It could come, but that is not something that concerns me. What concerns me is doing something I enjoy and doing something I believe in. Maybe I will make no difference in the lives of others, but I hope that some will at least be touched.