Give it Away


Photo of Hannah Young


By Kenton Sefcik

“Give it away, give it away, give it away now.” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

As an artist (painter, writer, musician, martial artist), it’s expected in  society that you’re to give it away – that there’s really nothing of value.  There’s a reason many people’s lives echo the saying, “Starving artist,” yet we know the difference.

Recently, I got a gig writing for the most  respected acupuncture and Chinese medicine resource on the internet. accepted me as a regular columnist. I’m now in a group of highly motivated and highly respected writers and practitioners of alternative and complementary medicine.

As soon as I found out about this opportunity I told my whole circle of influence. Unfortunately,  some people started to judge the position after asking me a horrible yet  common question, “Are you getting paid for your work?”

Being the  honest person I am, and nonetheless knowing exactly where the thought process  of their question was leading, I responded, “No.” Let their opinions fall  where they may.

They can’t see my vision. They can’t see what I’m  building. They can’t see that in one year, or two years, or five years from  now I could be selling my books like hot cakes on a cold winter’s morn.  I could be travelling the world speaking to health care professionals and small business owners. I could be taking everything in my field to the next level.

It all starts with a single step in the right direction. So what’s a starving artist to do? Everyone wants to get paid and have recognition for their work. But before we can get to that point it’s important to, without any strings or some sales pitch attached,  give it away.

Recommended reading: Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination by Hugh MacLeod


Kenton Sefcik is a father, husband, Registered Acupuncturist, published author and martial artist. You can read more of his ramblings on his website Harbour Health. You can contact him via email at harbourhealth(at) or subscribe to his website at Harbour Health.