Makeup and Musings on Monetizing Your Gifts

by Sarah Petruno

Pictured above is the beauteous Becca x Jacyln Hill Campagne Pop face palette – I’m so in love! This piece of makeup art is the hard work of beauty YouTuber, Jaclyn Hill.

I’ve been following Jaclyn Hill for a while on IG and YouTube. I’ve never commented on anything and I probably don’t even heart her photos.

But when she released this palette, I was so excited. I put a google reminder on my calendar for the release date so I could buy it when it came out.

I own no other face palettes and the biggest selling point for it was Jaclyn herself.

It wasn’t a faceless product; it had a person behind it. 

I liked her and was excited that she turned her skills into something she could monetize, for once.

As a content creator, business owner, and someone with nontraditional skills, I KNEW and felt the thousands of hours that go into creating completely FREE content, information, and helpful guidance.

You do it because you love it first and foremost, but then you slowly come to the difficult realization you can’t live on love. 

It probably happens the first time you can’t afford groceries.

Or when you’re applying for food stamps.

Or maybe it’s when your hot water is turned off.

Or maybe it’s when you’re biting your nails because you’re not sure if the electric will be shut off in the winter.

It could also be when you have to decide if you pay your website hosting fees or wait another day to pay the rent.

Somewhere between all of that, you realize that you HAVE to do something or you’re going to be homeless and hungry.

Doing it for the love of the craft carries you far, but it doesn’t feed you or house you.

At some point, you have to monetize your skills or your skills will perish, because you’ll have to go back to a regular job where you’ll have no time to share, give, and create.

Jaclyn’s palette became a symbol for me of someone else who’d succeeded. Who had fought for it.

Even more so after I listened to her speak on the times she spent sitting by candlelight because she couldn’t pay her light bill.

Me too Jaclyn, me too.

Then I watched as in between the reveal of the palette and the official launch, a whole lotta hate started rolling across the interwebs. She was GREEDY, shady, and just wanted to make money, they said.

The quality was terrible, they said.

I saw past that and bought it as planned. Because I knew as a business owner that you don’t spend years of your life working to put your name on something shitty. 

Jaclyn, I’m a shaman and people say that about me.

That I’m greedy, that I’m money hungry, and that I’m shady and trying to make a buck on my spiritual gifts. That I’m in-authentic.

I’m not any of those things.

I AM someone who wants to survive comfortably.

I do want to sleep at night without worrying about the rent. I do want to pay my bills. I do want to breathe easier.

I monetize my gifts because I’m just like everyone else who has a skill. I use my skills to earn money. If I worked a regular job, I’d use my skills to make money there, too. I did that for many years, and I’m sure you did too.

I’m just like everyone else who has a family and a light bill.

I’ve been there and I know that gifts alone don’t pay the bills.

Jaclyn, I bought your creation and I love it.

To anyone who has ever supported me in this way, and looked past the hate, I see you. I love you. I thank you. 

But, if you’re angry that I monetize, that I sell what you could learn “for free” from me or anyone else who spent the time to put out a book, blog, or other “free” to you learning resource, please unsubscribe from my offerings.

Delete my website, channels, accounts and pages from your history. Unsubscribe from my newsletter.

Because I will never apologize for using my gifts to put a roof over my head,  to pay my light bill, and to feed my family.

I’m not sorry for that.

I don’t want to be homeless again.

And in fact, I’m moving past it.

I will never again feel a pang of guilt with each email I receive that nastily accuses me of greed – because that person doesn’t know what I’ve felt like at 2 am when I couldn’t afford wood for the fire that heated my house, and then got up in the morning to write a free blog.

That person doesn’t know the pains I’ve felt while I was calculating TO. THE. PENNY. the cost of cans of beans in a Walmart, then taking them back to eat them OUT OF MY CAR. Then, setting down that can of beans to write an inspirational facebook post.

That person has never sat beside me and comforted me as I cried and wished for something to change so I could just pay. the. bills. That person has never talked me out of my transient belief that I was a failure as a mom and as a provider. That person has never helped to pull me back out of my depths of despair so that I could KEEP. GOING.

For that reason,

I will never again allow anyone to make me feel guilty for putting a price tag on my hard-earned skills.

I do it because I love it.

But love only carries you so far.

If you’ve carried me, by purchasing a product, service, or class, or anything else I’ve lovingly offered in exchange for paying a light bill ~


From the bottom of my heart.