Monday, February 27 2012 12:21

I See My Work Not in Hours and Dollars, but in Boxes of Diapers...

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When you're an independent contractor, whether doing entertainment, a skilled trade, consulting, or anything else - every day is a hustle. For The Rock Father™, that aspect of being a parent (and rock n' roll gangster) can be terrifying. What that means is that I have no set income. Some months I make decent money, while other months I make no money - zip, zilch, zero. Sure, my wife has a ''normal'' gig so I can work-from-home and raise our daughter, but I keep going - working into the wee hours every night, and sacrificing 95% of ''me'' time in order to keep things rockin'. 

diapersIn the pre-parent days, I could do an acting project like this one and be set for nearly a year (if I wanted to), but even then - those projects were few and far between, while requiring tons of time, travel, gas money, and rejection to land (at some point I'll write a blog about why I quit acting). While a lot has changed in the past 2½ years, one odd thing is that I stopped seeing ''money'' or the amount of ''hours'' worked as pieces of my professional life. In their place, I started seeing every project quantified by the amount of diapers I'd be able to purchase.

Yesterday, I hit the local SAMS CLUB for diapers, wipes, paper towels, toilet paper, and paper plates. As usual, it was impossible to leave without spending $100 ($96.43 to be exact), and that was all we bought.

A 90-count box of 2T-3T HUGGIES PULL-UPS is $30. Since I do a lot of "small" jobs now (writing, video editing, etc), in my head I see $200 as 6.66 boxes of diapers (based on current size, brand, and store). In fact, I visualize them stacking up like a little bar graph. Is this weird?

In a few short months, I expect my visualization to shift from diapers to formula, as we do have another "new release" on the way.

Hopefully I won't start quoting jobs in number of boxes or cans.

Then again, the value of paper currency seems more in jeopardy every day. 

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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