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011 - Buying The Experience

Nobody buys just to have stuff. They buy for another reason altogether


Welcome to the Editor’s Journal; A daily thought on writing, the creative process, art, work, the world and how it all goes together. Every morning I rise between 5 and 6 am, I sit here in the quiet of my kitchen and I write whatever’s prominent. I have a bunch of article ideas saved, so I’ll either pull from them or write something new. I also write at larrygmaguire.com. I hope you enjoy the read.


I’m sitting at my desk and I’m thinking, will I go out and buy a coffee or will I use the instant coffee that sitting on my desk.

The instant I’ve got is really not that bad as far as instant coffee goes. It’s a damn sight better than instant coffee say 10 years ago. At least it seems that way.

Either that or I’ve been fooled.

I’m a bit of a coffee snob and I really can’t tolerate bad coffee especially since we’re being asked to pay almost €3 for a take away 16 oz cup these days.

It’s such a disappointment when I get a bad coffee.

It’s like, but not as bad, as getting all dolled up with my missus, going out to a good restaurant and the food is shit.

It’s such a let down.

Maybe I shouldn’t have my standards set so high, then I wouldn’t feel it as bad when they fuck it up.

No, I don’t think so. I’ll stick to my standards.

So when I consider €2.50 or €2.70 for a take away coffee versus the instant coffee that cost me €6.00 that I can get 30 cups of coffee from, the maths are kind of making my mind up for me.

Now that’s all fine, but something else draws me towards paying what seems in comparison an exorbitant amount for a 16 oz coffee.

I could also have bought a small cafetiere and ground coffee, the brand I buy all the time, and make my own top drawer coffee here in work.

But I didn’t, and I don’t always make a coffee using the instant stuff.

So why not?

We Buy Experiences Not Stuff

So there’s your answer right there - in one line.

People don’t buy stuff they buy experiences, or expectation of experiences. People follow impulse and momentum, so once a desire has been born in the mind, we want to have this or that experience, then we begin to move towards it.

In many ways this process is automatic. We form habits around these desires. Some of them are good for us and come from the right place, others are not so good. And many of us exercise very little conscious choice in all of this.

We are a marketing executive’s dream. People are predictable, that’s why marketing works so well.

It’s a psychological thing.

We have expectations of how we should look to others and to ourselves and that self idea is a primary driver for human behavior.

OK, So What’s That Got To Do With Me?

It has everything to do with you.

In so far as you are a maker of things, an artist, a creative, and if you are to move your creative works and make a living or even a bit more, then you’ve got to focus on the experience.

Or rather, forget about making stuff, forget about being productive, forget about making more stuff for sale and making money for the sake of it.

Just make your stuff.

Make your stuff for the sake of it, for the love of it.

What happens then is that whatever you make is made from the right place, it’s pure, unpolluted by the commercial ideas that pollute so many great things here.

It doesn’t matter if it’s coffee, or plumbing or pottery or filing accounts. Whatever it is, do from the heart.

Make art.


The Artist’s Manifesto is a short book about staying true to our art. It is a call to Artists and Creatives like you to create from the heart with passion and integrity, disregarding the need for applause and recognition. It’s available from 13th May 2017. Grab your FREE copy here.


Like Some More of This Kind of Thing?

Howdy, I’m Larry, Writer & Artist. Thanks for taking the time to read my stuff. I write about art & creativity. When I’m not doing that I write short stories about the ordinary lives of people and the challenges they face. My stuff can be edgy, hard hitting, and sometimes controversial, but never contrived. If that’s your bag you can Sign-up To Sunday Letters Here.

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