Because of the little business that we started when we first got married, my husband and I have been able to move to a better location where we can pursue our dream of growing our own food, without having to be tied to a particular location for work. We’ve kept up with advances in technology over the years in order to make our business nearly paperless, very automated, location-independent, and with multiple streams of revenue. We have worked hard, but we’ve also been very lucky.
I know that I have lots of readers who want something similar but aren’t sure where to start. There are lots of people who are looking for information and ideas about starting their own business… without going broke in the process. Blogging has exploded in popularity over the last several years, with lots of people trying to start a blog, put some ads on the sidebar, and then kick back and watch the money roll in. It doesn’t really work that way for most of us though, and I think that a lot of people get discouraged when they don’t see big traffic numbers or ad revenue after the first few months.
I’ve been reading Everett Bogue’s site, Far Beyond The Stars, for several weeks now, and I’ve been really impressed with everything he writes. If we didn’t already have our own successful, flexible business, I absolutely believe that I’d be motivated by Everett to start something. He’s a walking-the-walk expert on minimalism (which is something that I’m finding more and more appealing), and he’s also figured out how to create a business that can support him, and allow him to work and live anywhere, all while still having lots of free time for things other than work. He’s re-releasing his e-book Minimalist Business tomorrow morning (Tuesday, June 15th) at 10am PST, and I wanted to spread the word to my readers and fellow bloggers who have an interest in creating or growing their own little business. A blog is a great platform to spread your message to the world, and it can also generate income… but it doesn’t just happen.
If you’re interested in Everett’s other e-book, The Art Of Being Minimalist, he lets you read the first 30 pages for free before you buy the e-book, so check it out and see what you think.
My husband and I are very lucky to have a business that we own and run ourselves. We work from home, we set our own schedules, and we make a good living. We work a lot, but it’s work we enjoy, and we’re able to fit our job around our life. My husband’s office is in the basement, but he just came up and spent the last hour playing in the backyard with our son. Even though it’s a busy Monday, he was able to take a break in the middle of the day and have some great family time. As an aside, right before our son was born, we hired Spectrum Communications to answer our phone if we couldn’t get to it. Most of our business is done online, and most of our communication is by email. But plenty of clients choose to call, and we feel that it’s better to have a live person answer the phone (even if they just have to take a message) than a voice mail system. In the two years we’ve been using Spectrum, our monthly bill has never been above $250 (it’s usually below $200), and they have always done a really good job. Having them there to answer the phone allows us to be even more flexible in our schedules. During the time that my husband just spent playing with our son, two clients called, and both times the Spectrum folks took messages and emailed them to us. I can definitely recommend a service like this if you’re self employed and need a little help juggling the phones. (no, they aren’t paying me to recommend them – I just think that they’ve provided a really good service for our family, and it’s been very affordable).
I’m feeling very fortunate right now to have the little business we’ve created, and I hope some of you are inspired to start diversifying your income a bit. You don’t have to (and probably shouldn’t!) quit your day job and dive right into supporting yourself with your own business. But a little extra money can’t hurt, and who knows what it might turn into down the road?