Start-up NOW

How to keep the income flowing during the summer months.

In some industries, business slows down during the summer. If you want to be a self-sustaining, life-long entrepreneur, you’ll need to find other sources of income during your off-season. (This also applies to those of you whose business is warm-weather oriented if you slow down over the winter months. )

The first thing I suggest you look at is what service you can provide your existing customers. Let’s say you have a snow shoveling business. The obvious opportunity would be to offer lawn care or window washing to the same customers in the summer. Do you knit and sell woolen hats? Can you use a lighter material such as linen or cotton and market it to your existing customer list? Or why not call on some shops in areas that get an early freeze and get them to place their September orders now? What if you sell home made soups to a food truck? Can you come up with a chilled treat like gourmet popsicles or fresh smoothies to sell to the same clients?

I had a client who was a ski instructor in the Rockies and was busier than he ever imagined in the winter. I suggested he offer guided hikes and mountain bike tours in the summer months. It went very well.

For those of you down-under, let’s look at an example of a warm weather business that slows down in the winter. If you grow and sell organic vegetables at a farmers market during the summer, you might come up with an amazing salsa, sauce or preserves recipe that you can package in harvest season and then sell the product in the winter at indoor markets or to gourmet shops. You might even do make-and-take parties where you demo making one item and then you can also offer your other products packaged for purchase. Think about collaborating with someone who has a complimentary product or service. For example, if you make an olive tapenade, you might want to partner with a bread baker or cheese maker since your businesses attract the same customers and your products go together.

I attended a Lavender Festival last July and of course I interrogated growers about what they do in the frozen months. The wise ones distill and create lavender products to sell in the winter.

I’ve already heard from readers who purchased the e-guide “Create Your Own Summer Job” that they got some great ideas for additional income during the summer. I started out writing the guide for parents to help their kids create summer income without a job and quickly realized that most of the 50+ ideas in the guide are also appropriate for adults who want to make a part or full time income year round.

If you’ve figured out a creative way to keep your income flowing over the summer months, I’d love if you’d share with readers in the comments below.

Why wait until you can change the world to start something meaningful?

Do you know you want to leave your mark but haven’t started because you can’t see how you as one person can do something big enough to make an impact? Well, you don’t have to be ready to solve world hunger or end violence in the middle east to start something meaningful. Making a difference in one little corner of the universe can lead to a bigger movement or at least a greater awareness.

When I was in my early twenties, I had a BIG creative dream. It was the peace, love and groovy post-Viet Nam days when we were all idealistic and knew we wanted to create a better world. (note-some of us still believe we can.) I wanted to start a movement that made the arts the framework for learning beginning in preschool years.

A long detour took me out of the way of that dream but in the course of making a living, I realized I was able to make a difference. No, I wasn’t changing the way children are exposed to and inspired by the arts but my businesses did change lives and YOURS can too.

Typically a social enterprise is based on using business principals to achieve social goals and when someone comes to me for advise on how to create a meaningful livelihood,  we look at the cause or change they want to make and then create a business to drive that change.  Sometimes, though, an established business can be the vehicle to make a difference.

I didn’t get into advertising to change the world and I sure didn’t start a furniture business to create jobs or improve lives and at one point I felt like all I was doing was making money.  I was visiting my dad in Florida and mentioned that I was feeling greedy and unfulfilled that I’d drifted so far from my earlier vision of making an impact.  He pointed out all the ways that my partner and I were improving lives. I realized he was right. We weren’t just selling home furnishings. We had created something that fed over one hundred employees and their families and unlike charity, we had trained them to be self-sufficient. (We didn’t want sales people who had been poorly trained in other retail positions so we hired people who had never held sales or management experience and taught them our way. Many of these employees previously held minimum wage jobs and were now earning high five and some six figures.) We’d also found small cottage industry upholsterers working out of their garages or barns and helped them build up their businesses and create jobs in their communities.

When I was a massage therapist, I had mostly private clientele but after doing some volunteer bodywork at hospice, I realized how important it was to give patients and their families the gift of touch. I couldn’t afford to strictly volunteer but wrote an article about the benefits of massage for a local senior publication and people started hiring me to go into nursing homes and massage their aging parents.

While the above are examples of how an established business can develop a social mission, you can start a business with the intention of making a profit and make conscious efforts from the beginning to drive or support a cause.  The initial purpose of my gallery was to make a living and re-immerse myself in world of art but as I researched the work I would carry, another mission emerged. I became aware of how much of the merchandise available in most stores is imported knock-offs of artists’ designs. In some cases, the artist has a licensing agreement and gets a royalty but more commonly, the artist doesn’t know about it until it shows up on a shelf with a “made in china” label. Sadly, few of those artists can afford to fight a legal battle with the large companies manufacturing the knock-offs, so they do nothing about the theft of their designs. When I started noticing that even in little artist havens, the majority of shops sell these imported knock-offs, I made it a mission for my gallery to support American artists and educate the public so that they become more aware of their buying habits.

If you have an existing business, you can add a social component to it but even if you have a job, you can start something on the side that makes a difference and has more meaning.  If you’re drawn to making a difference with your existing business or on the side if you have a job, I’d love to help you design the vehicle the vehicle to make it happen. GO HERE for more info on Idea Generator Sessions 

Are you trying to fit into the wrong career box?

  What do you do when no one will hire you because of your age?

Yesterday, I was speaking with a client who recently retired and wants to do something totally different from her previous corporate job. She called me because she’s considering starting a small business. She was thinking about opening a gallery or co-op and knew I help people do that.

But here’s what bothered me: She said she’d been looking for a part time job but no one would hire her because of her age.

I told her self-employment is not a default if you can’t get a job.

You need to want it more than you ever wanted any job because at least initially, you’re going to work harder than you ever did at any job.

   I hear this age discrimination comment a lot, even from freelancers.

And it may very well be true. When a thirty-year-old screens your resume and sees that you graduated college in the 1970s, she immediately thinks “old” and moves on to the next candidate.  Both mature men and women have told me they color their hair or have cosmetic procedures when they’re job hunting so that they appear younger. Some even try to model their children’s vocabulary so they don’t sound old to an interviewer.

With roughly 30% of the US population over age 50, there’s obviously a huge market of people who speak our language.

I’m reminded of Judi Dench’s character in the film “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” who lands a job advising the call centre staff on how to interact with older customers in a way they can relate to.

Whether you’re in the job market or thinking about starting a business, why try to fit into a world where your talents are not valued when there are so many areas where your wisdom is a treasure? You may need an app that a twenty-something develops but does she fully understand the experience of the older end user?

Why not start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What can I bring to the world that a younger person lacks?
  • What is missing that can only be filled by someone with my experience?
  • What products or services do I want to have access to as I age?
  • What experiences have I had that would have been made easier by someone more my peer?

Instead of trying to fit into the same job slot as a younger person, think about the gifts you bring because of your age, not despite it.

Some things that come to my mind right away:

  • A market research company that has products for older adults and needs to recruit a panel of product testers who are in the demographic that will use the product.
  • A rent-a-granny business. When my son was a toddler, we lived in a community with many over 55 adults who missed having their grandchildren nearby. They all wanted time with Todd and he enjoyed the attention because his grandparents lived across the country. As people are more mobile in their work and move away from their birth families, there are opportunities for services that bring the generations together.
  • Peer tech trainer. My 83-year-old aunt received an iPhone as a gift and signed up for a class at
    the Verizon store. She said the young trainer talked so fast and assumed everyone already knew the terms he was using. A clever retiree could start a business teaching older folks how to use their technology. They recognize that they may have to explain things differently than they would to someone who grew up with the terminology.
  • Typing teacher. Have you noticed that manual typewriters are now trendy? Like vinyl records and turntables, these “vintage” tools of our youth are hot items with those too young to have ever used them. Have you seen how baffled kids are when you set a Royal or Remington down in front of them? What other items did you use that you could demonstrate to younger people?

These are just a few ideas of how the experience and wisdom acquired with age can be an asset in the work world rather than a detriment. Rather than beat yourself up over lost youth and how it affects your earning ability, why not look for possibilities to use age to your advantage?

 

 

How to help your child create their OWN summer job doing what they love.

I overheard a woman say that her son needs to get a job because he has expensive hobbies. (this mom is an entrepreneur-ouch). I suggested that instead of getting a job to pay for his hobbies, she help him start a business. What could be better motivation for a child to tone his entrepreneurial muscles?

Some of the other parents were talking about teaching their children to read a balance sheet. Unless your child loves numbers, I think that’s a good way to make business feel like a big scary thing-not the best place to begin to teach your kids about making a living without a job. First,  teach them how to MAKE the money.

Sure they can do the usual kid jobs: babysitting, lawn mowing or selling lemonade but if that’s not their thing, guiding them to do something they don’t enjoy to earn money for a hobby they love is just priming them to turn into adults who pursue an uninspiring career in order to earn the money to take a ski vacation or trip to the beach once a year.

If we want our kids to grow into passionate, enthusiastic adults, why not show them now that they can turn that expensive hobby into their first profit center.
Here’s an example of how you can help your child create her own business from her hobby. If your child loves Continue reading

Do you sell art for mother’s day?

  When I had my gallery, I started in April featuring handmade art with Mother’s Day in mind. I put little notes next to small framed paintings or prints like these floral batiks by Julie Dunn and hand fused glass wall vases by Latta’s Fused Glass . Messages like “Flowers only last a few days. Give Mom a gift that lasts forever. Give Mom Art.” The result was that people who had always stuck to the usual flowers, jewelry or candy were inspired to buy art. They just hadn’t thought of it until I made the suggestion. How do you reach out to your existing customers and remind them that your art makes a perfect Mother’s Day gift?

You can find lots of great ideas for how to sell your art, jewelry or craft for Mother’s Day over on Craft Biz Blog. 

How does an artist create a livelihood traveling, sketching and painting with friends in beautiful cities around the world?

Jane LaFazio

Jane LaFazio is a mixed media artist working in paper and cloth. She has been published and feautred in major art magazines, books and television shows. Jane travels and teaches at retreats and workshops all over the world.

In our Inspiring Teachers conversation, Jane shares about starting her art teaching business, publishing and about creating wonderful sketching and painting tours to cities around the world. Jane is a beautiful example of how an artist can creative a sustainable livelihood that supports an enviable lifestyle.  You can LISTEN IN to our conversation and get the entire Inspiring Teachers Course HERE.

 

Kirsty Manna created a successful program to help young women songwriters succeed in the music business

Kirsti Manna

Kirsti Manna is a Nashville-based speaker/songwriter/producer/publisher and actress. In addition to consulting with performing artists and songwriters, Kirsty created a successful program and community for young women and girls who love to write songs to help them succeed in the music business.
In our conversation for Inspiring Teachers,  Kirsti talks about how she’s created Songwriter Girl Camp which is celebrating 10 successful years in June. She shares how she’s attracted the girls and their families who need and love what she offers. Kirsti’s experience will benefit you in whatever craft you choose to teach. You can join us and get the entire Inspiring Teachers series HERE

Connie Solera inspires artists online and at retreats in Mexico, Sedona and around the world.

  For more than 20 years , Connie Solera has taught at art museums, art organizations, summer camps, after school programs, intimate gatherings, as well as public, private, and parochial schools.   But in 2010 she left a full time art teacher gig (with benefits, paid vacation, and my summers off) to devote herself  fully to Dirty Footprints Studio and she says it was “the best damn decision I ever made!”

At Dirty Footprints Studio she offers tools, mentoring, and sacred space for artists to dive deep and experience the transformative work of owning their creative gifts, discovering their greatness, and expressing their truth as an artist— all while sharing an honest peek into her own life as a heart guided artist, teacher, and creative entrepreneur.

Connie teaches online from her home studio and in-person at her own art retreats in Sedona, Az , Mexico and other spots around the world. She also facilitates a year-long Ignite program for creative entrepreneurs. 

In our Inspiring Teachers conversation, Connie shares how she grew her business from scratch by pioneering the art journaling, multimedia collaborative and about her journey to a life that is full of color, creativity and intimacy. You can join us and register for the entire Inspiring Teachers Course HERE.  

 

Would you love to turn your passion for cooking or healthy food into a teaching career?

 

Jennifer Cornbleet

 Jennifer Cornbleet of Tasty Life Coaching is a cooking teacher, coach and author who has taught over 1000 cooking teachers and provides business coaching for people who want to turn their passion for healthy food into a career they love.
Jennifer’s signature mentorship program is the Tasty Life Teacher Training. Each year through this program Jenny coaches a group of cooking teachers-in-the-making about how to find their unique vision and turn it into a fulfilling, successful business.  In our Inspiring Teachers conversation,  Jenny gives great suggestions on where to start to turn your love of cooking into a profitable and fun teaching career. Many of her suggestions can also be transfered to teaching other culinary arts and pretty much anything. You can join our conversation and register for the entire series HERE 

Hali Karla wove her background in art, nursing and astrology into a creative, holistic livelihood.

Hali Karla

Hali Karla is an artist, teacher, and healing catalyst for soulful creatives. She offers classes and guidance to help you explore your inner world, heal your heart, express your truth+dreams, and consciously cultivate a creative practice to support and empower you in times of transition and discovery. Her holistic-care background and daily contemplative art practice ground and guide her life and work in the world. In 2017, she is leading a brand new program exploring your own astrological birth chart and creative practice called IN THE STARS.

In this conversation, Hali shares how she has woven her background in fine art, hospice nursing and passion for astrology into a spiritual, holistic and viable business. JOIN US 

Effy Wild shares about chosing platforms, formats and finding the right audience for your online courses

Effy Wild

 Effy Wild,  journal artist & on line teacher,  writes and shares about art journaling as a spiritual practice and tool for healing & life documentation.

Effy is a guest teacher in Life Book 2017 & Let’s Face It 2017  and also teaches her own programs.

In a conversation for the Inspiring Teachers series , Effy and I talk about startng your own online classes, chosing formats, platforms, pricing and how to be sure your audience is made up of students who resonate with your style. You can LISTEN IN to our conversation and get the entire course HERE 

 

Miriam Hughes quickly built a great following as an artist and a teacher

 Miriam Hughes sells her art and teaches a variety of art workshops at many different venues.

In our conversation for Inspiring Teachers,  Miriam shares how she’s built a significant following for her art and her classes in a relatively short period of time. She also shares great insight into developing course material, supply list and finding balance between time painting in her studio and teaching. You can LISTEN IN and get the entire series HERE