I am walking into this blog space, trying to find what I am supposed to be writing about. I have lived a rich and full life so far. I have so much I could write about, but my question is, how can I use my life + my words to serve you. How can the time I write make a difference in your life for good? Because ultimately, that is the reason I am writing publicly, otherwise, I might just as well write in my private journal.
So, as we walk this path together, and btw, have I thanked you lately for walking with me? Thank you! As we go forth, your responses to my writing matter. You matter. What you say and how my words affect you matter to me. Please share your thoughts. It could be as simple as clicking the Facebook like button, or leaving a comment, or even reaching out to me privately. If you are on my email list, you can reply to the emails I send and your words will come directly to me, just me. I can also be found on FB messenger and WhatsApp and Instagram. I’m easy to find! And I love dialoging with you.
This week I’ve decided to share my entrepreneur side with you all. I’ve found I have more to say than one blog post can hold, so I am going to break it up into a few bite size chunks. Today is part one:
I am an entrepreneur in my heart of hearts.
I get so excited when I find something amazing, when I find something that makes my life better, and I think it will make your life better too, I shout it from the rooftops. Whether I make money or not, I love to share good things with people.
I’ve been an entrepreneur my entire life. I’ve held a hand full of jobs where I wasn’t my own boss, all in my teen years, but for my adult life, I’ve always been my own boss. I’m 46, I’ll be 47 in 9 days, my 10 year old son reminded me this morning.
He only remembers this because, boys. He’s thinking about what we’re going to eat on my birthday. It’s one of our family traditions, the birthday girl/boy gets to plan the meals on her/his b-day. He explained that it takes time to decide and I should start thinking about it now, but… if it was him we would be having pancakes, root beer floats and cake. He’s not sure what kind of cake, but he definitely wants his sister Grace to make it, because, “Mom…She made a dinosaur cake!”
I have nine kiddos, I’ve always homeschooled them, I have 4 still at home learning, and I am a successful business woman. Aside from it just being who I am, it has also been a matter of necessity. Choosing to have nine kids and homeschool them has meant I cannot work outside of my home unless they are doing it with me. Which is why my businesses have always included them.
One of my first successful businesses was before we had children. I sold stir fry from our VW bus while on tour with the Grateful Dead. We needed food and we needed gas money to get to the next show. We got creative out of necessity and we sold-out at every show! Fun times! I think this experience gave me the confidence for all that followed in my entrepreneurial endeavors. We had a need and we found a way to meet it, and we had fun doing it. This is still the same today in all I do. If it isn’t fun, then it doesn’t last.
Aside from my bill paying business, I have almost always had at least one thing going on the side. Some of these have become significant money earning endeavors. But they never start out as just a way to make money.
It’s a passion first, the money is icing on the cake.
I fall in love with something we can’t fit into our monthly budget, so I have to get creative in how to incorporate it into our life. This started when we had just two children and we were living in South Carolina while my husband was in college. I wanted us to eat heathier food on a college student’s budget. I remember passionately putting up flyers all over town, I held a meeting in a park, and with the enthusiasm of the other young mothers I met that day, I organized a food buying club that later became a successful coop. It might still be going today. This is, to this day one of my favorite businesses. I eventually got paid a small amount to be the organizer, but it isn’t the money that my fond memories are centered around. It’s the sweet community we created. THIS is what I brought with me into all my future businesses. The most valuable thing to be successful is to love the people you serve and the people you are serving with.
A few years later, when we moved to an island in Alaska and I could no longer find the healthy foods I wanted/needed to nourish my growing family I started a similar side hustle business, but learning from my mistakes, I did better.
As our family grew, our needs grew and I expanded my food buying club to include organic produce. And then we expanded further, we began repackaging dry goods for smaller families that couldn’t use 25# of anything before it went bad. I found a farmer in Washington state and ordered whole organically grass-fed animals, which we then contracted a butcher to package for us. I sold everything for cheap, only marking it up enough to get ours for free. We had zero grocery bills during that time.
I currently sell organic produce with the same concept in mind. My family size has shrunk with the passing of time, and I make a small amount of money now, instead of all the organic produce nine kids could possibly eat. I remember mandatory eating when I would order too much. My kids were literally forced to eat organic fruits and veggies when they were growing up, these bananas have to be all eaten TODAY, or even red peppers, they ate them like apples. They had no idea the value of organic produce and how ‘rich’ they were, until they moved away from home. I’ve heard from all of them since, missing the days when I would make smoothies and juice just to use up all the organic produce we had.
It starts with a passion, and sometimes our reasons change, like my produce business, I continue it not to feed my own growing family, but to provide a heathy option for others in our community now. I am passionate about having healthy options that everyone can afford.
My side hustles have enriched my life. I’ve made friends I would never have made and learned countless things. And that is truly how it should be.
I have a few side hustles now, and they are all about people. The money is just a part of the whole, the people I work with and for, actually matter more to me than the money. Don’t get me wrong, we are balancing three households, our plate is more than full and the money I make is definitely a motivator, but it isn’t the only motivator. I believe this is the key to having a successful business that you love working.
So, think, what do you love? Do you even know? I don’t usually, until I do. For me, they just seem to comes along. I ‘discover’ something I love and have to share it, and usually have to figure out a way to afford it, because, nine kids. We can never afford it. And so I get creative, and figure out a way.
Here is what I want to leave you with today:
Even though I work for myself, we never really work for ourselves, we work for people, and how we serve those people determines our success.
In part two of this series I will talk a little more about side hustles, and what I’m currently loving. I’ll give you a few different opportunities to join me in a couple of my side hustles. I love mentoring women, and I always have room in my life to show a woman the way I’ve gone and without fail, I always learn from these experiences. It is so much fun to make money with women! Sorry guys, it just is. Guys are welcome too, just know that you are walking into a room filled with vibrant women with beauty that far exceeds the Super Bowl halftime show this year, barf. Did we really watch that? I actually turned it off. (Infuriating. I just have to say it.) Here’s a little bit of information to inform you if you’re not already informed. Sex trafficking is real. This is just one of many articles, I added this link to get you started in your research. I don’t endorse this news source, or any other.
I will also share how I ‘get it all done’ in a day, and still manage to find time to go surfing, write to you and nap in my hammock.
Since moving to California I have been given the gift of time. Time to think about how I want to spend my time, instead of pinballing from one thing to the next. I have learned some valuable time management skills, which I’m still learning, tbh, but I’m soooo much better than I used to be. There’s always more to learn and ways to improve, another tidbit I’ve picked up along the way. I’m not a know-it-all authority on working for yourself, I’ve just experienced a lot, and made a few mistakes I’ve learned from.
When I lived near my sister, I used to watch her eyes roll and head spin when I would tell her about what all I had to do in a day. LOL. She reminded me more than once that she was glad she didn’t live my life. Looking back, I get it, I wouldn’t want to live my life either.
Now, it’s what I choose to do each day. A big difference, which I will talk more about soon.
My intention for sharing this side of myself with you is to inspire you to do what makes you happy. We get to do this life only once, we should have fun when we can and make it count. And if I’ve learned anything, it’s a lot more fun to do life with people than alone. Life is life and we live in America, most of us anyway, and we can’t live without money, unfortunately, but we can have fun making it which I intend to show you.
All my love, always,
Talk soon! Write me!