Time and money design update

It has been pretty quiet on this blog lately, but that isn’t because I haven’t been doing anything.  Mostly it’s because I have a whole bunch of ‘secret projects’ going on which I want to post about but am not quite able to yet.  Some of the projects are secret because they aren’t ready to launch.  Some of them are secret because they’re a business idea that I don’t want to broadcast.  Some of them are secret because I haven’t got everyone on board that I need to before announcing them to the world.  Rest assured that I am working hard back here…

What I wanted to post about today was my time and money design.  I haven’t written about it for a long time, but I have been thinking about it constantly.  At it’s most basic, it’s a design about how I support myself financially, but it’s also about what I spend my time doing and how resilient my income streams are to future change.

Since I posted my time and money design nearly two years ago some things have stayed the same, and a lot of things have changed.  What’s stayed the same is that I am still making 2/3 of my income from working part time at Brighton University and I am still teaching scythe courses.  What is different, basically are my knowledge and ideas.  I have learned so much about business in the past two years and about building things for the future.  Two years ago I thought about my income streams as a collection of small scale ‘momentary’ ventures.  I did them, and then they went away.  I wasn’t thinking about how to build them into something that would last.  Now, I still think of my various ventures as small-scale, but now they are connected and part of a plan to build something bigger and more sustainable.  That ‘something’ might well be a career!

The direction that I want to take now is to design my income streams (ok, let’s call it a career, even if it’s a crazy one) to work with starting a family – and, dare I say it – home schooling them.  This design has turned from ‘how do I make money,’ into ‘how do I make money over the next 20 years…’  Welcome to adulthood, Beth!

I can see the parents I know sitting there with a wry smile on their face…  Balancing kids and careers, especially for women, is in the news so much because it’s a massively hard problem to solve, and honestly, I don’t know how I will solve it.  What I do know is that my self-employed income is going to count and the more of that that I can do from home, the better.  At the moment, my biggest self-employed income stream is scythe courses, which are another thing that it might be tricky to do a lot of whilst encumbered with a child.  I am looking at ways of working with other people (actually, employing other people) so that my business can continue even though I might not be able to teach the actual courses.  This means letting go, which is a terrifying prospect…

I am also working hard at developing some products (some of the ‘secret projects’) which will mean that I can have an income stream from home.  I’ve got enough of these ‘secret projects’ in the pipeline to keep me busy for a good few years.  It feels really nice to know what I am doing for the foreseeable future, to have stuff to get my teeth into.  I realised a few days ago, that I didn’t have to be innovative for a while…  Now I just had to knuckle down and get on with all of these opportunities I had created for myself.

Despite my excitement about these projects, I realised with a bit of a bump yesterday that there is no magic bullet that is going to give me financial security and a flexible working life.  I can’t sort it out by spending a lunchtime drawing charts in my notebook.  I can only do what I am doing right now – keep trying.  I also realised a couple of other things:

–  I can’t grow my scythe courses right now because I have other priorities (the secret projects).  I’ll have to let them develop at their own pace and employ people help me with them so that they can continue when I can’t teach them myself.

–  None of my secret projects are going to bring me meaningful income for 2-3 years

All of which means that I am not going to be able to earn much more than I am earning now for the next 2-3 years, and possibly much less!  And, all of these things are a punt.  None of them might work.  That’s the scary part… I might be a poor church mouse forever.  But I really don’t feel like I have a choice.  Firstly, I’ve committed to this road and feel like it is the one that I should be on.  Secondly, present circumstances and decisions I have made in the past mean that doing something else would be difficult.  So, I have to do my work and hope that some of it sticks!  Here’s hoping!


2 thoughts on “Time and money design update

  1. Beth, Your intentions are good. Your Heart is pure! I see great things growing for you from your vision and willingness to support a permanent culture of thriving life. On a positive note: Karin Frost had no idea her 1st and only baby boy would lead to her creating a baby carrier that incorporated her Masters degree in fashion, and other skills, like problem-solving, so she made 50 more baby carriers for friends so everyone could stay working and hiking and living fully with baby on their hearts; then she went global and sold ERGObaby for $91 million in Sept 2010, after only 9 years in business. I’m banking on trusting the universe to provide, and it is working. Good intentions lead to good outcomes and magical mirculous surprises. She bought 260 acres and hired me for the Permaculture Design, & Executive Assistance needs as well. We are blessed. Further Blessings to you always!, Claire

  2. betheatslocal says:

    Wow! What an inspiring story.

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