Do you hate talking in front of groups?
I don’t. I can’t explain why, but I love it. I love being the center of attention, I love talking to people and if I must confess it, I think my presentations are more interesting than those of other people.
Why is that? It’s because I only talk about what I’m interested in. If I think the topic is boring, we’ll all be asleep in 2 minutes.
I gave a presentation earlier this week to my BNI group about my vision for my business. Basically, it has two pieces.
- Carry on my father’s legacy of promoting meaningful work
- Promote the idea that Americans can make a living without working for someone else or being dependent on the government
The hardest thing about the second item is that if I want to promote profitable self-employment then I have to prove it can be done by making my own business profitable.
Running an Unprofitable Business
So far, I have proven that I can effectively run an unprofitable business. Take a look at HungryChickenHomestead.com. I wrote that website for years and it has a significant local following. I would interview local shop owners and farmers, and then write about them. I loved the work and it helped them make a living, but could I figure out how to make money at it?
I tried a lot of things. I produced food, I taught food preservation classes, I did marketing and writing work.
To be honest, the writing work is profitable. That’s a topic for another article.
How to Make a Living
I did learn a great deal though. For example, I learned that if you want to run a profitable business, it’s best to hang around with people who know how to do that.
I learned that the hard way. After about five years of interviewing local business owners for Hungry Chicken Homestead, I wasn’t sure if it really was possible to make a living without a job. I interviewed lots of people who tried, but many failed.
Luckily, a friend convinced me to join a chapter of BNI (Business Networking International). BNI is a type of networking group and it’s not cheap to join, but it was one of the best investments I’ve made. They offer a lot of business education in addition to networking.
Joining my BNI chapter also caused me to make friends with people who run successful businesses.
And that’s how I came to be talking to BNI about my vision and a piece of how I plan to carry it out.
I want to be clear here. I’m starting this blog because I believe it will allow me to promote my ideas about meaningful work AND play a role in my attempts to make a living. This is called Content Marketing and I want to be completely transparent about it.
The idea is that I write and make podcasts or videos or whatever, and maybe what I and the people I interview say resonates with some of you. That’s the vision part. And then maybe you find yourself curious about what I do and you follow one of the menu links to find out more. That’s the living part.
And if someone reads this and asks me to talk to their group… well, being the attention-hound that I am, I’d be happy to be the center of attention at your meeting. But only if you let me talk about something I think is interesting.