Thursday, June 4, 2009

At the end of the rainbow

Like a lot of us, Sheryl and I are still seeking the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We have the good fortune to pursue our various interests as entrepeneurs and there's a lot of upside to that, mostly having to do with the freedom to make our own choices, the control over our own lives and business decisions without having to run it by "the boss" because we are the boss. But it's not easy, and too often it's not rewarding enough. In essence, everything we do is self published, self promoted, self everything. Very recently we suffered a setback where our self publishing intersected a big corporation called "Cafepress." I'll write more about that another time, (and I have already blogged here about it some) but just picture the worst of both worlds: all the responsibility of a self run business and a sudden money grab by a corporation who actually holds your puppet strings.

When we were back in Santa Cruz, California, we got pretty good at getting ourselves known. All our client feedback was at least 99% positive, we got oursleves in the newspapers several times (in a good way) plus we had a print advertising budget. But it wasn't enough. If we had been in another more mainstream line of work, like say, yard maintenence, we'd have been the best known in the entire region and would have been making great money.

Long story short, the least affordable county in the entire nation was not in the least bit affordable enough for us. I began to understand that getting mass publicity on a scale we could hardly imagine would apppear to be the necessity just to live in the Bay Area and eek out a living there. Like I said, it's because being independent spiritual counselors/healers is not all that mainstream. Oddly enough, we consider oursleves pretty maintstream: what we do is a lot like any counseling session. Hard to picture that we'd have to write books and become as well known as a Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Caroline Myss, but it's starting to look that way. Those guys don't self-publish. They're part of the great mass media machine, and I do understand why.

In photography too, in art, writing, even in Sheryl's perfume business the common factor is that we're doing it all oursleves, and we'd be doing a lot better with a little help. So, currently we're looking at those options. Exactly what help do we need to enlist, what's OK with us and what isn't--because we do a lot of different things, it's complicated and we'll have to be addressing it one step at a time.

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