Tag Archive | "Small business"

Tips on Starting a Micro Business


There are many benefits to having numerous micro businesses. 

Last week I was giving one of our AIRBNB guests a tour of our farm.  As we rode around, I pointed out the ginseng patch and our trout raising pond, mentioned how we focus on Florida oranges in the winter.  We also discussed our real estate investing and how my real business was writing.  He stopped and asked, “Just how many businesses do you have?”

I had to stop and think about the answer.  Because our micro businesses are so seamless, so interconnected, I rarely think of them as numerous businesses.  Actually each is a business on its own and I have to say, this makes life interesting as well as provides an income with staying power.

Diversification into multiple micro businesses increases the odds of always having enough income from one activity or the other.  The years bring ups and downs in any business, but when there is no pressure for immediate income, the ability to work through slow times increases… a lot.   When you have numerous businesses, odds are there will always be one of them that is doing well.

Here are seven tips on how to find micro business ideas that make sense for you. 

Tip #1:  Look for businesses where the activity is enjoyable and fulfilling… for you.  What can be more important than enjoying a fulfilled, satisfied life?   Having multiple businesses stops us from becoming bored or burned out if each is varied and fun.  A passion or interest, not the money, is always the starting point we use to find new ways to serve and earn.

Don’t get me wrong, businesses have to be profitable, but a lot of fun and a little profit is better than being miserable just for the sake of more profit.  Plus the way life works when you enjoy what you do, the chances of profit are best.

Tip #2:  Look for businesses that are compatible and support one another.  For example, we have our self publishing business.  This has always been our main source of income.  Writing is a great way to earn and I love writing.  Writers can work where they want, when they desire and keep the process casual.  Because I like to be out of doors a lot, in the summer I often work out in the forest.

garyascott self publishing

During the winter, while we are in Florida, I can still work outside at our home.

gary-scott

The writing business has always meshed well with our real estate business.  When we find good real estate markets, we are able to invest ourselves plus conduct plus write reports about real estate opportunity and  conduct real estate tours.  So over the years we have invested in Swiss, London, Isle of Man, Dominican Republic and Ecuador real estate, written reports about each and conducted real estate tours in each of these countries.

Tip #3: Look for businesses that create tax benefits.  Merri and I have loved to travel all over the world.  Almost of that travel has been tax deductible.

We have an orange grove in Florida.  This is not a good earner right now with citrus greening but one benefit that remains is reduced property tax.   The property tax on the acreage we have in orange groves is hundreds of dollars instead of many thousands.

gary-scott-orange-grove

Tip #4:  Look for businesses in things you know.   Since I have been investing in real estate for 50 years, Merri and I are always looking at property.  We have a real estate rental business with annual leases and also use Airbnb to rent cabins at our farm.

airbnb

One of our airbnb listings at our North Carolina farm.

We raise trout which we sell locally in North Carolina.   Those cabin rentals are reinforced by our trout business (guests can fish).

Since I love to fish, this is really fun and even the fishing equipment I buy (used in the trout business) can be tax deductible.

trout

Tip #5:  Look for businesses that are easy.

Our trout micro business is a natural.  We only started it because we already had a perfect creek and had already added a pond.

pond

There is a trout hatchery near our farm where we can buy the trout small. We bring them back in large, aerated tanks

trout

We dip them into the pond.

trout

The trout weigh about a pound each when we get them.

trout

All we have to do is feed them a bit and they grow quickly which creates the profit.

trout

We gain similar benefits with our ginseng business which is also a natural on the farm.

The environment at our North Carolina farm is perfect for ginseng and goldenseal to grow.

We began in our back yard, a north facing slope with many hardwood trees.

goldenseal ginseng

Starting with a few seeds, the ginseng (and goldenseal) have grown naturally.

ginseng

Each plant then provides a number of seeds.

ginseng

We have ginseng all around the house and because this is the natural environment it grows without fertilizer, cultivation or any real effort.  Non fertilized ginseng is the most valuable type of ginseng so we get the highest price product by putting in less effort.

When we create businesses with multiple streams of income, we put ourselves in a position that whatever happens, whenever, wherever, we have improved our odds of always having enough, purpose, fulfillment and income .

Tip #6: Start small and let everything grow naturally.

The world is in an era of global structural change… in economics… in politics and the way we work.  Technology brings us low cost administration, low cost access to data, low cost communication, and low cost travel.   Plus the opening of markets beyond material logic means we can create products and services for markets based on passion and purpose rather than just cost.

No matter your age, your health or your education, you can find something you love to do that can create an income.   Even if it is small it, go try it.  Learn as you fulfill your purpose.

Gary

Tips on Starting a Micro Business


There are many benefits to having numerous micro businesses.  Diversification in multiple micro businesses increases the odds of always having enough income.  The years bring ups and downs in any business, but when there is no pressure for immediate income, the ability to work through slow times increases… a lot.  If you have numerous businesses, odds are there will always be something doing well.

Here are seven tips on how to spot micro businesses that make sense for you. 

Tip #1:  Look for businesses where the activity is enjoyable and fulfilling… for you.  What can be more important than enjoying a fulfilled, satisfied life?   Having multiple businesses stops us from becoming bored or burned out if each is varied and fun.  A passion or interest, not the money, is always the starting point we use to find new ways to serve and earn.

Don’t get me wrong, businesses have to be profitable, but a lot of fun and a little profit is better than being miserable just for the sake of more profit.  Plus the way life works when you enjoy what you do, the chances of profit are best.

Tip #2:  Look for businesses that are compatible and support one another.  For example, we have our self publishing business.  This has always been our main source of income.  Writing is a great way to earn and I love writing.  Writers can work where they want, when they desire and keep the process casual.  Because I like to be out of doors a lot, in the summer I often work out in the forest.

garyascott self publishing

During the winter, while we are in Florida, I can still work outside at our home.

gary-scott

The writing business has always meshed well with our real estate business.  When we find good real estate markets, we are able to invest ourselves plus conduct plus write reports and  conduct real estate tours.  So over the years we have invested in Swiss, London, Isle of Man, Dominican and Ecuador real estate, written reports about each and conducted real estate tours in each of these countries.

Tip #3: Look for businesses that create tax benefits.  Merri and I have loved to travel all over the world.  Almost of that travel has been tax deductible.

We have an orange grove in Florida.  This is not a good earner right now with citrus greening but one benefit that remains is reduced property tax.   The property tax on the acres we have in orange groves is hundreds of dollars instead of many thousands.

gary-scott-orange-grove

Tip #4:  Look for businesses in things you know.    Since I have been investing in real estate for 50 years, Merri and I are always looking at property.  We have a real estate rental business with annual leases and also use airbnb to rent cabins at our farm.

airbnb

One of our airbnb listings at our North Carolina farm.

We raise trout which we sell locally in North Carolina.   Those cabin rentals are reinforced by our trout business (guests can fish).

Since I love to fish this is really fun and even fishing equipment I buy can be (used in the trout business) tax deductible.

trout

Tip #6:  Look for businesses that are easy.

However this micro business is also a natural.  We already had a perfect creek and had added a pond.

pond

There is a hatchery nearby where we can buy the trout small and bring them back in large aerated tanks

trout

We dip them into the pond.

trout

The trout weigh about a pound each when we get them.

trout

All we have to do is feed them a bit and they grow quickly which creates the profit.

trout

We gain similar benefits with our ginseng business which is also a natural on the farm.

The environment at our North Carolina is perfect for ginseng and goldenseal to grow.

We began in our back yard, a north facing slope with many hardwood trees.

goldenseal ginseng

Starting with a few seeds, the ginseng (and goldenseal) have grown naturally.

ginseng

Each plant then provides a number of seeds.

ginseng

Now we have ginseng all around the house and because this is the natural environment it grows without fertilizer or any real effort.  Non fertilized ginseng is the most valuable type of ginseng so we get the highest price product by putting in less effort.

When we create businesses with multiple streams of income, we don’t make our luck, but put ourselves in a position that whatever happens, whenever, we have improved our odds of always having enough.

Tip #7: Start small and let everything grow naturally.

We live in an era of global structural change… in economics… in politics and society and in the way we work because technology brings us low cost administration, low cost access to data, low cost communication, and low cost travel, plus the opening of markets beyond logic that rely more on passion and experience than on efficiency and cost.

No matter your age, your health, your education, you can find something you love to do that can create an income.   Even if it is small it, go try it. Learn, let the idea evolve and grow.

Gary

Earn in Smalltown USA


Here is a chance to have a small business in Smalltown USA.   Our latest report “Live Anywhere – Earn Everywhere” looks at ways to find great places to live in Smalltown USA.  One recommendation of a wonderful place to live is Ashe County, North Carolina, where we have our farm.

In March I wrote about a business opportunity in West Jefferson.  A deal was made and has now fallen through.  Here it is again:

The main shopping town is West Jefferson, a gem of a small town with good old fashioned values, a quaint shopping area with art galleries and such.  There are wonderful festivals and during the summer regular free Bluegrass concerts in a small park  on Backstreet in the center of town.

Back Street West Jefferson

Blue grass concert in the Backstreet Park.

west jefferson christmas in july

The Christmas in July festival on the West Jefferson Backstreet.

There is a business opportunity on the West Jefferson Backstreet now.  Our friend and owner of the West Jefferson Coffee House, Julie McGunegle, has decided to sell her business. We are sorry to see Julie go, but hope we can help a friend replace her.

This is the place to hang in West Jefferson, North Carolina.

west jefferson coffee house

West Jefferson Coffee House.

We have had our wine and cheese  receptions at the coffee house when we conduct our courses in West Jefferson.  Here is one of our groups…

west jefferson coffee house

having a good time socializing and talking about what they learned during the day.

west jefferson coffee house

Julie’s sales price seems very reasonable to me, just to cover the full compliment of equipment. The great good will is a bonus.

west jefferson coffee house

Here is Julie when the shop was named the best in the county.   It is in an excellent location, shown by the red arrow.

west jefferson coffee house

Julie hosts many parties as well as the regulars and tourists who come in regularly.

west jefferson coffee house

Here are some of our friends enjoying a “cuppa” and the news.

west jefferson coffee house

All the equipment is included in the sale.

west jefferson coffee house

Julie’s success has come with hard work and determination.  Buying this shop is really buying a job.  No one will ever get really rich from it but there is no faster way to enjoy this wonderful community and get to know those of West Jefferson.

west jefferson coffee house

You can contact the owner of the cafe, Julie McGunegle,  for details at 336-846-3873.

west jefferson coffee house

Gary

More on Multi Dimensional Income


Yesterday’s message, the Value of Multi Dimensional Income  reviewed seven reasons why multi dimensional income can make your life better.  Learn another lesson here that can help you gain extra income created by generational gaps.

cabin

Expanding the Trout Cabin helps us enjoy multi-dimensional income through the generation gap.

One of the seven points made in yesterday’s message was that businesses come naturally.  We do not try to push water uphill. 

Merri and I have always written about what we are doing.  In the 1980s we were in London and the Isle of Man.  Real estate values were incredible and we had real estate tours in both places.  Then we added Naples, Florida and the Dominican Republic.  Then later we conducted Ecuador real estate tours for over a decade.  This worked because our own interests kept leading us to business ideas that evolved easily.

In each instance, we loved the place and lived, worked and invested in real estate ourselves.  We wrote from experience and most of our readers and tour guests were Boomers just like us.  What a great market, boomers.  How lucky we are to have been on the leading edge of the biggest, richest demographic wave in recorded history.

That has changed.  The largest demographic group are Millennials.   Seeing how our business has evolved, due to life, economic and demographic shifts can help you enjoy multi-dimensional income and a better, more fulfilled life.

Merri and I used to do eight to twelve seminars or tours a year.  For a couple of years in Ecuador we did over 30 each year.   As our family grew and spread, we had a choice, keep it up or spend more time traveling to the children and grand kids.   The choice was natural and easy, less tours and seminars.

This created a potential dilemma.  We had built a series of small (12′ by 24′) cabins for delegates when we conducted seminars at our farm.  The Trout Cabin shown above is one of several we built.

The nature of  this shift led us in an easy natural direction.

When we stopped having seminars at the farm, we started offering our complete cabins as rentals on AIRBNB.

We found that offering rentals in North Carolina attracted a lot of Millennials.

We have plenty of Boomers stay with us as well, but Millennials make up our largest number of guests.  For example, over the Memorial Day weekend we had a full house, all Millennials.

We can see why this shift in our business is taking place easily in a USA Today article  “Millennials are fueling new growth in recreational vehicle sales”.

The article says: The 35-year-old newcomer from Bristol, Va., is among the first-time recreational vehicle buyers expected to drive sales to a new record this year, the highest since the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association started tracking sales in 1979.

Manufacturers expect to ship 446,000 RVs in 2017, up 3.6% from last year’s 430,691, which was also a record.

But even more encouraging for the industry is the age of the buyers.  Sales are being largely driven by younger enthusiasts seeking cheap, versatile vacation travel, not just retirees looking to tour the country in motor homes.

“RVs tap into Americans’ values and desires to get out there, experience nature and see their families in a way that doesn’t break the bank.”

This is what we offer at the farm, a good value way to “get out there”.

Our first rentals (we began three years ago) and now full most of the time, but we try to keep things small, easy, enjoyable, so we have expanded slowly.  Year before last, we expanded the Blackberry (See the Blackberry at AIRBNB).

That cabin rented well, so this year we are expanding the Trout from a 240 sq. ft. bedroom-bathroom only to full cabin (but under 500 sq.ft.).

trout

The article about Millennials buying RV trailers has me thinking about adding a couple of trailer sites.

I am also looking at a big expansion of offering some tiny homes for sale.

A Wall Street Journal article “Millennials are buying homes, steering builders toward lower price points” (2)  shows why this may make sense.

The article says:  First-time buyers are rushing to buy homes after a decade on the sidelines, promising to kick a housing market already flush with luxury sales into higher gear.

Now, the return of first-time buyers is allaying fears that millennials might eschew home ownership permanently. But it also provides an infusion of new demand while housing supply is tight and home price growth is significantly outstripping wage gains.

The article points out that new home design specifically targeted to millennial buyers, featuring indoor-outdoor patios and deck spaces, as well as a separate downstairs bedroom-and-bathroom suite that could be rented out to a housemate and lower prices have been selling best.  Homes, geared toward first-time buyers, have been selling more rapidly than pricier homes.  Even Toll Brothers, Inc., which typically builds homes for the top end of the market, is venturing into lower price points.

Based in this, I am looking at the idea of offering tiny homes (appx. 500 sq. ft.) away from the madding crowd but with up to a gigabyte of fiber optics broadband.  Space to grow a bit of organic food.  Fresh spring fed water, a full time home or a summer place with a co-op that shares tractor, equipment, etc..

I am watching and researching the idea for now, but am currently sticking with rentals.  The point here is that change continues, always has and always will.  If we do what we love and watch what is happening, we can let an evolution help us recreate our lives and business again and again in profitable, easy, enjoyable ways.

Gary

How hard is it to span the generation gap?  Here are  the reviews from the three young groups who stayed at our farm over the Memorial Day Holiday.

“Gary had everything ready when we arrived two hours early. The farmhouse is as described and along with the Wildflower Cabin we had plenty of space for 7 adults. We really enjoyed wandering the 250 acres, feeding the two horses, and using it as a home base for the Virginia Creeper. There is a creek right next to the cabin that provides amazing background noise when going to bed. My father even caught a nice size trout in the stream. I would recommend this place to my friends and family. ”

“Merrily Farms is an absolutely breathtaking and enchanting place. The Virginia Creeper Trail Cabin is so very quiet and peaceful, and has everything you could ever need or want for a trip away from your regular day-to-day grind. Gary and Merri Scott are the most wonderfully generous, congenial, and friendly people I think I have ever met! They were so fantastic, and my wife and I have already discussed making another trip out here just to see them.  Any of their cabins will be a fantastic getaway. Rest assured, Gary and Merri will make your stay one to remember! We LOVE Merrily Farms, and loved the Scott family!”

(1) www.USAtoday: Millennials are fueling new growth in recreational vehicle sales

(2) www.wsj.com:  The Next Hot Housing Market Starter Homes

The Value of Multi Dimensional Income


One of our micro businesses is raising trout.  What fun1 Last week we stocked the pond for the season.

trout

One of the golden trout rising on our pond.

Our farm manager and his son drove to Rural Retreat Virgina and the Cedar Creek Fish Hatchery.  They brought back the fish in a large aerated tank.  We dipped them out and eased them into the pond.

trout

We raise rainbow and brook trout for the market, but add in a few golden trout for decoration.   Normally it takes a day or two for the fish to become active and fed, but the golden trout began jumping and eating right away.  That’s a good sign that these trout will do well.

trout

I do not expect that this to ever be a big business.  The reasons for having this small business have big implications that might help us all live better.  That’s why I would like to share these ideas with you.

First, this business is fun.  Merri and I like feeding the fish, watching them jump in the pond.  Once in awhile I drag our my fly rod, get the smoker ready or Merri gets the Dutch oven warmed up and we have a trout feast.

The business helps us meet like-minded souls.   We sell our trout at a local butcher shop that’s like a cooperative and  supports about 40 local farms.  Most of the farmers selling through the shop are interested in non-gmo, organic, sustainably raised, humanely harvested food.   We have that common interest so we find that many people we meet really interesting.

ann rose

Home page of Rose Mountain Butcher Shop.

This is a Pruppie type business.  Pruppies like businesses that take advantage of modern technology and profit under existing circumstances, but would also be useful if society and the economy, as we know it, falls apart.  In this case I have several hundred pounds of fresh, healthy protein swimming around in our front yard.

Little streams of income lead to a lot.  Having a number of small businesses, that are all fun, can create an income stream that helps improve our lifestyle.  At the least , it turns the activities we choose to have in life from after tax events to tax deductible pleasures.

The sum of the parts can outweigh the whole.  Our small businesses enhance one another.  Writing about life on the farm can attract readers who stay at the cabins we offer on AIRBNB.  The trout pond helps guests enjoy their stay more (and they sometimes buy a big trout).  The trout business introduces me to people who may be interested in our organic oranges or ginseng.  Those who are interested in organic clean food are likely to buy organic BioWash and Purely Green to improve their nutrition.  Each small business we have helps make our other small businesses better.  All of these micro businesses give us good experiences so we have something realistic to write about.

This connection between our small businesses uses a formula I call focus refinement, where the sale and successful delivery  of one product leads to the sale of another, totally different, but somehow related product or service.

There is always something we do not know.  Merri and I try many things.  We have trout in the pond and ginseng growing in numerous patches around. We do not expect these businesses to become substantial, but keep our eyes open and our senses glued to what’s going on.  Our goal in business is to always be spending our greatest effort on the areas of business that are currently trending.

The businesses come naturally.  We do not try to push water uphill.  Both the ginseng and trout thrive at our farm because natural conditions support them here.  We don’t have to do much to support these businesses.  They sprang naturally from our desires and flow easily because trout and ginseng grow well here naturally.  We have no plans to expand these micro businesses, but do watch for circumstances that would  suggest it would be easy, natural and enjoyable to expand anyone of these businesses we have.

This is what happened with our publishing and seminar business in Ecuador.  In the 1980s and early 1990s our publishing seminar business was all about printed matter and international business.  When we decided (for lifestyle reasons) to move to a farm where there was no close printer nor mailing center that met our needs, we shifted to Internet only business and took a holiday in Ecuador.

We saw opportunity in tremendous Ecuador real estate values.  We tried just a little tour.  That worked well and we expanded.  Within a couple of years we had the largest Ecuador real estate tour business going.  When increased competition changed what we had to do in business and more grandchildren (in America and England) changed what we do in life, we moved on.  A micro business, we already had in Florida, started to expand on its own accord so so it was an easy shift.

Over nearly 50 years, our business has changed again and again, but the change has been positive because we follow the directions of our purpose and are continually trying new things.  All research ultimately is based on trial and error.  When we try many things, a lot of them won’t work well.  This is why we like to start small.

When we were in Ecuador our advice was always, visit first, rent second and buy third only after you have a feeling for what’s going on.  This is good advice in all business and in all of life.  Keep doing new interesting things.  Don’t worry if they don’t work out.  Enjoy the process and watch for the activities that seem to unfold easily, enjoyable and naturally.  The easy expansions will be the ones that bring the greatest fulfillment and profit.

Gary

How to Start Anew


Here’s how to begin a new beginning.  Spring is the time when nature brings the world back to life, a time of new beginnings.  Light overtakes darkness.  It is time to plant seeds for growth… like this…

apron

Spring apron featured at Zazzle.com

If we want a new beginning, a change in direction towards a better life, a rebirth, here’s three steps to kick start the process.

These three tips can make a new beginning possible and are exemplified by a Forbes article “From line cook to CEO of a multi-million dollar opportunity” (1) . This is the story of a start up apron business run by Ellen Bennett.

Ms. Bennett started Hedley & Bennett, an apron company whose designs have been adopted by (some of the best) restaurants in the world.   Here are three steps she used to move this company from an at home business in 2012 that sold its products at a flea market, to a 14,000-square-foot factory in Los Angeles that employs over 40 people.

The article says: “Four years ago, Bennett went from a line cook to the founder and designer of Hedley & Bennett, a custom apron and culinary work wear company based in Los Angeles. Today she has her aprons in Whole Foods and in more than 4,000 restaurants worldwide including celebrity chefs-Martha Stewart, Mario Batali and Alton Brown. Because aprons aren’t just for the kitchen, she has collaborated with SpaceX, Google, Lexus, Delta, Four Seasons and Food & Wine to craft functional aprons for their needs.”

Her first secret is to keep things simple.  Hedley & Bennett uses simple designs, nothing fancy.

Second,  she maintains high quality and keeps the product personal.  The firm uses carefully chosen hardware, customized detailing, reinforced bar tacked pockets and durable fabrics.

Third, she started small and then let the business grow at a natural pace.  Ellen Bennett did not let the need for financing stop her from recreating her life.  She started in her house.  She worked as a cook to pay her bills and sold aprons on the side.  She never got investors.  Hers was a bootstrap operation starting in her living room.  Then she moved into a small 400-square-foot office.  Each year as the business grew and could afford it,  she got a bigger space.

The article quoted Bennett: “I sold at the Hollywood Farmers Market and told people about them everywhere I went.  Since 2012, we’ve grown from a tiny office to a 14,000 sq. ft. apron factory.  We outfit 4,000+ restaurants around the world, including some of my favorite chefs and heroes like Martha Stewart, Nancy Silverton, April Bloomfield, Mario Batali and Alton Brown, to name a few.”

There you have it, a pretty simple formula, start a small, simple, high quality business and let it grow organically.

Here are three last words of wisdom.  These are mantras we repeat continually at our website.  “Do what you love”.  “Go try things”. “Be resilient and embrace change”.   As Ellen Bennett puts it,  “The path in front of you is rarely a straight line.  It’s full of bumps.  Embrace the bumps in the road”.

Gary

(1) www.forbes.com: From line cook to ceo of a multi million dollar opportunity

For Extra Income – Let’s Rock


You can earn like a rock star… like a future rock star that is, even if you don’t use music.

You may have noticed… “the world she is achangin” and change always brings some good news and… well, you know.

Most of us will never use music to earn, but this rock star’s death (90 years old!) highlights a path to greater income for all generations, from Boomers and Millennials.

chuck berry

Chuck Berry, Rock N Roll Innovator (1)  An icon that so many of us knew well!

The future is firmly imbedded in the past and here and now.   We can see what’s ahead if we look and when we learn how to do this, many obstacles in life fall away.

Here is amazingly good, current news about change and how, at any age, we can earn extra income… sometimes even a lot of money.

The Wall Street Journal article “Twilight of the Rock Gods” says:

For music fans, the recent flood of celebrity deaths has been overwhelming: David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Prince, Leonard Cohen, George Michael and Chuck Berry seem like a disproportionate number of superstars to lose in a short time span.

Bruce Springsteen, 67, had the highest-grossing music tour last year, bringing in a haul of $268 million.

Guns N’ Roses, average age 53, were 4th, generating $188 million on tour.

The Rolling Stones , average age 73, were 9th on the list at $91 million.

Madonna, 58, was 13th, bringing in $82 million.

Well, this shows one thing for sure, Boomers still rock!    If the standard definition of Baby Boomers is used, (born 1946 to 1964), all of these stars are Boomers!

Here is the incredibly good income news and a bit of bad.

The article said:  WILL YOUNGER STARS FILL THE VOID?  Probably not.  Because of the multiplicity of entertainment options today, reduced attention spans, personalized tastes and less record-label support, most of today’s artists will never be as big as yesterday’s rockers.

That’s the tiny bit of bad news.  It’s going to be harder to have a super humongous success in performing arts or any business that relies on having a number of enthusiastic customers whether they be fans, readers, listeners or buyers of products and services.

Broadband technology has devastated the basics of broadcast.   Broadcast favored one message, one TV show, one song, one advertisement for millions all at the same time.  Broadband favors millions of messages, TV shows, songs, ads and different patterns for each person at differing times.

Actually losing the benefits of broadband is not a big deal anyway.  The odds were against having a monster sized success.  The high cost of broadband made the entry level prohibitive for most.

Here is the very good news.

The article said: “It’s going to be easier to become a performer with an audience, but harder to become an entrenched arena act,” Nathan Hubbard, former chief executive of Ticketmaster, wrote in an online piece for the website, The Ringer, last year.

This is the foundation of publishing to sell!   Though it will be harder to have a huge business, it will be easier (and already is) to have a small, but highly profitable business.

Here are seven words that are the cornerstones of  good solid income…  “build list”… “intense focus”… “monetize”… “have fun”.   When you have a focused list involved in something you love, you can monetize it for a regular income that can last for years… for decades even… for a lifetime and perhaps beyond… making you and even your heirs happy.

When you learn how how to make a few days work generate a lifetime of income, the future of small businesses becomes big and really good news.  Whenever I think of continuing income, I am reminded of the Christmas song “Silver Bells”, composed by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans and first performed by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in a movie and later recorded by Bing Crosby and Carol Richards with John Scott Trotter, all in 1950.

An NPR interview (3) with one of the composers, Ray Evans  shows how a couple days work in 1950 is still earning income 67 years later.

Here is a small portion of the interview.  MR. EVANS: This picture came along called, “The Lemon Drop Kid,” starring Bob Hope, and a Christmas song was required for it. Well, we had no enthusiasm for writing a Christmas song ’cause we figured, stupidly, thank God, that the world had too many Christmas songs already.

MR. EVANS: That was the story of why we had to write a Christmas song, so we shared an office with two desks facing each other. And on one of the desks there was a little bell. We said, `Oh, there’s our theme for Christmas and the bell makes a tinkling sound when it’s ringing, so we’ll call our song “Tinkle Bell.”‘

MR. EVANS: It’s a stupid, stupid story, but ignorance was bliss and thank God we did, because our royalties are very, very good from our song.

MR. EVANS: It’s now sold over 500 million records, so who could ask for anything more? I could never ask for anything more, and I wake up every morning and say, `Boy, I’m the luckiest person in the world.’ And I’m still around even at the age of 91.

Few have successes this big.  Even fewer have successes in music.  But you can.  Do what you love and direct your efforts so what you do now in a micro business earns again and again well into the future, maybe even for years.  For example, writing and speaking Merri and I did years and even decades ago still creates incomes today.  This year our focus is resettling our business so it continues to earn even after we are gone.

That’s a nice thought, doing something good, that you love and the action earns for life and beyond.

Gary

(1) Chuck Berry Rock N Roll Innovator

(2) Twilight of the rock gods

(3) NPR: Silver Bells

 

 

Double Digit Income – The Green Rocking Chair Business


Whether we are investing or running a small business, we are told, “Follow the Green”.  This is wise, but the idea can offer much more than money even if you use it from a rocking chair.

Yesterday I spoke at an investing seminar in Tampa, Florida conducted by ENR Asset Management Company.  One delegate I was speaking with explained how he purchased over 35,000 acres of farmland.  A timber company immediately offered him over $200 per acre just for the timber.

Not bad, $3.5 million of quick profit and he still owned the land.  He said, “I didn’t sell”.  That’s the nice thing about timber!  Unlike most other commodities, when it’s held, the inventory grows.

But investing in green is about more than timber.  Green goes far beyond profit and cash.

blue ridge farm

I often work  at my micro business from a rocking chair at our Blue Ridge farm.

Almost all the delegates at that Tampa seminar were boomers, so longevity was on their minds.  In addition, they were interested in the question, “What happens when I am relegated to a rocking chair?”

“Go for it” is my answer.

A rocking chair today is not what it was two decades ago.  Technology makes the rocking chair an effective business tool, as good a place to generate income as the the seat of a jet is for a jetsetter.   I can run my micro business, which generates a nice monthly double digit income, from that rocking chair in the mountain air on pleasant summer days.

I bring in the green better because I avoid commuting, the clutter of the city and I am surrounded by green and blue.

gary-scott-farm

Here is the view from my Blue Ridge rocking chair. I often work with this view during the summer.  In the winter, I trade the chair for a chaise lounge but the common element is a low stress activity that I really enjoy, which produces income and surrounds me with nature’s blue and green.

gary-scott-image

This makes the business of business incredibly fulfilling and encourages longevity.

Our recent message The Value of Trees said:

A National Library of Health article, “The Unique Human Health Effects of Blue Light” shows that color has an impact on our well being and health.  The article says:  “A major milestone came with the 1998 discovery of melanopsin retinal ganglion cells, a new type of photoreceptor in the eye.  These cells provide signals to the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the brain’s master clock.  They project to many other brain regions as well, influencing myriad aspects of human physiology.”

Researchers have shown in humans that light influences hormone secretion, heart rate, alertness, sleep propensity, body temperature and gene expression.

Another article at Livescience.com, “Does the color green boost exercise effects?” shows some health benefits from the color of green.  Working out in the great outdoors may produce more psychological benefits than hitting the gym, suggest researchers who say that “green exercise” may boost mood, self-esteem, motivation and enjoyment. But according to a new study, the positive effects of green exercise may have more to do with the color green than with being surrounded by nature.

The study is the first to show that the color green may contribute to the  feel-good benefits of outdoor exercise, the researchers said. The findings were published in the Journal Environmental Science and Technology in August.

That’s the beauty of the new economy.  Technology changes everything.  A rocking chain set in nature’s serene beauty, (connected to 45 mbps of fiber optics) replaces the stale air of a crowded jet or the busy office that can only be reached through time consuming, stress creating, dangerous, frantic and simply plain rude heavy traffic.  Our own thoughts become our boss to gain the freedom to create a better, more independent life, free from the chains of big business, big pharma and big government whoever we are, whatever age and wherever we want to be.  We can truly live anywhere and earn everywhere.

Learn how to apply old wisdom with new technology to create your own green rocking chair business.  This not only produces income but can improve your health and help get rid of the blues.

Gary

Earn Everywhere With Exports


Why Have Multiple Income Streams?


My number one golden rule of investing is, “There is always something you do not know”.   This is also a pretty good golden rule of business. That’s why Merri and I always try to enjoy several businesses.

We have our self publishing business.

gary scott  self pubishing

Writing is a great way to earn.  Writers can work where they want, when they desire and keep it barefoot and casual.

We have other businesses as well.

gary-scott-orange-grove

For example, we have our orange grove.  Not a good earner right now with citrus greening but with some huge fringe benefits.

We have a real estate rental business with annual leases and also use airbnb.

airbnb

One of our airbnb listings.

We even raise trout which we sell locally in North Carolina.

trout

There are numerous reasons for creating numerous streams of income.

And there are many benefits to having numerous ways of earning.

First, each activity is enjoyable… for us.  This stops us from becoming bored or burned out.  A passion or interest, not the money, is always the starting point we use to find new ways to serve and earn.

Second, the diversification increases the odds that we’ll always have enough income.   The years bring ups and downs in our businesses, but something always seems up so we never live beyond our means.  When we are not pressured for immediate income, the ability to work through slow times increases… a lot.

Sometimes unseen forces, totally beyond our control, will alter investments and business.

The Wall Street Journal article “You may be in a risky business if regulators find it distasteful” (1) tells how changing enforcement of regulations can send a good business south in a hurry.

The article begins: Imagine you have a thriving business and one morning you get a call from your banker explaining that he can no longer service your accounts.  You try to open an account at another bank but are unable to do so.  The bankers all tell you the same story: Regulators have told them that they should no longer serve you, and if they continue to do so they will face significant regulatory penalties—even though you’ve done nothing unlawful.

That’s what happened to many business owners as the result of an Obama administration policy called Operation Choke Point.  In 2011 the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. warned banks of heightened regulatory risks from doing business with certain merchants.  A total of 30 undesirable merchant categories were affected, including purveyors of pornography or racist materials, gun and ammunition dealers, firms selling tobacco or lottery tickets, and payday lenders.

The FDIC pressured banks with the threat of “unsatisfactory Community Reinvestment Act ratings, compliance rating downgrades, restitution to consumers, and the pursuit of civil money penalties.”   They  especially went after payday lenders, simply because senior policymakers in FDIC headquarters opposed payday lending on personal grounds based on personal moral judgments rather than legitimate economic concerns.

The FDIC didn’t make formal rules or announce penalties.  Instead, they relied on informal decrees called guidance, thus avoiding congressional oversight and normal legal procedures aimed at avoiding such witch hunts.

This was ethically, morally and probably legally wrong, but what is a small business to do?

Who could have foreseen that a batch of bankers would have chosen that particular industry? 

Success in business depends on foresight,  determination, hard work, patience, persistence, good husbandry and good fortune.  We can dramatically influence six of these seven basics, but when it comes to fortune there is always the unknown that can impact our luck.  We should expect a fair share of good luck, but suspect that some bad luck could affect us too.

When we create businesses with multiple streams of income, we don’t make our luck, but put ourselves in a position that whatever happens, whenever, we have improved our odds of always having enough.

Gary

(1) www.wsj.com: You may be in a risky business if regulators find it distasteful