When I left my day job at Scope in July 2011, I had a push and a pull factor. The push factor was to leave my safe and routined life. The pull factor was to manage awesome disability projects and find my way in this world. The upsides were infinite, but the downside was fear of the unknown and how to make a basic income whilst changing the world.
Strategically I would publish free content on my blog (articles, photos and videos), engage in disability chat on twitter, build a community and the rest would come. I’d already launched Disability Horizons, appeared on the BBC and secured two webinar contracts with Scope and Hackney council.
I didn’t want to setup a charity, and fundraise every year for every project. A social enterprise model felt better. I also realised ‘selling’ my knowledge, experience and support to disabled people was not right. I had to be commissioned or sponsored. A lot of unknowns were ahead!
The last couple of weeks I’ve been reflecting on how things are going. The blog, webinars, ecourses, econferences, magazine and coaching services have been hugely popular (and all received for free). Unfortunately the economic climate has stunted my ability to fund these projects. I’m also wary of continuously crowdfunding every project, despite my relative success with this newer funding method. The important media work and the awesome trips haven’t paid an income.
Everything I’ve done has brought me here. Every blog post, project, trip and media appearance made a positive difference. They’ve also been great to do. However practicalities are a part of life and they’ve come knocking.
Following lots of dreaming, planning, executing and evaluating – I’ve come to this conclusion for now:
– The blog, Disability Horizons, media work, and world travel will carry on even without income
– A lot of the online projects and information fit perfectly with Disability Horizons magazine
– The magazine currently has 7 volunteers, and we’re committed to publishing articles, launching new ideas and seeking the deserved funding (even if we become a charity)
– Until these can produce an income, I’m packaging everything up that I am, stand for, have done and have learned. The idea is to collaborate with other organisations and projects as their partner.
I realised I always say yes to people. I end up being very busy, helping others, admittedly having fun, but busyness isn’t always good for business.
Going forward I plan to still do my work remotely. This keeps me healthier and able to travel. I will give 3 days per week to my babies, and am seeking 1 or 2 days per week elsewhere. Give me a shout if you have an idea or proposal 🙂
Overall I’d like you to have enjoyed reading this article, observe that nothing is easy or simple, that everything you do is useful, always reflect on things, understand your dream situation, embrace failure, learn, rethink and always go again.