Merri and I “working hard” at La Mirage Garden Hotel and Spa in Ecuador sampling a new menu for their cooking classes.
Part of the turmoil… Western unemployment especially… is created by technology that gives access to all markets. Great air transportation and low cost trucking means that tomato growers in the US are vulnerable to Dutch and Mexican tomatoes.
Ecuador roses threaten US growers as do Turkish roses impact Europe… all because of technology.
That technology may change the way you live and earn in seemingly negative ways.
Your job may be downsized. Your benefits reduced… or even eliminated. Often there is little we can do about these big shifts.
We can, however, do something personally to assure that changes bring a better lifestyle. The same technology can create an international micro business for you.
Merri and I again “working hard” discussing economics with Thomas Fischer and seminar delegates at a quaint Copenhagen restaurant.
However there can be pitfalls. Let’s look at some of the risks of an international micro business and how to avoid them.
A recent Sunday New York Times article “Maybe It’s Time for Plan C” by Alex Williams out lines some of the downsides of having your own business. The article is quite long so I put in a link below.
Here is an excerpt (bolds are mine): RONA ECONOMOU was a lawyer at a large Manhattan law firm, making a comfortable salary and enjoying nights on the town when she was laid off in 2009, another victim of the recession. At first, she cried. “Then it hit me,” said Ms. Economou, now 33. “This is my one chance” to pursue a dream. Six months later, feeling hopeful, she opened Boubouki, a tiny Greek food stall at the Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side, where she bakes spinach pies and baklava every morning. This was supposed to be her Plan B: her chance to indulge a passion, lead a healthier life and downshift professionally — at least by a gear. Instead, Ms. Economou finds herself in overdrive.
Six days a week, she wakes up at 5:30 a.m. (“before most lawyers”) to start baking. Instead of pushing paper, she hoists 20-pound bags of flour, gets burned and occasionally slices open a finger. On Mondays, when the shop is closed, she does bookkeeping and other administrative tasks.
So much for a healthier life. “The second I feel a cold coming on, I’m taking Cold-Eeze, eating raw garlic,” she said. “I can’t afford to shut the shop down.”
Plan B, it turns out, is a lot harder than it seems. But that hasn’t stopped cubicle captives from fantasizing. In recent years, a wave of white-collar professionals has seized on a moribund job market, a swelling enthusiasm for all things artisanal and the growing sense that work should have meaning to cut ties with the corporate grind and chase second careers as chocolatiers, bed-and-breakfast proprietors and organic farmers.
Indeed, since the dawn of the Great Recession, more Americans have started businesses (565,000 of them a month in 2010) than at any period in the last decade and a half, according to the Kauffman Foundation, which tracks statistics on entrepreneurship in the United States.
The lures are obvious: freedom, fulfillment. The highs can be high. But career switchers have found that going solo comes with its own pitfalls: a steep learning curve, no security, physical exhaustion and emotional meltdowns. The dream job is a “job” as much as it is a “dream.”
Even when business is steady, the sacrifices are never far from mind. Is being your own boss worth the trade-off in medical benefits, gas allowances and paid vacations? AnnaBelle LaRoque, 28, a former pharmaceutical representative in Columbia, S.C., still wonders. “There have been many times when I have had oatmeal for dinner and Grey Goose for dessert, contemplating these questions,” said Ms. LaRoque, who gave up those perks to start a dress line, LaRoque.
Sometimes, keeping a dream job alive also means getting a second job. Before Ms. Herrington, the wedding planner, landed on her feet, she took a part-time job at the London Business School, coordinating a counseling program, that paid $18 an hour.
For some, the unexpected pitfalls can be so treacherous that they no longer consider Plan B a dream job, but a nightmare. That was the unfortunate lesson for Anne-Laure Vibert, 31, who gave up a marketing job in New York, planning glamorous parties for Audemars Piguet, the watchmaker, to become a chocolatier.
A few years ago, she moved to Paris to apprentice with a master chocolatier. Visions of decadent bonbons swirled in her head. Instead, she felt like a modern-day Lucy in the candy factory, hunched over in a chocolate lab packing chocolates and scrubbing pots. If she wasn’t doing that, she was sweeping floors, wrapping gifts, answering telephones or shipping orders.
After four months, she had had enough and called it quits. Her Plan C? She returned to New York and took a job with her old boss, doing marketing for another luxury brand. “It got very lonely, to be honest,” she said.
THIS is not to say that success is unattainable. Martha Stewart, after all, became Martha Stewart as a Plan B after abandoning a career as a stockbroker.
And with the exception of Ms. Vibert, everyone interviewed said that despite the unforeseen bumps, they would not trade their new lives for their old jobs.
“I no longer walk with a slight depressed hunch,” said Ms. Herrington, the wedding planner, who is now enjoying steady work and glowing write-ups in wedding blogs like 100 Layer Cake. Her friends, she added, said they noticed an instant improvement in her appearance, too. “I no longer see chunks of hair falling out due to stress.”
“Before, I never wanted to talk about work, other than to complain,” she added. “Now I like talking about my work so much that my husband has to actually ask me not to talk about it all the time.”
Ms. Economou, the Greek baker, says she feels spiritually transformed. “I’m coming up on my one-year anniversary, and I love it,” she said. “I love being a part of the neighborhood. I didn’t realize how you become friends with your customers.”
This is a great article because it clearly highlights the fact that “The dream job is a “job” as much as it is a “dream.”
Having your own business can be fun, fulfilling and profitable… but also requires effort sacrifice and work.
There are three success enhancers to help make sure that your own business can succeed that this New York Times article and all of the subjects mentioned in it missed.
Micro business success enhancer #1: Make your business international. Technology… especially the internet allows you to overcome the dimensions of time and space. Today our customers can (and should be) like minded souls wherever they are… not just like minded souls who are geographically near. This global aspect allows you to get large markets even if you have a really small niche. If you are selling left handed cooking utensils or left handed fly fishing rods, there are a lot more left handed cooks and fisherman around the world then who live within 50 miles of you.
Micro business success enhancer #2: Make publishing part of your business. Publishing is one way to more easily make your business global as well. Take the example in the New York Times article… tiny Greek food stall, chocolatiers, bed-and-breakfast proprietors and organic farmers. Each could publish books, reports either for sale to profit… Tiny Greek Stall Cook Book… How to Make Ten Great Chocolates… How to Grow Organic Tomatoes… or publish information that helps sell their product or service.
Micro business success enhancer #3: Make events part of your business. Ditto… the tiny Greek Stall could have a cooking class once a week. The chocolatier could do a workshop on how to make chocolates… the organic farmer could have work weeks on the farm, etc.
In each case adding technology can expand a product line and dramatically increase the market and demand.
Take for example, a note one of our prospective Spanish teachers sent to Merri.
Merri, First off I want to thank you again for the graciousness, kindness and generosity with which you and Gary operate with your online “family.” I can sincerely say I’ve never attended anything like your courses in my life that connected with me in such a positive way and I feel gifted to have participated. You are both a fountain of wisdom and truly an inspiration.
I am reaching out to inquire about your course calendar for the remainder of the year. I got so much out of the previous courses in so many ways that I’d like to attend a few more with my Int’l Club membership (not to mention spending more time with you and Gary and the fantastic delegates).
I also wanted to inquire about your instructor training, specifically for the superlearning/spanish course, and wondering if you’ve ever thought of taking a course like that on the road? I spent last summer in Madrid at a language school teeming with foreigners struggling to learn Spanish from scratch – with Spanish speaking instructors who only taught in Spanish! I thought “My God there has to be a better way than this” and when I think of the positive impact your course would have on students & expatriates living in Spanish speaking countries if taught overseas my eyes pop! Especially for someone like me who loves travel, loves everything to do with Spanish culture and an eager ongoing student of the Spanish language I seriously can imagine myself doing something like this and loving every minute of it.
I’ve been thinking about this ever since attending your Superlearning/Spanish course back in March and the idea just gets brighter and I feel compelled asking you about it. Have you thought of anything like this before? Any value to considering something like this? I’d love to hear your thoughts. My sincere best to you and Gary,
This teacher has exactly the right idea… combining his desire to teach AND to travel. He can create events and tours to expand his business. His market is those who want to learn Spanish. Because he likes to travel he can conduct tours taking Spanish students to Spanish speaking countries or… conduct courses in countries where people want to learn Spanish. He has a huge geographical opportunity. He is international and an international thinker.
We live in a time of rapid change… much of which is beyond our control. We can take control of our lives with our own international micro business. This requires hard work… sacrifice and effort… but as the New York Times article shows… with the exception of one everyone interviewed said that despite the unforeseen bumps, they would not trade their new lives for their old jobs.
We can help you create your own International Micro Business.
Merri and I have had our own global business… operated from our home for over 30 years. We share how you can as well in our online courses.
Income has been a small part of this adventure. The expanded horizons… the people we have met… the adventures we have shared… the tens of thousands of delegates we have enjoyed and hopefully helped…. the poor we have served… the freedom we have felt… to be able to go where we desire and come home, when we desire, with more than when we left.
These facts have dramatically enriched our lives….and we hope others.
Now we would like to help improve your lifestyle as well… if… earning with a seminar, tour events business appeals to you.
We have conducted seminars or events or spoken at them in… (alphabetical order) Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Belize, Canada, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, England, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary (before the Iron Curtain came down), Indonesia, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and at one time or another most of the United States and more.
There is a possibility that Merri and I know more about conducting events than 99.9% of the people in the world and because so many have asked… we have finally decided to provide an online correspondence course on how to create your own seminar, tour or events business.
We call this brand new emailed correspondence course: “Event – Full Business”.
We have completed the first lessons and want to introduce this course to you as we are accepting enrollment of students in our beta program.
However there is a special $348 savings for the rest of the summer… because an events and publishing business go hand in hand.
Merri’s and my business has always provided well for us, but we have noticed over the decades that at times the bulk of our income comes from events and at other times from publishing.
To help readers learn both the publishing and events business which go hand in hand, our End of Summer Special offer gives you our online beta course “Event – Full Business” (normally $349) for just $1. You save $348 when you order our online course “Self Fulfilled, How to be a Self Publisher” at the normal $499 price. You receive Eventful Business ($349) and Self Fulfilled ($499) a, $848 value for just $500.
Enroll in the online courses “Self Fulfilled” and “Event – Full Business” for $500… save $348 by clicking here.
Or join us to learn about publishing and events businesses at our October 7-8-9 International Business & Investing Seminar
Read the entire New York Times article Maybe It’s Time for Plan C