Sunday, July 10, 2011

Do you have to spend money to make money?

As I'm trying to grow my blog into a 'profitable' venture, I have been thinking about all aspects of it - and the best ways to learn and move forward.

I sometimes read or hear about blogging conferences, and think it would be nice to be able to attend one of these - to meet other bloggers face to face and be able to share knowledge and learn more from experienced and successful bloggers.

However - this would cost money - a reasonable amount given that I live in Far North Queensland in Australia .  I believe there has to be more ways to learn than just by spending money on courses, books and conferences.  Other people have succeeded so why not me - and there is so much free information out there -particularly online -  I need to make use of that! 

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A few years ago, we got into property investing, and were being reasonably successful.  We decided it was worth paying for me to participate in a course and attend conferences, which involved me flying down to larger cities for a few weekends over a year.

Now I did learn a lot from this course and gain a lot of insights and experience, but I also learnt that I don't want to spend a lot and take high risks to make a lot of money.

There was a lady I met on this course, who was a mother with young children like me, but she was going ahead in leaps and bounds making good money with her property investing and renovating by taking much larger risks than we were.  I initially found this inspiring, until one conversation I remember having with her - when she was telling how her cashflow situation was so critical that she was having to beg money from her parents to feed her kids; and they couldn't afford to put petrol in their car, so were having to cycle places.
Now having to cycle rather than drive is one thing - but not having enough money to eat is another, particularly when you have kids. The worst part of it was that she had no 100% guarantee that the money would be coming in at all!

This story, made me realise that before we had kids, I would happily have taken high risks . I have been in the situation before of having literally no money (being a backpacker teaches you a lot about money I believe) - but always knew I could find some kind of job to keep me going and get back on my feet.
Now that we have kids - I wouldn't want to take such risks.  Our kids come first without any doubt at all.  Giving them the best possible opportunities and start in life - with a close, loving and supporting family is our priority.  But if we can do that - AND at the same time, improve our future outlook, that would be fabulous.   Being able to work from home - for ourselves would put us so much more in control of our lives, it's worth working towards.

We have a comfortable life,  aiming for a better future shouldn't mean we have to sacrifice the here and now.  There has to be another way.  I believe it is important to enjoy every moment - particularly with young kids, who seem to grow up so fast!

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This blog started out as a way for my friend and I to promote our handmade market stall and crafting together, but we both soon found that we enjoyed the process of blogging, and each separated to form our own personal blogs to enjoy our respective crafts - and connect with other people interested in the same things.

Once I realised the possibilities of turning what I love into a business - at basically no start up costs - how could I not be excited and give it my best shot?

I know it is taking up a LOT of time - but that I can work around my kids - and involve them in a lot of what I do - since a lot of the creating I do for my blog - is sewing things for them!  And  if  I mean  when I succeed - what a great thing for them to see - Mum reaching for her dreams - and achieving them!  What a great inspiration that would be!


Maybe I'm not taking high risks - so my returns may be slower and smaller;  but I am enjoying the whole process, which is vitally important to me - and my family - to ensure a happy, harmonious home life.


How about you?
Do you ever feel like you're focussing so much on what you want to achieve in the future and putting so much into it, that you're missing out on the here and now?

Do you think it's possible to make money without spending money?

What other business ventures, other than blogging, can be entered into with little or no money?
Writing is another - which is a major part of blogging I know - but I also would love to have my fiction works published one day!  That is another dream I'm working on!


My mantra in all this that I always come back to is:

Other people can do it - so why not me?

What helps you stay focussed and believe in yourself and your dream?


11 comments:

  1. Great post, Jill. I totally hear you on the risk thing. It's easy for me, a young, single guy w/no kids, to take some big risks, but I'm sure my risk tolerance would be much lower if it were more than just me!

    What keeps me focused is the belief that I can do something to impact others. So that's what I'm doing with my blog.

    All it takes is faith and a dream.

    -A-Mac
    A-Mac's Success Blog

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  2. It's so funny because a lot of your posts are things I have thought about, currently think about or have experienced! It's almost as if you're in my head! I've felt the same way, I don't want to spend a lot of money on courses or books in order to make money. I don’t want to go into debt trying to make my dreams come true. I believe there has to be a way to make money without spending money, or at least not spending a whole lot. I want to turn something that I love into a profitable business and also be able to work around my family so I don’t miss valuable time with them. I’m really starting to enjoy blogging and am trying to teach myself to sew as well.

    What keeps me going is that I want a better life for myself and my family. My husband and son keep me going when I don’t think I can do it anymore.

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  3. I loved reading this post. I would also love to go to a blogging conference, but i never seem to hear about them until they're over :( Maybe we'll both end up at a conference in sydney someday ....

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  4. I don't have any great advice for you but I wish you well. I really enjoy your blog and expect your followership (that could be a work) will keep expanding. Good luck!

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  5. I'm exactly in your shoes Jill! Although I started a blog as a way to let my creative juices flow, it sure would be nice for it to pay me back....or at least cover most of my expenses! haha!

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  6. Dear Jill. I'm sharing the same thought here to when I first turn into SAHM and wish to 'do' something to earn a bit extra. Well, I believe if there is a will, there is a way and miracle is for those who work hard and plan forward. I see you did a great start with your blog and every dream is possible if you start to plan and work for it after you wake up the next morning!

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  7. I agree with you! Risking large amounts of money is just too much for me.
    I keep my goals small and work at a slower pace to achieve them. No speed here!! Ha!!
    I try not to overwhelm our family with too many ideas and too any directions. I focus what meager resources that I have.
    I too would love to go to a blogging conference...just haven't heard of them in time! Maybe someday??!!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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  8. Thank you so much for all your comments everyone. It's such a bit boost for me to know there are others out there on the same path as me. As I'm learning I'm trying to share my experiences because I believe sharing and helping each other is one of the best things about the blogging community, and I really want to play my part in that!

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  9. Jill - You're asking a lot of good questions. I think when we do, the universe has a way of leading us down the path to those answers.

    First of, I think you have something to be proud of here. You have a great number of followers, and from these few posts, I learned of how hard you have been working to make this blog successful, so you will achieve your goal. I have a feeling:)

    Secondly, in the US, there's the SBA - Small Business Administration. I don't know if you have an equivalent in Australia. They provide mentorship, workshops and even funding for small businesses. I have their link on my blog.

    In the US, there's also a number of angel networks that funds small businesses. Unlike venture capital, I don't think it requires a business plan and other stringent proof of P&L. Perhaps there's an Angel network in Australia?

    I hope this provides a few avenues to explore.

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  10. Thanks For Sharing.....
    Nice Small Business Ideas and Tips Shared by you...............
    Working Capital Finance

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