I attended a great small business workshop this weekend. Hosted by Sylvia of Foundtree and Greg of Farm Food Drink (and assorted companies), we learned about everything from product risks (and how to mitigate and prevent them) to marketing and projections. Sounds super businessy and not congruent with my lifestyle, doesn't it? Well, if you'd described it to me that way, I would have thought so too but it really wasn't.
I think what I appreciated about both presenters is that they're both committed to helping micro- and small-businesses thrive. I know, I know, anyone could say that but really, they've both worked in some big corporate situations and neither of them felt like they wanted to stay there. Much like many of us who returned to rural living, it seemed like they'd both made a lifestyle/values choice about how to do their work.
I also appreciated my fellow participants. They seemed like a group of people there with a similar goal to me - make enough money to sustain my lifestyle, hire some people (so, sharing the bounty locally), and contribute to some aid projects or do some good works. It was interest as many of us in the local/small/ag world feel a bit sheepish about profits and making money. What I've realized is that's a bit like being a martyr; no one thinks I'm a sell out when I'm making a professional wage at my day job, after all. In my opinion, it's a bit funny on the face of it.
Anyway, I've got a lot of thinking to do (and planning, and scheming), but it's all good and it's all fun.
And it's finally spring, so the perfect time for it.