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 I think a lot

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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: I think a lot   Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:04 pm

Because I am old and my David is not so old but wants to retire without 401K or any savings to speak of, I am thinking of ways to make a living at the age of 72 with the energy and resources that we have, that is almost nil, I have looked into my talents at my old age and believing that my book of The Tales of Wooffer's Woods will not ever make a dent in our financial agenda, I have come up with alternate ideas. 
I passed this by my David and he said, " Dio whatever you want to do"

I have to go serve the dinner......more later.
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:21 pm

Fortunately for me, Dave did not leave our retirement planning to me.  If he had, we'd be starved to death long before now.
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:36 am

Betty,

I know you have an audiobook version of Wooffer's Woods. Have you tried to market that? If it meets Audible's audio requirements, you could list it there. It won't make you rich, but could give you some additional income and expose Wooffer to a new audience.You could also simply get a seller's account (free) at Amazon and sell the audiobook alongside the book and fulfill the orders yourself.

One good thing about the good U.S. of A is that is it easy to get a business started. Be creative about what you have to offer and perhaps you can find a way to provide a service that you love for a profit. For example, if you love to cook and are willing to travel locally, you could provide an in-home service like Betty's Personal Kitchen, home-cooked meals prepared for special occasions or for busy working families in their own homes. You could teach people to cook in their own kitchens or yours. You could set up a shopping service for people in your area that are too busy (or lazy, or ill, or simply hate shopping) and stock their pantries for, say, 25% above the cost of the actual items purchased, or for a flat fee. You're a writer, so how about offering editing services, or personalized writing workshops for budding writers, or tutoring help for students struggling with reading of writing? There are a lot of people who need all kinds of assistance either due to temporary illness or injury, or because or age, and many people who have few friends and family or live far from them and simply need the companionship of a caring human being from time to time and a helping hand with simple chores or shopping for various necessities. There are a lot of firms that provide such assistance but it comes at a high price and usually involves trained RNs or LPNs which are not always needed. You can't (and probably don't want to) offer medical assistance, but a helping hand from a loving person at a reasonable hourly rate is something quite different. Betty's Helping Hands, some such name if you want to advertise in a local free or low cost venue might work. If you use an assumed name for any business, you will have to file a Doing Business As certificate with your local county clerk--check with them as to any other regulations that may apply to your chosen "business" (you generally don't need to do anything if you do business under your actual name). Also check with your insurance carrier to see if you can add a rider to your home owner's insurance to cover liability of the business--tell them you're considering starting a small business as a hobby and you are concerned about potential liability issues. Of course, I am not giving you legal or business advise here--or suggesting that any of these top-of-my-head ideas may work for you; I'm only trying to get you to sort of "look outside the lines" when considering supplementing your income. You have a tons of good sense and marketable competencies. Don't sell yourself short or think only in terms of traditional part time work opportunities. Those may work for you, but so can many other creative ones that you may actually enjoy doing. As our beloved Annie might say, "its just me".


Last edited by Victor D. Lopez on Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:49 am

You have some great ideas.  My problem is getting the word out and simply being paid.  I love the writing I do for the newspaper, but each article requires two hours round trip travel to do the interview, an hour for the interview, two to write the article and one to edit.  That provides me with a piece work price per article equal to about $2/hour - independent contractor - and people are standing in line to get my job.  I've been with the paper three years and no increase in pay rate and less work as they grow and hire layed off reporters from the major papers - in other words - I'm just lucky to still be writing.

I write for Examiner and AXS, but they are pay per click and their demands for the final product equals about 25 cents per hour.  Straight payment for an article is from zero to $6.00 at most. So much for doing what I love for an income.

Other PR people charge huge rates - but I've never been able to adequately monetize my writing skills, find an audience and make money. I am on all the social media advertising my public speaking, also with no responses.  Other public speakers who are less competent charge major fees and I get to sell a few books...
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:53 am

D.K.,

There is no question that most writing does not pay, especially for indie authors. A Walmart greeter makes more on average--far more--and with easier work. That is not true about the other ideas I floated above, though. Tutors and household helpers make good money and can find work more easily and with less competition than writers and editors. Were I to hang a shingle and practice law or become "of counsel" to a firm on Long Island or NYC, my hourly rate would be about $450. That is not pie in the sky but what I am worth and what I would have no trouble getting as a fee with more work than I could handle should I choose to return to a part-time practice. (My university would limit me to a maximum of 15 hours per week from private practice, but do the math--that is certainly more than I make as a member of the faculty.)

I am very, very fortunate that a fall-back position is not ever an issue for me should I want to change careers or simply need to supplement my income, as long as I remain healthy, of course. Most people face a tougher choice; I am painfully aware of that. But most people are worth more than they believe as well if they need to supplement their income in order to practice the love of their craft.

My writing is compensated below minimum wage--not counting the scholarly publication that pays nothing and requires enormous effort and time, or my blogs and postings that also take time I could devote to more productive and profitable pursuits. Like all of us here, I write because I want to, love to and on some level need to for other than professional reasons. If I did not have a license to practice law (and credentials and reputation that I've worked hard to earn and maintain) and if I were not a professor with tenure and a good salary, I would find another means of earning a living other than writing because I am a realist and know that making a good living as a writer is even harder than making a good living from other branches of the arts. Not everyone can paint or sculpt or act or sing or play a musical instrument professionally, but anyone can be an "author" these days and nearly everyone tries, it seems. It is getting ever harder to get noticed and that will not change any time soon.

Like most of us here, that will not discourage me from soldiering on doing what I love. But I could not do it without another means of earning a good living or some other stream of significant and reliable income. For 99 percent of independent authors, putting all of one's eggs in the writer's basket is a slow and painful road to bankruptcy. It would also be for me, even with my traditional publications and some textbooks that have produced significant income over the years.
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:45 pm

Dear friend Victor.
I will think of all you have said.  You are one very nice person.  You do know that, I hope.  I will post more on this.  Right now is dinner.  Love, Betty
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:45 pm

This is an interesting subject.  Not everyone facing similar problems make mention of it.  Victor shared good ideas.  One never knows what idea will fit or suit, however stimulating the thinking process is a big first step.  “Find a need and fill it” is an old success formula and is still a valid.  As we age, doing what we enjoy is very important.  Doing something we dislike often because it is deemed necessary may lack fulfillment and lead to misery.
As Victor pointed out, America does provide an opportunity to do most anything one wants to do without the need for certification.  Promotion is not always expensive.  Word of mouth advertising is still the best.
My recent visit with my daughter revealed a need given that she and her husband both work.  The children need to be transported to various school functions including soccer, baseball, volleyball and choir practices as well as games.  My daughter advertised for and hired a woman to perform various functions.  The worker takes the kids to their practices.  She also does light cleaning as well as begins preparation for the evening meal in addition to helping or insisting that the kids do their homework.  There is always a list of things to do waiting for the lady.  Finding someone who is flexible and willing to do whatever is requested is valued.  References are important to insure the person can be trusted with the children as well as the run of the house.  
This is not a rare situation.  My daughter has been asked by associates where they can find such a person.  Coming home from the office knowing that house chores are not waiting is a big help.  Knowing that the children are taken care of is another load off the mind.  Running errands is time consuming and interferes with needed rest and recuperation.  People are willing to pay for this service.  A good thing about this type of service is that the payment is in cash and comes with other perks. 
I’m sharing this only to add to the pool of ideas.  Find a need and fill it is a good place to start. 
What do people need or want?  Can you help?  When my son was out of work, he did tutoring for HS students.  Once engaged in a needed service, offers come pouring in.  Doing a good job means good referrals.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:35 am

Much to think about. Sometimes I think that I have become accustomed to the low level of income afforded teaching and jobs of "service" to humanity - I remember in college being indoctrinated that it wasn't the pay in the teaching profession that mattered - it was the young minds we touched and the ability to be home with our own children during vacations.  That mentality was pretty well fed over the years by long-term marriage where the spouse's superior and profit-oriented income was important and mine was "extra" - my primary job was helping promote his career and having a career of my own was an "add on."

Thus, that ingrained thinking gives me an "aura" that doesn't demand pay for what I'm worth.  For a very short period of time, I was on the road presenting at national education conferences and workshops at $1000 per gig plus expenses or variations on that price point.  However, then I thought I would do even better with a book to hawk - how wrong I was!  Because I had no scheduler or backup help, I wore myself to a frazzle, was jealous of those commanding even more - and couldn't keep a pace sufficient to bring in enough gigs to equal or surpass a "real job" and I settled.

Every short, free gig I do today to sell books, entertain my church or whatever is followed by great praise.  End of story.
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Sun May 03, 2015 3:32 pm

Dear Victor, I have the ideas and plan for next year which will include the newsletter and blog and the email connections for the local and not so local people. Deliveryl Thank you for your kind advice.

As a farmer who grows and will deliver in a 50 mile radius, I can grow enough produce to provide a small community, but the cost of advertising and delivery  wipes me out.  If I were to rely on local people to help, the insurance is too high.  There is always someone who wants something for doing not one thing.  I have not given up.  I have a plan for next season.  Love, Betty
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Sun May 03, 2015 9:33 pm

Your last sentence speaks: "I have a plan for next season."
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Mon May 04, 2015 10:02 am

Writing is not a lucrative past time, neither is art work.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Mon May 04, 2015 4:22 pm

Art is an obsession.  Monetary rewards are a bonus.
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Mon May 04, 2015 5:40 pm

I love art!  I love painting.  I love so many beautiful expressions of my being.  I imagine that most of everyone's existence is art in one form or another.  Love, Betty
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Tue May 05, 2015 7:44 am

Betty,

Keep us posted, and best of luck with your plan!
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Tue May 05, 2015 10:06 am

What Victor said.
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Tue May 05, 2015 1:36 pm

Thank you all for the encouragement!  This season I have been selling my vegetables online at floridasuncoastlocallygrown.net .  If you look at this site, you will see what I hope to do in my own little town and the town of Sun City Center.  I can have my own site through locallygrown.net and have other growers sell through my market.  I would get 20% of what their sales total.  I would pay 3% of the sales to the developer of this network of sites.  The saving of my own sanity by using this site rather than set up my own is a big deal to me.  Instead of having people come here to pick up their order, I plan to deliver.  It was my experience when I tried the upick operation that people came on Saturday and spent the day wandering around my property.  I do not want the risk.  I am still thinking about charging a delivery fee. What do you all think?
Love,
Betty
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Tue May 05, 2015 5:35 pm

Charge a delivery fee. Or if people wish to pick their own produce, have them sign a waiver of responsibility in the event they should injure themselves.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Tue May 05, 2015 6:50 pm

Up price your items to cover the delivery fee.  That's what the fresh produce people do here.  They have a subscription system here where you pay a flat fee for a box delivered weekly with whatever is in season.
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Tue May 05, 2015 9:28 pm

Charge a delivery fee, as Alice suggests. The subscriptions service that DK suggests is also an interesting idea. You could also also offer free delivery with orders over $100 and within a certain radius of your farm. You don't want to get stuck delivering $10 orders 10 miles unless you're making money on the deliveries. (a delivery fee based on mileage is reasonable too--Something like  "$10 per order within 5 miles, $15 5-10 miles and call for a quote outside of our 15 mile service area.)
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Tue May 05, 2015 11:34 pm

All good ideas.  I think Victor's suggestion has merit.  Delivery is always included whether it is hidden in the cost of the product or added on.  What I dislike with some providers is the outrageous (S & H) Shipping and Handling charges that is added to an order.  When I was engaged with a firm in Rhode Island, the owner told me that he made his profit on the S & H Charges.  He made nothing on the product itself. 
In my experience, the same thing happened with Publish America.  Shipping and Handling did not reflect the actual cost.

You may want to do a split where a portion of the delivery charge is in the price and the add-on handling charge is nominal.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: I think a lot   Wed May 06, 2015 9:27 am



Their web site has a delivery area that is included in the price.  Outside that area requires a delivery fee.  Though it's organic, you can adjust the price for non-organic.

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