Pangs of Rural Entrepreneurship

| 1/29/2010 9:00:53 AM

Tags: Home business, Perseverance,

A photo of Oz GirlMany of us dream of a home business where we can sit at our computer in our pajamas and slippers telecommuting with our job or even better, growing our own home business. Self-satisfaction is high on the list of goals when starting a home business. Not dealing with the self-indulgent, loud and smug co-worker in the cube next to me is the added bonus. Not dealing with the co-worker or manager conflicts inherent in a desk job motivates me to make a go of this home business thing.

Marketing ourselves can be the most difficult part of a home business. We all realize this fact, yet it can be brought home to us with a vicious backlash that can send us crawling to the “help wanted” ads, bowing our heads in defeat as we search for a new “cube” job.

Sure, the rejection can be tough. Let it kick us down for a short while, say a few hours perhaps ... ok, maybe a few days. But then we need to lift ourselves off the couch, turn off Rachel Ray and clean the cookie crumbs off the coffee table … resolve that our ideas are GOOD, that they have merit, and we just need to do a little more research, and put a little more time into our dream. You know, the whole “practice makes perfect” thingamajig.

Team roping takes LOTS of practice. If failure during competition is not an option, then practice will make perfect.

Rural isolation can make a home business even more difficult. Even though we are grateful to be minus the conflicts of a corporate job, we now have only internet friends. And we are thankful for these new friends that we meet through blogging or Facebook or Twitter (social websites must be the nemesis of self-sustainability – but I digress, that’s another blog topic someday). Yet face-to-face social events have now become the exception so that even a self-confirmed hermit such as myself begins to long for a night of martinis and laughter with the girls, enough to sate me for several more months of hermit-hood.

Mary Pickford said it best. “This thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down but the staying down.” And then there’s Washington Irving’s well-known quote, “Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortunes; but great minds rise above them.”

2/16/2010 2:31:51 PM

Oz Girl, I really enjoyed this post. We all need more inspiration to keep moving toward what we want and to take control of how we live our lives. I, like many who responded, have been in both worlds at once, always pining for more time at home and to follow creative pursuits. And I think I'll have to adopt the Mary Pickford quote for my Facebook page! Susan Close to the Earth in Alaska

2/4/2010 8:45:34 PM

OzGirl - wonderful pictures as always, and you hit the nail RIGHT ON the head for me! I somehow live in both worlds (cube and farm), but I think we know where my heart really is :) Love both of the quotes.. so true.

oz girl
2/3/2010 6:45:50 PM

Shannon ~ great point! I will admit that I'm where I want to be, without a doubt. Now if I can just make that dream grow so that it fills up that future I have envisioned for it! :)

s.m.r. saia
2/3/2010 6:31:00 AM

Hang in there Oz girl, and remember, if you're where you want to be (your place in the country) and you're working at the business you want to work at - you're already living the dream! Sometimes dreams just don't look like we think they ought to... :0-)

oz girl
2/1/2010 4:16:56 PM

Andrew~ I hear ya on the day trip thing. Everytime we go to "town", doesn't matter which town, it amounts to anywhere from 4-6 hrs of our day, because we do a crapload of errands!! Hence, the reason why I prefer to stay home most of the time. Much more enjoyable. :) Have a great week Andrew!

2/1/2010 3:11:23 PM

@Oz Girl - We hardly ever make that effort either. hahahah. We think about it. We talk about it. But we always end up petering out. hahahahah! Crystal's biscuits are better anyway! Oh, and we can afford more wine by staying at home. hahahahahah. When we do go it is always a day trip and by the end of the day we are swearing we will NEVER do it again....until next month. LOL

2/1/2010 3:10:28 PM

@Oz Girl - We hardly ever make that effort either. hahahah. We think about it. We talk about it. But we always end up petering out. hahahahah! Crystal's biscuits are better anyway! Oh, and we can afford more wine by staying at home. hahahahahah. When we do go it is always a day trip and by the end of the day we are swearing we will NEVER do it again....until next month. LOL

oz girl
2/1/2010 8:13:31 AM

Hi Andrew~ Your small town sounds much like the 3 that are at least 20 miles away from us in any direction. Although one does have a pretty nice community hospital where I've worked a few temp gigs. "Our" town 7 miles away (pop. 420) has a post office, a propane business and a BBQ shop that has a monthly Saturday night all-you-can-eat buffet - that's it, as far as I can see, it's not open any other time! And no, we've never gone. Our civilization/culture resides almost an hour away, in Wichita, where hubby also works. I can understand how the recent economy may have forced you back to a cubicle life... that danged cube keeps whispering my name too! I love working from home and wish I could make a go of it all... but I'm probably going to end up back in a cube at some point here in the near future. Thanks for coming by, and keep that country dream burning bright. It is all so worth it, isn't it?! :) P.S. We have a pretty posh Pizza Hut about 30 mins away. LOL If we want PF Changs, Olive Garden, or a good steakhouse or microbrewery, then it's off to Wichita we must go. And quite frankly, we just don't feel like all that effort most of the time... we love making our own meals here on the homestead anyway!

1/30/2010 8:36:51 PM

I have been waiting a week or more for this post so I am siked to see see it up. I live in rural Georgia. I am only 15 minutes from "town" but like so many small towns in America there is little left there other than a few thrift stores, an "antique store," a convenient/liquor store and the post office. My wife and I find civilization and culture about 35 minutes away. I have to admit that when I first started gardening in Brooklyn, NY and having our own small farm back home in the South, I never even considered what the social implications of such a move meant. I have owned my own business and worked in my pajamas for years. Ironically though, I was forced to the cubicle life when I moved to "the country." through a long sort of exchanges and economic downfalls, I simply had to make some tough decisions. There are still some morning I want to head to work in my PJs though! hahahahahaah. What you say is what keeps me going though. Yes, I work hard. In fact, most days I balance two jobs - the "corporate" one and the one on the farm that I long to spend more time doing. But it just isn't in the cards right now. Until then I enjoy my lonesome nights, our planned weekend trips to the posh Applebees 45 minutes away and the friends, like you, that I have met and share a dream with on the Interwebs!

oz girl
1/30/2010 7:45:13 PM

Cindy~ Ditto. I should tape Mary Pickford to MY computer too! Having our ventures/ideas rejected, for whatever reason, can be a bitter pill to swallow. And well I know how hard it is to "keep on keepin' on". It truly can be tough sometimes! In fact, sometimes that martini sounds appealing even without the girlfriends. LOL And I'll check out Alton Brown. Promise. :) BTW, Murphy is NOT a bay horse. Hubby informed me he is a BROWN horse according to the American Quarter Horse Association. Well, what do I know about a horse's coloring anyway? Duh.

cindy murphy
1/30/2010 8:30:50 AM

Oooo, a couple of great quotes there, Susan; I love the one from Mary Pickford. I should print it and tape it to my computer as a constant reminder. You've said a mouthful (complete with cookie crumbs...and btw, Alton Brown is waaay better than Rachel Ray). Marketing yourself IS the most difficult part...for me, anyway. Because the nursery where I'm employeed closes in the winter, I spend my "off-time" dappling in writing. For me it's easier to write an entire article than the query trying to "sell" it before editors will even think about reading it. All these articles I've written often go nowhere, because of that rejection thing...receive one, and it becomes harder for me to send out another to possibly suffer the same fate. I'll have to remember that practice makes perfect thingamajig. Good luck on your venture! Wishing you success....and a couple martinis with the girls.

1/29/2010 4:20:43 PM

Susan, I hope your business gets off to a great start. I think we all have to remember in this world of great technology to stay connected by visiting friends especially if your business is at home. Good luck on all your ventures. I didn't know you could press on the pictures either and get the caption -I'm going to see what captions I wrote on mine (I've long since forgot). vickie

oz girl
1/29/2010 2:09:47 PM

Ah, Lori, thanks for pointing out the not-so-obvious to this newbie Grit blogger! :) And thanks for sharing your struggles too. It always helps me feel not-so-alone when I hear of what other folks go through to get their home business off the ground. I'm fascinated that your a freelance photographer... I guess I'm just an amateur photographer, but I'm buoyed that Grit published my first photo in their Jan/Feb issue and Mother Earth News just published my first in their Feb/Mar issue! I hope to keep keepin' at it, and like you say, I live in the ideal environment to supply them both with more photos. The photography isn't my home business - actually, all-natural dog treats and now, homemade cookies, would be what I'm striving to sell. Thanks for the encouragement, I really appreciate it! :)

1/29/2010 1:03:37 PM

Susan, in order to see the photo caption, just let your pointer rest on the picture and it will pop up. Being able to work at home is such a blessing, but it didn't come easy for me either. I'm a freelance photographer, and photography is an incredibly hard field to break into. It really is necessary to find a niche and pursue it. Although I've been published other places, GRIT is my main photography home because their publication deals with things I can relate to because of my lifestyle. Plus all the people I deal with at GRIT are absolutely marvelous! Good luck with your home business ventures, and never give up! Persistence does eventually pay off!

oz girl
1/29/2010 12:00:08 PM

Hi Dave ~ The pics are at other friends' places. For some reason, the captions aren't there, so I know they don't make much sense relative to this post. :-) In the first photo: "Team roping takes LOTS of practice. If failure during competition is not an option, then practice will make perfect. At the very least, you'll be a better header or heeler and go home satisfied at the end of a long day." My husband enjoys team roping and he particularly enjoyed reviewing these pics after a rousing practice session at a friend's place - he was able to see his technique in the photos and improve upon them. In the second photo: "This picture is my personal metaphor for "rising above". I rode ole sweaty Murphy (the dark bay) on a recent cattle round-up… this was only my 3rd time to ride since I was 18 years old! Yes, I really pushed myself to tackle this challenge and I'm very glad I did." I think that caption pretty much explains it! Thanks for coming by Nebraska Dave - I enjoy your introspective comments here and on the other Grit blogs! :) Susan

nebraska dave
1/29/2010 11:36:57 AM

Oz Girl, I think those that strive to reach their goals and dreams are admirable. Home business is a good way to be able to acquire income and still be able to work on reaching the really important things in life. Even though my go to work years are pretty much over, I still am reaching. There’s always ways to make the world a better place around us. It may not be saving the planet, but my philosophy at this point in life is to take my skills and recourses and try to affect my realm of influence in a positive way. That some times requires extra income, other times just a listening ear, and then maybe snowblowing the neighbor's driveway. I truly respect and admire you for having the desire to start and maintain a home business. Isn’t it great to live in a country where anyone can strive to own a successful business? The pictures in the blog are great. Is that your place?

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