26th September 2020.
We awoke to our first significant frost this year and it was beautiful. It didn’t last long as the sun is strong today, but it was a truly magnificent icy topping. It was so magical and a glorious reminder, that life is constantly changing.
Jackie and I talked about lighting the stove, making a hearty soup from home-grown produce and the garden projects that will now be different.
The leaves are already changing and harvesting is coming to a close at Eagle Lodge as we pick, store, freeze and recycle back into nature. It really is a season finale celebration! We look forward to the warm summer days and the evenings of sunshine next summer, yet the time to retreat, renew and enjoy the warmth of the fire is just as significant and equally wondrous. The business of growth and harvest, is giving way to the significance of comfort and reflection. It is soon time to slow down, before preparing for the next change and forward planning.
Today it was time to just STOP! To take stock of everything appreciate just how important it is to do this now and then. In the morning sunshine I caught Grace and Tilly just ‘being’ in the sunshine, looking serene and undisturbed. I took some photos as it was a moment when everything seemed still and everything was as it should be. They give us so much joy, so much inspiration and are loved throughout the world.
These past few months for me, have been amazing! A beautiful community has grown from my natural animal courses and I have been really quite emotional about how so many, from so far have come together, to share their news and knowledge, their triumphs and challenges and all without any need to judge each other, critique or think of their income (or for that matter the income of others).
Another aspect has been my involvement with online course creator groups and although many are motivated by creating a good income from teaching and sharing their knowledge (nothing wrong in that), they genuinely support and help each other and also share their greatest tips. They don’t view other course creators as a competitor and amazing advice has been freely shared. The reason is we all recognise that we all have something unique to offer and now and then, someone else has a solution, for the hurdles we encounter. Also, you know that whatever your skills are that can help, they may well have something that you need help with too one day. It's a great community in the truest sense. It's also the decent thing to do and that counts for a lot.
I followed a discussion recently about how much people give away for free. It’s actually a decent business and social model where you share your experiences, knowledge and advice for free and sometimes offering a product. In return, people sign up to your mailing list and when the time has come to launch a new course, you have built not only an audience, but a cohort of people who are genuinely interested in your work and what you can offer them.
One successful course creator in particular quotes around 90% of his work is free (I can vouch for this having gained much from his wisdom and YouTube channel) and the other 10% is his income. This not only works very well, but he gives so much value and people trust him. That 10% keeps his large extended family in a developing country supported. It wouldn’t if all he did was pitch for income. Yet in the process, so many benefit from his knowledge and are refreshed that on the rare occasion he has a new course or product launch, are excited to invest.
For years I have been working in a field where competition, critique and concern for others doing similar work has been very damaging. Where underhand and hurtful gossip has discouraged others. Where even some of your closest colleagues have been known to denigrate others, in the mistaken belief it elevates them, whilst hugging them 5 minutes later heaping praise upon them! It can be confusing and often discouraging.
I've unsubscribed myself from many former friends and colleagues. If all I see is promotion without giving back, then I just don't want that energy on my newsfeed. If you want students and good business, give them a good reason to trust your motives - to truly know you believe in investing in them too.
Business is business as they say, but trust, transformation and value should be the cornerstone.
I leave this here with gratitude to those who have taught me that to be genuinely happy, is to know how to firstly give of myself. I strive to live up to that one.