Running A One-Person Business


Another big office day. The underpinnings of the tour--paying bills, making lodging arrangements, keeping track of merchandise bought and sold, calling radio stations, writing cover letters and sending out with press kits, backing up the computer, getting advice about the web site. In some ways, it's the same as running the wedding business. Confirm and re-confirm. Inventory. Advertise. Set up and clean up. Maintain good relations with everybody.


An artist who is not an entrepeneur is an amateur. Even if you have a professional business representative, or an entire staff of them, you still have to manage the staff, or manage the person who manages them. In order to do that, you have to know all of their jobs well enough to be able to do them yourself. Otherwise, how do you know whether they are doing what you are paying them to do? Even if they are working magnificently, how would you ever adequately appreciate them if you have not done the job yourself before? And, more practically, who will do these tasks if some twist of fate deprives you of their help?


Salli Rasberry wrote a number of good-natured and earthy business books in collaboration with various business experts, including Honest Business, The Seven Laws of Money, Marketing Without Advertising and Running A One-Person Business. She interviewed me for both the original and the revised versions of the latter, and I was highly surprised to be quoted in both. Her advice rings true: go into a business about which you are passionate, for this is what will get you through the frustrations and doldrums that are natural to all enterprises. Pay your bills on time. Build fun into your business. Study your bookkeeping records to learn things otherwise not obvious about your business. Start small, so that you grow in response to the needs of your community.


When Living On The Earth was first published, I wished desperately for a business partner who would manage my career. This time I have one: me. I don't know everything, but that's why I have a network of friends, access to the Internet, and a strong connection to my Inner Spirit, who does.