Something I’ve been feeling for awhile: You don’t need a million customers, a hundred thousand, ten thousand, or even necessarily a thousand! A hundred clients can be quite enough. Staying small (right-sized) is often a more powerful ticket to a steady livelihood than any amount of growth. You may find that your number is in fact 1,000 or 10,000 or more. The point is to choose deliberately, choose the right fit for you and your work.
Jeff Goins (one of my go-to bloggers on business and creativity) says it better than I ever could. He doesn’t mention the word “permaculture,” but his advice is very much in keeping with that set of nature-based design principles.
Jeff is a writer and coach, but his advice applies equally to the organic farmer, cottage candy-maker, solo jewelry designer, or whatever you are aspiring to make your livelihood of! Jeff’s article A New Way of Doing Business: Find Your Dream 100 contains maybe the best advice I’ve ever read for business enterprises, especially solo ones.
“… by focusing on helping fewer people, I’m able to reduce my overhead while significantly increasing my profits, so I’ll personally make more money while helping more people.”
And this really hits home:
“For years, I longed to create an “impact” and leave a “legacy” while “making a dent in the universe.” But in reality, I was doing none of that. All I was doing was trying to be famous. Finally, I woke up, realizing my work wasn’t that important. As sad as it sounds, this reality liberated me, allowing me to enjoy my work.”
(Note, this is not to say that we are not doing important work. I interpret it to mean that none of us, individually, holds the fate of the universe in his or her hands.)
Those are just a couple of snippets; go enjoy the rest of Jeff’s article! I look forward to hearing how his advice works for you.