September 9, 2010
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Or moreover, thoughts on being a pagan who owns a business.
I want to be clear that this is not an advertisement for my business. I do not wish for my blog to turn into spam and certainly respect my subscribers more than that.
I feel really fortunate and proud to own a business. I didn’t finish college, don’t know any trades, and have few marketable skills besides being a creative thinker type. Actually I used to have on my resume “creative think tank” as a description of my skills. Furthermore, I am proud to own a business which can really help people. Without going into much detail and alerting Google’s crawlers, possibly outing myself, I teach people how to invest. I myself hate numbers and was never good at math or technical things like math. I am however good with people and love to flex the more creative side of my brain in building a business. This is where my Brother and now business partner steps into the picture.
He is Baptist Minister with a degree in Theology who instead of having a congregation was called to help people through their finances. I respect his decision to take a non-traditional approach to his faith a lot. He, for some time now, has owned a financial planning business that doesn’t charge the client for his time. Through everything he does the client never has to write him a check for his services, and then behind the scenes he works hard to get as many contracts with companies as he can as a free agent. He wanted to start another company but needed help with the administration and creative side of things and asked me to jump on board. We did a few months of planning then went live with our business a little over a year ago. He still to this day does not know I’m a Pagan/Wiccan/Witch.
I am certainly proud of what I do for people. I could rattle on for hours about it. I just wish as a pagan that I could find someway to bring what I do to the pagan community. My problem is with the target audience. During the initial phase of our business planning we really wanted to narrow down who are our “5 pointers”, and what are the five points. After a lot of research and debate we found out the answer to those questions and although I wasn’t shocked I did find myself disappointed. Most of the people I know, and associate with, didn’t fit the target. In fact the largest group of people who fit our target audience are Christian church-goers. Truthfully it is not a bad demographic to have, but I constantly wish that I could use what I know to help the Pagan community along with my pagan friends. I look at my business partner with envy sometimes because what he is able to provide for his friends, and fellow worshipers.
Right now I think there are Two major things that are holding me back from really approaching my fellow pagans as a target audience.
- Coming out to my Brother and Business Partner. I know that if I were to start sending him business from unknown areas and avenues that he would eventually find out. He talks about his faith a lot and doesn’t have a problem, like most Baptist Ministers, talking about that faith to strangers and asking about their views points and feelings. I don’t think that he would ever turn business down when it comes to what someone’s religion is, but it would definitely get him into preacher mode. I would feel horrible if he caused someone grief from a referral I sent his way.
- I feel like I might not be giving my fellow pagans due credit. I feel sometimes that I am pigeon-holing pagans into a category that is based on my own bias. They say to be successful in sales you have to spend 80% of your time in your target market. Out of all of the pagans I know currently I really can only think of two that fit that target. Am I maybe limiting what I can do by what I know and my own bias? I think maybe I am.
I know people who can help people with everything financial in their life. Credit, Insurance, Investments, Health Care, and Retirement are only a few of the things that I know the pagan community deals with just as much as any other community. I get closer everyday to coming out of the Broom Closet with myself and my business. It is starting to feel less of a choice and more of an obligation, especially since there is a lot of good I could do for people if I were more open.
December 30, 2009
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Today I went out into this world on a mission. Through the Witches Voice I found what looked like just an awesome pagan store. Quite possibly the only store of its kind in this whole state… I unfortunately live in the heart of the bible belt. My mission was to give some of my hard earned money to a small local pagan store and in return replace some books that a let a friend borrow a couple of years ago. I hope that their new home is a good one.
We, my wife and I, punched in the address we found online into our Iphones. We were really excited and have been putting this off to a day that we knew we had plenty of time to find the store and browse. It heightened the excitement knowing that this type of store is rare. After a few mis-turns on stray streets we finally found the right building. It was a mostly unmarked building with many random office spaces and other small businesses. We walked around the building marked with the suite number from the website and then I heard my wife gasp… she had just noticed a post on the owners website saying that they were closed forever. My heart sank.
I retrospect I can’t help but think how sad this situation is. Someone probably noticed the lack of this kind of store in the area and thought, as I myself would think, I should open a business. With sweat and hard work, and possibly on loan or by money borrowed they opened a dream. The rest of the story in my head goes by and I felt the same feelings I would feel if my own small business were to meet the same fate. Sorrow, Despair, and Failure.
Please go online and research for stores near you. If you have the means shop there. It is so important to build up this community and lift up those who have a dream to provide like people with goods and service.
In the sidebar you will find a link to The Witche’s Voice an online collection of store, shops, and website of all things pagan. Check it out.
What stores are near you? Any one ever own a business like this? If you would like to share your business comment and add your web address or physical location.