At the time, both Brenda and I had already put a couple of years work into part-time home-based ventures. She was working on JamBusters! – a specialty food preserving and vending operation and I was well on my way with a freelance web content business that had several clients already in place. What neither of us knew as we were shutting down our newspaper business was that we were actually stepping into a future that was already partially created and functioning.
I can’t remember exactly when we had the conversation, but there was a day somewhere between the paper closure and our final day in that office space (a month later) when we decided to try to turn our part-time ventures into full-time work-from-home businesses. Now that I look back on it, it really seemed to be the most logical route to take but I know that it just didn’t seem all that possible at first. But we started talking about it more and soon the idea sounded right.
Essentially all we did was shift our focus on each of our part-time gigs. Brenda started booking more vending venue dates and I started applying for more writing jobs. As insanely simple as that sounds, that was pretty much how it happened. We took a holiday – the first one we have ever had as a couple – and more or less plotted our future when we got back. We had a lot of time to sort it out as we slowly emptied out the office and moved everything home.
So, now two years have passed and both of us truly enjoy what we are doing. JamBusters! has grown to the point where we find ourselves trying to keep it small and manageable for just the two of us. My ghostwriting work has also exploded over the past two years and I currently have clients in 42 countries and have written web content for hundreds of different websites on as many different niches. Neither business has slowed to the point where we have been concerned.
If anything, we have either turned down the odd vending opportunity or writing job because we simply can’t fit them all in. I was following a rule where I would say ‘no’ to no one but I did eventually have to choose what writing jobs I would accept and which ones I would pass on. For me, as a full-time freelance writer, that’s not a bad problem to have and I do not take it for granted. Both of us have worked hard over the years to get to this place.
Although I won’t likely be celebrating the closure of a business I had owned for just over a dozen years – and worked at as an employee for over three years before that – we do have something to celebrate. Both Brenda and I were able to take the newspaper closure and turn it into something positive that was already taking shape in our lives. It really is proof of the old saying that when one door closes, another one opens. We both agree that this is what happened.