It's the first gig we've been to since late 2019 - not so much the pandemic here as we generally don't have community transmission and so sports and concerts have been back on the menu for nearly a year and are now back to about 3/4 capacity. We don't make enough of an effort though, and often we don't even know what's on...The concert sounds great. I have only been to two in my life, and I enjoyed them, but I don’t think I’m as much into that scene as I should be.
My suggestion would be to buy secondhand. We are looking for a second mountain bike for guests and for places my road bike won't go. Couldn't find much on Gumtree (our Craigslist) and the new bikes are pretty expensive - then I went to our local auction house where we got lots of stuff for the house and they had a nice road bike in, same brand as mine, no mountain bike this week but they said to keep checking each week and soon I will have one. Past bids between $20 and $200 for nice good-condition bikes that sell for $500 - $2000 new. You can put a slip in and don't have to attend the auction and that's how we always did it.I am however super excited about your biking! It was beautiful, and I really like riding bikes. Little girl has a bike fitting for that name, and big girl’s is barely any better. One is for children and the other for someone around the 5’0” height. I am debating purchasing bikes for them this year. It would be an expensive addition to my budget, but boy would we have some fun!
They would like a bit more variety in our lives. I’ve taken them running, and they are good for a shorter distance, but they don’t love it. I think they would really enjoy riding bikes.
Hahaha! 😀 Yes, and I'm always aware of this when writing about it, which makes it extra fun.It's beautiful countryside. I'd like to start bike riding, but I'm not sure when to fit it in between jogging and riding! My legs are usually worn out by the evening. And normally STILL worn out in the morning....age is not kind! My former pastor is 69. You couldn't pay him to jog or ride a horse, but he really likes his morning bike rides!
PS: It always seems odd to see a post from Australia say "Coming into Denmark..."
Thank you, @MeditativeRider! I doubt anything is as heavy as my husband's mountain bike... it's a 15-year-old steel-framed job and these days they're aluminium, like my nearly as old road bike, which I can lift up with one arm and get on the car roof easily myself. His mountain bike is a two-person lift and would brain you if it fell on you. But yes, it doesn't have to be a mountain bike and thanks for offering the distinction, I'd never heard of a gravel bike...The biking looks great. My husband would like that track. I will get him to look it up. He currently has a broken leg/knee (tibial plateau) and used to be a daily bike commuter and go on long bike rides on the weekend, so he is pretty bored and trying to keep entertained by looking at future biking possibilities. He is a gravel biker, which is another type of bike you could look out for at your sales as they are made for more off road than a road bike but not as heavy as a mountain bike and easier to use for sealed sections.
I would not take on a magazine unless it had a strong online subscription base. And many advertisers to pay the bills.DILEMMA - WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Here's a hypothetical. Let's say you're a couple and the one staying at home doing farm and farmstay is pining to use her professional skills, which is a bit difficult given the location and the fact that at least one person has to be on-site most of the time. And let's say the other person, who works four days a week off-farm, is unhappy with things like workplace bullying and constant attention splitting of administrative work by having to answer phones constantly at the same time (in days of old, when people were valued, phones and immersive work used to be kept separate, but neoliberalism worships "productivity" and extracts every last second from people at workplaces these days, and the toll is pretty evident in mental health terms, with depression and anxiety on the up and up for this and other reasons). Plus, he is an introvert in a people-in-your-face role, which deeply depletes introverts in the long run and after seven years of this he's gotten to the point of locking himself up in the office when he gets home if there's farmstay guests, because he just can't face more people.
And let's say one of the magazines that the at-home person used to write for is up for sale because the editor wants to move on after 19 years, and is now shutting down because it hasn't found a purchaser even though it's an Australian independent publishing icon that's been around and celebrated for 40 years.
Between the two of you, there's no doubt you could run it - it's been run by one person for many years and she does it on 30 hours/week, having gotten good at it. The work-away-from-home person used to work in graphic design and IT, from home for many years, at a desk and no interruptions - he'd be all over the graphic design and layout. The stay-at-home person has been a writer for yonks, has been a top contributor to this magazine, and has the necessary literary, grammar, spelling and scientific background for the role, with a double science degree, editing experience, and specific experience in the subject the magazine is dedicated to.
Things like subscription management and advertising would be pains in the behind (you can't even say donkey anymore!), and you already know that the business management and admin side of that definitely are, since you already run a small business. That's a definite down side, but it's sort of like cleaning the toilet - you all have to do it.
The problem is, the proceeds from the magazine's operation are declining and last year made only around 3/4 of what the working-away-from-home person is making. If that were steady and guaranteed then it just might work out OK, because taking the car off the 300km/week commute would save well upwards of $5,000 a year, and the ability to distribute the income amongst the two of you would drop the amount of tax that's being paid so you'd be about even on that front, for now.
The declining popularity of print press is the worry - independent magazines are dying everywhere. On the one hand, you'd like to be able to save a flagship independent publication, and you know you've got the skills and passion to do it, and that this is the one forum for the particular topic in print in Australia. And the outgoing editor is nominating a number of ways the revenue could be increased that she just didn't have the energy for towards the tail end of running the publication - after so many years doing it.
The biggest issue - since the others could be resolved, by e.g. the outside worker dropping to half his hours instead of completely quitting - is that the business costs the same as a year's income from the current away-from-home salary, and that if the magazine folds altogether because of trends in the print market etc then this is money down the drain. Also, although you could find half of it without huge duress because of your savings (but they are your savings...), you're both down-shifters living off very little and with little to spare in current operations. The other half is a problem, and you don't want to take out a loan because that is just too much financial risk, and burden. You're not in debt just now (besides a reasonably low-key mortgage) and you don't want to be.
Crowdfunding is a possibility for fundraising the difference - "Help us save this independent publication." How much that would raise is anyone's guess, but probably some, since the incipient loss of the magazine is already being lamented across the community. One could try...
Those are some of the down sides. The up sides are, no more commuting, back to a style of work the current away-from-home person is far more comfortable with, being your own boss, no more workplace sniping, and significantly utilising the professional skills of both persons that have been under-utilised since your downshift/move to the farm - all while saving a publication worth saving.
What would you do?
We don't know anyone else in the industry or with an accurate crystal ball; and also this is a complex situation to predict - some of it depends on how much energy we end up having (and while we have some, we're not bright-eyed, bushy-tailed young people with endless enthusiasm and optimism who've not been burnt out yet!). Some of it depends on demand...I just read your post about the magazine opportunity. Definitely worth investigating. I would research the heck out of it. Try to talk to some people other than the person selling as to the likelihood of the other pathways to increase revenue being successful.
Whereas we can't do any more drop in income - we're downshifters already, down from two professional salaries to the equivalent of one average salary between us - and that itself has been OK, except that my husband is quite unhappy with the nature of the work he is doing at the moment - it doesn't fit his personality and is endlessly draining to him, and it's really hitting him hard this year.I work from home and am self-employed (science copyeditor) and have been ever since I finished my PhD in 2008. I really love it. My income is a lot less than what it would be if I worked a traditional job for my education/degree, but the lifestyle more than makes up for the drop in income.
That kind of thinking does seem to work in our experience; we've never taken on a project we've not been able to make work - which of course doesn't mean it couldn't happen - and part of it is that we have been pretty careful and researched things well. The owner build is the biggest example so far. It really tested us, and we could never do it again, we'd die - but it was really worth it, and we're glad we did it. And that could have ended in financial disaster as well.I think that if both of you are excited and ready to take on the opportunity and the changes, that you will make it work. You are both determined and intelligent, and you have a ton of experience to fall back on.
The magazine already has a lot of electronic subscriptions, but that area could be pushed potentially. Currently it uses FB as a website and we don't do FB for ethical and privacy reasons, and because we think FB websites aren't very appealing anyway. There's a lot of scope for doing a decent website linking to various resources and perhaps having some small-fee sections to it and kind of internationalising it. Brett did web design professionally for many years, as well as layout etc.Crowd funding is a great idea. I think creating a virtual publication of the magazine and building upon that could also bring in an income source to replenish what has been lost. You are both very good in that area as well.
Yeah, I'm with your thinking there.If you are needing a change of pace, and both of you are feeling that way, there really is nothing holding you back from making a change. If this is what is appealing to you, then I probably would chase it. It is hard to get both people on board, but if husband and I wanted to make a change and committed to making it work I would believe fully that we could as a team.
I appreciate these portraits! Thank you.I'm the sort who would NEVER start his own business. He's the sort who could never work for someone else for any length of time. And of course, he's the sort who has been happy living with around the clock work, never going an a vacation and often having every free cent tied up in land, livestock and equipment.
Sadly, yes - but there are still a few of us left who love the smell and the idea and the physicality of a book or magazine. Alas, we might be a dying breed. But, this magazine is split across printed and electronic versions. Personally I prefer the printed version - it's not an ephemeral magazine, it's lasting-value stuff, like a good book... but others prefer to inhale the whole world via devices...I will say publishing seems an uncommonly risky investment. Magazines of any type seem to struggle. Print as a medium seems to be in serious decline.
Bwahahaha, you're so naughty! 😜(She describes him as a "liberal, Yankee atheist". I asked her why she used 3 equivalent terms... )
Completely agree, and that's why we downshifted. But even downshifting needs to be re-invented periodically...I do believe it is better to live on a reduced income doing something you believe in and love than living a risk-free life. I was lucky enough to spend most of my adult life doing something I really loved. It would be torment to go to work daily, year after year after year, at 'just a job'. I realize many need to do that. But I'd much rather do what I loved at half the pay.
Very good points! It has a good number of online subscribers, as well as an online back catalogue as long as your arm of electronic copies which still continue to be requested. It's a professional library, very much, and the only one of its type in Australia.I would not take on a magazine unless it had a strong online subscription base. And many advertisers to pay the bills.
Hey, I resemble that remark@bsms said:She describes him as a "liberal, Yankee atheist". I asked her why she used 3 equivalent terms...
Thanks for the link and ideas!Another possibility is can you contact an established publishing society/body in Australia and ask to be put in touch with a mentor who you could discuss things with? I am on the copyediting side so do not know much about publishing and the only place I can think of that is Australia based is IpEd, which in the Institute of Professional Editors (Institute of Professional Editors Limited | To advance the profession of editing | Home). I am not sure if they would have anyone of use to you in your research.
And thank you especially for this; that's very helpful! ♥In terms of your husband and depression and loneliness, I don't really know what to say except I totally understand. I probably have undiagnosed ASD Level 1 (and my husband agrees with this). ASD in females is thought of as the brain being similar to a male brain than a female brain. I am probably very similar to your husband in that I am an introvert but enjoy human interaction. Group stuff or too much overwhelms me and I get a social migraine and need time on my own. I tend to feel lonely no matter how many friends I have or people around me because there are very few people that I actually feel comfortable with and relaxed enough to be myself. And not being myself is both tiring and sometimes depressing. I also have a social/human interaction limit, so if I reach it with my kids, I sometimes don't have enough energy to socialize with my husband after work. If I have enough energy to socialize with him, I very rarely have enough energy to socialize beyond our family. Before I had kids + husband, I did socialize more with friends because I had the energy to do that. I don't ever discuss my feelings with anyone bar my husband really.
I am not really one to get depressed as I tend to be more like you and revert to working my way out of it in some way. My husband has had depression in the past. He did not want to talk about it to anyone, but what seemed to help was just going on with life and doing all our regular stuff. Not giving stuff up because he did not feel into it. We still went biking, hiking, etc, and eventually it passed. My younger brother had lots of existential depression as a young adult and tried talking to a professional and it made him worse because he found the whole process frustrating (they could not give him answers etc.). So I don't think talking to someone is always needed or a help.
I hope you both get through this to something brighter.
About 30% over the last 5 years or so, if I remember correctly.Thoughts I had reading through:
1. Have you seen the balance sheet already? How bad are recent declines?
No, I don't think this would be feasible for us - it would add another layer of complexity to an already complex beast, and we'd rather find a way to pay up-front than take on someone else.2. Do you know someone else who would want in on the business as an investor? Maybe not feasible depending on their expectations for what they’d need to take out for their own compensation
He did that for a while in his 20s and hated it because it ate into all his spare time. He found that working for an employer gave him nice boundaries between work and home life, especially when he at first worked in offices. Later on, when everyone had to work from home because they shut the office down, he was still OK with that mostly, because he didn't have to get involved in the business side of things, it was just turn up, do XYZ, get paid.3. Is there a different way Brett can shift out of his job, eg starting his own graphic design/web design consulting firm?
Yeah, that's the boat we are in, pretty much, though crowdfunding may be able to help out there for the magazine.4. Debt scares us too. We actually had almost the same conversation about a local business that recently came up for sale. Lovely husband is really interested and there are some really attractive features-but the price tag is just too scary.