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How can you further your activism goals while earning an income doing the exact same activities?
What does it take to live and work intentionally? To embrace your passion for activism on a full-time basis.
Most of us find ways to finance our activism by applying for grants, working for non-profit organizations that serve the cause we are passionate about.
We compete with each other for funding, dependent on the whims of an oversight committee and beholden to their requirements, twisting our campaigns to suit their purposes but also serve our own.
We can be very creative.
But there is another way.
There are countless people on the internet who are earning an income through their websites. I have been studying how they did it and discovered their formula.
So, I set out to replicate their efforts in a unique way. I wanted to build my business around a particular kind of website. An activism website, where the content and products I provide actually further my activism goals.
And here you are on the website of my dreams. Digital Activist Media, where I teach change-makers and revolutionaries formulas for leading successful campaigns and financing their activism.
Here is how I did it.
I started with a very useful list of my interests, expertise / experience, influencers , and extra bonuses. I call it a “Mind Splurge.”
I drew out my columns on a page because I like to do some things by hand rather than on the computer. It gets me out from behind my desk. Feel free to do this however you choose. This is what I put under the column headings:
Everything I am passionate about, interested in, and rocks my world.
Expertise / Experience
What am I an expert about? I’m not talking just about my training and education. I’m talking about being an expert due to life experience or independent research, too. What have I done a lot of that I feel confident to say I’ve reached a certain level of expertise?
Association with Influencers
Who do I know that could reach my potential audience? Who do I know * about * who has influence with my potential audience (whom I could approach in the future)?
Added Bonus Features!
This is where I added all the positive added bonuses that I can be happy and proud about. I also listed reasons building this business will enhance my life.
Four Questions to Discover My Ideal Business Idea
Having completed the “mind splurge,” I was already teeming with ideas. To narrow it down and really nail my perfect business vision, I asked myself four questions.
There are many variations on this theme for identifying the perfect business for your passions, but this is the one that worked best for me.
I did this exercise many times over since the first time, as I’ve worked through the steps in the formula. The answers you see are my most recent updates. 🙂
- What do my ideal website visitors want?My ideal website visitors (for DAM) want to conduct successful digital media campaigns and achieve balance in their lives between their income earning efforts and their activism efforts.
- What is the main problem they have that I believe I can solve?They have passion and commitment but they lack the knowledge and skills to succeed at their digital media goals consistently.
- How will I solve their problem?By researching, imitating, testing, and sharing the formulas that lead to digital success.
- What is one subject I can never get enough of?I love talking about issues and causes I am passionate about (activism) and I am fascinated by digital communications.
Next, I combined them into a short paragraph of no more than three sentences. I was able to get this down to one sentence.
I want to teach activists formulas for leading successful campaigns and earning a living through digital activism.
This sentence answered “YES” to the following questions for me:
- Will I enjoy writing about this topic a year from now or two years from now?
- Can I create a product or service around this topic that will solve my audience’s problem?
- Am I excited about getting started?
Finally, I rewrote the sentence to be my “elevator speech.”
Digital Activist Media teaches change-makers and revolutionaries formulas for leading successful campaigns and financing their activism.
I printed this sentence and put it by my desk to help me memorize it.
Mind-map for Integrating Projects and Prioritizing Goals
If you’re anything like me, you have had a million ideas and possibly even have started many blogs that you never finished. Some of them are your babies and you wouldn’t dream of abandoning them. Others should probably get left on the cutting room floor.
I used this exercise to determine how I could integrate my favourite projects, determine what to get rid of entirely, and prioritize which projects could be left for a future date.
These are my babies:
Digital Activist Media – My new project which you are reading right now.
The Naked Truth – A website / social community I founded in 2000 for adult entertainers which continues to operate despite several failed attempts at monetizing my activism through the site.
Cure My Crohn’s – A blog about my journey to cure an autoimmune disorder naturally.
As you can see, my first mind-map was quick and dirty. I surrounded each of my main interests with the many other projects and associations I am a part of that are even remotely linked to the central idea.
I also recognized how my two secondary “babies” are related to Digital Activist Media, because they are activism causes close to my heart (sex worker rights and health freedom rights).
The scribbles are projects that I cut out by either incorporating them into one of my three babies or deleting them from my life altogether.
This early work to choose an idea that I could really be passionate about has served me very well. Since doing these exercises, I have been on an amazing ride.
Working to build this business doesn’t feel like work at all, because my business is activism, and making the world a better place is something I will never tire of.
Phew! Now, I was ready to decide on a product or service for my activism business. What could I offer that is AMAZING? Follow my journey here.
Did you try these exercises? Did they work for you? Are you having trouble with any part of it? Maybe I can help! Please share your thoughts in the comments below.