I had this passion to do something to help those in mental distress. After all I had seen so much close at hand. Nothing too serious, just obsessive compulsive disorder and associated depression but it was serious enough to wreck a family and a home. After a season of voluntary work it became obvious that there was not just a sea of need but an ocean.
What could I do? I tried to run some workshops, but some crazy things happened to de-rail those. Not only that but the financial side of that venture was a disaster so I tried another direction. If face to face events did not work well what about moving into the online world so as you will see that is what I have done.
The initial dream
I had this dream of what this business was supposed to be like. I mean a dream, one of those night visions that you wake up with and are able to write down. Well I did ask God what He wanted what was then called Lily the Pink Ministries CIC to become. This is is the neat typed version of what I wrote down.
Even if the type is too small to read there is one thing that you will be able to work out. That is a big vision. There are six areas, and there are a list of ideas for each area. So in the social area there is a cafe and the opportunity to join in with various social activities. In the living area there would be the chance to learn home-based skills like ironing and cleaning. It is not a niche but rather a project that would supply just about everything someone in mental distress could need to help them rebuild their life and climb out of a pit of despair. The only thing it does not do is provide people with a roof over their heads.
As if that was not big enough that shape is a hexagon and hexagons tessellate. What! Well they are a great shape to use when you want to cover a large area as they don’t overlap or leave gaps. Not only that but the distance from the centre to the perimeter is just about the same in every direction. Help does that mean that there should be hundreds of these hexagons? Covering the whole country, and even the whole world.
Gulp – or am I really going mad
Now this is getting out of hand. I am one person how on earth do I do this? Jesus was one man, and he started by teaching a handful of followers who then went out to teach others and they went on to teach others who taught others who taught others and so on for thousands of years.
They took advantage of the communication technology of their time to get around. The Romans of course are known for the roads that they built to move their troops around but everyone else could get around better as well. As you are reading this on a computer you will know that communications technology has changed a bit but it is still there to be used by anyone who wants to use it and for whatever they want to use it for.
Hold on a minute though aren’t many of those things provided by either the welfare state or existing projects?
Why it is necessary to re-invent the wheel? Since that dream it seems as though there has been a nibbling away at the level of help that people receive from the welfare state. It has become harder and harder to survive on the money the government gives the poorest in the UK. Services are becoming more and more stretched as they are expected to do more with less money.
The prophetic alarms sounding in the USA are getting louder. More people seem to be expecting financial disaster ahead. The household resilience and preparedness movement is expanding again because they see problems ahead. It has not reached the fever pitch it reached in 1999, but it is growing. There is no final deadline like the start of a new century, but there is a growing realisation that things are cannot stay the same and some people are making serious attempts at changing their lives.
If the kind of financial disaster some people are predicting does actually happen, there will be a lot of hurting people. There will be many people looking for ways to rebuild their lives and the safety nets that they once would have expected to fall back on will not be able to take the strain. If it does not then there will be more sources of help for people in need.
How does this get off the ground?
I started with a vision then looked around for the money I needed to make it happen then started to shape a project and of course along the way came the personal development stuff. Mmm maybe that is where I should start helping people through that process.
Where do you get the vision from? That is where Find your Purpose Love your Life is useful. The idea is to review what you are good at and then use that information to create a vision for what you can do with your life. Of course the challenge is that often people have got off track a bit so it also includes help include to change direction.
What about the money piece? OK many of those in mental distress are in a financial tangle. Its often a chicken and egg situation so it can be hard to know where to start. The answer is to create a chicken with an egg inside it, a sort of two for one deal. In other words it is essential to tackle two aspects of dealing with money at once i.e. the thinking about it and the doing things with it. That is why the first part of the Bridge to Riches program is about getting the head stuff right but there is also some further more practical ideas in the Developing a Spending Plan materials.
What about shaping a project? You need to learn the basic skills first. Money Making Parlour is a collection of ideas that you can use to set up a practise business. There are very few successful business people who do not have at least one business failure in their past. Its how they learnt the things that helped them become so successful today. Start small like this, and if things do not go to plan, then it is not quite so disastrous than if you had spent fantastic sums of money setting up a business. Another basic skill is creating a website. That is why the money Making Parlour apprentice programme includes how to set up a WordPress website.
What about the personal development? That is where the ideas in Blossom with Lily come in handy. OK it does not sound very manly but the material is suitable for everyone. It is based on a twelve step process of helping yourself achieve more and be more.
What about the websites that were started before Lily’s Place was even dreamed off?
I first started doing websites in 2001 so I had some websites up and running before Lily’s Place was even a dream. I thought I would be able to use them to develop an online business, but it did not quite work out. They never made a penny and were the reason why you knew it was such a good idea to practise before leaping in.
They are still up and running as websites but they are sort of on the back burner these days. There is The Prepared Home which spawned two other sites i.e. Surviving a Household Emergency and the Food Storage course. They have been updated but have not really changed that much.
There is also Making the Pounds meet the Ends which is now called Pounds CAN Meet the Ends. The name was changed when I realised that I had some wrong thinking about money. What I would now call financial anorexia. In other words the aim was to starve yourself of what you needed as a sort of punishment for spending too much. Rather like some people starve themselves of food because they believe they are too fat even when they are little more than skin and bone. I am not belittling the seriousness of food based anorexia from a medical standpoint, but there are so many similarities that the name seems appropriate.
Worship Tools was birthed out of a frustration of not being able to share what I had learnt about using flags and things for worship. It seems as though I came up with a name for things that really had no collective name before that and then other people then used that name as well. That was a lot more successful in that I saw a need and then did something to meet that need.
Then I had an electronic CV. It started with a template for a very extensive CV and that website is now the starting point for finding out about me online. It has changed over the years as what I have done has changed but its still hanging on in there.
What about the ever sprouting ideas?
Being creative is good as long as you know when to stop. I have not and I have given myself a headache as s result. Money Extravaganza is supposed to be an interview series. Problem is exactly how it will be organised has changed. Even the available technology has changed.
Christian Online Business Club came about as I could not find anywhere else that like minded people could gather. Its waiting around for something to happen now.
Hangout in the Chapel was something that seemed good at the time. A way of using this developing technology but there never was any real focus to it so it has not progressed. One day it will be there waiting for whatever it is supposed to happen there to actually happen.
Is that all?
Well actually no. There are also the Sowing and Growing Information Products and the Sow a Business websites. They started as books that compared the natural world to business. Sowing and Growing Information Products concentrates on businesses selling information products. This could be a service like coaching or a product like photos or books. Sowing a Business focuses on making comparisons to apples and orchards rather than all the natural world and included more ideas on things like systems. They are not so much how to books but ideas and inspiration books to give you ideas on what to think about when it comes to setting up a business.
Surely that is everything?
Well it is for now. My resolution for 2014 was no more new websites. Amazingly I managed to stick to it. After it was well past the time when it it was necessary to bring it all together and consolidate everything.
Actually many of these sites are set and nearly forget sites. Some are membership sites where people can sign up to learn more about a topic. I say forget because the content is designed to be evergreen. It is not the intention to forget those who sign up for those courses. They are very important people. It is just until there is a team of people to share the workload amongst, they will have to operate on auto pilot as far as possible.
Now you have an idea what each website is about you know which one to look at in the list at the side to go and explore. There is more information about each project at it’s own website even if I am in the process of updating or finalising the materials.