Making it Work in Rural America

Full disclosure, I DO have a day job. I work 4/10’s at a utility company. So I’m not here to tell you that you should chuck it all, close your eyes and jump headfirst into selling things online. Because, while you are building your online presence, let’s face it – you still need to eat, pay bills, and buy stuff. And you don’t have to choose one or the other, you can do both.

I’ve been selling things online since around 1998 when I sold my first item on eBay. A used book. Paid less than a dollar, sold it for $8.00. My buyer sent me a personal check in the mail, and after it cleared the bank, I put the book into a plastic bag, tucked it into a padded envelope, hand-wrote their address on the outside, stuck maybe 5 or 6 first class stamps on it, and sent it off to New Jersey. The whole transaction took about two weeks.

Yeah. A lot has changed since then. Now we have PayPal, online postage, fees, receipts taxes, next-day shipping, and generally higher standards and WAY more rules if you want to sell things on any of the major retail websites.

And a lot has changed in my analog world too. I find myself single again after 26 years of marriage. Kids are grown and out of the house. I don’t burn calories like I used to. Gardening and yard work will wrench my bones and muscles to where it takes the rest of the weekend to recover. So I begin to pay attention to what I eat, I discover household shortcuts (‘hacks’ so to speak), and I learn to use power tools. And I do what I want to do, not what others think I should do.

Rural America, the middle of the country, it’s not just geography – it’s a mindset, a culture, and a way of life very different from the outer edges and borders. It takes some getting used to. It takes sluffing off the “California dream” or the “New York minute” It’s heritage, history, and folklore caught in a different path of time and energy. It changes slowly, if at all. It’s calming, it’s simple, and it’s sincere. It will sincerely kick your ass if you don’t keep on top of your circumstances.

Keeping on top of my circumstances is what I like to write about. Yeah, I like to write. I like to share, I like to help, and I like to bounce stuff off the internet and see what comes back. I’m a Leo. We’re like that. And I’m interested in others out there like me. Single, by fate or by choice? At a crossroads? Wondering about a different path? Want to be more self-sufficient? Figure you are smarter and more capable than others think you are and want to prove it? Yeah baby. Go. Do it.

And talk to me. I want to hear about it.