I don't even know where I left off when I last wrote an update.
I spent the first half of this year working on my research proposal to apply to the Gender Studies department of the Central European University. I had hoped to be accepted to do a research project about birth in Hungary, and do my PhD. I was not accepted.
My plan B was to start my own space and rev up my private practice. It's a good thing I had a plan B I was excited about, because I was really bummed about my rejection.
So since June, I've been working on my own space, which those of you who follow me on Facebook may be aware of. Coincidentally, the space I used to rent for holding my childbirth classes and do my therapy folded just about at the same time I decided I needed to make this move. This meant I was able to bring most of their "tenants", their domain name (and readership) and their name with me when I went. This is how it happens that my new space is also called Életkör (rough translation: Life Circle), just like the old space was. From a marketing perspective, it made sense to keep the name and especially the domain name and mailing list, even though everything else, including the actual location, and management, had changed. The built-in audience and existing brand name made it worth keeping.
My scheme was to recruit a few more people like me who would be willing to pitch in to make rent, and allow them to further sublet the space for events THEY organize. This seems to be working pretty well. Most of us are making money. Not all of us though, which means I may be losing some of my "tenants."
All summer, I spent revamping the website, recruiting event holders, and organizing stuff in general, I had literally no time for my own money-making endeavors, like holding childbirth classes. So I made very little money during the summer months, and we *really* felt it at home, since David also switched jobs at the same time. But I had given myself 3 months to put money and energy into the new business before I started seeing results. I knew September would be our first "real" month, since in Hungary, all life seems to stop over the summer months.
And it's true, in September, we had a full schedule, tons of events organized, with most event holders making a profit. We also had a whole bunch of cancellations, but in general, I am pleased with the way this month has turned out. I'm looking forward to even better months to come. My goal is to make the space pay for itself, provide me with a location to hold MY classes, and have it run on autopilot for everybody else, so I can then devote my time to tinkering with my websites.
This summer I also spent a lot of time building sites, including the one for Életkör, and a new one I've been talking about ForEver, the Budapest Moms website. You can see the work in progress here: www.budapest-moms.com. It's still a far cry from the all-inclusive community portal I have in mind, but it's a start.
So I guess I'm really launching TWO businesses: Életkör and Budapest Moms at the same time. I'm basing both on the previous 3 years I've spent building up a network with Hungarian birth-y folks, and English-speaking moms.
At any rate, I'm really into building websites, and my dream would be to have the time to create websites that actually make money. It's a whole another art form, this internet affiliate marketing thing.
Umm, I'll keep you posted, but right now, I have to go kick Vivi's butt because she's whinging in the kitchen instead of brushing her teeth like I told her to...