What happens when you look at the options before you and nothing feels right? Like…the old ways of doing things, the traditional options are just. not. working for ya…?
You invent something new.
From 2011 to 2017 Republic of Freedom was my primary website where I blogged about all things freedom, and marketed my consulting services to small business owners. But in 2017, I desperately needed a change. I didn’t want to nuke it, and I didn’t want to bring in guest bloggers which I felt would completely water down all that I had built.
I wanted the concept behind the brand to grow and thrive, but it needed more than just me. So I decided to try something I hadn’t seen done before: the online equivalent of an employee-owned or profit-sharing business.
A new type of business model where everyone benefits
Just like cryptocurrency is disrupting the traditional currency model, I wanted to disrupt the online focus on building personal wealth.
I wanted to invite more people in to grow the Republic of Freedom, but it didn’t feel right to pay freelancers an hourly rate, or employees a salary. I wanted a curated group of people with diverse ideas to share that were personally invested in the work, and the philosophy of the Republic.
So, I came up with the Collective.
- I invited five contributors to join from very different walks of life, who I know personally and trust to produce thought-provoking pieces along the lines of the Republic’s values.
- I changed the business model from me selling one-on-one services, (which I still do, but over here) to one where we have affiliate links to programs we know, like, and trust throughout the site and soon we’ll offer short, affordable workshops as well.
- Each contributor, including myself, contributes eight pieces of content per year that allows us a weekly publishing schedule.
- The five contributors and I will evenly split the income generated from the site, after any administrative costs are deducted.
A different, kinder, more egalitarian way of business
What does all this mean?
It means you, dear reader, always get fresh, new insights from a merry band of misfits like you.
It means that as the website’s popularity grows, the potential for income grows as well but the creative input required from each contributor stays the same. (Loh! Creatives getting paid well for their work! Something our parents always said wasn’t “realistic”.)
It means that when you click through any affiliate link or buy a program from us, you are supporting not only creatives (most of whom do not have websites…they’re private citizens) but you are supporting a different, kinder, more egalitarian way of running an online business.
Look, this isn’t meant to be anyone’s primary gig. All contributors have other streams of income. But that’s part of the point. In this day and age, we should be diversifying our income streams. And people should be paid well for creative work.
We believe you should also feel the positive effects of sharing work you love, which is why the more each individual contributor shares other contributor’s stuff, the greater reach our work has, the more we all (theoretically) benefit.
I like to think of this as the bitcoin of online business. But hey, the truth is that this might not work.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a try.
Because like cryptocurrency, if it DOES work…then the future of creative online livelihoods has a new player in town and that is really freaking cool.