Making The Physcial Sea-Change to Rural or Regional Areas
Part of my summer holiday was spent down the coast and many hours spent with Jules of ‘The House of Jules’ – a wonderful lady who is making a life for herself and her family in the beautiful town of Milton. We talked for hours (while painting ceramics) about what’s involved in having a small business while living a full life. I found our braod-ranging conversations inspiring and stimulating and she gave me hope for achieving my dream of making my life in this beloved area of the country.
It also got me thinking that small business isn’t necessarily suited for everyone but making the physical sea change to rural areas is still a dream for many of us. So how can you make this change, have gainful employment in a small town and afford a home, travel, a quality life?
I think the same principles for preparing for a small business apply – preparation, planning and research. Figure out where you want to be making a new life, what sorts of skills you’ll need for gainful employment and start early in preparing yourself. In a small community you’ll need broad skills so you can do many things. Think about ways to broaden your skills, do courses to extend your range, gain additional experience (try volunteer work – it is great on so many levels, including gaining experience) and start making yourself known in the community you’re interested in.
Learn about the community you’re interested in. Subscribe to the local newspaper and read it regularly, find out what the community issues are, what businesses are there and growing, what the local council is like, how the community is growing and think about opportunities. Be creative in your approach but also be realistic – small communities generally have small economies but it is possible to make a good life in a good community. Remember, life is what you make it and if you want good things in your life then you need to make them happen – just like Jules of the ‘House of Jules’ is doing!