May 2Liked by Adele Jarrett-Kerr

I really appreciate these conversations you’re instigating about money Adele. (And just appreciate you generally) And definitely think the juice of this conversation stretches far beyond the home educating side hustle model.

Personally I’ve been really struggling with the spiritual supermarket Instagram vibe recently (one of the reasons I left Instagram recently) because of the way that the one woman business model feels like it has shifted into an every woman for herself SELL SELL SELL dynamic.

“Last chance to sign up for early bird offer!”, “join my membership, now, prices going up soon!” It all just feels so wrong and ikk to me….and I can’t quite articulate exactly what it is yet but I feel I don’t want - or even know how - to be a part of it any more.

I think your point that “it’s working for them - for now at least” is a very good one. Because These don’t feel like sustainable models of business/living to me.

And I probably do have a little bit of bait to bring to the debate here; being someone who has managed to run my own business in the motherhood world for more than a decade now.

(Hopefully) with a decent amount of integrity and authentic.

So I *can* say what has made my business sustainable has been being honest, fair and real. And that’s why it’s worked (for me) long term. Because most of what comes back to me now is through positive word of mouth and the same women/families coming back to me again and again (birth work and online mindfulness courses…)

A friend and I were discussing this recently and she quoted that marketing for hippies guy saying: “You *can* make a KILLING - but only once!” I think this is something we will see revealing itself more over the coming years…People aren’t stupid. They might be sucked in once, but when these business aren’t built on integrity, community, and inclusion. People won’t buy from them again and their get rich quick models will reveal themselves as completely unsustainable.

So many threads here that I would love to unpick more with you!!! But alas I have a child to take care of 😉

Beaming you love and thank you for all that you do and share xxx

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Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your thoughts. I think sustainability is key. This is a really helpful addition.

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My mum ran a knitwear design business while I was home educated and she also worked three nights a week as a waitress. My dad taught me one afternoon a week and worked as a builder the rest of the time. My mum would leave me with work to do while she did some machine knitting and then she'd do the sewing together bits in the room with me (and frequently in evenings when she wasn't out waitressing). I don't think I ever appreciated, at the time, what a huge thing this was and how hard it must have been. We had very little money, though I never felt the lack. Clothes were hand-me-downs and homemade, food was grown in the garden and allotment with bits from the local shop, coal came once a week from the coalman. We hitchhiked around Europe attending Esperanto congresses and into the nearby cities to go to museums, very occasionally paying for a bus or train. I had the most wonderful childhood, frankly, and am sad that my sister didn't get that, too, but totally understand how they couldn't have done a second time around twelve years later, in a whole different world and life and with different energy levels.

We both work from home and I have considered it a few times, mostly because of how much I got from my own experience, but, while I could probably wangle it now with the younger teen (older teen just about to complete her A Level/Level 3 and heading to foundation year art course), I don't think there's any way I could have managed it when they were younger. It felt miraculous enough that we managed to juggle business and kids and occasionally wiping the house down. We also had very little money then. And absolutely couldn't have survived on one income.

I feel like this is one of the many areas where all this unpaid labour should actually be paid. Domestic labour, caring tasks and, yes, absolutely, home educating are all tasks that carry a significant value and yet we are obliged to lose money when we undertake them.

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Thank you so much for sharing all of this - I’ve been thinking about it since I read your words last night. There needs to be more honest and open discussion out there - about the financial pressure so many of us are experiencing and the compromises it means we have to make, about the possibility of influencing the state education system from within when school for childcare is an absolute necessity, about the fact that much of the public facing business talk from sole traders, entrepreneurs and freelancers on social media is very selective, misleading and sometimes manipulative. I hope the move to school has treated you all gently. My three are in school in Shropshire. It’s not how I’d ideally want them to spend their childhood but it’s the option that is available to us and we work hard to advocate within school and prioritise things that reflect our values outside of school.

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May 3·edited May 3

Adele, this landed as deep truth telling in my bones and I resonate with so much. Especially the “ick factor” (my choice of words) of the you can have it all Influencers (in all fields whether it’s home Ed, regen agri, self care, spirituality the list is endless really) who as you quite truthfully point out, are making the bulk of their money by selling us courses or products to support us to “have it all”.

Thankful for your truth telling and willingness to go to the hard conversations and start a dialogue, the truth will set us all free x

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