The Empath Community has been around for a while: it was created in 2007. In internet years, that means we're ancient...
In the good ol' days, the platform we use (Ning.com) was completely free and supported by Google ads. But, in time, they got sold and bought a few times and decided to start charging monthly fees.
Even back then, it was really important to me that the EC besustainable. Maybe it's because I live in Oregon and we'll all tree huggers here but I didn't want this web site to bedependenton me. If I got abducted by aliens tomorrow, I want it to be able to stand on its own feet.
So I organized a fund raiser, hoping to get close enough to the $240 I needed for one year of hosting. Needless to say, I wasshockedwhen it took less than half a day to get this sum!
But the truth is that I hate asking for money from people who come here because they are lost, hurt, confused, depressed, angry, wondering if they're crazy and often unable to function well in their daily lives. The last thing they need is to be asked for one more thing...
In my heart, I want this web site to be not only sustainable, buttransparently sustainable. That means our members don't even think about the fact that we have bills to pay. We don't ask them for anything. We just give them our time, experience, support and advise.
There's been at least 3 incarnations of this idea. At first, I had a gift shop where people could buy T-Shirts with the EC logo. I think I sold 3. LOL! Looking back on it, it made sense: this is not something that people wanted or needed.
Then I tried an Amazon store with items that were specifically useful for Empaths, such as crystals. That had a good run as we sold 56 items in 3 months. However, we make about $0.10 per sale. Some quick math reveals that this is not sustainable either.
And very, very late one night, I realized that I had always wanted to help connect our members to each other. Here's a typical story: there's one member who needs help and there's another who's dying to help others. A match made in Heaven!
That's how the idea of offering private readings in a "store" was born. Our more seasoned members could help the new ones, while also developing their own expertise as providers of professional readings.
But this is where I dream to see it go:
...what if we could generate enough money through the Made By Empaths offerings to pay all our hosting fees ($50/month) without relying on our members to chip in?
...what is we could make more than we need and save money to pay for next year's hosting fees?
...what if we could do all this AND have money left over so that we could advertise the AMAZING professional services, books and hand made products in our Made by Empaths store on Google?
...what if we could becometransparently sustainablewhile also helping support our own members as they start new careers and explore their ever expanding talents? Bingo!
This dream is dedicated to you, my Empath friend. I know you have gone through so much already: you have emotionally suffered, been abused, feltabandonedand taken advantage of by those you don't understand what we are.
It is my deepest desire that you will find something completely different here: Support. Understanding. Love. Healing. Growth.
I love you so very much,
updated by @eliselebeau: 01/13/17 01:51:08PM