New Project/Short Leave

Dateline: 24 February 2015

January, February and March are slow months for my Planet Whizbang mail order business. There is still more than enough work to do, keeping product in stock, paperwork organized, and orders shipped out every day, but it is not the intense, never-ending, all-consuming physical and mental challenge that it typically becomes, starting in April (and peaking in intensity in July). 

Though Marlene helps me with the business some, and our boys sometimes help, I'm pretty much a one-man operation. That's not necessarily the way I would like it to be, and I hope it will change in time, but that's the way it is now and, truth be told, I love having a small-scale, home-based publishing and manufacturing company that pays the bills better than any wage slave job I've ever had. It is, as I've said here in the past, a dream come true.

Anyway, I relish these down months of winter because I have the time to be more creative, which is to say, I have time to pursue new ideas for new products. I have far more ideas for products that I want to develop and share with the world (a.k.a., bring to market) than I will ever have time to actually develop. 

This drive to develop new ideas and products might be something of a disorder, but, if so, it's one that gets me out of bed in the morning with enthusiasm and energy, and drives me until I "hit the wall" (a runner's term) around 9:00 every night. 

I'm sure there are a lot of other people who have this entrepreneurial drive. However, I personally know only know one other man besides myself who is like this. He dreams and pursues entrepreneurial projects on a much, much larger scale than I, and he has experienced much, much more financial success at it (more than I desire).

Unlike my friend, I think small with my ideas and entrepreneurial pursuits. Small enough that my business will not grow beyond the home-based reality I now enjoy. 

This subject is on my  mind because I saw my friend last week in church and, as usual, we had a lot to talk about. He is an encourager, as well as a big time entrepreneurial visionary. He believes that I have the potential to do bigger things, and he is probably right. But, then again, he is probably not right. 

There is something in me that resists the common entrepreneurial drive to grow a business beyond the bounds of my own personal ability to handle all aspects of the business. But that way of thinking is at odds with my desire to innovate and create. So, how does a person develop new products and ideas, then bring them to the marketplace, without growing a business that is bigger and more life-consuming? 

It is a bit of a conundrum. There must, of course, be balance. But, for now, I'm juggling with the development of a handful of new product ideas, and enjoying myself. 

One idea I'm really focused on right now is closely associated with the Agriphemera web site that I just started. It is an idea that has been on my mind for several years. It's another one of my small, niche ideas. It is driven by a personal interest and passion to share with others something that I've discovered. The idea/product will not bring me big profits, but I'm driven by the desire to get this idea launched, and I feel driven to get it launched by the first week of March.

Thus it is that I'm going to take leave of blogging here for a week or so. My next blog post, upon my return here, will be an announcement of a unique, inexpensive, new idea that I'm really excited about.  It is an information-based idea that I believe anyone with an interest in the agrarian life will really appreciate.


P.S. If you have an interest in developing your own entrepreneurial ideas with a homestead-based business of your own, check out That web site, and the series of free podcasts at the web site, were recommended to me by my friend at church last week. 

I've listened to podcast #1 and I think I'm going to enjoy the series. Though there is a considerable age and culture difference between seanwes and myself, I can personally relate to the ideas he presents. I think there are important "universal truths" when it comes to the practicalities of how to succeed in a personal business and seanwes  appears to understand and communicate these concepts pretty well.


Anonymous said...


You asked, "So, how does a person develop new products and ideas, then bring them to the marketplace, without growing a business that is bigger and more life-consuming?"

Here's an idea: I think you need an apprentice! This is a lost form of education in our society. You could get more work done - with a younger, stronger back - while providing an invaluable education to the apprentice. I'm almost certain that among your readers, there are some who would be interested or who have older children who would be interested in being your apprentice. Although, it might be a gamble if it's not someone you already know to some degree (you don't want to have to finish raising someone else's child that should already be raised).

This might allow you to test your ideas, proving or disproving their worth on a small scale. Then you could turn your apprentice loose with one or two of the ideas that prove worthy, launching them into a career; you could retain part ownership of the business or sell it outright.

Just a thought. I'd love to see the concept of apprenticeships come back into fashion. It makes so much more sense to me than college, especially for agrarian pursuits, but admittedly it would require well-raised, hard-working young adults to be worth while.


Gail said...

I enjoyed your excitement and belief in your products and ideas. That will make you successful.

Good luck on your latest venture.

Jonathan Sanders said...

I agree with your conundrum. I have often heard the truism, "If your business isn't growing, it's dying." Somehow I think that this is not an absolute truth when applied to the home business.

Elizabeth L. Johnson said...

Yes, apprenticeship is the way to go for some young lad, not marred by college experience. This is the old-fashioned, best way for education; hands-on. Get yourself an apprentice, when the time comes in the Lord's time.

Elizabeth L. Johnson said...

Herrick, I'm allergic to paypal and amazon. Please give me an address to send my money order to for your books. Thanks! Will keep checking here for your reply.

Herrick Kimball said...


Planet Whizbang
PO Box 1117
Moravia, NY 13118

Thank you.