One of the questions that comes not long after giving a description about MMM and its activities is, “how does it enable you to make a living?” I’m not married, and so that’s an easy question (some months are much harder than others). But, seeing that today is one of those days where I’m engaged with a client -this post, as with many others, has been written at least a week in advance of it posting – I thought it good to talk a bit about how MMM exists beyond the articles published, and what could be coming down the pipe to help things further for all interested parties.
Training and Consulting
MMM is a very low-overhead operation. Much of the output that comes from this endeavor comes as a result of using the mental capacities of me (Antoine, the founder). One of the ways this capacity is leveraged is in training and consulting opportunities.
Training usually happens with small and medium-sized businesses whom are looking to implement a technology or series of technologies to a team or several teams. To that end, I work with a few companies and groups local to NC and PA to be an available trainer for software and the occasional mobile implementation. That has been as simple as BlackBerry training, and as complicated as training project managers to use MS Project for their specific brand of project management processes/workflows.
Consulting is another area that’s used (not as often as I’d like, but hey, that’s the economy for you) to fund things here. Consulting takes place around two core communication technologies – web design/development and Microsoft’s SharePoint product. That’s my background, and given the scope of work that I’ve done in development, administration, and analysis around web and projects, it makes for a suitable engagement point for fundable activities. What that can look like for you can be any number of things – minus building your mobile app for you – as it is a wide and deep set of skills.
At any given point, there may be zero to four companies that I’m engaged with at a time (not including those just talking to to develop the relationship). The bulk of that work is developing the relationships, and (the slow process of) turning that into compensated work. Much of this work is short term (hours to days), and so there’s no need to be present in a cubicle for months on end – the flexibility allows for the consistency of content that you see on the magazine, and the constant pressing forward of skills and knowledge. It does allow for an office that can be nearly anywhere (#todaysoffice), which is its own source of market visibility.
Presenting and Speaking
Another means of bringing in income to fund living comes from presenting and speaking. I will admit that this has probably been the hardest aspect of things because to be recognized as a speaker you have to (a) be seen speaking and (b) have something unique enough to talk about that people will pay you to do it. There aren’t as many opportunities to do this as I’d like – some say its because there’s been no formal book published (!!) – but as things move forward with not only the magazine, but the subject of mobile ministry, there are those opportunities which present themselves.
Unfortunately, some of the hindrances with the presenting and speaking comes of the very wide geographical, theological, and political applications of mobile ministry. I just can’t afford to travel as much as some do, and working on grants and sponsorship takes as much time as living. Don’t get me wrong, there’s opportunities to leverage the technologies of the moment to get to some places (as done with BibleTech in 2011), but that’s not always the case and you miss those connections that should turn into those training, consulting, and speaking engagements when you do. For a recent example, I missed being in on the Mobile Ministry Forum webinar that happened yesterday, because of ork scheduled that was needed to put food on the table. The folks whom are missionaries and constantly going between raising support and not fainting from their ministry work have taught me a ton because of this.
Beyond these activities, there are actually some friends and family who have been quite generous for some of the living needs. I know that some have gotten tired of my monthly calls for prayer to make sure that I make the budget for the next month (its honestly hard for some of them to understand why I’d ocntinue with MMM rather than get a “regular” job – that whole “calling” thing is not normal language to some). Perhaps things will improve on over time as mobile and ministry are seen to have a more implicit intersection beyond “let’s get that app done.”. I’m not sure. But, that’s just to say that I’m not resting on just getting the four activites described above as the main pieces of the puzzle. I’m always looking for additional avenues where the knowledge and understanding gained from MMM pushes the Body forward, and keeps compensated work flowing.
Truth is, I never wanted to do this with the intention of making a dollar, I just needed an answer to a question that no one was looking to answer… in 2004. Perhaps the value in that is all that should be gained from this for me… What you and those who have written or visited here over the past have gained is another thing – of which I hope has been very valuable to forwarding your understanding of the faith and the technology lens of mobile alongside it.
There is some rumbling towards partnerships with other ministries and companies with whom this venue is a suitable launching pad towards their audiences. Stay tuned for that, or get in touch if that’s something you/your organization might find suitable.
That’s pretty much it. I’ll continue to push along here until something else happens that means that this shift is no longer needed to be pushed from this person/angle. This magazine has been online 7 years (as of a few days ago), with about 3000 articles/posts published, a methodology finalized, and a number of experiments. If this it continues, that means that these and other avenues will present themselves. If not, and this is how it ends, well, I can’t say that I didn’t do my part in seeing search engines as intended. I just hope that when you leave this site, whether you’ve read one or several pieces, that you’ve come away with a perspective to understanding the implications of mobile and technology that puts your best faith forward.