Category Archives: Streams of Cash Flow

My First $75 Speaking Gig

$75 check for my first paid speaking gig!

$75 check for my first paid speaking gig!

Last week I had my first $75 speaking gig. I shared an introduction to Simplicity Parenting with a fantastic group of parents from Tillamook Cooperative Preschool. Receiving a check written out to Darcy’s Utopia felt like a big deal, regardless of the amount. With all my training and prep, I feel like I’ve more than earned it.

I’ve never told anyone, but from an early age I felt a premonition that someday I would become a professional public speaker. As a freshman I entered a speech contest, and I think that year I placed third sharing why I thought that organic labeling should become mainstream. I ended doing better in debate than solo, but both obviously require speaking. In college, I was passionate about climate change and joined a speaker’s bureau where I gave several talks on college campuses. I found that the more that I shared my personal story, the better my talks would go, and even though I could explain the science of global warming, it was my passion for stopping it that shone through and compelled others to care.

Yet, in my first job out of college I had a dreadful experience of stuttering my way through a press conference with complete cotton mouth. I was mortified, and it’s taken me years to truly get over that deer-in-the-headlights feeling.

My presentation for Tillamook Preschool went well, and it felt like suuuuchh a long time a-coming. The parents were receptive and engaged, and several gave me genuine thank yous following my talk. With just an hour, I barely managed to skim the surface of SP, but I’m hopeful that I planted some seeds for a few families.

Speaking of seeds, that’s been my business mantra as I’ve taken actions holding hope that my seeds would someday sprout. Thanks how change works, it takes action and patience. My invitation to speak first came from an outreach email that I sent the school last spring, which also resulted in my first coaching client.

With my first true speaking gig under my belt, I’m ready to continue to hone my skills. I’ll give Toastmasters a try, and see where things go…just the idea of getting paid to speak makes me smile. Getting paid for your passion is what the new economy should be about.


AirBnB Curious?

AirBnB is such a unique way to travel, and our guests have really appreciated us opening up our home!

I first became intrigued about the idea of earning a side income by hosting with AirBnB last winter, after reading a great article from the perspective of a family from California (which naturally I can’t locate now…). I had just left my stable City income, and the idea of earning cash while on vacation certainly appealed to me.

A month later, I was interviewing Ms. Kathy about the prospect of enrolling Mama Bliss Coaching School and trying to figure out how I was going to afford tuition (which isn’t that much if I hadn’t already paid for the Simplicity Parenting training). She kept gushing about how much she loves Portland, and visits often, so on a whim I threw out the idea of doing a trade for staying at our place during the month of August, when we were already planning to be gone on vacation. It turned out that they were planning a big move, so it wouldn’t work. But the suggestion did get me thinking…“Well, what if I could earn that money from someone else staying at our place?”

We were already planning a big spring break trip back East, so initially I thought it would be great to get our place listed and hope that some family wanted to come to Portland for spring break. I did some more research about hosting, and decided to set up a profile. The only thing that was missing was photos.

But even as a Mama who strives to live a decluttered life, the place was never quite clean enough to be able to take photos for the world to see. So, I decided to clean and take pics the day before we were heading out of town. I was shocked to get two requests/reservations within the first 24 hours! 

Our first reservation was for ten days when we were already planning to take our annual anniversary/family trip. We’re packing up for our trip to B.C. (Mayne Island/Vancouver Island and Van), and we’ll be making nearly $2k while we’re on vacation. A couple from Connecticut will be staying with their two grown daughters while they visit family in Portland. The woman even sounds excited about watering my garden!

Flash back to spring break, and ended up getting three reservations with guests staying at our place for nine of the ten nights we were gone on vacation. It brought in nearly $2k…nearly our monthly mortgage!

We’ve been out of town a fair amount this summer, and by Labor Day we will have grossed nearly $8k in our first six months of AirBnB rentals! 

Even if you haven’t considered hosting until now, the potential for extra income may have you curious too… There’s a lot more to it than just posting a listing, so I’ll be sharing more of our AirBnB story…while we’re away on our road trip. 🙂

Let me know if you have any questions or if you have your own experiences to share!

Happy hosting,