So I have completed my travels for the year that I have mentioned previously on this blog. I travelled and taught qigong workshops on five different continents during the year. Also as I have mentioned previously in the blog, in a sense the whole trip was done GFRF, in another sense only part of it was.
Where ever I went I left it up to the local people organizing the workshops to decide how payments would be made and how much and so on, with GFRF being one of the options they could choose to use. From this there were a few places where the workshops were run purely on a GFRF basis, which was great. Many other places there was a set charge, or a price with the option of GFRF as well. So in that sense – only part of the tour was GFRF.
The other way in which the tour was entirely GFRF was that I committed myself to going wherever I reasonably could, without any expectation of a certain level of financial return, but to just show up and teach whoever came to the best of my ability. So my focus was totally on the giving… while being open to receiving what may come.
So how did it turn out?
Well I did the travel in three ‘legs’. The first was to Australia. The second to North and South America. The third was to Europe, Egypt and South Africa. My expenses were kept to the absolute minimum at all times, relying on hospitality of people who hosted me for places to stay and also many meals and at other times sleeping in the back of a car to minimize costs. Taking the cheapest flights – even when it meant significantly longer travel times and so on. And financially when everything was totalled up, in the end each leg of the tour still cost me more in direct expenses than I received from the workshops, and that in no way takes into account the indirect expenses during the time preparing for the travel, or all the time involved etc…
So what can I take from this?
Well I had some amazing experiences along the way, seeing different places, experiencing interesting energy, meeting cool people and making connections. So there was definitely value beyond the financial, but in the end the finances have to balance or by definition it is unsustainable as there will not be enough resources to continue with it.
So… what for the future?
- Well, it is possible to look at this first tour as just development for future tours and assume that more people will come to workshops in the future making it more economically viable. And I think that is true. I think that at many of the places I taught workshops more people would come to workshops in the future now that the ice has been broken. Other places I am not so sure… One way or another it would need to bring in a LOT more to be truly viable though.
- I could look to reduce costs. Well… as I mentioned costs have already been kept to the bare minimum. The only way to reduce costs would be to simplify the travel arrangements and not go to the places that did not yield as great a financial return as others. There were quite a few places that definitely did at least cover their portion of the travel costs even if they were not outright ‘profitable’ as such, and other places where the return was very low or non-existent. By eliminating the low return locations and focusing on just going to the places with a higher return there would be a greater chance of financial viability.
- I could look at the tour as a way to generate interest in other money generating activities, and balance the finances in that way by bringing in more money in those other areas. But there are a few wrinkles with that as well, as I am doing basically everything else on a GFRF basis as well, which may also need to change… I will write about that more in the next blog post.
- I could completely give up on the idea and put my efforts into something else that will bring in enough money to pay my costs and support me… more on that one in the next blog post as well…
In the end, I think the answer is probably a combination of numbers one, two, and three. I think the workshops in different countries will grow as I return again to the same places. I may also need to look more closely at the economic viability of going to different locations as part of this. Not that I want to stop going to places just because they may not cover the costs of getting there… my passion and desire is to share the benefits of qigong with people no matter what their financial circumstances, and some of my coolest experiences have been in places and with people that have very little money. But… I may need to weigh things up a little, and not go to every place, but be a bit selective in trying to balance out the finances overall. And… even give both of those things, I may need to still create tie-ins that will bring in further money if I want to make this viable and to be able to continue to do it.
I am not inclined to go with option 4 at this stage, much as it is very tempting at times… again more on that in the next blog post.
Til next time,