Ten years later and I've got this formula nailed!
After leaving my probation officer 9-5 in 2012 I embarked on my own CIC journey. I still have my CIC 4Elementz and it's still going strong. Gaining around £70k in grants per year to run a few different projects. Alongside it I have two LTD's. Kexx LTD which you are on the website for right now and Change Course Hub LTD a prison rehabilitation business that sells resources I’ve designed. That also owns my first renovation project, and now rental property. Oh and I'm a self employed artist and always have an Arts Council England individual project running.
Now this sounds a lot of work for just me right?!
But actually I work part time. Obviously I earn a lot more than my probation officer wage. As great as money is, what makes me feel rich is being able to take time off when I want. I think time freedom is the greatest wealth.
So what's the formula?
Have you heard about that book Rich Dad poor Dad? Go look it up on YouTube or audible. The basics is this;
When you are employed in a job. It takes all your time and gives you a set wage. You can't gain wealth. When inflation hits and the wages don't rise with it (like now) you're screwed. People work their whole lives paying down a mortgage.
This is when you break free of the employment model and you start selling your time for money. You can choose your wage to an extent but your freedom is still limited and earnings hit a ceiling when your time runs out.
The business owner.
You can create your own system in a business and make greater profits. You could either employ others to do some work or automate some of your system so this frees your time and pays you a limitless amount.
Self explanatory. You get to the stage where you make your money work and not you.
So where do CIC's fit with this? As they are not a usual business you can't take the profits.
So you start at the employee stage. You open a CIC. You become a freelancer selling your time and work to your CIC that is paid in grants. You may also generate some independent income in your CIC and again pay yourself with it for your time.
At this stage you've created an amazing opportunity for yourself to create your own work, get grants to invest in your new work you don't have to pay back. You're building an impressive portfolio and it's making your career look incredible! You're working less for more money at this stage but down side is the income goes up and down and instability is risky.
I rolled like this for years quite happily but I'd hit those very stressful periods between funding.
So here is my formula to get to the next level.
Have a LTD and with this business not only use it to pay your cic work money into but also use it to build a system that has automated income. You don't want to work more so you need an automated minimal work business system.
I have an online course, membership and I sell resources like rehabilitation books to prisons. This all gives a good income with little work.
Once you have been successful running some inspiring projects why not put your specialism into an online course or membership? Or turn some of your CIC work into a resource like a book or artwork and sell it.
The next level up is investing. I have a rental. I got grant funding during the pandemic and bought a cheap shop, renovated it with earnings from my work running CIC projects. Investing your earned income into property to rent or flip is great. I now have a monthly rental income that would cover my basic’s if I retired tomorrow.
If you are early in your journey, still think about your long term plan.
We live in rapidly changing times. AI is around the corner.
Be smart and don’t just rely on grant funding.
Grow a CIC that leverages both your income and makes you into a specialist. A go-to expert. Design your career with this in mind.
Once you find people want your knowledge or something only you have created, you no longer have to sell your time. You're in a whole new game!