July 17, 2021 – Saturday
The conundrum: How can I earn a living doing what I do? [So I can keep doing it!]
As many of you know, I am hopping on and off social media 10 to 12 hours a day (sometimes more), every day – checking in and answering questions for as many families as I can. When I am not on social media, I am writing on the blog to answer questions in a more thorough format so others will have a place to easily find the answers to those questions in the future. When I am not working on the blog, I am testing items (sent to me by families) to report on for the blog, or I am working directly with families helping them in their homes.
- As many of you also know, the total money earned from all these endeavors is not yet enough to both cover the costs of the work [including paying the legal team; repaying loans (that were made to help cover costs related to the five-year legal battle); AND pay me a living wage in exchange for my work].
- In 2019 the Lead Safe Mama, LLC “profit” [before applying funds towards paying off debt totaling more than $300,000 incurred by the legal battle resulting from the attacks on my advocacy] was $12,710.80!)
- 2020 was slightly better – with gross profit falling in the neighborhood of $16,000 [before payments toward outstanding debt (and also before payments towards keeping up with ongoing legal and related-accounting costs)].
- There are currently over 12,600 members in the main Lead Safe Mama Facebook group — and it has gotten to the point now where I cannot answer all of the questions myself – nor even read every comment in every thread.
I need to shift the paradigm a bit so that I can both continue helping people for free when I have available time and ALSO earn a living (so I can feed my family, pay my mortgage AND also pay the legal team until we cross the finish line!) This is a balancing act, but I think it is possible through implementing a new subscriber-based system for those readers who have a lot of questions / more urgent questions) to get their questions answered quickly, efficiently — and directly by me!
I am committed that the Lead Poisoning Prevention with Lead Safe Mama group on Facebook will continue to grow (and hopefully, thrive!)… and to help make this happen here’s the plan moving forward:
- I will be hiring an assistant to help moderate the main Lead Safe Mama Facebook group.
- I will remain in the main group and continue to answer questions whenever I have time – but I will no longer be able to chime in every time I am tagged (since I have not been able to keep up with that for a while now).
- I have created a new Facebook group: Lead Safe Mama Subscribers
- To be added to this new group, you will need to subscribe – by setting up a recurring monthly payment of $35.42. This can be set up as an automatic monthly payment on PayPal (using the buttons below), or through any other system you want to set up (like directly through your bank) that will have the amount be paid monthly automatically (electronically) on the same date.
- There will be a cap of 200 members in the group at any time.
- You can subscribe for one month, or 3, or 6, or with no end date — whatever you like.
- If your subscription payment is not received (or if you let us know you will be canceling), you will be removed from the group on your renewal date, but you are invited to renew your subscription at any time.
- When monthly subscription rates for the group go up, as long as you are a current member of the group, your monthly-rate will be grandfathered-in, at the rate you had when you most recently joined or renewed.
Lead Safe Mama Subscribers: Membership Perks
- Members in this group will be able to ask questions of me directly (and can expect me to personally take the time to answer, in short order!). I will commit to checking in on the group at least 5 times a day, at least 6 days a week to see if folks have questions needing answers.
- A one-hour weekly group Zoom conference call will be held (which any member of the subscriber group can join at no extra cost!)
- Discounted rates for Zoom consultations with me.
- Discounted rates for other opportunities and special offerings (for example, if I (re-)open the opportunity for folks to send in boxes of things for testing, it will only be an opportunity for members of this group.)
- In-person Lead Safe Mama subscriber meet-ups in major metropolitan areas that coincide with my travel on regular travel months (January, April, October).
- NOT a one-on-one consultation or hazard inspection. Becoming a subscriber in this way is not a service that is meant to replace a one-on-one home consultation, or one-on-one Zoom call — nor is it (or any of my work) ever meant to replace a formal hazard inspection or home inspection by a certified inspector].
- One-on-one consultations may still be more appropriate for some situations: While I will do my best to answer questions in this forum, there may be some complex questions or timelines for inquiry that warrant more detailed and/or urgent responses, and might be optimally addressed by a phone / Zoom consult, or an in-person home consult.
- NOT a doctor: This group will also not dispense medical advice, as we are not affiliated with any medical practitioners — although we certainly may be able to help you better communicate your concerns with your medical providers (and we may be able to provide you with up-to-date articles and scientific studies to share with your medical providers, as appropriate.) I have often been hired by health departments and hospitals to do presentations to the public – but also to do presentations specifically to medical staff, where attendees (including medical providers and educators) get CEUs (Continuing Education Credits) to participate; so I have quite a bit of experience making this new information approachable for those in the medical professions who may not yet be up-to-date on the latest science around Lead poisoning.
Who might this be a good opportunity for?
- You just moved and need help making safer choices for your new home.
- It might be fun to sign up for a subscription for 6 months to help with a transition like this!
- You just inherited a house full of your grandmother’s stuff!
- It might be useful to sign up for a subscription for 2 or 3 months to help you decide what to keep, what to toss and what might be worth selling [with a Lead disclaimer!]
- You are having a baby!
- It would be fun to be part of this group in the 2 or 3 months before and after giving birth – to help you with decisions involving your baby’s home and environment during this important time. A 6-month subscription to this group might be a nice gift to give an expecting mama!
- You are renovating an older home and need coaching through the process.
- You would probably benefit from being in a group with this level of specificity and focus for the entire duration of your remodel (and perhaps the planning phase as well) — especially since little unexpected questions can come up practically daily during a renovation of a pre-1978 home.
- You are an empty-nester looking for help down-sizing.
- A two- or three-month subscription could provide you with a lot of guidance regarding what is safe to let the grandkids play with, and which things shouldn’t be passed on. Getting rid of the extra stuff you have now (when looking through the specific lens of the work of Lead Safe Mama) will simplify your upcoming move (and help protect your family!)
- You are looking for sources of Lead in your home because someone in the family tested positive.
- In my work, I often find unexpected Lead exposure sources when other resources (county health department representatives; independent hazard assessors) have not been able to find the source of a child’s exposure. I can usually do this in a single-day on-site home visit, but a month’s subscription to this group might go a long way in helping you to identify the source without the cost of having me travel to your part of the world [although I love traveling, and I am open for any work-related travel, as long as my costs are covered!]
- You have OCD or Anxiety around Lead, and need help guaging/contextualizing concerns (with science-backed evidence).
- If you have OCD or Anxiety around the issue of exposure to Lead and other toxic metals, in addition to working with your mental health care provider, it might be helpful to have someone (like me) on hand to get you quick, science-based answers to help you distinguish/gauge what might be a legitimate concern vs. a concern that might be more based on misplaced or exaggerated fear / mis-contextualized, or excessive/obsessive ideation – rather than a true toxics-exposure concern.
As always, thanks for reading!
Let me know what you think of this new idea!
- Here’s are the buttons to start your subscription payments. If you cannot see the buttons below (we’re experiencing a glitch and it seems the buttons are not available in mobile-view), click this link.
- Here’s the link to request to join the group (you will be approved once we have confirmed receipt of your first payment).
- My e-mail if you have questions: TamaraRubin@mac.com
Short-term Goal: $6,000
I came up with this idea today as I currently (7/17/21) need to raise enough to pay my attorney $6,000 for his new retainer (to take the State of Oregon to Jury Trial in our Federal Civil Rights case). To meet this particular goal this month I would only need to have 170 subscribers / members of the group @ $35.42 a month. This would also make the same amount of money available next month, if/when I need to replenish his retainer!
- My mom’s lucky number was 35 and I have been a life-long fan of the books “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy”!
- Having a specific, unusual amount in my accounting system for subscribers (different than what others might normally donate or pay for services) will also help me run searches in the system – making it easier for me to quickly find all of the current subscribers each month!
- If things go well with this group (a lot of folks value the benefits of subscribing, and recommend this choice to others), I expect I will be raising the monthly amount, in steps, until I reach the monthly income goals — to $42.35 on January 1, 2022; to $52.35 on July 1, 2022 [but always keeping the membership capped at 200 people]. Note: if you start a subscription now, you will be grandfathered in at the current rate if you continue as a subscriber past those dates. [And if you are already a subscriber/monthly contributor [at a $25 per month level or greater], you will be added to the group automatically!]
- The short-term goal is to reach $6,000 a month – and the longterm goal would be for the income from this group to be part of a sustainable business model for Lead Safe Mama, LLC – possibly earning as much as $10,000 a month (if we approach 200 group members) to help support our work helping families.
Thanks for considering supporting this work in this way. By being one of 200 people to pay for my time (in exchange for a bit more of my focus and attention), you will also be helping me to continue to be in a position to help families in crisis for free when they are unable to pay.