How We Work
Since we started our Epic Animal Quest, we have been finding our way and discovering how we can make the biggest impact and use our skills to help the animals in the best ways possible. In this first year, we have made many mistakes, been naive and gullible, but also learned a lot in a short time. We threw ourselves into a world we had little experience of but soon realised there were many similarities we could relate to. Overall it has been an amazing experience so far and we feel like we are now really getting started.
We have focussed our goals and now have four main areas that we work in to make a difference for the animals. They are:
1. Promote Others
We create videos and write articles based on our experiences and use them to promote awesome people helping the other animals around the world. Here is a video we made about a macaque rescue at www.animal-mama.com in Phnom Penh, Cambodia:
2. Passion Projects
We get involved with local animal rights issues and work on projects that we are passionate about such as the research and documentary about the dog meat trade in Cambodia. Most of our work is documented on our Epic Animal Quest but any sensitive content is posted elsewhere.
3. Raise Awareness
Through social media, blogging, vlogging, events, education, networking, and linking with other local organisations. The content we document is not only used on our own platforms, but on those of the people who we work with. We give content away for free if we feel it can make a difference for the animals. If possible and appropriate, we find businesses to sponsor the content so that it reaches many more people and has a bigger impact.
4. Promote Compassion
We lead by example to influence others to show compassion, respect, and care for all animals. This is through our positive Vegan lifestyle where we show how easy it is to survive, thrive, and live an awesome life as a Vegan family.
So How Do We Make Money?
This all sounds awesome, but how do we make any money? We are a social enterprise, so all profits go into projects and causes we believe in. We want to make sure the money is spent directly on what is needed rather than gifting money as a donation to find most of it gets eaten up in admin and expenses. It is important to us that our money and donations go 100% to the animals.
Our income is generated from the sale of our books and products and through freelance work and exchange of skills. At the moment, our book sales are not enough to support us, so Rachael has been working full time and I have been doing the odd freelance work. With Rachael about to finish her contract, I will be focussing on more freelance work and hustling our way through life until our books sales grow. We are being patient with this approach and expect a couple more years until we reach our sustainable goal.
Something we have learned is that money is not the only answer, and as long as we have enough to live, then we can make a difference. We can use our skills and time to make positive changes and help people and other animals in many ways. Our time has no cost to us, but can be very valuable to others, so we can use it to achieve things that money can’t always buy. Compassion, generosity, and gratitude are free, and we are all capable of exhibiting them.
We make videos and write for other businesses (find our more here and work with us) and use that money to sustain ourselves. We do receive some generous monthly sponsorships from a few amazing people and we are so grateful for this, however, 99% of our income is through us selling our books and products, jobs, and working freelance. It was important for us to earn rather than ask for donations to fund our chosen lifestyle.
People still wanted to donate to us, so we have the facility to accept donations but make sure any sponsorships/donations we receive go directly on the activities to help the animals and then use our own money/profits to fund everything.
In the future, we hope to build a kind of fund where people can donate an amount and we guarantee 100% of the money goes to a specific cause. For example, we can raise a set amount to vaccinate and desex an entire Pagoda, then publish all the accounts so everyone who has donated sees the money has actually been spent on what they donated for. Or, we could raise money for a specific piece of equipment or quantity of food.
You Can Do This Too!
We thought we needed money to live this kind of lifestyle and to make a difference and help the animals. But we were wrong! We have zero savings and basically have whatever we earn each month with no house back in the UK or income other than what we can generate ourselves. This may sound odd or wreckless to some, but is it so different to anyone with a mortgage and a regular job? So many people are made redundant that many of us are only one or two paydays away from being broke anyway.
We sold and gave away everything we owned so there is no backup and we are all in committed to making our Epic animal Quest a success. If we wanted to, it wouldn’t be a problem to go back to the old way of life and get another job or start another business, so in our mind, there is nothing to lose but everything to gain! The reality is that the animals need us to act, and with the future of the planet so bleak, we have to do our best for our children.
Not All Plain Sailing
It’s important that we face life head on and accept that we live in a world that is both cruel and kind, devasting and uplifting. This past year we have lost Rachael’s Mother, our boy Alfie Dog, had various setbacks and obstacles, seen much animal suffering, all topped off with Rachael injuring her back with two prolapsed discs. Life is difficult for everyone and we are no exception, but we choose to move forward, think of the future and do our best to be positive even when the things around us can be quite the opposite. We can’t choose what happens to us, some things are out of our control, but we can choose how we will react to them.
On top of the negatives, we have met some amazing people and made unexpected friends who I think we will keep in touch with forever. We have seen compassion in unlikely places, come across some unsung heroes, and people who are quietly making a difference every day. These are the people and stories we set out to find and share and these are the people who can truly change the world.
I’ve always believed that if you want something bad enough, are prepared to work hard, and give it everything you’ve got, then you can achieve anything in life. Our goal was to make a positive difference in the world and help the animals and we knew this was how we needed to do it. Our way is certainly not for everyone. We all want to live our own way and we all have specific skills that can help the animals anywhere in the world, but if you have ever had a dream to break away from the norm, then I urge you to go for it! But, remember, dreams don’t work unless you do!
Some Of Our Links:
Become a Patron: https://www.patreon.com/epicanimalquest
Our New Book http://amzn.to/2muw5UB
Take a look at our cartoons here
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