For nearly ten years, my life revolved around my two cats, Marmalade and Luna. Then they were both gone. I decided to make animals my job. Like a good, little academic achiever, I considered a graduate program, pursuing the Animals and Public Policy master’s degree at Tufts. When I perused the list of graduates’ achievements, I saw the kinds of jobs that I knew would never pay enough to allow me to cover the student loans I’d have to take out (on top of the ones I was already paying.)
It is only in hindsight that I realized my good fortune in stumbling onto a path of “Profitable Adventures,” an education in Animals in Society beyond what I could have planned and richer, I believe, than a year of classroom learning could have supplied. My accidental curriculum:
- working on technology, PR, and communications for a big-city SPCA
- developing business for a pet acupuncture clinic
- editing for one national leader in the humane movement and interviewing another
- writing original articles and blog posts
- caring for dozens of dogs as cats as a shelter volunteer
- making friends and allies promoting the No Kill, rescue, pet hospice, pet loss awareness
- having my journey profiled in a national magazine
- having my dog featured on the Website of a major newspaper
Where I would have been after a one-year master’s program: $50K in additional debt. Gross revenues from this alternative course of learning: over $120,000.
My goal for the next phase – figuring out how to create profitable adventures that become passive income sources as well, gifts that keep on giving.