If you’re looking to generate a stable income, you might not have considered becoming a chicken farmer. As it turns out, raising chickens is an incredibly easy, fun and affordable way to make a living. We spoke to CEO of Blue Star Ranch, the wonderful Mary Ann Fordyce, to find out more about what it takes to make an income from chickens.
What motivated you to start sharing your knowledge of raising chickens?
While there are plenty of business books on how to make a substantial income, I had never found any related to running a successful poultry farm. So I decided to use my hard-earned experience and knowledge of chicken farming to create my own material to offer people. I have a book, online video library and I also offer private consulting and mentorship to those willing to do the work. I think running a chicken farm is a great way to gain a stable income – it’s not too difficult, and it doesn’t require a lot of money to get started. I also like to think ahead; I am no “spring chicken”, and I will not likely be chasing chickens for many more years. Hence why I wanted to start sharing my knowledge now, while I am still able to help people learn to raise chickens and become their own boss.
Additionally, the principals that I used to build my business will work for most businesses, whether you’re planning on opening a hardware store or a florist. I also offer guidance on how to become the best version of yourself – becoming a strong, whole person is the first step to starting a successful business, regardless of your situation.
What are your favourite aspects of raising chickens?
Chickens are lovely, gentle creatures. I love seeing the kids play with them; it warms my heart. Also, knowing that I am building a strong, self-sustaining business that will support my family for generations to come is a great feeling, as is being financially stable and debt free. I don’t have to worry about the bills, or providing for my grandchildren. Truly, being able to provide my family with an inheritance is a huge motivating factor for me. My parents passed away with nothing, and that was difficult for us. I don’t want that to be the case for my children. Being in control of my time and finances gives me great peace of mind.
What were the most invaluable things you learned in starting Blue Star Ranch?
Making mistakes was the best thing that happened to me, because I do my best to not make the same mistake twice. Listening to customers’ wants and needs is very important. The whole industry is “eggsploding”, with so many chicken breeds and there is a typhoon of people wanting to buy chickens, which works in my favour. I learned to ride the wave of the popularity of chickens. Most people talk favourably about chickens. They are not offensive. The popularity of chickens is my most valuable resource, and I am taking it on with all that I’ve got!
What were the biggest challenges you faced in running your own business, and how did you overcome them?
The learning curve for me was tough at first until I learned to accept that there are things outside of my control. I choose to fix what I can and don’t worry about the rest. Accounting is really not my thing, so I hire bookkeepers and CPA to assist me with that side of things.
Being able to “read” people and their motives when doing business and making contacts was something I had to learn, too. I have to be sure the people that I work with or hire for labour or vendors have the same goals as I do. Not all people are truly dedicated to their work, nor do they care about the quality of the end product. Many people want the outcome without putting in the effort. It’s good to be matched with people that are likeminded, rather than people that are purely just chasing the money.
What do you think holds people back from starting their own business?
Honestly – and this may hurt some people – too many people want things to fall into place for them and happen with ease, without putting in the hard work. Accepting that there will be bumps in the road is crucial for maintaining a successful business. It isn’t always easy, and you will make mistakes. But you can learn from them.
Additionally, having the wrong motivations can stop people from following through with their business goals. I am not motivated purely by money. I am motivated by doing a great job, being a good and honest person, and contributing to society and my family. I know that many people are dealing with personal issues that can make things difficult for them. That’s why you need to start by working on yourself, before you establish your business. Once your head is settled and you learn to follow your heart, things will start to fall into place. It’s that simple – get out of your head and into your heart. Money will flow like water!
Starting your own business raising chickens has never been easier thanks to the growing popularity of the animals. To learn more about how to get started, head over to the Blue Star Ranch website to find out more.
You can get Mary Ann Fordyce’s book at: https://www.amazon.com/Six-Chickens-Figures-Requires-Eggciting/dp/1678587419/