Thursday, July 2, 2009

I'm Totally Decaffinated!

A little while ago, I posted on Twitter (which is linked to my facebook account and therefore all those messages show up as my "status" on Facebook....yeah, I'm technically savvy like that! ;) )that I was going to try to start another business. Now, truly, I expected everyone to be like, "AGAIN??!! WTF?!! How many freaken businesses are you going to start?!!" But, to my delight and relief, everyone just wanted to know what was my next project! Go me for picking such great, um, I mean, thanks you guys for being so stinkin supportive, it means a lot to me!!

First though, can I just say, I started with Mary Kay and the other 2 gift basket businesses were branch offs from that, just trying to be more creative and get some more income. One failed because I made an error in judgement when I picked my business partner, the other sort of died a quiet death because we started right when the recession began and after several months of no sales, we figured, people in our areas weren't looking to buy high end gift baskets at that time. Go figure.

At any rate, what has always been constant in my life, through aaaalllllll my jobs, is creativity. Literally, as soon as people caught wind of the fact that I could draw or do more on word than just type, I was getting asked to do all sorts of things! And I'm no creativity guru on the computer, believe me!! I don't use ANY fancy schmancy software (no idea how to use Illustrator or Photoshop. No, really, I don't!!) but I've designed, over the years, for my variety of employers at one time or another: logos, flyers, signs, banners, brochures, ads and coupons, newsletters, postcards for mass mailings, hand-drawn bulletin board sets and more! Every job. I've done things for child care centers, a college library, educational supply store, gift baskets, Mary Kay, security system my hubby worked for, even a mom's group!....I cannot think of one employer who didn't take advantage of my skills. And take advantage they did, because of course, they were paying me for the job they had hired me for, but I was doing a plethora of other jobs! Typical. I've also designed my children's birthday invites and created all sorts of forms to use around the house to keep me organized. It's a failing of mine: I love to see words all crisp and neat in print.

That's really the second part of this business decision.

The first part is that once I stopped babysitting for my BFF, I missed the income (as did my spreadsheeted family budget!). I found a job at a local college library, which seemed right up my alley, for once. It didn't require a library science degree! Which is amazing! I loved working at the college library at Methodist University. Whenever I start looking for jobs, the first place I go is the public library employment section, followed by local book stores. Love books, love to read, will travel. :) Of course, I'm thinkin' being pregnant might be a strike against me (albeit a subliminal one: EEO laws prohibits them from NOT hiring me just because I'm pregnant!) So I'm in a mental place all military wives will be familiar with: Hopeful but not counting on it.

In the meantime, on a whim the other day, while at the library, I started looking for books on writing. I hadn't read any writing books lately and of course, finishing my novel is the perpetually second place project I am working on that I decided to bring more into the light. One book I picked up was Six Figure Freelancing: The Writer's Guide to Making More Money by Kelly James-Enger. She is 2 things I love: practical and organized. She has (and regularly uses) her common sense. Many of the things she has said so far are familiar (marketing yourself, you must have a time-management plan in place, getting editors is a numbers game, all very similar to what Mary Kay teaches as well as things I've learned at my various jobs....aahhhh, it's all coming together now!) and the rest is smart and laid out in a reader friendly, did I mention common-sense?, kind of way. And I'm only about a third of the way through!!

So, I'm going to be a writer. Which I already have been working towards doing. It's what I was trying to do at, make money by writing, only I had too many things on my plate to really get it done! It's what I have a natural inclination to do: correct grammar and spelling (everywhere I go! I see the mistakes people, I see them!! MY mistakes are never intentional or from ignorance; I have typos. hahaha), wanting to change awkward sentences, etc etc. My hubby, after I pitched a few name ideas that weren't quite right, came up with: Taylor Ink. He actually came up with a play on words in like 5 seconds. I was impressed. I might make him my business partner....or at least my secretary....wait, he's a slob and all he would is sit around and drink coffee....nevermind!

But this poor man, my husband, my Charming, has now stuck with me through starting Mary Kay (which is not booming, mostly because I don't work it honestly! lol), then that other basket business which shall remain nameless, then Shining Star Gift Baskets, which went nowhere and now this. And you know what he said? He said, "I say go for it hon! Whatever you want to do. I think that's a good idea. I think you could do it."

That's why we stay married, people, that right there. He has a knack for saying the right thing at the right time.

My business cards read: Proofreading and Copyediting. Writing. Graphic Design and Advertising for Small Businesses.

And that's what I'm gonna do.
Believe it. ;)

For those of you asking me how I do it, I'll tell you this: I prioritize every day, sometimes several times a day. And priorities shift. Most days, it's my kids. Some days, it might have to be something else. And I make sure my house is straight and organized but try to keep scrubbing, mopping and serious cleaning for the weekend. I work when I can. In the mornings, I try to get rid of some of the boys' energy. I can usually squeeze in an hour of work before lunch, work through nap, sometimes all through cooking dinner and early evening. Then, if necessary, once I'm in bed, I've got the laptop on too. You do what you have to do. It's about financially supporting my family and relieving some of our stress in the long run. So now, other things will drop off and I'll be writing more than I do now actually. And in this book, writing a novel is included as one of the many projects you can do as a freelancer, of course. She talks about time management, breaking down big long-term goals into smaller daily ones. I think I will do what she's done in the past: make a goal to work 40 hours a week on freelance but that 10 of those hours a week go to working, in some way, shape or form, towards the novel you want to write. It's that simple. I've now got a business plan that includes my book! How cool is that?!!

Here are some quotes I ripped from Julia Cameron's book Walking the Way that got me thinking and finally moving:

Discontent and disorder [are] signs of energy and hope, not despair. --Dame Cicely Veronica Wedgwood.

If you don't risk anything, you risk even more. --Erica Jong

Style begins when you seek and discover your strengths, then bank on them for all they're worth. -- Sarah Ban Breathnach

The way to find your true self is by recklessness and freedom. -- Brenda Ueland

Courage---fear that has said its prayers. -- Dorothy Bernard

And finally, the necklace that my sister gave me for my birthday reminds me every day what I need to focus on as I put it on; it says: Follow Your Dreams. Thanks Stephie. Love you.

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