Good class yesterday, nice long workday at the computer, and then rehearsal.

Coming through the stage door, finding the spot, silence while the orchestra tunes, hard work for a couple of hours, hanging out in the hallway listening to the soloists warming up while the house manager roams the halls shushing people, or trying to.

Home just in time to meet #1 daughter in the driveway, #2 daughter arrived shortly thereafter, clamoring for pizza. We got pizza, and sat on the floor talking. Not sure why we sat on the floor, as we have plenty of chairs and things, but that’s what we did.

Both the girls are being successful corporate girls. #1 is being made Regional Trainer, heading out next week to San Diego for her training for the purpose. #2 was recommended by her supervisor for a leadership training program at her company, and turned down because it isn’t open to people who’ve been there less than a year. However, when they were looking at her information (presumably scratching their heads and saying “What’s with this girl? She’s only been here for six months, can’t she read a calendar?”), they decided to make a special training program for her instead of requiring her to wait.  

Today we will be talking about the possibility of taking my happy freelancing to the point of actually being a firm. I found such a firm online — no, actually, a prospective client of mine did so. He sent me a white paper from this company and asked whether I could do for him what they do. Of course I said yes.

So we’re going to explore the possibility. The thinking is that in a few years, when my girls have absorbed all the corporate knowledge from the corporations for which they work, we’ll go in for world domination ourselves. Or at least for a company big enough to support all three of us.

It could happen. The Northerners, who are including me in lots of projects nowadays, seem to have at least five in-house, plus me and a couple of other telecommuters. And they look a lot like The Computer Guy. In fact, in a coincidence that wouldn’t be tolerated in a novel, their companies have very similar names. As though one were called AllBright and the other BrightDay. So I look at let’s say AllBright, which is several years older than BrightDay, and think that I can see how BrightDay will be in a few years.

So why not my company, too?  BrightDay is a couple of years older than my company. When I met The Computer Guy just about exactly a year ago, his was a fledgling business. He’s still doing it all by himself, and I’ll be doing mine by myself for a couple more years, but it could be moving toward growth. AllBright hired their first full time worker when they were about three years old.

As long as I don’t have to be the manager.

The girls and I are therefore having our Book Club meeting, with The Creative Entrepreneur being the book. We’re doing the first two chapters, which contain questions like “What one tool, used well, would make the most significant difference in my business?” and “If you were to answer your creative calling and knew you would not fail, what would you do?”

The object is to help you think about your business in terms of four pathways:

  • heart and meaning, or what you really love to do and want to accomplish
  • gifts and flow, or the things that come easily and naturally to you
  • value and profitability, or how you’ll support yourself doing those things
  • skills and tools, or the things you need to use to accomplish what you want

Author Lisa Sonora Beam holds that creative entrepreneurs often fail because they don’t get these things in balance.They think about their own preferences and ignore their customers, or they focus so desperately on making money that they lose their motivation and excellence, or they don’t bother to learn how to do the bookkeeping and screw up…

I think that I’m pretty clear on heart and meaning and gifts and flow. I’m strong in the value and profitability area, too, I think. I had good answers for those questions. When it comes to skills and tools, I’m less secure on the answers to the questions. Do I need more tech skills and better grasp of design and coding? Those seem to be the things that I most often wish I knew more about as I go through my workday, and also the things I’ve learned most about over the course of the year.

But bookkeeping and accounting and stuff like that is my most glaring lack — and I probably haven’t learned much about that stuff because I just reject the thoughts of it whenever they arise.

Didn’t I say I was going to work on my accounting software every day this week?

  • Minutes spent walking this week: 90
  • Minutes spent producing music: 480
  • Minutes spent teaching: 150
  • Minutes spent studying: 150
  • Minutes spent working at the computer: 2050
  • Minutes spent on accounting or bookkeeping: 0

The book also asks about your “business advisory circle” and leadership skills. I don’t even really know how to answer those questions.

So today’s discussion ought to be interesting.