The weather man is sad. We have this sort of fiendish-looking guy who was so happy and excited yesterday, he could hardly stand it. He was predicting all kinds of horrible things and smiling with the happy-demon smile.
Today, he looked sad, and was talking about how it could have been the stomr of the century and we could have had lots of damage. Sort of keening, by the end of the diatribe, and then he perked up a bit and said, “You can get power outages with snow!” as though it were our last, best hope.
I had blogging to do, and a phone meeting.
Then I had a website to write.
This is a site for our local natural foods store. I cleaned up their links page and in the course of that had to click though and check the websites of all the many alternative medicine practitioners they list.
Alternative medicine practitioners have horrible websites. Depressing, really, how bad they were.
I hope that all of them decide they need new ones once they see how well the site for the natural food store turns out. I’m toying with the idea of calling them all to ask for reciprocal links for the health food store, in the course of which conversation I could offer to send them a brochure. I could hire Janalisa to make the calls and get one of the graphics people to make the brochure, and the investment might pay off handsomely in the long run.
After that, I made a cake for the chocolatier’s blog. You can go see the process at said blog, where I have posted a groovy slideshow.
The chocolatier called me, too, for a lengthy phone meeting. I showed him how to upload pictures himself. I think he’ll enjoy it.
It’s much easier to explain to people how to do stuff if you can see their screen. We had a lot of those conversations where I’d say “Click on ‘Views'” and he’d say he didn’t have a Views button. I’ve had those conversations from the other end of the line, too. Quick Parts? What Quick Parts? I may have to subscribe to DimDim. Or quit doing this sort of thing, of course. At one point, he asked me how to make a hyperlink.
I teach my students how to make hyperlinks, actually. I think it’s a bit of html that most people will find useful if they write online, and since I teach writing in the 21st century, it seems likely that the students will at some point need to do this. But I sort of quailed at the thought of explaining it to the chocolatier. No whiteboard, and my students often have trouble with it, even when they have a whiteboard to look at. DimDim would have made it possible. But it also might lead me to have this sort of phone call more frequently, which might not be what I want. My business is in a state of rapid evolution, and I think I may nudge it away from lots of random customer service.
I was talking to The Computer Guy about my work mix. He’s having the same set of problems/opportunities I am, actually, so he knows what I mean. “You’d rather just write,” he said understandingly. One artist/businessperson to another, you know.
“It’s not a goal,” I said, “because it won’t happen, but it would be nice.” And as I thought about it later in the day, I realized that it was possible. Right now, I have work like manna.
Remember manna? In Exodus, there was this spell where the people of Israel were wandering in the wilderness. Every day, God caused manna to appear, so they could gather it up and have enough to eat for that day. They couldn’t save any for the next day, and theologians suppose that this was God’s way of pointing out their dependence on Him and teaching them to trust him.
So it is for me. Every day, I get up with interesting work to do, and in the course of the day some more interesting work arrives, so that the next day I get up with more interesting work. It’s practically a perfect system. If I had someone taking care of the accounting and billing and collecting, and if I had enough capital that I could pay that person even when the cash flow was unsteady, then I really could just do the interesting work and not worry about the other stuff. I just need to get my business to the point where there’s enough interesting work, paying enough, that I can hire #1 daughter to take care of the back office stuff — without having more work than I can do well in the time available.
Actually, that’s probably always the issue for businesses the size of mine. At lunch the other day, The Computer Guy and a PPC expert and I were having just that conversation. The Computer Guy has three big contracts this year, so he has hired his first full-time worker. The PPC expert is struggling with whether or not to borrow money so he can hire someone in order to be able to take advantage of the growth opportunities available to him.
We’re all raising our prices.
But I digress.
With that website done and sent off into the ether, I turned to the next thing, a set of brochures for a construction company. I was getting “Can you have this done by EOD?” messages about that all afternoon, along with messages from my nightclub guy wanting stuff done, so worked intensely on those brochures and I hope they were good.
I try to knock off at 5:00 on Fridays and take the evening off. Not yesterday. I finished the brochures around 6:18, with my rotten layabout menfolks yelling “What’s for dinner?” from where they sat in front of the TV.
I made their dinner and watched some Xtreme Sports with them, and then took my knitting into the office and watched a movie. Salt Peanuts is becoming a lovely fluffy pink sweater, as you can perhaps see in the snap here. I have another sleeve to do, and finishing and blocking and stuff, but I think it’ll be very nice.
More work today (the nightclub guy, and grading papers), but I also plan to do some domestic stuff. It’s the last day of Kitchen and Pantry Week at the spring cleaning plan, and I may not be up for that, frankly, but perhaps I can do a little bit after work. My kitchen and pantry could certainly use it.