Yesterday I signed the contract with Client #6, finished up the project for Client #2, and met with Blessing.
I haven’t mentioned her in a while. She’s an accountant who rescued the store from a morass of accounting a couple of years ago, and also was willing to help with inventory, which was certainly a major blessing to me. We became friends, so I took her to lunch to discuss how to do invoices and pay taxes on my freelance income. Her husband has been wanting a website for his business, as it happens, so she is going to swap accounting for computer work, and gets to be Client #7.
This coming week I have twenty hours with Client #6, a couple of cooking shows, five or ten hours of tutoring, and meetings with Clients 4 and 7. Essentially full time work, but I’m going to get a filing system in hand and my workspace under control, and I’m also planning to do some further study on the software I’m learning.
#1 daughter came up, on a sudden inspiration. It’s wonderful to have her here. She told some very funny stories. She also told me that I should take some classes in web design, though #2 daughter assured me that I wouldn’t like it, and she may well be right in that.
It’s not that I have any desire to be a web designer. I know how to use templates to put together a page when I need one, and I can mess with text perfectly well. However, I now have two clients who don’t yet have sites and one who has a site so bad that a redesign is a top priority. I had thought I would refer these people to The Computer Guy, but he doesn’t have time for such small projects. I looked at the other local options, and they really aren’t enough better than I am for me to want to refer clients to them. These clients assure me that they don’t want a work of art anyway.
So I went to the bookstore to see about getting a nice book or two on Visual Studio. I found quite a lot of nice things, including the book on HTML that I wish I had bought in the first place, Head First. If it hadn’t been a $40 book, I’d have bought it, and I might do so yet. Unfortunately, they don’t do anything on Visual Studio, but I did find a book on it from Microsoft with an optimistic bright orange cover.
Oh, sure, there are online tutorials, but you have to navigate away from the tutorial to do the work, and then go back to the tutorial, and I think that a book will work better for me.
I also found a very funny book on software programming from Joel on Software. I realize that this sounds like a contradiction in terms, but it was quite funny, and so is his website.
Having resisted the temptation to buy both those books, I went ahead and succumbed to a Debbie Mumm quilting book on the bargain books table. I confess. Considering how few books I have bought recently and how many books I wanted, my having bought only two was a major accomplishment. I didn’t even look at fiction. And I didn’t buy Sensual Knits, either.
I had also looked at books about accounting. I was on my way to my meeting with Blessing, and still thinking that I would learn to do it myself. I needed a book called something like The Least You Have to Know to Stay Out of Jail as a Freelance Worker, A Few Little Forms with Clear Explanations for Non-Accountants, or How to Avoid Paperwork and Quicken. Don’t bother looking, because there aren’t any books like that.
I did however find there a book that The Empress had told me about, called Do What You Are. It uses the Myers-Briggs inventory to recommend types of jobs, as well as hints for job hunting for the various categories. I’m an INTJ, myself, and I found their suggestions convincing as I perused the book in the aisle there.
I also read through a couple of books on SEO there in the aisles. These books did not exist back when I needed them, and I was glad to see that I now know all the stuff in those books. This made me a bit more confident about Client #6 — cause let’s face it, I am out of my league there. Not that I won’t do a good job for them, but their response to my email of initial ideas makes it clear that I need to change the scale on which I’m thinking.
#1 daughter is going to help me look at computers today. I have software I need, but can’t fit on my current computer. She tells me that I have to buy a new computer, get my business website set up, have business cards made, and take some classes on web design and also all the other things I don’t know.
I am not completely sure that I have decided to be self-employed. I don’t have an entrepreneurial spirit. I want to be able to do my work and have someone else make certain that I get paid something every now and then. That is, I would still prefer a salary. However, I want a salary for doing exactly what I currently do.
I may get over that.
We’re going to the farmers market today, and computer shopping. #1 daughter has been starved for company down there in Cowboy Land, and is spending a good amount of time with friends, but we should have time to get caught up on all her news.