Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Scene In Which I Survive My First Week In Business

In my first week on the job I've learned many things, so I thought I'd share a few for you:

1) DO realize that the minute you quit your job, everything in your life becomes three times as expensive. It doesn't matter what it cost before, it Costs. More. Now.

2) DO become "the girl who gets things done," immediately- and go the extra mile to earn that title. Getting things done over email is great. A phone call is better. Driving up to their office is the best. I learned that Monday when a project that had taken 4 weeks over email and 3 phone calls that day was wrapped in 5 minutes during a visit.

3) DO realize that you have to spend money to make money.....

4).....but DON'T think that it applies towards things that aren't for your business. Which means that if you want to succeed, you've got to pass up that new awesome CD, that adorable shirt, that delicious Starbucks drink. The moment you're out running errands and need food and realize you can get a turkey sandwich that doubles as lunch AND a snack later for half the cost of your tallwhitetripleberryextrashotmochafrap is harsh, but necessary.

5) DO realize that sacrifice is good, but doesn't always feel that way. I didn't say it was a yummy sandwich, did I?!? Keep your long-term goals in mind.

6) DO shower and dress in normal clothes every morning, no matter how much or how little you have to do in a given day. Working on invoices in your pajamas is a sure way to become one of those people who forgets if they've showered or not that day.

7) DON'T fall victim to the "but you're a work-from-home-girl now, shouldn't your house be spotless?!?" pressure. Note: This will be hard. Because despite the fact that you've theoretically seen your house during the daytime hours before (say, I don't know, every weekend?) around the middle of the first week you will begin to inevitably notice how the streaming 2 PM sunlight highlights the dust on the top of the bookshelves. And as you're just giving those bookshelves a quick dusting!! you will notice from your perch that the laundry bin looks about full. Upon entering the laundry room you'll be reminded by the Windex sitting out that it's really about time you cleaned off all those exterior windows. WARNING. This can, and will, lead to a vicious cycle of chaotic cleaning that ends with tears, bruises, and writing a blog post about cleaning your house while sitting next to a massive pile of laundry in a room strewn with the pulled-apart contents of your unorganized front hall closet, your unorganized and still dusty bookshelves, multiple half- empty cans of cleaning products, and several boxes of things that you've been "meaning to go through for years." When you feel the urge to clean, start a new project, or do something else that inevitably gets you off-task and with more work than before, STOP. Breathe. Back away from the Windex.

8) DO have a to-do list. If for no other reason than lesson #7.

9) DO learn to use the Mr. Coffee. And if you can't, DON'T hesitate to call a friend for help!

10) DO take the time look around you realize what you've accomplished. It's not going to be perfect right away, and it doesn't have to be. Shake things up a little bit. Walk the dog at 10 in the morning or 8 at night and meet a whole different set of neighbors than you usually see out. Have a beer (or two, or five) with your friends on the porch until 2 AM. Go see a movie in the middle of the day. Enjoy it.

And finally, the best lesson I've learned this week:

DO realize that you never would have gotten where you are without the love, support, and occasional kick in the ass from those fantastic people you call family and friends, and make sure to tell them that.

Thanks Mom. Thanks Dad. You guys pretty much rock as parents. Thanks Steve. Thanks for agreeing to move in with me and help me survive this new adventure by subsidizing half my costs. I promise to get rid of the futon and get the attic organized before you move in.

Thanks Marilyn and Meghan and Pam and Sharron and Kathy and Becki and all my other fantastic family members who support from near and, in some cases, very far.

Thanks Alisa. Your support has meant more to me than I can say. Thanks Wishard folks. Knowing I could leave everything in good hands made it so much easier to follow my dream. Thanks Kevin and Bailey. Thanks Jill. Thanks Joel. Thanks all my awesome neighbors in HMP. Thanks Union, Rebekah, Justin, Mary Beth, David, and Jon. Thanks Carolyn. Thanks Sean, who got me my very first client and has stuck with me since. Thanks to all my awesome friends.

Thanks Julie & Bill. Thanks for being one of my first clients and someone who has believed in me before I was even sure I wanted to believe in myself. Thanks Annie & Zach. Thanks Amy & Dan. Thanks Andrew & Erin. Thanks Todd & Emilie. Thanks Sandy. Thanks Lori. Thanks Kyle & Anna. Thanks Dan.

I am so incredibly lucky.

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