Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Every Day is Payday!

I love my job :) Wait... What I really mean is:


Well, if you can call it a "job", that is. That term usually means alarm clocks, set hours, cruel bosses, bad coffee, sad paychecks and traffic jams. I dont have any of that to deal with :)

Quite the opposite, actually. It's been almost 8 years now since I quit my last "real job" and began working from home for myself. I dont play hit-the-snooze in the mornings, in fact I dont even use an alarm clock anymore. It's an odd concept: I actually wake up early because I *want* to! No more "living paycheck to paycheck" either... because between the Inbox and the Mailbox, every day is Payday ;)

I also have quite a bit of flexibility with my schedule, which is nice - but that's not to say that I dont *work*. In fact, I used to work very hard - and very long hours, too... but these days I am leaning more towards "working smart" instead.

I'm constantly looking at potential sources for income (particularly: passive income), testing various methods, and 'tweaking' the things that are already working well for me.

I'm in the process of revamping my entire website, with a big focus on SEO & Copywriting. Ranking well and converting well are my two primary goals there. I'm not super happy with how the design is coming out at the moment, but I figure I'll get back to that when I'm feeling more creative... For now, I want to move forward - and not get stuck on that part being perfect.

I also have several other projects on the sidelines, all waiting for my time and attention. No pressure, though - they are my projects, my goals... and they will wait until I am ready :)

All in all, I couldn't be happier. I'm exactly where I want to be, and very excited about the direction it is all going. Is it all about the money? No... or I wouldn't continue to build, learn and grow. I would just set things into motion and be done with it. It's about the ultimate goal - that end result that I am after. A personal mission, you might say.

We all have our reasons for doing whatever it is that we do. At the moment, I am enjoying my work more than I ever would have imagined - and am grateful that I had the opportunity, and took the initiative, to set this into motion in my life.

When I think back on it - - I was only 23 years old. I was young and inexperienced. And I'm still amazed that I had the guts to do what I did, to walk out on my "job" and start a business I really knew nothing about. But I did, and made it... and stuck with it.

There was a lot more to it than just wanting 'out of the rat race'. I had been married for just under 3 years, had a 5 month old daughter on my hip and an older child as well. I worked 40-55 hours a week, while my husband constantly looked for work or odd jobs in our small town. The house was rented, the car was always breaking down - and while things 'looked' nice on the outside... I knew that it was only a matter of time before it all crumbled.

The idea came to me out of the blue, and I jotted down a make-shift business plan on a legal pad at our kitchen table one night. It was one of those "A HA!" moments, and I was trying to sell my husband on the idea - I can remember that I was very enthusiastic and was just sure "this was it!"

Yes, he thought I was nuts. But he agreed to give me three months to prove that it would work. We needed a change in our lives anyway - we were both burning out. Besides (I told him) we could always go out and get new jobs if this didnt fly. "Okay"

It's funny when I think back on it now - I mean, we didnt have any credit, no savings... we didnt own anything. We were barely making it paycheck-to-paycheck. And I walked in and quit my job... cutting off the only steady paycheck that we did have. And of course, it couldnt be easy - no, we even had to pick up and move two counties away just to start a business (as we both had no-compete agreements against us).

We sold everything we owned to make that move. My Christmas china. Furniture. Toys. Clothes. Home Interior I had collected over the years - everything. It all went to local auction. All said and done, we had $600 to our name and a move to make. Gosh, that seems so impossible to me now...

We didnt even have telephone lines when we started out. Nothing. We "roughed it" those first couple of months. Talk about determination! But by the end of that third month... we'd made it. We had a steady income - not a lot, but enough. And that was enough to "prove it".

The following year we moved that business into a 5,000 sq ft show room on the busiest highway in the city. Big windows, lots of equipment, and phone lines ringing off the walls. It was beautiful. For one small town couple... it was a dream come true.

Yes, he left me a couple of years later. And that was hard, I admit. But I dont begrudge him anything at this point... In fact, if anything at all - I am content with my past, as he was the one person in the world that supported me in my crazy dreams and allowed me to explore my limits. Had I not loved him so madly, I may have never made such a leap. I may have never become who I am today. I could have just as easily turned out as a complacent housewife - or any number of scenarios...

- If you havent already seen The Butterfly Effect, I highly recommend it. Grab some popcorn, and something cold to drink, and enjoy this one. It'll really make you think about those choices in life - the ones we make every single day.

** Don't let anything stop you from taking action on YOUR dreams - whatever they may be. If you arent already exactly where you want to be in your life... take those steps to get there. By the way: they call them 'steps' for a reason - it's certainly not an elevator ride ;)

See the movie!