July 10, 2008No Comments

Getting Through Crappy Work

Going through the Google Reader today and 43Folders had a link to this great video from Ira Glass of This American Life noteriety.

If you make or create anything for a living you should watch this.


April 17, 2008No Comments

I am in a Dip and I am going to Stick.

The Dip

I just completed reading Seth Godin's, "The Dip." An interesting little read that presented mostly things that I already knew in various pieces from a variety of sources. However, it is all distilled into a simple, quick, and easy read.

What I got out of this book was some clarity. I suspected I was in a dip and reading this helped bring that into focus. I am in a dip with my business. My business is in a state of stagnation. That is the best I can describe it. It's not dieing, but its not growing either. The level of work with my business could be sustained, for what feels like, almost indefinitely. How can that be bad? I have work, I am making money, but I am not happy with how things are. I know there is potential for more. This business has not reached its potential.

After reading "The Dip" I actually contemplated disassembling my business--quitting it. In the book there are many suggestions about quitting, and the process of why to quit something. There is a purpose to quitting. It is to free you up to focuses energy on getting through the dips that matter. Of course part of the process is identifying what matters, but that was easy--at least for me.
There are other outside factors I will not get into, but suffice it to say that the alternative to being an entrepreneur (going back to punching the clock for a paycheck) was seriously considered for a bit. However, in the thinking surrounding this one thing became clear when I read the sentence, "Never quit something with great long term potential just because of the stress of the moment."

That sentence summed it up for me. There is great potential in owning a business. There is great stress owning a business--stress of the moment. Furthermore, I realized that there are things I have not done or tried with my business. To quit before at least trying would create a great deal of regret later down the road. So now I have a better perspective, a plan for action, someone to motivate me and keep me on track, and a timeframe by which to measure the efforts.

For now I will stick rather than quit.

March 27, 2008No Comments

PayPal Money = Monopoly Money


Yes. Using money in your PayPal account can and does feel like playing with Monopoly money. For those of you who have done enough online transactions to take the dip and get a PayPal account you will know what I mean.

If you have a PayPal account setup to you allow people to pay you for products or services--a 'merchant' account--you may have at one point actually received money into your account. This has happened for me a few times with a few clients of mine. It is a great service to me and to my clients. PayPal takes a little something--but hey they have to cover their costs--I understand.

Where the Monopoly money concept comes into play is when you spend the money you have in your PayPal account. For example, you go to another e-commerce website and they take PayPal as a payment method. You jump through the appropriate hoops and voila! You have paid for your transaction. The feeling is different than credit cards because they come back to remind you that you still owe. It's different than cash because your pockets get lighter. It feels like pretend money. You received the money, but never really 'had it' in your hands. And it does feel a bit different than direct deposit too because you could walk into the bank and make a withdrawl, or hit the ATM. There is no PayPal ATM (hey wait a minute, that would be cool).

Unlike Monopoly money--which can only buy you plastic houses--PayPal money, if you have enough, could buy you a real house. Now if I could just stop the impulse e-commerce purchases...