Not my business

I want to make a point here that this blog is NOT my business.
This blog is about accountability, personal growth, crap I’m going through, and talking about my business in a place where my business customers are not hanging out.
I’m pretty sure that most of the people reading this one at this point are my friends and family. Which is great, and exactly what I want this blog to be.
I’m not working on building a ton of traffic here or looking at monetizing this in any real way.
Why do I say this?
Because I just watched Ittybiz’s final Fail-Proof video where Dave & Naomi are talking about accountability, and how an accountability group is NOT a support group.
This hit me like a bolt of lightning.
Accountability is not support; it’s accountability. There must be some fear of being accountable in order for it to work. This makes so much sense, and I’m not sure why I never thought that before.
Anyway, I think after watching that video that I can talk about my business struggles here, since here is not connected to my business. And you guys can push me.
But I also need to find someone that is already successful at something similar to add to my accountability list.
That’s a completely scary idea.

Burn out

In my afternoons and evenings, I tutor math.
I enjoy doing it, and I’m working on building a bigger business around it.
But, since August, I’ve been working during the day, tutoring in the evenings, creating a class around one student, staying up late to do grad school work (for my teaching credential) and trying to stay involved in my teenage daughter’s life.
I’m flat out exhausted. I’ve stopped spending a lot of time with BFF because I’ve been so tired and I need to have time to recharge.
For months I’ve been looking forward to this week, the week between Xmas and New Year’s. This week I have no grad school class. I knew I was going to be furloughed this week from work. And 99% of the time, my clients don’t need help during this week.
Last week, I contacted an old client that has pre-paid for several sessions, but hadn’t used them yet.
I was trying to see if she’d need me soon.
And she does, and that’s great.
Except she wanted help this week.
And I’ve been so resentful on this demand on my time, when I thought I wouldn’t be working, that I haven’t even called to set up the appointment.
I need to get over this and call her so I don’t lose the client. But I’m so tired!

"Very Personal Ads"

Have you visited The Fluent Self?
I love Havi. I can’t handle reading her every day, but when I’m in the mood for extreme silliness and motivation, I go straight to her site.
I want to learn Shiva Nata, but I can’t afford the basic learning package.
Someone was going to pay for me to see her when she came to Sacramento a few weeks ago, but I was too late signing up and the class was full.
So, I used some of the Holiday money I received to finally download the Monster Manual & Coloring Book.
Monsters! Of DOOOOM!
C and I have been having fun coloring monsters. And since it’s an ebook, we can print it out again and again and color them differently. Maybe I’ll scan and post a few of my monsters in the coming weeks. Anyway, another thing that Havi does is Very Personal Ads.
Every week, she writes an “ad” for something that she wants in her life. A house, a Playground for her business, more time to live her life, success for her business projects, anything that she feels she needs in her life.
She hates the word “manifest” but to me, this feels like basics of Magick and/or the New Age idea of Manifestation. In order to craft a good spell, you need to be able to articulate exactly what you want. And then you have to release your emotional attachment to it. It’s also the basis for a lot of New Age stuff (what is now apparently being called Airy Fairy Woo Woo Hippy Crap). I’m used to keeping these things private, though, not sticking them out there for the whole world to see. 
What I like about Havi’s Very Personal Ads is that not only does she list her goals, she lists the mundane steps she needs to take to make them come true. She calls this “how this could happen.”
She does these every week.
I’m not good at making firm goals or plans. This is one of the things I’m really working on.
I don’t think I can commit to doing goals once a week. I’m not good at even making them once a year.
But maybe I can do it once a month.
This post is already getting long, but I’m going to list a few here now.
  • Sufficient income to pay my bills and start accumulating some savings. I have a number in mind, but I’m a little reluctant to post that.
  • At least half of that income coming from my business.
  • I need to “up my game” with regards to my business. I missed out on IttyBiz’s last big sale, and now her store is closed. Again, I didn’t have the money to invest in tools that might help my business. Likewise, I can’t afford to invest in Dave Navarro’s (not the music guy) big sale before everything costs waaaaay too much. I’m really tired of not being able to take advantage of tools that could help me (I also couldn’t afford Ramit Sethi’s Earn 1K). I’m tired of that. But I CAN take advantage of notes I took during Ramit’s free webinars, and notes I’ve been making off of Naomi Dunford’s and Dave Navarro’s Failproof Your Business series. And I’ve downloaded Dave’s free content and I’ve started working on the 4 free workbooks he’s got. Anyway, I’m taking small steps here.
  •  By the end of January, I want to have my tutoring website revamped, at least one video made, finish the Study Skills ebook and have it ready for sale.
  • I want a list of at least 2000 people. That may seem small to some people, but since I have less than 20 people following on FeedBurner, 2000 seems like a lot to me.
Is this doable in a month? I’m only working 8 hours at my day job, doing my normal tutoring, and classes start again next week. 
Is this too much? 
I should have at least a couple of hours every weekday to work on this. Is that enough?

Holidays and Journals

Happy Holidays!
One of the presents I received was from R. R is family, but not related by blood (insert long complicated explanation here). Suffice to say, I love her dearly. 
The last time I spoke with her, I found out she was reading this blog.  That thrills me more than I can say. She said that she really enjoys my writing. 
And like normal, my mind tried to deny that. I’ve practiced long and hard at just saying, “Thank you, “ to compliments, but honestly, my mind is just like my teen daughter’s in this respect. It starts saying, “I don’t write that well, really,” and a ton of other negativities.
Anyway, R sent me this lovely journal. It’s faux crocodile skin with silver-gilt edging, and just gorgeous. And thick. Lots of pages.
I have this history with journals. 
I love them! I buy them (though I’ve never bought one this nice for myself). I use them. 
For a little while.  You know, when I’m a tad manic, and trying to get myself together, and thinking that I’m going to be this creative genius (because, really, what’s the point of being bipolar if I can’t be a creative genius?) Or when I’m really depressed and I’ve driven everyone away and I have no one to talk to, I write then.
Then I stop.
I get too busy, or I get depressed, or I misplace the journal, or I spend too much time online, or. . . you know, life gets in the way.
Then when I want to write again after months, or sometimes years, off, I can’t find the last one I was using (because I’m a disorganized wreck, of course).  Or I think it will look pathetic to have a 2 year gap in the journal. 
So I buy a new one. 
Or I try to write a computer journal.
But somehow, like with math, my hand is connected to my brain. The journaling doesn’t stick unless I do it by hand.
I’m feeling a little bit of pressure to fill this one, and not give up on it 20 pages in. It’s so much nicer than any I’ve bought for myself. 
I did fill four pages today. 
That’s a good start, I think.
Thank you so much, R. It’s really lovely.

Nothing if not resilient

I’ve been working for a small business. The business has not been doing well for quite some time. The owners have reached a point where they need to make drastic changes to keep the company going.

One of those changes is laying me off, and making me a contractor. My last day as an employee will be December 23rd. After the first of the year, I come back for 8 hours a week. I’ll work 4 hours a week from home, and 4 hours on Friday.

I will be eligible for unemployment, so that’s good.

I found out about this on Wednesday.

Here’s the funny part.

For months, I’ve been talking about applying for a substitute teaching credential.

For weeks, I’ve been saying that I needed more time to do observations at different times of the day and for different teachers.

On Monday, I had finally gotten off my ass and applied for the credential.

I was thinking that after my credential came through, I could put in notice with the company and let them know that I would be available for special projects or to help transition on days that I wasn’t tutoring.

When the boss told me Wednesday about this change in status, I was actually almost relieved.

I don’t have to do the hard part of approaching them about this plan.

It’s happening a month or two earlier than I thought it would.

But I’m already working on things to improve MY business.

I’ll be able to collect unemployment.

They owe me for more than 100 hours PTO. I’ve only been working about 27 hours a week lately, anyway, so that 100 hours is like getting 2 more paychecks from them. That will last me until the unemployment kicks in.

The 8 hours a week I work as a contractor will subtract a little from the unemployment, but will still help me.

Then I should get a big tax refund, which could act like another 3 or 4 paychecks.

By then, the substitute certificate should come through.

Meanwhile, I can volunteer and observe teachers in various schools to get my name out there for subbing.

As long as I don’t get depressed while this is happening, I’ll be good.

So far, my anti-depression plan includes:

  1. Getting up at the same time every day.
  2. Take C to school, just like normal.
  3. Hit the gym immediately afterward – get the endorphins flowing and help me have energy to tackle the day. Also, there’s a ton of studies about exercise helping keep one from being too depressed.

So, wish me luck!