Thursday, February 2, 2012

:: confluence ::


oh, i'm brooding tonight, wondering why on earth i insist on doing things in the most difficult way possible.

it's hard to exactly explain, though it's easy to point to what put me here. today brought a series of small events, the confluence of which have given me much to think about. the five events were:
  1. getting my snapfish and minted 1099s
  2. finishing the irritating job of calculating the dollar-value of my inventory for 2011 year-end (which will be used to calculate COGS (cost of goods sold) on my income taxes)
  3. getting an email reminding me that my sales tax will be due soon
  4. one of my printers dying
  5. being notified by my new landlord, who also rungs a digital print shop, though with a different customer base but also a lot more years' experience, is about to sublet even more of his own space as a cost-cutting measure. he's downsizing his employee base and renting out probably half of his space. he's got dozens of printers, many of which sit unused. 

i'll do my best to explain.

so.

the work i do for minted and snapfish, which my 1099s attest is rewarded financially, requires nothing but couple thousand fonts, a computer, and some design software. it does not require me to file sales tax, do inventory, calculate COGS, buy, repair, and replace printers, or stock paper and envelopes. it doesn't even require me to go out and find customers, or to keep customers happy.

there's always the chance that one of those (major) companies will go bust, or that my work will no longer appeal to their customers, etc. but damn! DAMN! i spend less than 10% of my time on this work. i should just multiple that by ten and i'd be ALL SET. so little overhead. so little payout. why am i not doing that???

the answer, i guess, is that there's something that happens to me when i see other people running successful creative businesses, abuzz with activity, bursting with energy, busy with employees. i want that. i want to make that happen and to stand in the middle of it.

i got an email from the CEO of minted this past december in which she recounted the busy holiday seasons of minted's first years in business -- the year that they realized they were about to hit through-put capacity and had to immediately pull any advertising they could possibly still pull, for one. the year they had to call in their husbands, friends, and family members in order to get everything out the doors.

it sounded like completely wonderful chaos. and i do NOT like chaos.

but its hard to see lots of businesses around me in S-O-S. kodak, for one. my landlord, who maybe isn't in S-O-S exactly but who is definitely in pare-down mode. 

now more than at any other time, even more now than when i shelled out all those big bucks to exhibit at nss let year, i'm standing at the edge of a chasm and i'm about to jump, and while i feel confident that i'll make it to the other side of this particular span, i've got to admit that i can't see what's lurking on the other side.

and with things like COGS and sales tax and dead printers that are more expensive to repair than to replace, i guess it's only natural to take a moment before jumping. and with 1099s showing me the alluring options on this side of the chasm, i suppose i'd be crazy not to be muddled tonight. brooding.

it would be wisest of me to stand here on this side. not only wisest, but possibly healthiest (from a wellness standpoint) and also best (from a mom standpoint). these are things i really believe, not just things i'm supposed to say. i really truly believe that if i could just find a way to stay happy here on this side, i'd be better off. healthier. happier. 

but i can't shake the allure of spanning the chasm. 

i can't stop wanting to be one of the few who takes the leap.

so i guess we all know i'll probably jump.

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