Pin It So - uh, we are approaching ground zero with our business. It's all gonna take off this month and soar, or it's gonna implode in a really spectacular way. We have five billion things "just about" to happen. Big clients and small clients and software clients and consulting clients and hopefully not imaginary clients. Of course, along with that we have about five billions bills that really are due, no almost about it. As of right now we're in a huge hole and shoveling hard, but tonight it seems possible that in a week (or two or three or possibly four) we might have actual PAYING software clients. P-a-y-i-n-g. (Of course, the fact that I just dared to write that means that the Man Upstairs is now going to teach me a VERY IMPORTANT LESSON involving chickens and eggs and hatching.)
When I finished a web demo the other day and the lady said, "I'd like to buy it, how do I pay?" I started laughing, because honestly, what a ridiculous thing to say. We've been living in the land of "things are starting to take off" for about two years now - two years of repeatedly gearing up and having things break down - so we've become very cynical and skeptical about the concept of payment. "You want to PAY me for the software? A-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Right. Tell me another pretty, pretty story. Hey. Why are you backing away from me? And so slowly?" The nice lady who is our first official software leaseholder is a very tiny client, but it's a step. It's symbolic. That's what I'm telling myself, anyway.
We have so many positive things "almost" happening. But "almost" is sucky. I'd rather not have it happen at all than have it "almost" happen, over and over and over again. We could probably afford to last long enough for all of the "almost" stuff to "actually" happen - - if it would just start, you know, raining money. (Why doesn't it rain money? It SHOULD. Shouldn't it?) We're not quite sure if we should dare to feel hopeful, or if we should be reading up on bankruptcy law.
So we're working on the business, soliciting clients, trying to keep things afloat, and also at the same time, we are both looking for other work, just in case. My husband has been interviewing and I've been trying to get back in the swing of my freelancing ways - pimping myself out as an instructional designer and technical writer and ghostwriter and whatever other freelance jobs I can con my way into. I'm starting to get assignments trickling in now, which is a positive thing.
After a few really stressful weeks, all of a sudden this week we have not only our first real client and her shiny stack of quarters, but a few other people buzzing around talking about leasing, and asking to review contracts, and wanting to hire Diana to consult for actual dollars. I'm starting to feel hopeful that all of these things could possibly maybe eventually result in a business that will someday (please for the love of all that is holy) operate in the black, which is such a strange concept that I'm not quite sure what to even think about it. The workload caused by clients, on top of the freelancing jobs I've committed to, on top of the continual testing and maintenance on the software, on top of trying to be a decent mother and a half-way decent wife - is about to finally push me over the edge of normal, past the border of mildly eccentric, and right on into The Crazy.
Last Thursday I was so busy, so horribly busy and anxious, that I worked all day long, spent a couple of hours with my poor husband and kids (who are starting to refer to me as the "crazy lady who lives upstairs and occasionally gives us otter pops"), then ate dinner, put the kids to bed, and went right back upstairs to the office. I realized at about 3:30 AM that I wasn't going to be able to fit in time for sleep, and just went with it. I didn't go to sleep until about 1:30 Saturday morning.
Last night I got two hours of sleep - from 5:30AM - 7:30 AM. I got Sarah ready for school, got Abby and Carter dressed and brushed and kissed, then went upstairs and worked all day long, all afternoon, stopped for dinner and bedtime and now it's 2:22 in the morning.
Oh - hey! Question for you?? What else would any perfectly sane, sleep deprived, overworked, over committed person do at 2:22 in the morning? Did you say blog? Ding-ding-ding! Right you are! I guess after a long day of structured writing - procedures and contracts and instructions and - stuff, the opportunity to use run-on sentences and flaunt the rules of grammar is very appealing. Or quite possibly I've lost my mind. Or maybe I just don't require sleep anymore. (That'd be aweseome.)
Right at this moment, I'm feeling all philosophical and sentimental about everything (probably because my mind is so sleep deprived and foggy right now that our "situation" feels completely disconnected from any kind of reality - it's more like an inspirational story I'm telling myself to pass the time). No matter what happens with us, with our business, with work - I feel amazed by what we've (almost) accomplished. If it all goes south, I'll still be excited about what I've learned technically, and happy about what I've learned we're capable of - me and my husband and my sister and everyone who has helped us along the way.
I'm so exhausted right now that I'm not even sure this is all coherent, but there is no way I'm gonna go back and read it - my pillow is calling me, so I'm gonna take my chances and hit post. See ya tomorrow. (Unless the blood clot gets me first. Did you know I stood up only three times today? My leg - it's pulsing. I just don't know if it's imaginary pulsing or real pulsing.) Er, I mean, good night. For real.