When I started my little business I thought it'd be good to make enough money to cover my expenses and pay down some of my debt while freeing me up time-wise to pursue my dream of writing. The real appeal was to have the winter off to write.
It's gotten a bit out of control. I stopped advertising three years ago because I already had enough work to fill my schedule. But it just kept coming via word of mouth.
This fall I added over 40 new clients and went a stretch between September 1st and November 25th without an unscheduled day. There is a recession and it's probably going to hit me, but if it takes 20% to 30% of my work away, that means I'll be at a level where I can still do all the work without destroying my body.
Here are some highlights, and lowlights:
Most interesting new client: She has a son my age who is severely autistic. He went to bed eight years ago and never got back out .. . in fact they moved him from one house to the other, still in bed. Amazing. I learned more about Autism from my 4 hours there than from any book, website, or other conversation.
Hardest single day: There was a day that started off easy, but once into it we realized that my client's cabin on the river was a full-blown house and not just one house, but two. We worked until after 10 PM and barely got done.
Worst Client: I got there and it was 12 degrees and 15 below wind chill. The windows were covered with some kind of weird dripping spooge that didn't want to come off, and the client was this very pretty lady who was eight-months pregnant. Never had my opinion reversed about someone so dramatically in such a short time. There were huge pieces of furniture (desks, dressers) in front of some windows and she was angry we couldn't get to them. She was angry that despite all we did some of the stuff wouldn't come off the windows. She was angry that I couldn't just stay outside in that weather for the whole outside of the job, but instead would do some of it outside then some inside work while I warmed back up. She was angry that I would have the nerve to charge sales tax, which I'm required to both charge and pay to the state. She was angry that I couldn't do the inside of the skylight above her bed in her master bedroom even after explaining that I can't put a ladder on her bed. And it goes on and on.
Worst Injury: I don't know how I did it, but something happened to my right knee a few weeks ago. It doesn't hurt climbing up and down ladders or walking. It doesn't hurt when I'm carrying stuff on a normal flat plane. But it hurts like hell when I'm walking down an incline while carrying weight. It's a sharp pain from the top of my knee up my thigh. It also hurts when I sit cross-legged. Weird. It's getting better though. My shoulder's also sore, but that's pretty much a constant that will heal this winter and get worse next year.
Anyway, I'm back, my desk is clean and I'm ready to go.
- rick, prodigal blogger.