Friday, July 26, 2013

Goal Setting

The thing about working for yourself, as E would say, is that your boss always knows when you aren't working.

I'd add: And you keep seeing what you haven't done, or what you've done completely wrong.

The first month, printing out business cards takes all of your resources, because you have to keep printing them on your inkjet printer. You know this is a bad use of your time, but then you can't get ahead enough to take the two hours to design business cards to send to a printer. And on top of that you want them to be perfect, so you keep trying things, and you want the flexibility of printing off a small run.

And THEN you realize you need a real damn logo, so you have to take the time for THAT. (Tip to small business owners: Hatchwise is In between those things is trying to design adwork, trying to run a storefront, and trying to, you know, actually build a product. Several of them. And, like, sleep.

Because in a startup, you do EVERYTHING. Everything from designing ads to writing the business plan to taking out the trash. Meetings with government and venture capitalists and project planners. Loan paperwork.

Send coffee.

I also have no idea what, if anything, this post has to do with goal setting. I think I was going to make some point that setting goals and achieving them--meeting with X, business cards sent--seems like it would help, seems like it would give you some sense of accomplishment, but it totally doesn't because those things aren't goals at all; they are steps to achieving your goals, or more like steps to Being A Business Professional.

Sending off a business card design won't net you a purchase the next day, but it DOES allow you to hand them out at cocktail parties, which is really the same thing.

Oh, wait, it's not?

The problem is that customers won't come in and say, "Oh, I saw your ad in The Stranger/picked up one of your business cards at Vivace/saw your Facebook page in a friend's feed." (Actually, that last one HAS happened to us, The lack of transparency makes every decision, especially when on a budget, fraught with anxiety, with the fear of spending money on garbage and creating excess waste. "Those postcards have to be perfect, they cost us $458!" "Could the business cards POP a little more? I mean, we ARE going to have 250 of them." Etc.

Why should I get business cards at all? How can I tell that they will help me get customers? Will the bank magically loan me more money?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Just Another Day

Bad: We have had no business cards for two days.

Good: Because we have a new logo and we want to get it on the cards!

Normally we'd print cards on our own printer in the office. But,

Bad: Our printer broke late last night. Like, at midnight.

Good: Therefore, we placed an emergency order for "real" business cards, which we've only needed for a month or so.

I was planning on going to FedEx or similar this morning for an emergency stash to hold us over. Then today happened.

Bad: E woke up late for his 9:15 meeting. An angry New Yorker is not a pleasant sight to wake up to.

Good: Once he was out the door, his mother (oh, did I mention she was staying with us?) and I had a lovely morning.

Really Good: I have a meeting with Seattle government next week; they want to get more involved, officially, with our pedicabs!

Really, Really, Good: I also have a meeting with a venture capitalist next week.

Related, Really, Really, Good: When a venture capitalist asks for your investor pitch AND YOU HAVE ONE ALREADY PREPARED. That you can just send off like it ain't no thing.

Bad: Still riding high on all the goods, you return from your 11:00 meeting to discover that a pipe has burst. Let me say that again: A PIPE HAS BURST. Above, say, a lot of electric motors, batteries, and other assorted electronic equipment. Did I mention our store is supposed to open five minutes ago?

COMMENCE EMERGENCY PROCEDURE #15, which would be so much more believable if we actually HAD emergency procedures, or worse, we were able to determine what, exactly, qualifies as an actual emergency. Opposed to, say, a normal day in the life of a startup.

I had a point here, but tequila and red wine have, blessedly, thankfully, erased it.

Is there a patron saint of startups?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Survived to Friday!

I have been to Auburn three times since Tuesday, which in itself should be enough to qualify me for sainthood, as if cutting out all carbs and losing a whole pants size within two weeks wasn't enough.

BUT. When the product that you're trying to launch falls apart two days before launch, you decide that you'd better become capable of almost anything, because what the hell else are you going to do? Not launch the product? Unacceptable. Did I mention that dry shampoo is Your Friend during Weeks Like This?

And so, if failure is not an option, you learn how to bend physics. But GODS does that take it out of you. I am a lump.

A lump that has eaten delicious eggplant parmesan, drank a glass of red wine, and indulged in chocolate frozen custard with a shot of espresso poured over it. I have eaten rice crackers and fruit juice and drank hard apple cider. Tonight I may have a lemon bar. I'm not gonna make a habit of this, but today? Worth every calorie.

My parents came to our launch party (shoutout!) and brought a flag, and my father, bless him, watched me lay it out on the floor with puzzlement.

"What are you doing?" he asked me.

"I'm going to learn how to grommet," I said, as if that was a perfectly normal thing to do at 8 pm on a Thursday night while wearing heels.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Wow, Writing Is Hard Work

Wow, you guys! Writing is, like, HARD.

Coming up with new things to say every day is...daunting. Beyond daunting. It's blackout hard/As in, the mind just looks at the enormity of the task and blacks out.

When I think of finishing my novel, I tend to think of it all at once--which is absolutely preposterous. Because no one has ever sat down and written 250 pages in one sitting, and I'm not likely to become the first person to do so.

My novel being finished won't happen all at once--so why do I think of it like it will?

Bad form, really.

It's the same with organizing. It just seems like such a massive undertaking. But once I start--it doesn't seem so bad.