The Pesky Post is refusing to organize itself into a cohesive blog unit. So I’m just going to slog through it bullet point by bullet point and hope by the end of a bunch of typing, I reach some sort resolution and point.
We did our taxes. (Late for 2005 and early for 2006. That kind of gives you a little insight into our bookkeeping skills right there.) There was good news and bad news. The good news is I sold a bunch of illustrations and made more money than Toby expected. Yay me! The bad news is I didn’t save any of that money to give to the government. Boo me! I thought I was okay because Toby said he’d cover me. But he said that before he knew I was going to make that much. Somehow we didn’t communicate. Double Boo. So Toby had to take all the money he saved all year to put into our house fund (that is three years out) and pay the government instead. This is very very sad and I feel awful about it.
This called for a sit down between Toby and I and it didn’t go so well. There were tears. I had to admit to him that I’m not financially faithful. Meaning, I spend a lot of money on the side that I keep secret from him. I know! I’m terrible. Here’s how I justify it: Toby doesn’t understand the little things I need to buy. Guys just don’t. He doesn’t understand how a simple trip to Target to buy paper towels can turn into a $75 shopping trip. Notice I don’t say “spree” because a “spree” would be a whole other thing all together. A shopping trip would be: paper towels, zip lock bags, cat litter, a $7.99 seasonal t-shirt for Baby Bug that just jumped into my cart, a chocolate bar, a place mat for under my dish rack to catch all the dripping water and I don’t know… some stickers or something. Add all that up and it’s $75 somehow.
Sometimes I even go to Old Navy and buy Baby Bug socks and pajamas and that ends up being $75 too. Then there are the online purchases, like cafepress shirts and mugs and gifts for friends and relatives. It seems like every week it’s somebody’s birthday. Before you know it I am easily spending $500-$1000 on things that Toby does not know about. What I’m not doing is putting it on my credit card. What I am doing is working at night and during Baby Bug’s naps so I can have a little bit of money in my business bank account that I lop over into our joint checking account to support my financial unfaithfulness and cover-up all the overdraft I am constantly going into.
Unfortunately this has to stop. First off because I’m not saving for taxes and secondly because I lost one of my bread and butter clients. And thirdly, I want a house too!
This is a pesky post bullet point all in it self. I hate losing clients. Not because I miss the work but because it’s a personal rejection. I’m full of ego and it makes me sad when people don’t like me any more. Thankfully, this client is really nice and the break up was as kind as a break up can be. They even want me to still do small side projects for them that their new agency charges too much for. So it’s not a complete break up but it’s enough of one that I’m examining my behavior with them and second guessing my talent and business practices.
Frankly, I’m just not as capable as I used to be pre-baby. I hate admitting that but it’s true. Four hours a week is just not enough time to support a client completely. However, I’m not ready to take any more time away from Baby Bug to be a better designer. It’s already hard enough leaving her for two hours twice a week. This is something I’m struggling with deeply.
Toby wants me to give up working altogether but I’m not ready to give up all the side spending. I have a hard enough time making the grocery money he gives me cover all the groceries. I need to work. I need the money but I also need the sense of accomplishment and pride that doing a good job gives me. I love designing. I love making logos and graphics and having people exclaim happiness over my work. I’m just a glutton for praise. A lot of times I’ll do it for free just because I love the praise so much. I need to find a way to make my work pay better. Less work, more money or something like that. Which brings me to another bullet point.
I’m selling ads, as you’ve noticed, but I’m not tracking them. I have no back-end software that tells me how many times they get clicked on. I need to set up something and keep my ad clients abreast of how well they are doing. I need to raise my rates. Thankfully my new favorite web friend, OMSH, is very savvy at web business and she’s sent me in some great directions to get this done. The part that is bugging me is that I feel overwhelmed with all the work I need to do and how little time I have to do it. I’d rather just make somebody a blog banner.
Since I love making graphics so much and I love making graphics for free (for people who really really appreciate them and hardly ever criticize), I want to start giving away a free web graphic a month. How fun will that be? I could have a little side bar linking the new free graphic and send that blog a bunch of traffic. Fun for me, fun for them. I think it’s a good idea. Of course this doesn’t get any “work” done or make me any money but it could be good for traffic and therefore good for advertising and in the long run good for me. I don’t know, it’s something I’m simmering on.
I’m bugged about a bunch of parenting things. But I think I’ll save them for a Pesky Post Part 2. I don’t think I’ve come to any resolution or point but I feel better sharing some of my worries with you. Now those worries can sprout wings and leave my cluttered head. Out! Out! This brain needs more room to worry about other things.