The ongoing tyranny of self-employment
So this year marks 4 years in self-employment. To be accurate, in July I will have been employed for either myself or my company for 4 years.
I actually incorporated last summer, so I think technically I am no longer self-employed but am an employee of my corporation. I'm the CEO though, so I'll say I work for myself.
We had several large projects lined up for March. For different reasons both of these projects were put on hold by the client and we were left with little to do. I had to lay off one employee and everyone else went into really low hours mode. I shifted into full-time proposal writing and after a really slow March and April have emerged with a ton of work.
So now I'm very busy again. I am at work now (on a Sunday - just taking a break to update my blog). I've been working a lot with a very cool technology called Flex from Adobe. We had a bit of a rough go with a Flex project over the winter, but the work we are doing now is really solid and I am enjoying it a lot.
So here's the tyranny: it seems as if there is no consistent way to traffic the amount of work that comes in. We are either really slow and I am living with no paycheck so we can keep the business going, or we are buried and I am working all-nighters and Sundays to try to keep up.
Poor Nancy is very supportive but all this is really tough for her too. When I am slow she likes it because I am home and helping with the kids and working on the house, but money gets really tight.
When I am busy, we can eat out, but I am rarely around during the day and not often home to help with bed time.
I keep hoping that by investing in my employees I can create a team and a process that will somewhat insulate me from the wild swings - maybe we are still too small - but this doesn't seem to help much, or as much as I'd like.
We'll claw our way through the next several weeks and come out with some nice projects completed and some money in the bank, then we'll see what happens.
For those who know our family, we are all well. Emma is a bright, beautiful second-grader. Corben is a handsome, playful preschooler. Abby is as "two year old" as they come, but very sweet. Matthew is a very pleasant infant who makes us all smile. Nancy is working resource now (one day a week) and you can see what I'm up to.
I am still running the drawing class, and trying new media which is always fun. I've been playing a lot more guitar. I play in the church band and will be going with Sports Outreach (Kathy, Keith and hopefully Jill) back to Cabo where I will lead worship again this summer. Also this summer our whole family will be going to camp. I'll be a counsellor and photographer for the camp. Nancy will be the nurse and hopefully the kids can have a great time hanging out.
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