December 25th, 2003

black

another boring christmas day

it's weird... in my family christmas day is so boring. nothing happens. we do our presents christmas eve, and christmas day everybody leaves. this year we only had a few people visiting anyway. the rest will come friday.

the visitors left early this morning, so it's just my parents and i, and lots of leftovers. i had apple pie for breakfast. and then i went to bed for 2 hours again. nothing is going to happen all day. i might take a walk.

i guess this is what relaxation is supposed to be like. normally i'm going 100 miles an hour, frenetic. i find when things are like this it just makes me super sleepy.
sideview, obamame_sideview

Christmas 2003: Into The Woods

For the second Christmas in a row, I set out to go hiking in the woods by my house.

I guess it's very Thoreau of me, but I feel going out in the woods gives me access to a kind of peace and perspective I can't find otherwise. It's something I used to enjoy regularly -- I spent a good deal of my growing up either in local forests or in the wilderness elsewhere -- but now when I come to it, the contrast from my day-to-day city life is so great it seems to make the experience far more profound.

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sideview, obamame_sideview

Biz Plans, Biz Fears

Since I finally have some time to, I've spent some time working out financial figures for my future self-employment, figuring out how much money I'll need to pull in to be meeting my goals.

This is based on a basic breakdown given to me by my small business consultant, who said that off my gross income, I need to set aside 30% for taxes, 30% for business expenses / nest egg, and 30% for myself. So I have to figure out what that 30% FOR ME will be if I make X amount per month... and then how that will do as far as paying my mortgage, condo fees, utilities, food, and hell, all that other stuff I'm used to having like ability to go on trips to Europe, buy lots of clothes, etc. I can do w/o the luxuries for a while if I have to but the goal is to keep them... I *like* them!

Based on all that, I am getting a little worried, but mainly it's just because it seems I will have to work a little harder than I expected. Even though I really think it will all be worth it and I'll be happier, it's scary as hell knowing that unless you work hard, you don't get paid or you don't get paid enough (or your business makes no profit, since either you or it suffers and taxes *must* be paid).

Ah, well. I did determine something which I had already discussed with the consultant, which is that I definitely am going to switch to flat project fees for all new projects -- hourly is just not profitable enough. What I will need to do is get 2 or 3 web sites to build a month, and then if I do my 10 hrs/week for CAP and then regular maintenance jobs (which can add up some months), I will be doing great. So definitely I must concentrate on getting new projects. I've got one big project lined up for January with a (for me) enormous flat fee, so I hope to hell I finish it and get paid... Would be a great way to start things off!

I suck at this accounting stuff but I think by necessity I will develop some business sense :) That and getting help from my consultant, who wants to meet with me in January.