I’ve been thinking about this a lot.
See, I have a day job I like quite a bit, and I’m not anxious to move on in a traditional way. The work is fun, the position is flexible, and it pays the bills. Also I really like the people I work with and I have a high level of autonomy.
That is to say, I have no reason to complain.
However, I do have a big entrepreneurial streak. I have always been a schemer. I dream up all kinds of scenarios where I do my own thing, I strike out and make money working for myself. I think I wrote once, when asked to describe myself (maybe on a dating website?) that I had an entrepreneur’s mind and an employee’s risk tolerance.
Since the day job is so flexible, I’ve been working fewer hours and supplementing my income by writing. I’ve been writing here, as you know, and I’ve been ramping up my freelance writing at Babble, The Cent, and a few other companies. I’ve also been working on expanding my reach, so I’m writing 1-2 posts per week on other blogger’s sites. Anyone want a guest post by yours truly?
My normal weekday looks like this:
- 4:45: Wake up. Take Stanley out. Make tea. Start writing.
- 5:15: Whisper-yell to Stanley about how it’s really not appropriate to wake up the house just because he’s bored.
- 6:00: Say good morning to Caitlin.
- 7:00: Run with Brent.
- 7:45: Finish whatever piece I was working on before I went on a run.
- 9:00: Shower and head to work.
- 10:00 – 5:00: Work at my day job.
- Evenings include family dinners, watching Jeopardy and Breaking Bad and heading to bed relatively early since 4:45 is pretty dang early by anyone’s standards.
I like it, because I front-load my day with work and I get to spend evenings with the people I care about instead of in front of a computer screen. I’m a morning person (don’t punch me!) so my brain pretty much shuts down after about 8pm anyway. This schedule has worked for me for the last two months. Before that, I was getting to work around 8am and was stressed because I couldn’t find time in the day to fit everything in.
Now that I’m looking ahead to 2014, I’m trying to figure out what my ideal day looks like. And even though I am a morning person, I’m not sure I’d set my alarm for 4:45 if everything shifted!
This is what I think my ideal work day looks like:
- Puppy O’clock: wake, take Stanley out, make tea. Go to the office (because in ideal land, the spare bedroom will function like an office) and turn on the computer. Write.
- 7:00: Run with Brent.
- After the run: back to work writing. Focus on building my own brand at least as much as freelancing.
- Later in the morning: yoga, then a shower.
- Mid-day: walk the pup, go into the office for a bit (four hours?).
- Late afternoon: work on the other project. I’m going to start a caramel business in 2014 and I’ll need to dedicate time and energy into that. Afternoon energy is great for creating.
- Evenings as usual.
Looking back on this, my situation right now is pretty close to ideal. Puppy O’clock is like 5, 5:30, so we’re not talking about a luxurious sleep in. I’m not doing much about the candy business other than scheming but having an outline of how the day will go makes it a lot less daunting.
I can do that, I really can.
I’ve been thinking about trying to make caramels for years. Ever since I first started making them for friends and family around the holidays, I’d think, “I wonder if I could ever make money on this venture,” and I’d think about it… heck, I’d play around with logos and websites for an entire weekend just because dreaming about it gave me such joy.
But then I’d get back to work. After all, the credit card debt wasn’t going to pay itself, now, was it?
So now we’re here, and I have a savings cushion, and I’m going to make a go of it.
Wish me luck!