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Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

I’m a Dinosaur


Photo by Justyn Warner on Unsplash

I spent some time with my accountant and it was dismal.  I cried.  He felt awkward.  Maggie & Co. isn’t profitable.  I didn’t lose money, but I sure as heck didn’t achieve a decent level of profitability.

As we sat and talked, I aired my grievances about his service.  He explained the numbers and the reality of my situation weighed heavy in the room.  Bless his heart, after our meeting, he flooded my Inbox with referrals to his BNI group.  I hate BNI, but I appreciate the gesture.

One thing that became clear to me, as we sat and talked,  is my profession is one that is becoming radically changed by technology.  It isn’t just morphing, it’s going away.  Think about carriage makers as cars became common. We still have a few carriage makers, but far, far less than pre-car era.  That’s the comparison I was thinking about.  I spent the rest of my day in teary self-reflection.  I’m still teary.

I did drag myself to a professional networking event because I paid for it, the venue was cool, so dammit, I went.  I’m glad I did.  I pulled myself together and had a nice time.  I’ll write about one of the women I met because she is such a badass.

The Hunter came home and immediately saw I wasn’t happy.  He asked what was wrong and I told him I had a bad day and then elaborated.  He’s such a good man.  He knows not to try to fix it, but he offered love and encouragement.  I am blessed.  He has addressed and changed all of the issues I had about our relationship.  He went to a crappy party without me having to ask because he knew I wanted him there.  He cleaned up the house this weekend to channel his frustration and nervous energy about some client checks not coming in.  I am a lucky woman.

But I am a dinosaur.  The good news is that I am recognizing the problems facing my profession sooner than many of my colleagues.  The question becomes: “Am I an extinct dinosaur or am I just a bird that needs to find its flock?”  I think I am the latter.  Now it’s time to find my flock….


Photo by Alan Emery on Unsplash


What’s My Current Situation?

Here I sit on Friday procrastinating from digging into the minutiae of what I need to get done.  I have written a LinkedIn article, posted some interesting crap so I look sparkly.  Now I have to think about the following:

  1. How much cash do I have?  How much is coming in and how much do I need?  Ugh, cash flow calculations are such a downer these days.
  2. What can Maggie & Co. generate as I continue my job search efforts?  How can I squeeze it so it keeps paying the bills?  Will it be able to pay the bills?
  3. What the heck is going on with my accountant?  He LOST MY CHECK and had the balls to send me an email asking me to send a replacement.  He is really on my shit list because he refused to send me some reports until he got paid (financial reports from previous years that I needed for my business plan and that I had already paid for the work).  What really burns is that I had already processed his payments (and told him) before I asked him for the info.  WTF?  I’ll be getting a new accountant for 2018. In the meantime, I have to call him and chew his ass out.  Ugh.
  4. What is the best use of my business development time?  That’s a big picture question but a very important one.

I am reading the Morten Hansen book, Great at Work.  I strongly recommend it.  Then I went to his website and took his quiz.  Boy that was a downer.  One thing that he stresses is to do less and then obsess over doing it extremely well.  I need to figure out what that means for me in my business development efforts.  It does make infinite sense.  I’ve been trying a bunch of different things and can definitively say that NONE OF IT WORKED.  Now I need to think about what did work and do more of that.

OK, enough whining.  Time to roll up my sleeves and get to work.  Today is all about making some $$.  The job search efforts will continue, but a girl’s gotta eat.

Everybody Cross Your Fingers!

Maggie, the eternal optimist, just had a great call with a recruiter this week.  I was pinged on a job that is related to my profession and sounds great.  I would be the market leader for a company expanding into my neck of the woods.  The recruiter loved me and said she was only presenting 3 candidates — of course, that could mean just 3 for the first round, but I want to believe that it’s only 3 period.

Round Two will be a phone interview with the boss and then a trip to their HQ for a formal interview.  It’s a cool company with some really, really smart people running it.  I gulped as I read their bios.

I also found a local job in my field and applied to that.  The HR computer bot rejected me, but I am undeterred.  I’m revamping my resume and sending it to the local decision-maker.  Then I’ll have a buddy who knows him put in a good word for me.

The tricky part of this job search is to keep Maggie & Co hobbling along generating income so I can stay afloat as I pivot to something new.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…..

Now I’m thinking interview suits, etc……


I don’t know what I don’t know

Thanks, Yogi Berra.  You are a wise Yoda of truisms.  

As I sat on the beach thinking about how I got sucker punched, I’ve also been thinking about other times I have totally misjudged situations.

I’m an optimistic romantic who always believes the best in people. Then I get screwed, hurt and betrayed. It’s happened in work, friendships and love. With my recent rapid fire series of punches, I am taking time to step back and think. My questions are:
• Who am I?
• How do people perceive me?
• How have I ended up where I currently am – struggling & unhappy?
• How come big success eludes me?
• What should I do next?
• How can I be better at my relationships – all of them? One answer is to re-read, study and implement Keith Ferrazzi’s book, Never Eat Alone, but I’m so raw right now I just don’t have it in me.

I am now 53 years old and soon to be 54. Why haven’t I figured this shit out? Why am I struggling with $$, have limited retirement funds and a 5-figure amount of debt? Why don’t I own a home? Why do I drive a cheap car? My peers do well and flash the cash. I don’t need the $3K handbag or $500 shoes. I do need stability of income with $$ in the bank.

I am thinking more and more about closing Maggie & Co and going back to work for The Man. It’s been 7 years since I worked for The Man. 7 years of learning about life outside corporate America. 7 years of learning about myself. Here’s what I have learned:
• I love being on a team. I don’t want to be the quarterback, but I do enjoy being the receiver.
• I need recognition – ignore me and I sulk, grow resentful and unhappy.
• I’m a great strategic thinker with tons of ideas. Recently I took the Clifton Strengths assessment (I strongly recommend it) and it confirmed that.
• The same assessment shows that my top strength is Positivity – folks with this strength are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do. This is probably why I get myself into trouble misjudging situations at times – I only see the best in people. Sigh.

Now I have to figure out how to put these pieces together to forge a new chapter in my work life. That favorite saying of the definition of insanity – to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results is having a lot of resonance with me. I’ve been working so hard with no results. The Hunter told me that he has painfully watched me for the past 1-1/2 years push so hard and try with everything I’ve got to win new business and come up empty-handed. As he said, it’s not from a lack of trying. It’s just that my business isn’t an easy one and small firms like mine are easily crushed by the big ones.

I’ve got lots of thinking to do, but I have to remember that action begets action. I can’t sit on my butt too long because I’ve got shit to do. It’s time to make some new plans and then work those new plans. I’ve scheduled an appointment with my university’s career center. I’m scrubbing my resume. I’m researching new jobs and I’m going to reach out to some recruiters. It’s time to get my ass headed in a new direction. Oh and in the midst of all this, I need to work out a plan for and with Robin. She is my most faithful, devoted fan. I need to make sure that she lands on both her feet as well.


Photo by virginia lackinger on Unsplash

Sucker Punched

I remember many years ago riding home on the school bus in 6th or 7th grade. I’m in the back of the bus and out of the blue, another kid sucker-punched me in the stomach. It doubled me over and knocked the wind out of me. For the life of me, I had and still have no idea why the hell that little shit did that.

Last week I got sucker-punched by a client. OK, I’m a subcontractor and we were thrown together, but I was moving along doing what Maggie & Co does best and somehow he had a whole different take on the entire situation. I was accused of being unethical, greedy, self-serving, and a host of other nasty things.

I talked to his service provider who told me all of his vitriol. I was dumbfounded and blindsided. At first I thought his misinformation was coming from a vicious third-party, so I was frightfully angry at the third-party (although I didn’t attack them). I sent an explanatory email outlining my take on the situation. It was a well-thought out, carefully crafted message that clearly shows that Maggie & Co has nothing but his best interests at heart.

Then I left for the beach (again), my refuge. I ended up close to a friend’s house and they took me out to dinner and let me vent. I was feeling better, vindicated and I had a clear direction on how I was going to revenge myself with that third-party….until the client responded to my email.

He responded with venom, suspicion, and said that my email confirmed that I was concerned about nothing but myself. That his company was founded on integrity and compassion. He gave me the Mark Cuban quote, “Just watch. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way. I’m just telling you, when you’ve got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns on you. That’s rule No. 1 of business.”


I was slack jawed and felt sucker-punched again. Why? Because I truly thought the root of the problem was the third-party, but apparently this client is batshit crazy. One thing I am not is greedy. I read it again and again. I sent it to Robin who coolly responded that he is not someone we ever want to be associated with and he doesn’t understand Maggie & Co. The service provider has remained silent (which the Hunter says is proof that she is part of the problem). Now I will say that service provider, during our conversation about his complaints, claimed once we finish this assignment she is firing him as a client, but for now….

As for me, I feel unanchored. My reality has been completed upended. I have lost my way. My work is hard and often misunderstood, as clearly evidenced by Mr. Batshit Crazy. One thing I do know for sure is that his ambitious start-up will be belly-up within 5 years because karma is a bitch, but I really don’t care about him. I care about how this has shaken me to the core. I care about how I have now stopped in my tracks and am looking around saying, WTF? I care about how am I going to make a living?

This career I have is a tough one and clients like this make me step back and ask myself if I really, really like what I do. Today, I don’t. I don’t like it one bit. So I am going to take some time, catch my breath and recover from my sucker punch.


Monday is not a Fun Day

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? I have been feeling that lately. I am sitting at my desk trying to figure out how to eat an elephant and quickly. What should I be doing? What is the most productive use of my time? Why do I feel like I’m simply banging my head against the wall of business development?

I’m busy, thankfully, but these are quick projects that will soon be over. Now is the time I need to double down and focus on finding my next paycheck. Lately I have been having doubts. Should I keep doing this? Should I just fold up Maggie & Co to join a big corporation for the steady paycheck? Am I even employable? My work is hard. I fight for the business, then I fight to execute the business, then I fight (sometimes) to get paid. That’s a whole lot of fighting for someone who is a lover, not a fighter.

I have not been helping myself any because I continue my quest for the Holy Grail of business development. I am not doing myself any favors in this crusade because all I am finding is that old saying, “Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one”. Everybody has their method (often with a price tag attached).

One thing I know for sure – I need to be in front of people. I made the mistake of taking a cool frenemy to some networking events with me. I adore her – she’s fun and a really good friend, BUT…. bringing her means I have brought my competition with me. I had the rude double slap in the face last week of someone that I have been trying to meet being at the event. I knew his company and details of some changes that means he needs my services. I had been trying to reach him (OK, not stalking, but I had reached out several different ways to no avail at this point). Not only had he selected someone 3 weeks ago from a referral source, BUT, then he turns to my GF and says, “too bad because I would love to work with you”. HELLO – I AM STANDING RIGHT HERE AND I’M THE ONE TRYING TO MEET YOU. Ugh. I went back to the bar.

It’s those types of rejections that beat me down. Look, I understand that I have a niche profession. I understand that not everybody needs my services now or sometimes ever. That’s fine. I get it. But when I have a fish swimming around in front of me, I really want it to grab MY damn bait not someone who doesn’t even have bait in the water!!

Back to work….20 more outreaches and I can end this day’s painful business development efforts. I have to be more optimistic and positive—BLEH. That reminds me of the story about the two little boys being tested on their optimism. One little boy was put into a room full of new toys to play with – he sat and cried, refusing to touch any of the toys. He was too afraid he was going to break them. The other little boy was put in a room full of horse poop. When they checked on him, he happily was shoveling it around. They asked him what he was doing, and he replied, “With all this poop in here, there is bound to be a pony somewhere under it all.” I need to be that boy and go find my pony. Giddy-up!

Fuck this is hard

Yeah, you were hoping I was going to talk about the Hunter’s cock.  Sorry, no dice.  OK, we can digress a bit — I do really like his cock.  It’s the perfect size and it’s quite lovely, but that’s not what’s on my mind.

My work is hard.  I came out of the 2018 starting gate all full of piss and vinegar.  I have a plan, I’m working the plan and the plan is yet to bear fruit.  It’s a marathon — I must remember this.  I had a long call yesterday with a frenemy who made the same bold leap I made.  He’s running about 6 months behind me on his startup, but he has made some very bold marketing moves with publishing a book and a podcast.  Wow.  I was jealous at first, so I disparaged his accomplishments: “Why charge for the book?” “The first podcast topic was such a snoozer I haven’t listened since”.  It came from my green-eyed monster.  I’m going to be a friend and a better person by heading over to his book-signing event next month.   I asked him if it was OK since we are frenemies.  He needed the support.  I hope there is alcohol.

Anyway we talked about how things are going.  I call him every month or two just to check in on him.  He is facing the same business development challenges I am facing.  I haven’t told him one of my “secret sauce” solutions because it’s actually making some $ for me and if I tell it will dilute my $, so fuck that.  Maggie first.

His book did yield a client, who had the book thoroughly highlighted and bookmarked prior to their meeting.  We talked about how creating content is BS unless you can get it in front of the right people.  I apparently do a heck of a lot more in that arena than he does.  Point to Maggie. We discussed paying for content placement and budgets for that.

We agreed that one segment of our profession is so incredibly tough to generate clients that it makes sense to pivot to the sometimes easier-to-win, but more complex and time-consuming to execute.  The incredibly tough-to-find client has some big hazards once you land her — like, oh say, getting paid for one thing.

It was good to hear that he is facing the same challenges.  It reinforced my drive to continue my push to actually connect and meet with people face-to-face rather than just lobbing marketing materials at them in the hopes they will call me.  Although lobbing in the marketing crap does help open the door.  My 2018 mantra of “relentlessly persistent” is the only way forward.  Now, I have to get to work.

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