misslynx: (Me - w/ Kiska (on couch))
From the always-fabulous Clients from Hell:

"I hate blogs. Blogs are for angry people who are sitting at their computer with a glass of wine at midnight with nothing better to do. No companies use blogs anymore."

If I ever get around to starting a blog on my business site, I am strongly tempted to put that quote in the sidebar or something...

. . .

In other news: Kiska would apparently like to register a formal protest against the current heat wave. Her usual means of doing so is walking really, really slowly when out on walks, and periodically stopping and looking up at me with that unmistakable expression that says "We're going home now, right? Right?"

Me, I'm weathering it OK, due in large part to good cross-ventilation in my apartment, and a fan. But I have been somewhat low on energy... Hot weather always seems to leach it right out of me. Also, I am nearly out of sunscreen, and it's only May. This strikes me as wrong, somehow.
misslynx: (With Kiska (on couch))
  1. Apparently, I am sick again. Apparently it is not enough that I was sick for half of December with the cold that wouldn't die, it is now necessary that I be sick again in January.

    Specifically: slight cough yesterday, which turned into a more-than-slight cough by late evening. Went to be early-ish (by my standards, anyway) after some herbal cough tea, and woke up a few hours later due to more coughing. NyQuil, then back to sleep. In the morning: tried to say something to the cat, and no voice came out. Voice eventually came back after much more coughing, but it's still kind of raspy, though coughing seems to have diminished a bit now.

    I am sure this has nothing at all to do with the two all-nighters I ended up doing in the past week. I mean, just because I seem to get sick every time I get severely short on sleep, that doesn't mean there could be a connection there and I should stop doing it, does it? *sigh* I am reminded of that joke about the definition of insanity being doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.

    Well, hopefully if I'm sensible and start getting enough sleep now I will be able to fend this thing off before it gets any worse, anyway. To which end, I am going to bed after I post this.

  2. Note to those who you who were interested in the Radical Business Intensive, the weekend-long marketing seminar for alternative & progressive businesses that I attended back in May and really enjoyed, it's coming back! On the weekend of Jan 29-Feb 1.

    This was a seriously cool event -- a definite change from any marketing event I've been to before, since at most of them I've felt like an alien. But Tad Hargrave, the guy who leads the RBI, was wearing a Utilikilt, made jokes about anarchism and Doctor Who, and referred to the event as "marketing for hippies", so for once I felt like I was learning cool business stuff while among My People. :-)

    Any of you who are in Toronto and run your own business in any capacity really need to check this out. Among the event's many virtues, it's pay-what-you-can, and you don't have to decide how much to pay until the end. It's also a great opportunity to network with other non-mainstream business owners.

    If you're not in Toronto, check out the announcement anyway -- he's got dates upcoming in a few other cities as well (Kitchener, Calgary and Red Deer, last I checked). And there are some articles and free downloads and what not elsewhere on Tad's site and blog that are useful no matter where you are.

  3. There were a couple of other things I was going to post but I have now forgotten what they are. That is probably a sign that it is time for bed.
misslynx: (Default)
This person needs to win some kind of entrepreneur of the year award. "Best of Craigslist" just isn't enough:

Your Pets Will Not Be Flagged For Removal By Jesus During the Rapture


(courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] dot_pagan_snark)
misslynx: (With Kiska (on couch))
Wow.

I just spent the weekend and then some (to be specific: Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings plus Saturday and Sunday daytimes) at the Radical Business Intensive, a really amazing business and marketing seminar for green or otherwise socially conscious business people.

My brain is now all explodey from being so full of information, plus I have a 600+ page workbook in a mega binder to keep me busy for the rest of my life the next several months, and an audio CD full of more stuff, and a whole bunch of perks from other seminar participants -- there was a lot of focus on building community and we were all encouraged to donate stuff to go into little loot bags we got at the end.

If you run any kind of business, and are at all a progressive/non-corporate/generally cool person, you really, really, really need to jump any opportunity you may ever have to go to this event or to hear Tad Hargrave speak in pretty much any other context for that matter. Or just check out his website and download the "Way of Radical Business" e-book. Caveat: the site is kind of a design nightmare and looks like a generic, cheesy marketing site, but he's a lot cooler than that. And does not in person look anywhere near as dorky as he does in the photo on the site. Seriously, he made anarchist jokes and wore a Utilikilt. Not your average marketing guru.

Did I mention that the seminar was pay what you can? Apparently he'll be coming to Toronto again in the fall, and does this in various other cities from time to time also. Massively recommended.
misslynx: (Default)
One of my clients just made the news: http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_5216.aspx

He and his partner, Cat Grant, are the former organizers of the Counting Past 2 trans arts festival, whose web site I did way back when, and are generally cool people. More recently I did a new site for them to tell the story of their scary toxic mold experiences:

http://www.atoxictale.com

They did a graphic novel a while back based on their experiences, called A Not So Fairy Toxic Tale, and you can now download it as an e-book from the new web site (for free in low-res, or by donation in high-res for printing).

BTW, if anyone would like to add the RSS feed from their blog to your friends page, I've set it up on LJ as [livejournal.com profile] a_toxic_tale.
misslynx: (Default)
Just realizing it's been over two weeks since I last posted anything, and longer than that since I last posted anything public. I think I generally post less when I'm happy with life. Which I mostly am, right now.

Part of that is just the nature of spring -- I think I must have a touch of SAD or something. I'm not necessarily depressed all through winter, but I do tend to be a little more angsty and introverted then. But when spring comes, it's like my serotonin levels skyrocket and everything seems right with the world. Little things like walking under a couple of flowering trees in front of Nikos's old apartment building on St. Clair and seeing the sidewalk strewn with pink petals, or seeing a professional dog walker walking a whole pack of various sorts of dogs on a huge multi-leash type of thing, fill me with intense delight.

And it's not even just that all seems right with the world -- all pretty much is right with the world right now, or at least the world chez Lynx. I am, overall, happier than I have been in a long time, I think. Here are a few reasons:

The Goodness )

And a pensive note... )
misslynx: (Small Manageable Goats)
OK, so back on New Year's Eve I reviewed my goats, er, goals from the previous year, along with progress of lack thereof on each one, and said I'd cull the herd and assemble this year's goats in part two. So that would be now. Some of these are carried over or adapted from last year, some are new.

So, behold the 33 goats of 2006! )
misslynx: (Small Manageable Goats)
Well, the new year may have officially started back in November for many pagan folk of various stripes, but there's something about the secular new year that seems to inspire planning and the making of resolutions, or the setting of goats, er goals. (The goats/goals thing is a long-running joke chez nous, most of you are probably used to it by now.)

So, time to review last year's goats:

the list )
misslynx: (Default)
Well... The Bell bill is covered, though I need to replace the money that went in there before [livejournal.com profile] ladyjane's medical exam next week, as she dipped into our little cache of immigration funds from the wedding for it. And another couple of friends have offered small loans. And I just talked to one of the few clients who I know for a fact actually has money, and I'm giving the next draft of their site on Monday, which hopefully should qualify me for the next payment on that project. So all is not lost. It never really is...

But still: I'm tired having to borrow money and do financial gymnastics to cover bills. I just want to be able to actually get ahead for a change, so that payment delays and such don't yank the rug completely out from under our feet. If Ladyjane does get a work permit as soon as it looks like she might, that will help a lot, but still... I really do need to make all the changes I've been talking about. Better time management. Better client relations management (might look into SugarCRM for that). Better marketing. New web site design. Company newsletter. Etc. Maybe I'll think of it as organizational spring cleaning. And maybe design some kind of series of magical workings to add a little kick to the changes.

*sigh* It is so nice out today. I don't want to be cooped up inside stressing about work and money. Half tempted to take Kiska and my laptop to the little parkette a few blocks away and work there, except that a fair bit of what I need to do requires a net connection. Oh well. Maybe I'll make that another goal for this year: get ahead enough that I can not only get all the bills paid but get a wireless modem. And more RAM so things will run at a decent speed.

And no, I did not post this just so I could see the little button jump again. But if you have not posted today, or if you have but normally use a LJ client program to do it, you really should post via the web interface. Just this once. :-)
misslynx: (Default)
OK, whatever trickster deity or deities have been having fun with me this April Fool's Day, please stop. It's really not funny any more, and I'm running out of "think positive".

How has this day sucked? Let me count the ways... )
misslynx: (Small Manageable Goats)
Yes, I know it's a cheesy practice, and yes, I know the new year for me technically started at Samhain, but what the hell... (Goats = Goals. There's a story behind that...)
  1. Get [livejournal.com profile] ladyjane's immigration sorted out and finished once and for all.
  2. Be more organized, especially on business stuff, and in particular, manage my time better. I've noticed in retrospect that the word "time" appears an awful lot in these resolutions...
  3. MAKE MORE MONEY.
  4. Be more proactive in general. Act on new ideas. This would probably help with the above.
  5. [livejournal.com profile] 50bookchallenge. And review each one for Wild Ideas.
  6. Speaking of which: Finish Wild Ideas redesign, and start actively getting more content up.
  7. Also redesign Spider Silk Design site.
  8. And get the Alternative Business Network up and running. As a web resource if nothing else.
  9. I suppose I could sum up the above three by saying: spend more time on my own web projects so that the cobbler's children finally have some decent fucking shoes.
  10. Spend more quality time with Ladyjane.
  11. Get my app in for the IOT distance training program.
  12. Try to shift to a somewhat more diurnal schedule. No more staying up until 5 am.
  13. Make time for some alone-time with [livejournal.com profile] optimystik now and then. Time with just Ladyjane is nice, time with all three of us together is nice, time alone is nice, but there's another piece of the puzzle there that needs some attention.
  14. Get all the animals microchipped, and up to date on physicals/vaccinations/etc. Fulfilling #3 would probably help with that.
  15. Finish the last remaining bit of work I need to do in order to get my Odyssean second degree. I've been stalling on this for something like a decade now and it's getting pathetic.
  16. Eat healthier. Exercise more (longer dog walks would help). Keep losing weight. Target: 175.
  17. Get more nice clothes that fit and flatter my now somewhat smaller bod. (This probably also relies on #3 to some extent.) And/or learn to sew better so that I can make some.
  18. Spend more time with friends, especially the friends that aren't part of our gaming circle, as we see those ones a lot just by default. And especially our female friends. More girls' nights out/in.
  19. Take Kiska to the track and other dog parks more. She's getting de-socialized and can't cope with seeing other dogs. This trend needs to be reversed. (This would also help with objective #16.)
  20. Finish book manuscript! Or at least make considerable progress.
  21. Market my business more actively, and just generally raise my professional profile. Look for opportunities to do more public speaking, write more articles, etc.
  22. Try to get more solid, competent members into the coven, including preferably some who will lead ritual once in a while.
  23. Spend less time on Livejournal!
misslynx: (Default)
After months of delays and several e-mails back and forth negotiating prices, I have now officially landed the biggest web site of my career: an e-commerce site with over 5,000 items. They're sending a $2000 US deposit tomorrow via bank transfer.

Plus I finally landed a client who I've been courting for over a year - a redesign of an existing site which, while it won't be nearly as lucrative as the above, gets a ton of traffic and will be great exposure and a nice page in the portfolio.

I guess my work doldrums are over... And my money problems seem to be on the way out too!

Now I just need to make a list of everyone I currently owe money to... at last count, two freelancers, two friends, Revenue Canada, and my bank - say, suddenly I don't feel quite so about-to-be-wealthy! Oh well, at least I'm about to be far less indebted!
misslynx: (Default)
Feline population explosion

The number of cats in residence has recently doubled, albeit only temporarily. Two friends of mine recently moved to a place where they can't take their cats, and they needed someone to keep them for a year, and the person they originally thought they had fell through. So I got to be a temporary foster parent while more long-term arrangements were sought.

I was sort of dreading it, but as it turns out it's kind of nice having them around, though I've been popping a lot of antihistamines - my own cats don't aggravate my allergies much, because I'm used to them, but the new ones do. There hasn't been much fighting, just a bit of hissing and growling and posturing - my kitties seem to be pretty tolerant of newcomers. There have, however, been a few peeing-outside-the-box incidents, but nothing that can't be fixed with a liberal application of vinegar.

One funny development is that the cats seem to have already arrayed themselves into a sort of dominance hierarchy, and Amber, my younger cat, who is painfully shy around humans to the exent that only a few of my friends have ever seen her, is ruling the house with an iron paw. She may be shy around humans, but she kicks ass with other cats, despite the fact that the two new ones are much larger than her (one height-wise, one width-wise - as I posted elsewhere, they're kind of like Laurel and Hardy).

And another is that Bandit, the tall one (about 3-4" higher at the shoulder than either of mine) who had always before been very aloof and standoffish when I was visiting his humans, has now become lap fungus, and is continually draping himself over me and purring madly.

I am pleased to say that a new home has been found for them, though - with Nikos! So I will still see them regularly, which is good, because I've gotten rather attached to them!

The joys of self-employment

In other news, clients have been driving me crazy, and I've been both flat broke and overworked the past little while. But two of them are paying tomorrow, and I'm starting to clear some of the backlog.

However, I'm also trying to find a tactful way of telling one particular client that I've had since I was doing this on a part-time basis while I was in grad school that I really can't drop everything to go running all over the city every time she calls. When I was first doing work for her, I was really new and insecure and tended to do things like go to her office to pick up a floppy disk because she couldn't figure out how to attach a file to an e-mail, or run back and forth between her office and Kinko's six times making changes to her newsletter and printing them off on Kinko's colour laser printer, without charging for travel time.

But now I'm fairly established, I have a lot of clients, and my hourly rate is way more than it once was. On this issue of the newsletter I'd estimate I've spent at least eight to ten hours running around, as compared to about three or four hours designing it - but by the way I've been doing things, I should only charge her for the design time. And since I don't tend to hit existing clients with prices increases, she's still paying what she was when I started working for her. So I'll end up making $160 on something that used what could be considered to have occupied $600 worth of my time.

Obviously I can't keep on like this - but I can't very well suddenly hit her with a much higher bill than she's used to either. Anyone got any ideas on how to deal with this diplomatically?

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