Hi everyone! It’s been longer than I planned, and even this post is a life update rather than anything financial. My poor blog feels like the friend you keep meaning to speak to, but the longer that passes, the harder it is to reach out and say hi (or is that just me?)
I started the business in a rush of enthusiasm, before quickly realising what we already knew—I don’t have enough time! Clearly from my time study, there was no space to add a new activity, which is why blogging dropped off.
I’m still enthusiastic about starting a business, still enjoying myself, and still have 1,624,377 steps to take to get it set up fully and properly. I have to say, from a personal point of view, I’m proud of myself for starting anyway. The perfectionist in me wants to have everything lined up and, well, perfect. Of course, that means it would never have happened. Never ever. Every time I complete one task, I find three others to replace it. I’m glad I did the bare minimum to get it out there.
So Much To Do
I genuinely had no idea just how much is involved in setting up a business (thank goodness for blind ignorance). Each new activity ends up as a mini project. Take something as simple as Twitter. I thought, I’ll sign up for Twitter. I know the platform from this blog. Twitter is easy, and I enjoy it. But then you have to:
- Reread privacy 2 weeks later when GDPR comes out
- Set up my profile
- Write a pithy description that will let people find me but isn’t too salesy and represents the essence of me as a person while still describing the business
- Figure out who to follow, what to tweet, when to tweet, and who I should be tweeting to
- Realise there a thing called Twitter marketing, throw my hands up about learning it, and decide for now, what I’ve done is good enough (add Twitter marketing to my to-do list in Asana).
Repeat. Repeat for every social media platform. Repeat for branding. Getting business documents sorted. Finding customers. Setting up email and website and figuring how to get paid when I find someone to pay me…
But I’m Back!
So how did I find my way back? Where did the courage come from to finally say that “hi”? It’s early morning. I’m sitting on the top deck of a houseboat, in a quiet cove of the Hawkesbury river. We’re away for our annual board games weekend, and there is no internet access. I can’t check email in the hope I’ve found a client without actually doing any marketing or outreach. I can’t tweak my website. I can’t tweet or email or research. Right now, there’s me. A crisp breeze. The hollow press of water against the houseboat as the tide does its thing. The birds: cockatoos, a grey heron, a seagull, and the white-bellied sea eagles. The action of the wind and the tide is slowly turning the boat, so the tree-covered sandstone cliffs glide past.
It brings home that yet again, all the deadlines I rush to meet are self-imposed. Maybe if the business were up and running and this was the only way I earned money, things would be different. But for now, I’ve learned it is enough. As long as I am doing something every day to move the business forward, it will happen in its own time. I can enjoy what I’m doing. Just like investing and FI, it’s about building strong, sensible foundations, then sticking it out for the long-term.
I’m struggling at work. I’m sure this is partially to do with the excitement of starting a business, so I resent the hours it takes away. However, remember the project that just keeps getting pushed back and back? The one which, when I was employed, I was told would by live by mid-2016? It no longer has a go-live date. It’s become this massive too-hard basket that’s reaching to C-suite and GM level—way above my pay grade and certainly far above my level of influence. There’s both internal and external politicking, and I’m incredibly frustrated. We are bureaucratising ourselves out of action.
My job looks nothing like I expected it would when I started. I’ve had to decide what is in my level of influence. All I can do is keep my head down and set myself goals within this. Whatever happens, I can get my bit done, and outside work just keep plugging away in the little time I do have, to set up some change for my future.
I didn’t budget for a whole month, and it was horrible! Not only did it start becoming this big thing that was too hard to get back to, but we spent a whole bunch of money and I can’t tell you where it went. In the end I set an hour in the calendar to catch up. This turned into 2 hours and fighting with Mr. ETT while we tried to figure out what was what. Sad news, we spent a lot of money in May, and not on things we value. Happy news, we’re back on track.
Investing in a Vanguard managed fund turned out to be a good choice, because it just kept happening. We ignored it, but it’s set up on autopilot so the money dropped in, unlike Ratesetter and Acorns, where I must actively choose to invest. This did still happen within the month, but only just.
I booked meeting with a financial adviser. This is less for general financial advice (I’m reasonably comfortable with our plan), more for specific advice around eventually moving house. I chose him because I attended a short course on wills he taught at my local community college last year, and he demonstrated FI values. I couldn’t get an appointment until August, but there’s no rush. Looking forward to telling you all about it!
Growing Herbs Update
My poor oregano nearly died of thirst! The thyme seems to be a bit hardier, but it was also on the brink. With it becoming darker and colder in the mornings before work, I stopped going outside so frequently. The result was this:
No thanks to me, there was one tiny, tenacious little leaf that hung on, so now we’re back to this:
What a terrible plant parent.
I can’t believe it’s June and I’m already 6 months in to giving up the grog for a year. It’s been easy, and I’ve rarely missed it. I haven’t looked back at the financial impact yet. Also, it appears as though I will break it. Mr. ETT and I will reach 2 decades of marriage this year. There’s a special bottle of wine which
is probably off we’ve kept to celebrate. Mr ETT also bought me an experience at a winery last year before I came up with my idea. I certainly wouldn’t want it to go to waste on a whim. Again, look at me being all flexible. Who is this person, and what have you done with Mrs. ETT?
I’m Back, But Not As You Know It…
I miss blogging and the FI community, but it’s important to me to give this new business a red-hot go. To this end, I will begin to post monthly, probably with our budget and life updates. I’ll use some more time to get back to reading blogs, and talking on social media.
In the meantime, how are you all? What’s been happening while I’ve been away?