This morning I set my alarm for eight. I don’t know why. My first appointment was at 6:30pm. I had a bunch of other things to do all day, but my list was likely longer than the day was going to be anyway, so when my alarm began to chime, I just turned it off.

Just a regular Thursday.

Bonnie was a girl who knew how to not get out of bed. I learned a lot from her.

I recently mentioned that I have been doing this unemployed – I mean – self-employed thing for a year now. Yea for me! The above scene doesn’t happen every day by any stretch of the imagination, and I certainly work past 11pm often enough to make up for it, but as someone who has spent many years in the early-wake-up-and-fumble-into-the-car routine, I really relish the 3 or so days a week when my mornings are so casual.

It seems appropriate to take the opportunity of my year anniversary to not only rub it in your face that I slept in this morning, but also to take look at what I’ve learned over the past year and make some goals for the next one. So here I go:

  •  There are busy days and slow days. Last fall was rough. There were days when I’d either have so much to do I’d have a meltdown, and others when I didn’t have what I considered to be enough to do, and I have the exact same type of meltdown. From this I learned two things:
    • Only panic about bad weeks or bad months. Days are inconstant like the moon, as Juliet would say, and nothing should be sworn by them. Except moons are really inconstant month to month, not day to day. But you take my meaning.
    • There is such thing as too much work. It’s great to have almost too much work. It’s awful to have way too much work. Saying no is OK.
  • I am a business, not a person. Well, I’m still a person sometimes, I guess. But Natalie Burg worries about hurting people’s feelings and bugging people and coming off the wrong way and being all things to all people. Vial Half Full Communications (I just incorporated my LLC!) doesn’t. My communications firm sends invoices and late notices and inquires about contract issues and will leave three voicemails and an email with a promise to call back tomorrow. And by “firm” I mean me in my PJ’s sitting on my couch. With my business hat on.
  • Schedule everything. I schedule my reading time. I schedule date night. I schedule trips to the gym, taking Gunshy for a walk and paying my bills. Because otherwise none of those things happen. When there is no whistle blowing at the beginning and ending of each day, work time can eat up all the other time.
  • I need to wake up earlier. I know. I hate it too. But I actually work way more efficiently when I get things done in the morning, and as amazing as sleeping in is, I’m also striving to get better and better at what I do. I’ve been tightening up in a lot of areas, and one of the things remaining is just getting my shit together earlier in the day. Ugh…
  • I love this. Someone asked me recently how much I’d have to be offered to go back to a traditional job. I thought logically about it and came up with the right figure and then said it out loud. And then I started laughing as I said it. It was astronomical, but it was the truth. If someone wanted to buy my life back from me, they’d really have to pay for it. Which is awesome.

3 thoughts on “The One-Year Mark

  1. After running my business for over 11 years I am still working on a few of those “things you learned” items. Scheduling is truly the most important of all tasks for me. It is amazing how quickly your day goes by. Like you Natalie, someone would have to offer me some really good money for me to go back to the “traditional work day”. Keep up the great work!!!

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