Tag: work

My heart is pounding.

Business is the busiest it has been in five years. I keep forgetting to breathe and my heart feels like it is going to burst out of my chest.

There is no video gaming. Year of the Console is on hold.

I have been to the Netherlands again and have now returned.

I have two more countries to visit, immediately.

Harry is looking after me and my flat as best he can. He is cooking and taking care of household repairs.

I am making reasonably good money and that is the most important thing, out of anything.

I am desperate for Christmas to come so I can have some time off.

I have been at my desk since 4am. An influential client emailed me at 8am, singing my praises.

That’s all for now. I need to get back to work. There will be a lot of nice travel photos in due course. Thanks for your patience.

 

Work

For a few days after I came out of hospital, with my injured wrist and my bloaty head (both mostly recovered), I did well at maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I went outdoors and exercised every day, building up my stamina and mileage. I avoided sugar after 10am. I ate meals at set times, following a schedule that was dictated by the need to take antibiotics on an empty stomach.

Then, work. A new contract came in. It looks like a big project. We are yet to find out how much the customer is willing to spend. If they pay the full amount we are asking for then I’ve just covered my expenses for the rest of 2017. If they pay a quarter of that, it is still worth having and I can justify going on holiday, so yay for work and money.

As a result, I’ve been extremely busy writing proposals and whatnot. My lifestyle instantly plummeted into something horrible where I ate chocolate cake and ice cream like it was an Olympic event and sat at my desk for 18 hours/day.

Anyway, the paperwork is done now. I’ve gained a couple of pounds but it’s my own fault. My flat is completely and utterly trashed and I need to clean up right now even if it is midnight because that’s how urgent it is.

When I found my wallet just now, after having lost it for several days, part of my brain instantly went ‘That’s enough housework for today! Let’s play video games!’ But I am resisting because I am being responsible.

There is an exciting week ahead featuring opera, ballet and possibly a couple of dates.

Nigeria

That’s what I needed. I was struggling a little bit this morning with a pile of routine tasks, then my favourite client called and talked about sending me to Nigeria in 2017, with the emphasis on sooner rather than later.

That’s better. I like money coming in and I like to be busy.

Yay! When I get confirmation of the project going ahead, with some dates in the diary, I will get excited. More travel, this is what I need. Africa. I have my best experiences and enjoy my independence the most when I am travelling.

Business Plans 2017

OK, this is good. I’ve been employed solely by my own company once again for 6 days now and things are starting to come together.

  • I am getting on top of the financial tasks. I have designated January as Finance Month and then February is going to be Business Development Month.
  • I wrote a quick business plan just now for a new venture and will see if I can squeeze out a few more. I’m using the Ash Maurya Lean Canvas, shown below.
  • I am never happy with the amount of money in the business but when I sent my accountant some financial information he replied with a message of congratulations, which doesn’t happen very often, so there’s that.

leancanvas

What I would really like is another trip to Africa or somewhere else exciting. Brazil. Back to the US maybe. Have to see what we can do to organise that.

I’ve been so focused on the end, I don’t know what the beginning looks like.

Monday. My first real day of not working for the World’s Worst Company. There is no more paperwork, no more emails, no nothing. My job now is to take control of my new life and drive it forward in the right direction so that I don’t end up in a state of career malaise again three years from now, or less than that, god forbid. Let’s see what’s changed.

15 Months With The World’s Worst Company: Lessons Learned

  • Apparently I have a lot of values around things like delivering good quality service, taking care of customers and making an effort. These are good things to know about myself. Especially considering that my motivation hit somewhat of a low point following the violent crime of 2014, causing me to wonder whether I had any effort left in me. It is ironic that I ultimately responded to this state of affairs by taking the most demanding job I’m ever likely to have.
  • What I learned from doing superhuman amounts of work and achieving impossible things for 15 months: I am tenacious. I have a lot of energy. When I know I am doing the right thing, I will let nothing stand in my way. I am capable and can deliver against as many targets as I need to, even if that means surviving on 3 or 4 hours of sleep at night.
  • What my customers taught me. It’s okay just to be happy to be alive. The past is another country. History is far less important than the future. Not every new invention needs to redeem humanity or save the world. Some inventions are there just to bring small moments of happiness into people’s lives and there’s nothing wrong with that. Angst is out of fashion, so is introspection. Capitalism may or may not be inherently evil, but it is what we have and there’s no point wishing otherwise. Health is irrefutably important and is a moral duty, to society as well as to yourself individually.
  • I value my time and I like money. Life without a steady stream of money is scary and depressing. A stream of incoming money makes life brighter and happier. Doing things with my time that do not match its monetary exchange rate pisses me off. If I’m going to invest large amounts of time in work then it needs to pay me at the upper limit of what it is capable of paying. It is important to have some time off work and some sort of life outside work. Doing otherwise leads to compensatory behaviours like smoking and buying too many clothes and other wasteful personal luxuries.
  • I am fantastic with large audiences. I am incredibly engaging and passionate and can hold the attention of large groups of people. I am a crowd-pleaser. I please crowds. I am funny as all get-out and I know how to make everybody feel loved.

Small Amounts Of Time With My Commercial Clients: Lessons Learned

  • I want to work with people who are happy and ambitious, who like their jobs. This is very important.
  • I love business travel, it’s one of the best things that has ever happened to me. A business trip to a new country can give a lift to my entire year. Going to a new country and staying in a nice hotel solves any and all emotional problems.

Graphics from when I was doing life planning in 2015, prior to taking the job at the WWC:

What I see from the big plan, the one with all the squares on it, is that the structure of this thing is unchanged. I hoped that the job at the WWC was going to solve my problems by turning the red zone of the plan (everyday business activities) into something that lined up with the blue zone (my personal values, mission and philosophy). Of course, that didn’t happen but it did give me a boost of energy and shake up my point of view, which is why we have all the above discussion about values, in light of the experience that I’ve just had. When I look at the detailed lists of values that I made in 2015, it’s all very worthy stuff. Quite a serious frame of mind is evidenced. I see now that some things hold good – integrity is a big one – but some things are missing that I can now see are really important. And these things include getting paid at a level that I think is commensurate with my skills, taking and enjoying opportunities such as travel, and having fun. I don’t see a lot of fun in that 2015 plan, but I learned that fun is really important and I am good at making it, even in adverse circumstances

What I need to do as a next step is take a look at that red zone of everyday business activities because it has reached another point of change now that I’ve finally escaped from the World’s Worst Company. I need to take a fresh look at my everyday work and career and make some judicious decisions about what those things need to look like.

What I need to do immediately, as in right now, is get on top of the financial situation. The WWC was chaotic from a financial point of view. It brought in some money but it was also very expensive and it left me with no time to do my own financial planning. I need to pay urgent attention to this task list:

  • Get some outstanding invoices paid. Plus at least one new invoice to issue.
  • Get an overview of the upcoming tax situation, send stuff to my accountant.
  • Mortgage and pensions guys are waiting for things from me.
  • Personal finance – take a look at a loan that apparently is still outstanding.
  • Generate some new business to keep the money coming in later in 2017.

This means poring over bank statements, so I’d better get on it.

Note to self: when I started this blog, I used TLYW Achievement Points to propel myself along. It was successful in getting me to go to the gym and do all manner of things. So I might re-start that, I could have a new page for it. But I need to attend to financial matters first.

4am. The last day.

Housework. Doing the housework at 4am.

Went for my penultimate day at the World’s Worst Company yesterday. Arrived home feeling much more tired than I expected. Went for a ‘nap’ at 7.45pm. Woke up at midnight. Awesome.

So now I’m cleaning the house because that’s what I was supposed to do this evening, before I fell asleep. Tomorrow I have a second date with one of my Xmas presents that the internet sent me. He is a gamer and has nice hair.

I think things are over between me and the Scandinavian scientist, we still regard each other kindly but for the six months (or whatever) that we knew each other, I worked at the WWC with all that that entailed, including terrible health and endless hacking coughs and flu and I think he understandably grew tired of it. Predictably, I’m in much better health now I’m not working 80-90 hours/week but it is too late for him to benefit from it so that’s why I’m dating new people.

Today is my official last day at the WWC. Thank god for that. My plan is to finish the housework by 6am, get ready for work at a leisurely pace, go to work, attend meeting, talk to HR. Come home and maybe have time for a nap before my date.

Tomorrow, Friday, all my stuff is being delivered to my house from the office, such as my large collection of shoes.

Slowly making my escape.

I have just demolished the last of the mountain of paperwork from the World’s Worst Company, a few days ahead of schedule. Reduced from 164 items to zero items.

Things I need to do now in respect of that company:

  • contact some staff and wrap up a few bits of admin pertaining to the end of the autumn work season;
  • attend a couple of meetings;
  • go and see HR and get my papers from them;
  • make sure that Payroll knows when they are paying me until;
  • return my badge and gun (just kidding. return badge and some keys.);
  • pack up all my belongings from my office and have the boxes delivered to my flat.

That’s it. Then I’m free. My very official last day is 12 January. I survived 15.5 months.