Recent Posts

January 21, 2010

The adventure begins

I got the answer I was hoping for to the question I asked yesterday. The one that had me all in a tizzy.

And now, time to explain.

I'm not sure where to start, so I'll get to the point-- in a second. I'm graduating in May, and I realized recently that my options boiled down to three: I could work for a company doing a lucrative desk job in a field I didn't care about and getting depressed, I could teach, or I could take the consulting route: be my own boss, as frightening and exhilarating as that sounds, answer to no one but clients and myself, live the life I've always dreamed of... or die trying.

Perhaps you can guess, by my subtle narrative bias, which option I have decided to go for.

I will give it my best as a full time consultant, for one year. If in a year I break even or make a profit, I'll consider it a success. If not, then I'll pack up all the lessons I learned and apply for a teaching or corporate job. Mr. A is fully behind this idea, and a few friends I talked to had the same general attitude: "What were you waiting for!?" Thanks for your support. You know who you are.

All this preface to arrive at yesterday's ask: I found an office. It's in an ideal location, as part of a suite with two really cool professionals in fields similar to my own. They said they could even bounce some business my way, since our skills are complementary. I wish I could return that favor. Not yet, but one day, perhaps.

The rent was $600, which is frighteningly high when I think that's at least how much more I need to earn in a month in order to make it worth it by being in that location, as opposed to my house. At the same time, the terms were attractive -- no lease, no deposit, utilities and internet included -- the set-up and location were to die for, I do believe that working out of my house is the best path to productivity, and the only way to know if it was worth it was to give it a go.

So I visited it, liked what I saw, but kept worrying about my bottom line.

You know what I did next.

Here is the email I sent, aiming to lower the rent.
Hi Name,

I would love to move in!

It was a pleasure meeting you and Partner, and if the feeling was mutual I think it would be great to share an office.

I am a still crunching the numbers, and that's the only thing holding me back. Are you at all flexible on the rent? Would you be willing to take $500, or perhaps start at $450 for the first three months and raise it once I have a bigger client base? Or whatever the two of you think would be reasonable.

Maybe with the work you kindly offered to pass along, the visibility I'd gain by moving out of the house, and my current projects, $600 wouldn't be a problem. But I since I don't know that for sure, that seems high for making the leap into my own office.

I've looked at a few places so far, and nothing comes close to yours. And I'm confident that my boutique writing firm will be a raging success, once I get it off the ground. So I really hope we can work something out! If you want to meet again or chat on the phone, my number is XXX XXX XXXX.


La Roxy
I hit send, and then I waited.

That's when I wrote yesterday's tortured blog post.

I couldn't concentrate, couldn't do anything really, because it was so real I could taste it. My own office, my own start-up, a post-graduation dream come true. It would be hard. Scratch that. Excruciating. Long hours. Countless curve balls and unknowns. But if I'm young, healthy and have few responsibilities, and if I do have a career I'm passionate about which offers the potential to fly solo, how could I not go for it??? The only thing holding me back would be fear.

The reply came a few hours later:

"$450 is a bit too low unfortunately, but I'd be willing to start at $525 and stairstep it up..." The final increment would be $575, not $600, and that's where the rent would stay. He also said he thinks they can refer enough new business to me that I can cover that rent.

Over a year, that's about 5 percent off. Not an amazing reduction, and under other circumstances maybe I could have pushed it lower. But it's reasonable given there's no lease and they're offering to refer clients to me. Every contact could make a difference.

So I'm expecting to learn a ton, practice the career I love and wake up every day knowing that every minute I spend on the job is for a great cause. My future!!

As for today's asking -- I asked for work! I told people my next step is to start freelancing full time. Already got two possible job leads.

The adventure begins.

[images via ffffound]
blog comments powered by Disqus