Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sometimes Fantasy > Reality

I had it in my mind a few years ago that I'd like to own a doggy daycare. Like a mom who wants to stay home with her kids and starts a daycare, I could just envision the fun of it all! Romps in the grass, wading pools, tennis balls everywhere. I'd need to buy stock in bleach and dyson! It was going to be great!

I started working on a business plan, checking out the competition, going rates, and researching the cost of rent for a space that would house such a business. And my dream went quickly down the drain as reality took over. I couldn't make it work in my head or on paper. I'd have to hire people, offer a variety of services, and (here is the deal killer) I'd probably have to work 18 hours a day 6 or 7 days a week. For a long time. And I'd probably only pull in $10/hour for a good portion of that long time.

If I'd had the capital and the connections, it's very possible it would have worked out. I had neither at the time, nor do I now. It all quickly got too big and outside my comfort zone much too fast.

Because I'm willing to work. I'm willing to work hard. And I love dogs. I have three of my own and I volunteer for the SPCA. To get paid to play with dogs all day would just rock! But not enough to eat kibble myself and be "at work" all the time when I'm not sleeping.

So, as I have for so very long now, I kept my day job. I got a more interesting day job for the same government agency. Then I got an even more interesting day job that paid me more for the same government agency. And with that last job, I've gained something I haven't had before and something I would work for less money for, if I ever had to. What is it I'd potentially take less money to keep??


I don't have a TON of it but I do have some. It is the government, after all. But as long as I show up to meetings on time, no one hassles me if I'm running late. No one gets bent out of shape if I am at lunch longer than the allotted time. I can leave a little early to take a dog to the vet. I can even work from home occasionally. I appreciate those small perks so very much!

But what I am lacking in my job is excitement. Oh, there's the occasional wigging out on the part of somebody important that causes my job to be exciting; searching, sorting, scrambling to get some data into a presentable format to head off disaster. But I do my job well enough that those situations are rare.

So recently my life got very exciting outside of work when my husband started his own counseling business full time. My last blog was all about the stuff we did to get his name out to the community and online. So I started thinking about how much I enjoyed helping him get started. And then I started thinking how much I would enjoy doing something like that for someone else for a little bit of money. I want to get paid, don't get me wrong. But mostly, I want to get paid to do something that really interests me.

So, in doing some research on how all this might work, I found a lot of information that leads me to believe that web designers really dislike people with ideas like mine. But I also think there are a lot of small businesses that just don't have anything on the web because they don't know how to do it themselves and it's a lot like getting your car worked on when the only thing you really know about cars is how to drive - you just don't know if you're getting ripped off or not. If my idea works, I think it could get businesses to hire a web designer, when they otherwise would have never considered it.

Rather than repeat my idea, I'll just link you to a really wise, self proclaimed "geek" off whom I bounced my idea. I found Owen on Twitter. Owen has so many useful tips and gives such excellent explanations that he's worth checking out even if you aren't interested in any more of my long winded words! He is a wealth of practical, user friendly information.

Thanks for your great insights, Owen!


Cincinnati Therapy Guy said...

You have done a great job with my website, I believe others will find your service very helpful

Cincinnati Therapy Guy

Owen Cutajar said...

Thanks for your kind words. I'm glad you found the answer useful and wish you all the luck in the world!

Revka said...

I second (third?) the well-wishes! I see that you plan to start in a week or two. Feel free to let me know how it goes. I think you have a great idea. :)

Revka of RS Designs