August 29 was my last day as a transcriptionist.  No more trying to figure out what the endocrinologist with the West African/French/Jamaican accent is saying 20 feet away from the microphone.  No more bleeding eardrums when someone decides to clear their throat right in front of the microphone while I’ve got the volume turned up all the way so I can hear the West African/French/Jamaican doctor.  No more commuting to work and having to eat out for breakfast and lunch and sometimes dinner.

But also, no more steady paycheck.  No more fun lunches with RS, my partner in arms at the transcription company.  And much, much less daily human contact.

Why did I do all this?  Because my singing career has finally gotten me to the point where I can afford to quit my day job.  And because the past couple of Christmas seasons have made me want to start my own business providing carolers to events.

So I quit my job and formed my own company.  I’ve got so many singing gigs on my own that they are, by themselves, a full-time job, so this is still a side business, if you will.

But it’s certainly VERY hard work.  I started back in March trying to write a business plan and got stuck.  I meant to apply for incorporation documents back in June, but I got busy.  June turned to July and then to August, and I had already put my notice in at work, so I figured I’d better get cracking.

Then there was the website.  After several failed attempts at building a website with a prefab WordPress template, my perfectionism was getting the better of me.  I know just enough about websites to make me dangerous; I wanted the site to do certain things and look a certain way, but I didn’t (and still don’t) have enough chops to achieve my goals.  After about 10 hours of hair-pulling and gnashing of teeth, I realized that if I wanted to get it done right, I’d have to pay a professional to do it.

Enter BeSeen.  One of the founding partners is a fellow singer in The Crossing and also happens to be an advertising whiz.  His company will be putting together a fantabulous website just as soon as we get the pictures, video, and sound from last night’s photo shoot/recording session.  I’m very excited about this!

Working from home is wonderful and horrible all at the same time.  There are a million distractions from housework to TV to Facebook and Twitter to video games (I’m currently at the very end of GTA IV and am really frustrated I can’t/shouldn’t devote more time to it so I can finish the dang thing!!). Never mind the leather pouches I’m sewing for Ray to bring to Faire and the cloth pouches and sashes I should be sewing because I can sell them on consignment.  I also am volunteering my time negotiating a union contract that’s taking more time than we all had anticipated.  Oh yeah, and lest I forget, I have three different gigs I’m learning music for at the same time.  You know, for my job that actually pays the bills?

In order for me to set up this business properly, I have a ton of long to-do lists, from assembling music (I’ve decided to self-publish my own arrangements) to making sure there are enough costume pieces for those people without costumes (more sewing or paying someone else to sew!  Which do I have less of:  time or money?) to auditioning singers, building a client base (REALLY important), and writing contracts.  Ugh.  I need a clone.  No, I need several clones.  But I don’t have enough money for an assistant (or a clone…the R&D costs alone would be astronomical!), so I’ll just have to go nuts and try to do it all on my own.

Wish me luck.

On starting a business
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