Working for a living (also spammers are worthless idiots)

I can keep it a secret no longer: I’m starting my own side business designing Web sites for small businesses. I have far too much Web design “in me,” especially while working at a job where the management doesn’t seem to think much of my ideas (which are, of course, brilliant). You can only update static pages and send out friggin’ mass emails for so long before you start thinking, “Say, I have eleven years of experience doing the professional Web design thing; perhaps I could leverage this somehow to help fill the money bin behind the mansion. Getting kind of sparse in there.”

Of course, these days it’s not enough to hang out a shingle or wear a plain white T-shirt with “WEB DESIGNER” across the chest in block lettering. You also need connections, you need plans, you need bigger better deals *snapping fingers repeatedly*. I’ve spent the better part of two weeks trying to write a business plan as a result, and let me tell you, a more boring and repetitive document you’ll never see. It’s like taking a grand idea and disassembling it, like a music box, until you have a sad little pile of concepts which individually seem mundane. “Companies need Web sites; I provide Web sites” is where my head was to begin with; simple but effective. “Companies need Web sites, and so I do this and this and this and this and this and contracts and hosting and marketing and five-year projections and pricing and blah” takes all the fun out of it. I mean, it’s nice to have an explicit road map and guarantee that I won’t end up in the gutter and everything, but where’s the charm?

I get the feeling I’ll be saying “Where’s the charm?” a lot the next few weeks.

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