Here it is on the 6th day of December and I’m writing my first blog post of the month. So to my three two loyal readers I truly apologize for my lack of posts but naturally and as usual, I do have an excuse reason for this absence.
A few weeks ago I logged in to Facebook and started roaming around. And I’m not really sure if it was someone’s status or just a bunch of comments about a news story but either way, something hit me: people don’t know dick about English anymore. That, or they simply don’t care to know more. That’s perfectly fine and dandy if you’re vehemently banging out some garbage comment about a non-news story because chances are that the rest of the people commenting probably won’t care about your poor grammar and spelling. Birds of a feather, so to speak.
But if you are responsible for updating the status messages for a company that has a Facebook page, you should probably take a little more care before hitting that Post button.
As someone who has done his share of proofreading in the past, seeing these things frustrated me to no end. But hey, there wasn’t much I could do about stuff already posted except throw in my two cents, but what difference would that have made?
Another thing that drove me to the edge was the inability to go crazy on documents at work as I explained in this post. I’m not proofreading as much as I am checking for different characters so I’m extremely limited in what I can do or suggest.
So how in the world does all of this tie in with my lack of posts?
Well, on the same night that I witnessed the Facebook atrocities, I started to do some online research. A few days later I was at the thrift shop buying just about any book I could find about English and grammar. It didn’t matter if some of the page’s sentences were highlighted in different, colorful transparent hues; it didn’t matter who previously owned the books. I simply needed them.
The research continued for a few more days and I also sat in my car during lunch with Anthony’s Nickelodeon-slimed Dell netbook and typed up all sorts of notes and ideas. (In fact, I used it today to collect my thoughts for this blog post up to this point.) When I wasn’t typing, I actually ate my lunch.
I’d then go home and continue researching into the wee hours of the morning, sometimes getting only 4 hours of sleep before waking up and getting ready for work all over again. The next morning I realized that, depending on how it all goes, I might need a laptop/netbook of my own because I tried to use our old Gateway and, well, it’s not going to happen. Besides, I don’t think potential clients would take me too seriously if I showed up with a netbook with green slime on the cover.
With a pretty good idea of what I was getting myself into, I then visited VistaPrint and started dabbling with designing business cards since the ones I printed at home weren’t exactly what you’d call very professional. Functional, but not aesthetically pleasing. Something about those rough edges turns me off, even with so-called “clean edge” card stock. Anyway, I ended up ordering nearly 750 cards from VistaPrint and also got a free holder for something like $11 with shipping.
At this point, you might be wondering what I’m getting at. After all, spending all those nights doing research and buying used books hasn’t all been in vain, has it?
No, it hasn’t—at least I hope not.
So what’s been going on in my devious little mind?
My idea is simple: I plan on starting a home-based proofreading business targeted at local small businesses, then perhaps expand a bit. I figure that I have enough experience doing the job (although this blog probably isn’t the best example of it) but with all that I’ve seen in all forms of advertising lately, there sure seems to be a market for it.
And I’m much better at proofing when there’s a paycheck involved.
In addition to ordering the business cards and buying books, I’ve also done the following:
- Organized my Dropbox with folders specifically for the business
- Created a new business e-mail account
- Created a Google Voice number (listed on my business card)
- Purchased a new Dell laptop today
A quick note on the laptop. I was recently approved for a Dell credit card and a friend of mine from high school works for Dell. He gave me the Employee Purchase code, good for 17% off anything they carry. What this means is that with Dell’s Daily Deals and his discount, the Inspiron 15R that normally costs $499 cost me $373—shipping included. I ordered it now so that I can possibly claim it on my taxes as a business expense in a few months.
I realize that this all seems rather ambitious and pretty much out of the blue even for someone like me who tends to be a bit more cautious when it comes to making rather big decisions, but I think it’s something that I need to do. My business plan, fees, all of that other stuff are still up in the air at the moment but the way I’m going about things now, chances are I will come up with everything just in time.
If you want to get more of my take on how it all came about, I spoke a little about it on the Razing Giants podcast last week, where I mention that I plan to have everything up and running by the end of January. All I know is that it needs to work because I now have a credit card I need to take care of, I owe EDD about $200 for an alleged “overpayment” of my unemployment benefits which, by the way, have since been canceled, I just had to spend $100 for a new battery for the car, and my current job contract will be up in January.
So this needs to work. And it will work.
Now, on to what mentally pushed me to do this. In my recent quest for spiritual enlightenment (which is still a work in progress), I discovered a few audiobooks that helped me realize that there’s no reason why this shouldn’t pursue something of this caliber:
I recommend both of them as they offer some fantastic advice and insight. If they were enough to push me into taking such a huge step forward and not fear the worst, they will probably work for anybody. And I’m the type of person that usually thumbs his nose at those kinds of books or advice but man, I gotta say that I love those books and still listen to them regularly.
Whew. There you go, and if this doesn’t explain why I haven’t blogged in over a week then I don’t know what will.
And oh, by the way, I saw this as I was leaving work today:
The signs are all around me…