Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Timing is Ridiculous!

I'm packing-up/chucking my belongings at my parents house, getting ready to head out. There seems to be a stay of eviction because my mom wants to have my dad "committed" in a way. In layman's terms, he isn't thinking in the right frame of mind, and therefore should not be trusted to make important decisions. Whatever. I've been in enough sinking ships to know when it's time to jump off.

Because our government has so recklessly squandered our funds overseas, we may be facing a government shut down this Friday. That means they ran out of cash to RUN the country. Until some straight fiscal plans are made, we will be ordered to stay out of work with no pay.

Anyone want to slit their wrists yet? I know I do!

Packing up my Dungeon would be easy if I didn't suddenly get hit with an influx of orders out no where! In a way, I need the cash to stay afloat while my day job is shut down. On the other hand, I'm supposed to be looking for a new place to live, coming up with another grand in cash to afford said-place to live, and sorting out my shit in piles of "keep" and "toss". I tell you, that last job is wearing me down more than I care to admit. It's not easy throwing out pieces of your life.

Well, these orders are big. No piddly dozen or so cupcakes here and there. They're HUGE fondant cakes, multi-tiered, picture-worthy constructions that will push my cake decorating ability and my time management skills further than I have ventured before. These are the orders I always aimed at getting on a weekly basis, and now they're happening one after another. NOW! Of all times, now?

On top of all that madness, my portable hard drive died last week taking with it two years worth of pictures, my movie collection, and my business files. All gone. I thought I had managed to save a few of my logo files but when I tried to copy them into my new drives, the files were corrupted.

I guess this cyberworld is a lot smaller than I thought it was and my whining and bitching carries a lot further than I would have imagined.

Within one night, my ex sent me all my lost graphics, designed a new business card for me, fixed my website so that it redirects to my wordpress site, and enhanced some of the clumsy graphics I had thrown up there. Needless to say, I was so damn grateful I nearly cried. It also worried me. I mean, I don't keep contact with people who are no longer a part of my life, and I can't just pick up a phone and call someone for help when my carelessness has landed me in hot water. Safety nets are not always laid out, you know?

Just like Joel won't be around forever to pull me out of a jam, neither will the last ex. Eventually his life will start over somewhere new with someone new and all connections & memories we have with each other will be corrupted and lost just like the files on my faulty had drive. What then?

I may have the talent and ambition to run my own business, but there's still so much for me to learn. I realize I do have to lean on people who know better than I do about things they specialize in, such as marketing and branding, but I also have to know how to manage these things on a basic level so that I won't sink when they suddenly leave me high and dry.

The question is; do I put my business on hold so I can create some sort of REAL foundation for myself somewhere- a home of my own with a kitchen that NO ONE can snatch away from me? (Damn, it's happened so many times already! And people wonder why I have such abandonment issues!) Or do I just burn the candle on every end possible and run full steam ahead- business, new home, new kitchen, and hopefully I won't drop dead in the process?

I'm really worried. This year, I've picked up so many new repeat customers, my website is getting more than a hundred hits a day from all different sources, I'm being asked for cakes that are well beyond the scope of anything I had ever done in the past- and this is all GREAT! It's just so fucking hard doing this by myself. I know I need help, but what part do I ask for first? The legal business end? The manual labor? The technical aspect? The marketing? Who do I ask to come in and help me when so many people have fallen short and proven themselves untrustworthy in the past?

I wish I had a mentor I could turn to. The problem is that most people I know who run their own business started out with a lot of seed money to get them through the first year. With that, they hired lawyers, accountants, and employees. I don't have that kind of money and I don't have the credit available to start. So, it's the long way, which is fine. I don't mind putting in the sweat to get it started. I just won't have the advantage of a trust-fund business owner- playing with monopoly money. I don't think ANYONE'S money is monopoly money and I could give myself an ulcer worrying over money someone else lends me.

I do a lot of complaining about a lot of things, but I don't do nearly enough thanking. I am thankful for Joel who stepped in when I thought I was bottoming out. Although things are on hold with him until further notice for personal issues, he's been a good friend, a strong source of support, and the cool-headed counterpart I need when I start to get all antsy, anxious, cranky, and panicked. (Hey, it happens!) He came back at just the right time.

And I thank my last ex, TJ, for getting my tech files back and for making my business look pretty, funky, and better than anything I could have ever thought of in my own head. Without being asked, he swooped in and saved my ass and made things a lot easier for me. And I'm grateful for this thoughtfulness and generosity with his time and skills.

I'm not an easy person to get along with or to work with. I'm opinionated. I have a hard time settling on one decision when I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. I often seek the advice of people who know better than I do, but I still have a hard time letting go of the control. Although these are character traits that hold me back in my business, they are character traits that hold me back in my personal life, too. Being burned so many times from all different directions tends to make a person guarded. I'm built like Fort Knox.

And despite all that, there are people who still want to help me and see me succeed. That shocks me.

I don't know what I'm going to do yet. I don't know what the smart thing to do is. I need a home of my own, but I need cash in order to get it, and I need to work in order to get the cash. I guess it's full steam ahead, and I'll just keep my fingers crossed and hope I hit a jackpot one way or another.

Wish me luck!


  1. You can't go anywhere if you don't have the money, so it makes sense to direct your energy towards the cakes so you'll have the money to get out. No house is gonna sell in a month in a market like this so don't worry about that. I think you just want to get the f outta dodge before the shit hits the fan, and I don't blame you. This is probably the last straw and that's why you're so set to haul ass outta there. Completely understood. I just don't think it's smart to go from the frying pan into the fire. You need to be prepared. Don't fly off on the wings of frustration or anger or you'll make things even harder for yourself. Stop spending, keep saving, and you'll have that money in less than 3 months.

    When it comes to the other issue with your exes; that's cool that they helped you out, but don't lose sight of the fact that you really have to trust yourself and your own decision before letting other people sway you in any other direction- expert or not. You said so yourself that you need to be able to rely on yourself when all else fails.

    You CAN'T mix business and pleasure. I think that's the point of this whole blog. You've had your past two personal relationships all up in your business and when it came down to it; your business is still here and those guys are long gone. I'm not taking sides. I'm just saying that it's clear where your heart is, and it's clear where their hearts WEREN'T. Sounds like Joel's trying to rekindle things with you one favor at a time. THe last ex- that was nice of him, but who does that for an exgf out of the blue out of pure kindness? Guys just don't do those things.

    You've been doing a lot better since you made a clean cut with these guys, and I feel like you're making a big mistake trying to do the whole friendship thing with them. You know how you operate. It never worked for you in the past staying friends, and mixing these pseudo-friendships with your fledgling business is a big mistake.

    Just my opinion. You're gonna do what you're gonna do because you're Kat, but just try and use the part of your brain that doesn't feel emotion.

    Make a list of your priorities in a To-Do style and check things off one at a time. Don't put the money from the cakes in the bank. It's too easy to spend or pay bills with. Keep it in a shoebox and watch it grow- AND DON'T SPEND IT!!!!!!!!

    You can do this, kid. You're a feisty little woman with a good head attached. Do it right this time. Your business can only grow on a SOLID foundation.

  2. I think this is the longest comment you ever left me. So, here we go....

    I agree that I need to be prepared when I run out of here, because I don't plan on ever coming back. I love my mom. I love my brother. I can do without the other two in my life, and I'm perfectly fine with that decision. When I leave this time, I'm incinerating this bridge. No going back.

    I've always had the policy of making clean breaks from all my exes because I've only been in long term relationships. Not a year or two- my relationships have endured for YEARS. I've invested a lot of myself into each of these men, so weening off of them was not healthy for me. It was best to just cut everything off completely, and like you said, I've flourished each time I did that.

    Does Joel have hopes of getting back to where we used to be? Maybe. Considering that he's living with a new woman & it sounds like he's trying to paint me a picture that he's not happy shows me he's right back where he was when he was married; being with someone for the sake of being with someone. In that case, all respect for him goes out the window because he lacks integrity. He's been killer as a business partner- and I use that word because I see him as my equal when he's helping me. The things he does for me is equally as important to running my business as the baking and decorating is. When I say he's my "partner", it really just shows my respect for what he brings to the table. He is not (and will never be) my legal partner- romantically or otherwise.

    I didn't seek out my last ex when my files went POOF. I bitched about it like I bitch about the bus being late, the winter being cold, and the rain being wet; thinking no one really pays any attention to that shit. And in this case, he got wind of it (thankfully so!) and helped me out BIG TIME! Could a find a smarter Code Monkey or a more talented artist? Can I get them to work for free or for next to nothing? Of course. Just like anyone can find a better/cheaper chef than me. However, all the "getting to know you" appetizers are off the table, and he was able to just reach into my head and create exactly what I wanted or something pretty damn close to it. And I trust his skills and talent to know that I can let go of THAT control, and just go with what he was able to do for me. And I couldn't be more content.

    I'm going to step out of my box of paranoia and not speculate why someone would want to be nice to me out of the blue. Except for my ex-husband, if any of my exes needed me or my help, simply put, I would help. They all know that. I've gone back and helped when I was needed. I don't regret it. I would do it again. Maybe they're helping me because they know I would do (or have done) the same for them. Did you ever think of that?

    Making money is not hard. Holding on to money is next to impossible for me. I'm trying, though. God, you have no idea how hard I'm trying! Thanks for the advice and the shot of confidence. I know I can do this. ;-)

  3. I'm not going to debate anything you just wrote. I'm just going to point out one thing and don't get defensive about it.

    When you stepped in and helped out your ex, you felt good for a day and then you were depressed for months.

    What affect is this last thing gonna have on you? It took too long for you to shake it off the last time. I just don't want to see you go through that again, especially now with all this other shit happening at home.

  4. Touché. I'm not going to lie. As relieved and happy as I was for his help this week, it did make me sad again. MAYBE I might have even cried a little...That being said, I'm human. I spent more than a year of my life with him, and was trying to mold my future around a life with him. Those things don't just fall off like last year's epidermis. I was more than willing to make him my partner in my business, as long as I was convinced that was what he really wanted, and it wasn't just an artistic whim.

    When faced with a problematic situation, priorities are shifted and the most basic need to survive is put up front. I need to get a lot of money together so I can secure a home of my own so I can work on my cakes without the fear of my home or my kitchen being taken away from me- AGAIN.

    Right now, that's where my head is. As much as I would love to do another tour of duty under the covers with pints of Chunky Monkey within arm's reach, I don't have the luxury of falling into a mad depression right now. Maybe later when things settle down. I'll save it for then.

  5. Tell you what. This is what you do.

    These guys did you a solid. Good karma begets good karma. They did themselves a solid as a result.

    Take care of the issues at hand. When you're all settled in your new place, have a party, I'll bring you Chunky Monkey, and you can skip the depression.

    New chapter, new decisions, new actions. You'll get through this well enough and come out better on the other side with a new apt to boot!

  6. How about I just concentrate on raking in the green so I will no longer be Borderline Homeless. Baby-steps. Skip the Chunky Monkey. Just send me some customers!