Monday, October 27, 2008

Cake in the workplace

Today is an office day, so I'm at the client's, and I can't get over how much cake there is. Between meeting left overs, staff birthdays, and other stuff, people bring in a lot of cake.

Today alone, there was a box of donut holes to celebrate one twentysomething's birthday, leftover muffins from a morning meeting, and half a Costco cake one person brought in because it was left over from her kid's birthday party yesterday.

This office thing is not good for my waistline!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sheesh, two weeks since I posted?

How sad am I? More than two weeks of well meant intentions, great ideas and well thought out theses and I've managed to post nothing on this blog. Shame on me.

I had tons to say. I wanted to write about the pressure to party on Halloween, especially with it happening on a Friday this week.

I wanted to write about something going on at my job that is stretching my idealogy because I don't really agree with the stand my assocation is taking.

I wanted to write about the difficulty in managing the pressures of competing priorities between freelance clients and the job.

I wanted to write about my lack of comitment to excerzie since the triathlon and how my fitness and my weight are suffering.

I wanted to write about the Gen X/Gen Y dynamic I'm living in my workplace.

I wanted to write about the backroom-boys language and "joshing" I get with the two guys I work with the most.

I wanted to write more often. Now that I've listed all my blog ideas, maybe I will.

I hope.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wanna buy my side business?

Besides my part time job, and my full-time freelance career, I own another side business. I started it when I had my first baby and was looking for new challenges. The first year, my business did very well, and it justified about a third of my work time. Then the competition came in and it didn't pay as well anymore, so I kept it going but didn't put much time into it.

Six and a half years later, I still own and run the business, but barely spend much time on it. It's called Movies for Mommies, and I own the license rights for my area. Basically, I rent out an independent movie theatre every other week in the afternoon (used to be every week years ago but that doesn't make a lot of business sense anymore), and screen a grown-up film, and moms (and dads) with their babies come to watch a film. We make it all infant friendly, setting up a change table with free wipes and diapers, stroller parking, bottle warming, giving away samples and prizes, and bringing in speakers for short presentations before the film. Moms love us, and I have terrific word of mouth and great goodwill. I have a hostess who is at the theatre every screening, and most weeks I get 70-100 grown ups each screening.

Movies for Mommies has now expanded (I was the first licensee outside of Toronto) and we are now in five provinces. We now have national sponsors and national advertisers. I have local advertisers too, but not very many.

At the start, I was all over the city talking to moms groups, landing baby stores as advertisers, looking for RESP companies as sponsors. But after a few years, I stopped doing much marketing. Things tick along without my efforts, and my time gets better rewards working in PR. I still program the movies, deal with the theatre owner (!) and send out a weekly e-mail newsletter. I like picking the films and writing the e-newsletter, but all the rest is a bit tiresome. And I feel like someone else with more enthusiasm would do more for Movies for Mommies.

But despite discreetly putting out the word in "baby business" circles, I haven't found a buyer. So I keep it all ticking along. Mamma Mia got a good crowd this week, and The Women is coming next, so that should be popular. But with all the time pressure on me lately, it really seems like I should make a move to sell it.

I think one of the most frustrating things about owning this business is that I spend a lot of money to bring in a film for other people to see, but I don't have time during a weekday to sit and watch a film, so I don't get to see it until it comes out on DVD. I still haven't seen Sex and the City.

So, wanna buy my business? ;-)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Keeping all the balls in the air

It's been a busy week. I've had to squeeze in the job (and the commute), three other client deadlines, and Rosh Hashana, which meant a day at synagogue and another day cooking for a crowd of 13. Dinner went great though, and I did make chicken soup with matzah balls and my grandmother's knishes.

I'm starting, though, to feel a bit overwhelmed. The fact that I haven't got around to blogging for more than a week proves that out. I'm worried I'm going to drop something, or forget something important. I have a large number of clients right now, some just finishing up a project, some just starting, others ongoing, and am worried I'll forget to do something for one of them. As it is, I realized this week that I have more than $4000 in outstanding invoices that I haven't been paid for yet, and I hadn't done a thing yet to chase them down (did yesterday, and am told cheques are in the mail).

It's always hard to keep on top of varied freelance stuff, but with the job, I have even more stuff to worry about.

At least, so far, all the balls are still in the air and I'm still standing.