The Struggling Writer

The chronicles of a freelance writer as he tries to make a living.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

How's This for Motivation?

My business plan all along has involved slow growth. I wanted to give myself time to get used to the unique needs of working from home as well as adjusting a fluid work schedule to an insane personal schedule. I had a schedule of steadily increasing goals to get me to profitability and, though I'm a couple of months behind where I expected to be due to the economy, I'm still happy with my progress.

This plan hinged on my second mortgage line of credit supplying income until my business was profitable. Unfortunately, the company holding my line of credit is struggling and they have recently closed about 90% of their lines - including mine.

This makes things a little...awkward. It means I don't actually have enough money to pay my bills any more.

So, between bouts of blind panic and paralyzing depression, I've been figuring out what to do. I called my mortgage broker and found he doesn't work at the same company any more! I tracked him down and he's going to see if we can squeeze any more money out of this house. Unfortunately, my house has lost a lot of value so I'm not sure we can get much if anything.

The next step will be to try for a business loan, which requires writing a business plan. I bought a book on business plans a couple of months ago and after reading it I decided not to bother. I have a plan, it's just not a formal document. It's a spreadsheet, scribbled notes, an erratic writer's journal, and lots of stuff in my head. But it's a plan with goals and financial analyses and contingencies and all that. Now that I need one I think I can put one together in a day or two.

In the spirit of lemons->lemonade, once I've written mine then I have experience writing business plans and that's another income stream I can add.

Of course I'm a bit worried about a business loan. I've written articles recently on how all loan products are tighter because of the mortgage disaster. Currently I'm carrying a fair amount of debt, which as I understand it will both hurt and help. High debt is a concern to a lender but it also shows personal commitment to my business, which they like. It shows I'm sharing the risk and am serious about success.

If that falls through, then I start looking for other sources. I might be able to convince my credit card to bump me a couple of thousand and then I start hitting up friends and family, always a fun endeavor. I've been reading articles on on how to approach personal relations for business loans.

If all else fails, I can plunder my retirement. I hate to do it, but I should have enough there to carry me to profitability. The problem is it uses up all my resources so if I have a couple of bad months, the whole thing comes crashing down.

This incident has caused me to increase my rate of growth a bit. I don't want to set it too high because impossible goals don't inspire hard work - they inspire surrender. I'm also a bit more serious about actually getting my marketing plan going, although I'm wasting so much time hunting for money it is interfering with my hunt for clients.


  • At 3:10 AM, Anonymous jessicaper said…

    When you have a certain plan of action it is much easier to stick to it and reach the aim. So I wish you good luck in reaching your goals :-)


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