It’s my birthday Saturday and I’m planning a night out with a few friends the next suburb over from where I live. It’s the same place I went to a couple of weeks ago where we enjoyed a number of excellent cocktails and some top notch Vietnamese finger food. I plan to go to town, and I know at least one other planning to do the same. I won’t be driving.
Tonight I’m being taken out for dinner by a recent acquaintance to an interesting looking Chinese place called Ruyi, after a drinkies or two at Union Electric. She’s promising to shout, which is fine, but means I’m going to have to reciprocate sometime soon – which is again fine, though possibly problematic. I just hope she doesn’t expect to have her way with me tonight.
Otherwise I find myself contemplating the next steps on my journey onward. It’s unrelated to the fact it’s actually my birthday, but it’s sort of apt also.
As always financial considerations trump all at the moment. There are a lot of things I find myself dwelling on – my corporate career, the urge to creativity, the desire for independence, the idea of romance – some of which are mutually exclusive just now. They’re bloody important to me, but they come secondary to securing a stable base from which I can start to dream aloud. That means money in the bank account and debts under control.
As I’ve oft repeated work is boring and unsatisfying, as well as being poorly paid. The aim obviously is to get it more interesting and to earn more money out of it. There’s definitely an option to earn more, even if it’s just by sticking around. Even so it’s modest, and I have to value-add my position in order to value-add my salary. It’s frustrating as I’m earning enough now to breathe a little easier, but not nearly enough to be comfortable – and when you factor in debt, a long way short of that.
The vague goal I have in mind is to increase my salary by 20% in the next 6 months (more if I can find a job elsewhere), at which point I can breathe a little easier, and potentially be in a position to borrow to consolidate my debts. I’d rather not borrow, but I think it’s the only feasible option short of getting a properly paying role. At least then I can hope to have some control over my debt and keep my rabid creditors at bay.
That’s the basic and pretty feasible option. Unless something goes awry a 10% increase is already in the bag and another 10-15% is a not unreasonable expectation. Once that happens I should be making enough to secure a loan – I just need to survive that long.
The better alternative is to find a better job with better money. That’s a possibility too, but I’m not counting on it. I am applying.
So let’s presume they take care of themselves one way or another. That’s brings us to the nice-to-haves.
The recent experience with my manuscript has given my writing ambitions a kick-along. It was always there, but it was never quite real. It’s not real yet, but it’s realer than it was before. It’s something I can believe in. Ultimately it’s something I want to do a lot more of. (If I was clever I might leverage the producer’s affection for me into other opportunities, but it’s not the sort of cleverness I possess).
There’s a measure of intellectual challenge I aspire to also. I don’t get it really in my present job, though it’s a lot better than it was. Another job might be a different story. Outside of that there are things I can think about which satisfy my need to be creative and for independence.
I’m thinking about my consulting business. Working for myself and freelancing out to corporates to trouble shoot or advise or create something. I’ve done the actual work most of my life, just mostly I’ve been doing it for a salary. It’s different when you’re the boss. It’s a lot more responsibility, it’s more work and a lot riskier – but it’s more satisfying too because it’s yours, and a lot more lucrative when you’re working. That’s the tricky bit.
You might think I’ve taken too many knocks to the head and fair call, that’s a perfectly rational response. For God’s sake H, haven’t you learnt by now? Why do you persist in tilting at windmills? Well probably because it’s a shitload more interesting trying to imagine and do things than it is simply following the same old path set before you. There was a time when my business was very successful, so the concept has been proved – it’s just hard work getting to that point, and a measure of luck.
I don’t mean doing it full time. If I can start doing it on the side before moving towards a part time solution that would be fine. The important thing is I’m not going to gamble anything to attempt it. I’ll dip my toe sometime over the next 4-6 months and if it feels good I’ll go further. If not I’ll go to plan B – which is probably sticking with the man.
I also want to get my start-up off the ground. It’s been parked for about a year now, but it’s still a ripper notion. I believe in it, and want to give it a try for myself.
Ultimately one day in my perfect life, with my perfect wife beside me I’ll be writing consistently, taking a break from it occasionally to do some freelance work, and overseeing my start-up on action. And hopefully growing some vegies.