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a proposition

Blog

a proposition

Scott Bahlmann

Dear M,

With the move to Seattle pending, but the details uncertain, my fella’ had a question to ask me before we made the leap. He’s been a photographer and retoucher for about 15 years, if you throw in the design work as well. Having worked independently for most of that time, he thought that we could do well to team up, with me as the office manager for the business, putting to use my many years of customer service experience.

This would allow us to move on our own timeline, and set our own hours, giving a flexibility I’ve never really considered. But it also includes some other things I’ve never considered, such as accounting and working closely in an industry in which I’m pretty novice. Since I decided to make this move, I’ve been thinking it might be nice to have a dramatic shift of sorts. Any opportunity I choose is mine to pursue. I feel like it’s a good time to mix things up, to do something exciting that scares me a little, as long as I feel good about it. And this feels good.

What about it scares me? I’ll have to educate myself on small business, in particular the finance aspect. But lots of people do it, and I’m very good at educating myself. It’ll be a game of sorts, learning rules and moving pieces about. I’ll just have to make sure I know the rules well before I start playing.

Another thing that gives me pause is that self-employment means an inconsistent paycheck. You only get the money for the work you bring in. This is part of the reason I never went fully into theatre, you gotta’ constantly keep an eye out for the next job. My fella’ has said that there is a high demand for this service in the publishing industry, and that it’ll just take getting our name out there and building relationships. I’m okay having a lean start, and investing in something long term, as long as it’s a good investment. Not being very familiar with it, I’m going off his knowledge there.

And the last, littler thing could happen whether I end up working for myself or not. It truth, this opportunity might make it easier. I’m a little worried about not having a creative outlet. I’d be doing an office job, with lots of digital interactions, and lots of numbers crunching, and I’d need to have something that gives me a break from it. Right now, my job satisfies every artistic aspect I could hope to fulfill, I get to create visual art, I have a devoted audience five times a week to perform to, and I get to share stories. Something I’ve found out, though, is that I don’t really do art for myself, unless I specifically make time for it. My best artistic endeavors have happened while I was working a completely different kind of job. So this might let me do some more satisfying creating.

All in all, I’m going to look into it, and find out how feasible it seems and how comfortable I’d be taking on the position of Office Manager.

-S