Boundaries

I work long hours. Everyone does these days. It’s the only way to make it in this game.

In addition to having a business though, I have a family. Trying to balance the two is incredibly tough. Working 24/7 isn’t a realistic long term possiblity either.

Part of my strategy for maintaining my sanity and having a good quality of life is to take weekends off, and to close the studio in time to have dinner with my kids.

The challenge is that there is an expectation on the part of some of my clients that I be available to chat during non-traditional business hours.

This is complicated by the fact that my clients are spread all over the world. Trying to connect during office hours when our time zones are on opposite sides of the world is plain impossible.

Obviously, if I want to play, I’ve got to pay. What I’m wondering though, is how you handle this situation. I’ve got our studio hours posted on the contact page of “my site”:http://www.theblogstudio.com, but that’s the absolute bare minimum.

So, what do you do?

Proposal Gallery

If I had a spare moment, here’s what I’d do with it: _Note: I am aware how incredibly lame it is that I’d use my spare time to do more web work. What can I tell you? I love this stuff…_

I’d build a gallery of proposals. Proposals for all kinds of work: design work, consulting work, building work…

It would be organized by category. Prices and names (including firm names) could be blacked out. The point would be to create a resource for best practices in proposal writing.

Anyone know of anything like this? Anyone want to create it?

The ROI of blogging

_Note: this is also posted at “The Blog Studio”:http://www.theblogstudio.com. Sorry for the duplication. Should I cross post the article, or just include a link?_

At the Blawgthink conference in Chicago this weekend, one of the concepts that came up was the return on investment of blogging. The point was made that calculating time spent vs dollars gained doesn’t give an accurate answer.

One must also consider the money and energy saved as a result of blogging. Think of the money saved in print advertising, yellow pages, etc. For a small business, this can result in a significant savings.

As a small business owner, I can assure you that blogging is an *amazing* way to earn business. I don’t have an ad in the yellow pages – I don’t need one (that’s a savings of thousands of dollars a year in this market).

If you’re concerned you can’t afford to put the time into blogging (and really, who isn’t?), consider how many hours you have to put in to cover the cost of your existing marketing? I’m not saying that blogging will replace your current ad spending, but it may make a pretty big dent in it.

Blawgthink

I just returned from the Blawgthink conference in Chicago. As the name suggests, this was a group interested in law blogging and law bloggers. You know, you’d think a room full of lawyers would be boring. You’d be wrong actually. This group was a blast.

Now, I suppose the fact that this is a group of bloggers may indicate that this group tends towards the outgoing end of the lawyer spectrum. It didn’t hurt that we were talking about a subject that we were obviously passionate about either. How many non-passionate bloggers do you know?

So a good time was had. I met some great people, talked about some interesting things, and regained a bit of my perspective.

I’ve been so consumed with work that I forgot that it was the love of writing that had lured me into this thing in the first place. But it’s hard to write when you’re too tired to fall asleep. So I forgot.

Being with this group rekindled my own passion. Writing for writing’s sake. Not for business (well, not ONLY For business). Writing not only for readers but for myself. This is my personal site, after all.

I made note of a couple of interesting ideas that I’d like to share with you. But not tonight. I also regained some perspective on life. I’m going to step away from the computer and spend some time with my best friend.

9rules round 3

I can’t tell you enough how incredible it is to be a member of the 9rules group. The community of site members is amazing. We have an incredible forum where we share ideas, critique work, make fools of ourselves, and otherwise burn valuable working hours. Almost everyday someone posts a request for work, or links to a fantastic new opportunity…

The gang at 9r has just opened up the door to new sites. If you want to be part of this very, very cool thing you MUST get your browser over to “www.9rules.com”:http://www.9rules.com ASAP.

Tell them Peter sent you.