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Third Anniversary: Petersen Media Group

Petersen Media Group logoPetersen Media Group was started 3 years ago today, on Groundhog Day 2009. It was the biggest fork in the road we’ve had since getting married in 2006. We’ve had many ups and downs in the last 36 months ranging from 2 months of surplus to draining our savings account and having no idea when the next person was going to come along who wanted my services. Everything has been a test of our determination and deep-rooted faith that we are doing what we are meant to do in this season of our lives.

Doing what I love in service of those who love what I do.

In 2009, I served 58 clients and went up to 66 clients in 2011 with a total of 144 in my Freshbooks online accounting. I ran a 36-month report and learned that our gross revenues equal 63 months of the last salary I had, though our expenses self-insuring are much higher than before.

In 2009 and 2010, Beautiful was still working her office manager job at a family-run manufacturer. In fact, they gave her a raise on Groundhog Day 2009 when they learned that she left early the day before because I’d just lost my job. That turned out to be her last raise because beginning Feb. 1st, 2011, she stayed with me all day every day to be the much misunderstood and seemingly socially awkward role of “housewife.” You’d better read her account of quitting her job and doubling her salary to understand how valuable it is to stay home before having kids, which will be right along as soon as our paperwork is approved.

In June, we took a week to go to California to see her sister get her Master’s on the way to getting her doctorate in psychology. That sure was a fun week because it was my first time to California. In September, we made a rush, semi-emergency road trip to stay with my grandparents for 2 weeks when my grandpa wasn’t doing very well. Six weeks later, we returned to spend 2 weeks again because my parents were visiting and we had booked plans to spend our 5th anniversary at Niagara Falls!

This has been the best year – by far  of my “long and storied CF life” and now that some particular trials we faced are behind us, I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

Business Is Like a Box of Chocolates

Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump - 1994: Paramount

As most of you know by now, I’ve been running my own business for over 2 years now. I can safely say (since we don’t have kids) that it has been the singularly most frustrating and rewarding thing we’ve done. I hear they’re more of the same, so business should be extra fun when that time comes.

The business has largely been the reason I’ve decreased my writing frequency and topic quality over the last 3 months, especially. It’s just plain been rough, but there are patterns and cycles based on the calendar and other strange things. Here are a few of them:

  • Full moons – we are the furthest thing from superstitious that you can find, but Beautiful and I both agree that people are just plain weird on full moon days. I don’t have any scientific reason for it, but after both of us working in customer service positions of some sort for a combined 18 years, there is a definite connection of weird people stories being escalated on those days.
  • February – my saddest month each year, even though my company anniversary day is on Groundhog Day. Sales in February are miserable! I think people get their Christmas credit card statements or just paid their January 15th estimated taxes and have nothing left for working on their online presence.
  • June – well, it just so happens to be June, doesn’t it?: our best month! There is something about June that just makes people step into the batter’s box and get things done. Last June, we took a 1-week vacation and still made more than 3x what I needed to at the time to make our household budget work. This month, well, I’ll tell you after this list.
  • Jan. 15th, Apr. 15th, Jun. 15th, Sep. 15th – my 4 least favorite days of the year. Those not in the know, those are the days the IRS demands that we pay homage to their tax code based on what we think we will earn the next quarter, plus the actual tax day. The first year, we didn’t pay quite enough and owed a lot in April. The second year, we paid a lot, lot more and still owed money. Last year, we paid a lot, lot, lot more and still owed. So… this year, we’re paying what the CPA recommends and see if we hit the mark this time.

Oh, look! It’s the end of the list.

Back to this month. What a rush! [Read more…]

Let Me Take Care of You

Take Care of YouI’m back to struggling doing too much, or so Beautiful says. One thing that I’ve learned in the last 9 years is that woman is very rarely wrong when it comes to how much work I’m doing. She has questioned if I’m working before (/grin) but I don’t think she’s every been mistaken about me working too much for my own good.

I’ve mentioned (or at least I started writing the post one day) that I’ve wanted to be the sole breadwinner for the family since before we were a family. I always saw her having a job as a means to an end to get us more stable and get the things we needed to settle down to start a family, however that was going to happen. Being self-employed has given me the opportunity to have more freedom in my schedule to work when I at at my best and to take breaks when I need to, even though I know that means more work later. We have definitely taken more time off this month to do what needs to be done, but I am also working much harder when I am working to try to “get ahead.” Now that I am the sole breadwinner, doubt creeps into our conversations recently about the wisdom of relying on my ability to work without getting sick.

Today was one of those days.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to get a job?”

“Absolutely! I’d rather have you here, happy, taking care of the place the way we like to have it, and not complaining about work and always being exhausted.”

“But I’d rather have you healthy than working until you’re sick and we don’t have any money because you are our money. I won’t complain about my job.”

[Read more…]

I’m Still Okay – Never Fear

Fast Times at the University of South FloridaI’m really sorry that I haven’t been updating, educating, or entertaining you very often lately. It’s not for lack of interest, but for lack of time and words. You see, tomorrow is my last final ever (Biblical Archaeology) and I have to wrap up one last exam for Advanced Composition. It’s been non-stop business, wife time, business, study, business, wife time, writing, writing, writing, business… you get the picture.

It’s been a real struggle this semester to make ends meet while finishing up classes, but we’ve been blessed nonetheless, Beautiful and I have. Just enough in just the nick of time. I think that’s the way God likes it. Keeps you humble and faithful. I’ve learned a lot about that this semester.

Last year we had a 2-month reserve in the business account and I got prideful. I’ve hit bottom with that and it will be time to come out with all 12 cylinders going full-bore (I’m a V-12 if there was ever any doubt what kind of engine I run on) and sounding like the Ferrari that I am. I have some plans for getting things going after Mother’s Day and I have 4 weeks to meet our financial goal before a week-long family vacation. Don’t ask how much… you’ll either cry that the goal is ridiculous in that time frame or hate me upon meeting the goal (but the money will be gone as fast as it comes in).

Commencement is on Friday, so I’d better get some beauty rest… I need it!