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Fiddy Dollars

I may officially be retired now, but we still have bills to pay and are working on several income sources that (theoretically) don’t require a combined work-plus-commute exceeding sixty hours a week. The husband unit still insists we’re going to make an income with small business services. I think it’s an awesome idea that doesn’t have a prayer as he outlines it. Furthermore, it would require me to put in 80-hour work weeks, and that ain’t happening.

However, we do have some other projects underway and waiting in the wings, including one that’s an international venture. We should begin the grant process on that in the next couple of weeks. It’s indirectly related to the small business services, which is frankly the only reason I’m not tossing the entire SBS boondoggle into the circular file.

I always have books going – waiting to hear back from my editor on one of them, still working on others.

Another project in the works is actually something G is doing, though I participate. G loves carpentry and has been looking for something he can build. His pet steps, while good in theory, were never going to produce a viable income. They were focused on a local shopper pool, and people in this area are unwilling or unable to pay more than $20 for much of anything. (And they bitch about that.) That doesn’t even pay for materials. However, we now know of other sales venues, and they support a very different type of product line. Between the shifts to outlet and product, I think we should be able to command an appropriate price. I ordered some of the parts tonight to put the first prototype together. Unlike the pet steps, which were generic and G made assembly-line style, this is custom pieces aimed at a niche market. Below is my Photoshop mock-up of our initial prototype.

Diamond Clock

The idea is to do a variety of designs, mostly with nods to art deco or craftsman eras (for a number of reasons.) We’ll probably do some veneer inlays. The idea is definitely to combine different types of wood. We were inspired by some of these sweet machines.

While we plan on doing our own designs, these have the feel we were looking for. We love the one that shows a tile insert. We found half a dozen awesome small tiles that have an art deco feel, each one unique, and bought them with that specific concept in mind. Clock inserts are available from several sources, some of them works of art themselves. (For the price they should be!) They come with the option of battery power or wind-up movements, weighted, pendulums, etc. You can even get a cuckoo clock mechanism, complete with the wire for your cuckoo to spring out from its own little door.

G won’t be making cuckoo clocks. He shuddered at the thought. He hates them and hates music boxes or anything similar – in part because they drove him batty when he was working at the auction house.

I hope we can get a few clocks finished in time to get them to market this spring.

Another development: tonight I had a writing project literally dropped into my lap. I’d heard of ghost writing, naturally. It’s basically writing someone else’s book for them. They get the credit, you get a flat-rate to do the work. That was about the extent of what I knew about it. In this instance, however, I got a lot more details, a specific referral and a pay quote (hence the fiddy dollars in the header of this entry: that’s the approximate hourly.) I’m going through the application process. We’ll see what happens. Could be interesting. It would let me work part time and bring in a very livable wage. If it works out I know a few other people who might be suited for the job too, and I gather there’s a fairly high demand.

Those are only SOME of the projects we’re juggling right now. We’re still doing yard sales, of course. Some things never change!

The online store is pretty meh. Haven’t sold a thing. Not the end of the world because I didn’t invest any money in it other than our yard sale goodies, but I feel sorry for the person who owns the site. He’s poured a fortune into getting things working and imho it’s a complete bust. That’s why we’re going so many directions at once. Of a dozen business ideas, maybe one or (if you’re lucky) two turn out to be viable. You have to give it all you’ve got and monitor to see which one(s) takes off, then be prepared to roll with it full-tilt to make it fly.

I’ve got a pocket full of feathers. I’m ready as I’ll ever be.

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