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When needs to start today


"Don't lose this client."

Nearly the last thing Mike said to me as he left for his two week no-contact-with-the-outside-world vacation a week ago. "Don't lose this client."

To him, this client is important. To me, that means this client gets first priority. When they say jump, I jump.

So, here I am, four thirty on a Thursday, and I'm completely exhausted. Doyle left this afternoon, and is gone until Saturday night. I have Mike's clients, my clients, and Doyle's projects. I've been working 12 hour days (making that 10 billable hours a day), and I'm still losing traction. My first thoughts last Thursday when I realized the enormity of the projects Mike left for me was, "Uh oh. I'm in trouble."

My first reaction was to complain. As the words came from my mouth, however, I realized how retarded this complaining was. It wasn't helping me finish the work. It wasn't boosting my productivy. It wasn't changing the fact that I had a huge mountain of work to do and the only way to get over the mountain was to simply start working.

So, I did. And haven't stopped. I left work not with the exciting feeling of accomplishment, but with dread: something left unfinished, something not quote done, something I'm still behind on.

As I was walking down the stairs from the office, I kept thinking things are just the same was they were when I was working for other people, nothing has changed. I'm not working on my own projects. I'm not building something that will build equity when I'm not working. I'm not building up a safety net. I'm not doing work that ultimate satisfies me and my sense of right.

It's the end of June, I barely remember my birthday, and it was only 6 days ago. If I work this hard on my own projects, how unbelievably successful would they be?

My next thought is, "One more week, survive only one more week, then I can start on my own work." But I keep having this thought. It's the same every day. But, I keep thinking that: when I have enough money, I'll do X. When I have more time, I'll do Y. "When" has to start today. It can't start when Mike gets back. It can't start in a week. It has to start now, or it never will, and I'll be 74 looking back wondering "WTF?"