What A Difference A Week Makes!

In our last blog update, read it here, I discussed that two weeks into our new business venture we hadn’t had a single job come our way which was a little disappointing. I also discussed how I have been working a side gig job to try and see if it was a viable way to earn some cash while building some business relationships. This past week everything changed.

After spending time going business to business, meeting people and handing out business cards I decided to do a cold call of a large agency. The response I received was the usual “we will have someone contact you about getting your business set up in our system” which I agreed to but didn’t think much about. About two hours later my phone rang and it was an associate calling to take down my business information. Again, I didn’t think much about it because I’ve already been down this road many times in the last two weeks. But this time, as we grew close to ending our conversation, the associate stopped and asked “do you want your first assignment right now?” My stomach sank and I paused because I couldn’t believe what just happened and I didn’t know if I was ready to answer yes at that very moment. So in a complete haze I answered “sure”.

Giving that answer then set off a wild chain of events that I was not mentally prepared for. My email started going crazy with information about the assignment and all of the documents that needed to be printed. The lead time for the appointment was very short, or at least it felt that way, and our new printer was not cooperating. As the pages were printing and I was looking at them I felt completely unprepared and overwhelmed. The last thing I wanted to do was mess up my first job. However, the more our printer acted up and the more I looked at those documents the more I felt I wasn’t ready and needed to call and cancel the job and have them assign it to someone else. But, that would also mean I would never get another call from this company again.

This is where my wonderful wife jumped into action. It was reminiscent of the movie Airplane where a passenger was freaking out and everyone lined up to try and shake the passenger back to her senses. Except there was no line, just a strong woman that doesn’t panic. My wife, seeing that I was coming unglued, took over the printing duties while at the same time acting as counselor, coach, mentor and cheerleader. She got me to settle down and start focusing on the task at hand. She cheered me on and continuously reassured me that everything was going to be ok. And she was right.

The appointment was very long because I was trying to be extra cautious. The person I met with was about my age and had a great attitude which made it mush easier, even when we hit a couple of roadblocks. After three hours I was on my way back home, excited to be finished, but worried I might have missed something. That night I didn’t sleep at all as I agonized over every detail. The next morning I reviewed the paperwork and sent it off. First job completed!

Since completing my first job it has been a nonstop whirlwind. I completed three more jobs with the same company and have another three assignments already scheduled for the next week. The steady phone calls for work are a welcome change from the first two weeks. One cold call has got our business a steady flow of work and we should start to recoup some of our costs as the invoices are paid.

After we started getting business we decided to revisit the gig job. I did it for a few more days and then got my first payment. After comparing the number of actual hours spent on the road versus the actual amount of time with people in the car and the pay that comes along with it, the decision was an easy one. It was more profitable for us to sell the car and get rid of the payment and every other expense that comes along with owning a car than to continue to burn it up with a low paying gig job.

The next day we shopped the car around until someone offered us the amount we wanted for it and we let it go. The monthly savings for the payment, insurance, registration and having one less car in our HOA will be close to $500. We also received a nice amount of cash in hand and lowered our loan debt. There was absolutely no downside to this decision as most of my work will be very local and there was simply no reason to continue carrying the extra expense.

Our next task is to continue to service this customer and to keep working to build a more diverse customer base. While I’m excited about getting work and appreciate the business, I know that the key to survival is having multiple revenue streams. It’s also much more profitable if I can get some direct business and not assigned business. Keeping all of the fees as opposed to taking a split fee will take us to another level. But that type of business only comes with experience so I have to be thankful for what I get at this point.

It was a crazy and successful week. We also came very close to crossing the $1 million portfolio mark before the pullback on Friday. It’s as if the market is teasing us!

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